Tardigrades, naturalists and the triplet distress (IV)
Fig. 1: Echiniscus dry state (so-called tun)
as seen under blue light at medium magnification. There is definitely some vivid blue present.
Fig. 2: In contrast the dry state of a rotifer
is rendered in yellow-orange when illuminated by means of a blueish LED. Simply marvelous! Please
note that in addition the rotifer dry state reveals faint vertical striae whereas those of a tardigrade will always
appear as a kind horizontal segmentation. As a consequence you will be able to easily discern
the tardigrade and rotifer dry states.
For the technology freaks among you (and yes, there are plenty of them ;-) we have prepared a special object: a 20x true triplet ring LED illuminated magnifier! We have seen this one in international Ebay for an incredibly low price (less than 10 US$!). Unbelievable.
Fig. 3: Marvel or even scandal?
A bargain priced true triplet 20x LED magnifier.
It came with a nice instruction leaflet shwing the 6 LED ring light, the battery arrangement
and an optical cross section. Funny enough and in harsh contrast with
typical anti-chinese product nit-picking this is actually an understetement leaflet:
it is showing a two element lens system whereas the product delivered is consisting
of three lenses, two of them being cemented. So this is a true triplet
and besides its optical quality is quite flawless. So, no reason to complain!
Overall we are not astonished that this nice product is able to
resolve 10 µm intervals of a typical 1 mm object micrometer scale.
The image above is depicting the visual impression when looking through
the 20x magnifier onto the object micrometer. Please note that those
intervals are not discernible by means of a good 10fold magnifier
(unless you should be Mr super-eye in person).
Fig. 6: The
combined optics can be taken off as whole so you will be able to
use the magnifier freely, without stand, as well.
As a consequence it might be used in many creative manners, e.g. in
order to upgrade other instruments:
Fig. 7: The "Edu-Toys" smartphone microscope. Here we have a second example of nice chinese unterstatement. Whereas the package description is specifying a 2x to 16x magnification it should in fact read ca. 5X to 50x. This instrument can be used in combination with a light box or alternatively as an incident light microscope when oriented directly to the ground level. Three different lenses are included within the package. They are simple lenses, not high-class optics but still adequate for the low mag range. The practical use of this instrument is somewhere between a low mag hand loupe and a high mag dissection microscope.
Fig. 8: Upgrade of the Edu-Toys smartphone microscope with triplet optics
"Edu-Toys" microscope, as delivered,
with smartphone "peep hole".
Fig. 9: Photograph made by means of the upgraded Edu-toys smartphone microscope. The diameter of the depicted specimen slice on the slide is ca. 7 mm. Not too bad for such a low cost instrumentation! Just keep in mind how difficult it might have been in the 1970s to reach a similar result!
Nevertheless your professional high performance microscope will not become useless with respect to the tardigrades. The reasons behind this are not caused by the now (excellent) triplet optics of the Edu-Toys instrument but by the higher versatility and higher magnification range of your classical lab microscope. See you!
© Text, images and video clips by
Martin Mach (firstname.lastname@example.org).