This morning I resolved to figure out what was going on with my muddy images from microscope. The first step was a general cleaning, and I discovered a real horror. Here’s the trinoc head for my Wild M3C:
See that tube on the right, for the camera? I looked down it. GAAAAAA. Dust and dirt and I swear, cobwebs all over. It’s a 30 year old microscope, and we’ve had microscope technicians come through every couple of years to do general maintenance on all the teaching scopes, but that tube may not have been cleaned ever in all that time. There’s a very important mirror down at the bottom of that L-shaped widget, and I think the only way I can get at it properly is to dismantle the whole device — there are a couple of tiny metric hex bolts holding it all together, and I guess I’m going to have to take it apart and try not to break everything.
Anyway, I did push the dirt around a little with a microfiber cloth, and it’s slightly better, but I think it’s filmed over with something that is fouling the image. I took a test photo of this little guy, and it’s an improvement, but still far from perfect. The image through the eyepieces is beautifully crisp, so I’m definitely blaming the problem on that little mirror and decades of neglect.
‘Ware spider below the fold!
That looks like a juvenile male to me, the palps just showing the beginning bulge of the adult. One more molt and I can think about breeding!