Photography of placental tissue (H&E staining) under Zeiss IM microscope using Phil Dyer video camera and Yawcam software

I ordered a second hand C-mount microscope video camera microscope adapter from ebay and it arrived earlier this week. Now I can attach video cameras to the microscope – this is great news! The Bresser MikrOkular camera produces great HD pictures but has low light sensitivity – not a problem with every day microscopy but a serious issue for dim subjects – as I found out when I tried to photograph fluorescein stained samples recently – the camera just showed a black screen even though I could see some fluorescence visually.

The Phil Dyer (PD) camera is a stalwart of astronomy and (with the proper adapter) now I can use it for microscopy. This is also not the most sensitive camera and you can see the brightness of the image falling off as the magnification increases. Admittedly this dim image is probably because I have not set the condenser up properly but it makes the point about brightness anyway!

These first pictures are of placental tissue – I am not sure if it is human or animal.

You can see masses of red blood cells clumping together (blood clots) – these do not have nuclei and are round/oval in shape. There are also blue formed pockets of tissue with nuclei which will be the placental stroma.


Following pictures captured using PowerDirector 15 trial version.

x10 objective:

x20 objective:

x32 objective:

The point about setting up the illumination correctly is proven in the image below – I discovered an inbuilt blue filter which I have rotated out of the way of the light and immediately the image is much brighter!

Now using the same setup, I tried a 100x objective – a step too far may be for this slide?

I had a go at processing the above image in GIMP – what do you think? Perhaps a little easier to make out detail……..

Following pictures x32 objective – this time I closed down PowerDirector software and instead used neat little free programme called Yawcam. I am impressed! Really easy to use and beautiful pictures.

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