conversion of binocular scope to phase contrast microscope

David W Walker dave at
Thu Jan 18 07:02:16 EST 1996

In article: <00003368+00000c81 at>  the4bps at (Bonnie Polan) 

> does anyone know whether or not a binocular microscope made about 18 
> years ago (bought for med school) can be converted into a dark field, 
> phase contrast microscope?  If this is possible, how would we go 
> about having this done?  Any help would be appreciated.

A few suggestions.

1) Dark field - dark field condensers are available from most makers. If the 
sub-stage condenser is held in by a clamping ring, this is often a standard 
size, and you could use a dark field condenser from another possibly cheaper 
supplier, but you would need to check that it worked correctly. The existing 
objectives are OK for dark field.

Cheap and cheerful (for the amateur or school) - black opaque discs of various sizes supported on clear plastic can be put in the filter holder of the sub-stage condenser. By trial and error a disc of the right size to obtain dark field for each object
ve can be found. A similar technique using contrasting coloured discs can create beautiful effects by Rheinberg illumination  (see textooks)

2) Phase contrast - a phase contrast condenser is required, with a phase 
contrast ring for each phase contrast objective purchased. A special 
telecope to insert into the eye tube is also usually needed to align the 
set-up. Most of the larger makers will supply a range of objectives and a 
condenser etc. 

Dave Walker

 David W Walker    EMail dave at                            
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