My photos using a camera on my Zeiss microscope

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My photos  were taken with a Swift EP5R eyepiece 5Mp camera (linked by USB to laptop) attached to Zeiss binocular microscope with darkfield and phase  
contrast condensers. Objectives were 20x, usually used with darkfield condenser or 16x or 40x with phase contrast condenser.
The camera uses the programme Swift Easyview. Some earlier pictures had white balance turned on, giving the picture a golden tinge.
Best to turn this off to get more realistic picture. Most pictures are then cropped in Photoshop and modified with Autolevels.
One eyepiece has a reticule for measurement. Sizes in microns are calculated from a Calibration table.  
Samples are mainly from buckets, birdbaths etc at home.

NOTE: Although I an a qualified microbiologist, I am not an expert at this. So identifications and comments might not be valid.

Ciliates Flagellates Amoebae (Amebas) Algae Unknowns Multicellular organisms    


Ciliates All about ciliates    
................... paramecium A picture containing invertebrate  Description automatically generated A picture containing star  Description automatically generated
  Paramecium with symbiotic algae. 150 µ. A second common ciliate is there also. Small Ciliate. 30 µ.  Very fast.  20x Dark field. Typically group of cilia (cirri?) on one side. Moves in sudden jerks. 45 µ Darkfield 20x. slight 'kidney' shape.
  A close - up of a person's eye  Description automatically generated with low confidence  
  Same as above. Phase contrast 40x. Vorticella30 µ wide. 40x phase 120 µ  More visible cilia at ends  
Flagellates All about Flagellates    
  A picture containing star, outdoor object  Description automatically generated A picture containing outdoor object, star, invertebrate, branchiopod crustacean  Description automatically generated
  Euglena with 'eyespot' at right hand end. 50 µ Phacus. Typically fast moving. Moves toward blunt end. Rotates during motion showing they are flat.   18 µ Nice pics of big Chlamydomonas 45 µ showing nice red eyespot. Desmid alga in background in LH picture. Can sometimes see 2 flagellae at eyespot end.



  Peranema. 25 x 13 µ without flagellum. It moves with the flagellum in front. 16x. Phase contrast. Unusual flagellate as it is not photosynthetic.

Two Peranema with ‘green’ Paramecium and bacteria (Spirilla)



Amoebae (Amebas) All about Amoebae    

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A picture containing outdoor object, worm, star  Description automatically generated

A picture containing worm, invertebrate, outdoor object  Description automatically generated

A picture containing worm, invertebrate  Description automatically generated
  Amoeba. Taken over 3 minutes. Dark field 20x (bowl in back garden) By Phase contrast
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Darkfield 20x

10x Phase contrast condenser

16x Phase Contrast

  Amoeba from Clive’s mud on a tray in garden (May 4th). All samples had many of these. The pics are all of the same Amoeba (cannot identify species). The main body is about 50 µ. The ‘spikes’ are sometimes not visible in darkfield. NB 10x objective is not designed for phase contrast. Most pics are photoshopped with autolevels.
  This is a Heliozoan, possibly Actinphrys. Non motile. Darkfield 10x   and 40x phase contrast.  80µ diameter.  ‘Spikes’ not moving.    
Algae. Many flagellates are algae. Here I have included the immobile ones (mainly desmids I think.
  A picture containing outdoor object  Description automatically generated A picture containing close  Description automatically generated

A close - up of a plant  Description automatically generated with low confidence

Desmid. Darkfield. Very common

A Desmid. Non-motile. About 30µ wide. Closterium. There is a Phacus for comparison.

Rod-shaped. Motile. 38 x 6 µ. Do not know what this is. Very common in my samples.

Green globe. Not moving. The protrusions do not move fast like cilia. 40x. 75µ




  From back garden bucket. Not moving. 70 µ. Pictures below were over half an hour. 3 main features. At RH end 2 sets of cirri. Moving. Between them but not elsewhere were moving cilia. At opposite end were 2 cirri which seemed to be joined by a dark arc between them. There was a band of cilia like a tunnel below the clear ‘vacuole’. The pictures are In time order.

1. Dark field 20x
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2. 20x using P2. Phase contrast (PC) condenser but not PC objective lens

3. 40x. PC. NB Spirilla
A picture containing worm  Description automatically generated
4. 16x PC ‘Gullet’ is near vacuole. Start of small blebs where Cirri were on the left

5. Same with blebs bigger. 16x PC
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6. Same with bigger blebs front and back.

7. Blebs burst. Cirri more obvious. Vacuole disappearing.

8. 40x phase contrast. Cirri and cilia more obvious. No movement

  Multicellular organisms.   Both of the examples below are similar size to larger protozoa and are common. The rotifers are usually anchored onto solid material.
  Rotifers or wheel animals.. About rotifers.      
  Rotifer 200 µ. Species Microdina.  
Behind the 2 ‘wheels’ you can see the muscular pharynx that is like a bird’s crop, chewing food
Phase contrast                                                                   Dark field

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A picture containing invertebrate, worm  Description automatically generated



A Gastrotrich. Very fast, free swimming. Almost size of rotifer. 2 spikey tails at the left and mouth at right.


My Zeiss microscope calibration
This is for use with 10x eypiece with graticule [calibrated with a 1mm scale]



1 division

10 divisions

100 divisions



32 microns

320 microns

3.2 mm





1 mm





0.63 mm





0.25 mm





0.1 mm

NB:  The 3.2x is rarely used [the Wild M5 would be better.

The 100x objective requires the use of immersion oil.