I investigate my samples using an Olympus BX51 microscope, with Nomarsky DIC, phase contrast and fluorescense, equipped with several UPlanFl and UPlanApo objectives, and a Leitz Orthoplan microscope, equipped with several plan apochromatic objectives, standard Köhler illumination, phase contrast and Smith T DIC system.
The observed material is transferred to standard microscope slides and covered with a 24 x 32 cover slip.
I use very thin modified glass pipettes for isolating specimens. A glass tube is heated over a flame in the middle and then when the glass is soft I pull both ends slowly to create a very thin pipette. I use this directly to collect amoebae. Much patience is needed and usually some level of cursing before you can be successful…
I use a Leitz Diavert invert microscope for searching and isolating large shelled amoebae which may crash easily under a cover slip in a normal wet mount. After isolating the shell, I cover it with a slip, supported by some pieces of a broken cover slip. I also use a stereo microscope for isolating amoebae for staining, mounting and culturing. The Diavert is also an excellent instrument for observing culture dishes. For a quick scan of a sample I use a Bresser stereomicroscope.
Photomicrography and video
Photomicrography is performed with a digital Touptek camera on a large flatscreen. Pictures are improved by digital editing in ToupView (scale bars) and Photoshop, usually to increase contrast and detail and to decrease noise. Video is also captured with ToupView and reworked with Camtasia Studio.