DIY microscopy

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Revision as of 12:13, 6 June 2009 by Dusjagr (talk | contribs) (Instructions)
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DIY microscopy


To use a simple usb webcam as a microscope, only a few modifications are needed.

Diy microscope steps.jpg

In short, a small hack to the optics of a standard webcam with an adjustable focus-lens, allows to create video data, with a magnification of around 100 to 400x (depending on the model) at a working distance of a few mm. The highest magnifications can be achieved by inverting (putting upside down) the lens. Addition of good lighting by the use of leds allows to create images using a bright-field method (shine through the stuff) or dark field method (look at the reflections and scattering).

dark-field image sequence (4 sec) of an amoebae recorded on a modified webcam
bright-field image sequence (4 sec) of an amoebae recorded on a modified webcam

Movie recorded with modified webcams: Hackteria in Berlin



Step1: get a standard webcam, make sure u got the right drivers for your OS


Step2: break it open. of course take care not to destroy anything

Magnification and Field of View

See: fieldofview for more details.

after completing the hack with the lenses, the magnification can be increased upto a field of view of 0.7 mm.

InversedMagnification.jpg Nematode.jpg

more about microscopy