Documentation:Standard Operating Procedures for Nikon Compound Microscope

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  1. Please obtain proper training from the FNH education and research support technician Imelda Cheung (Imelda.Cheung@ubc.ca) prior to using the microscope.
  2. Before you plug in the microscope, turn the light control dial down. Now plug in the microscope and turn it on.
  3. Place the slide in the slide holder, center the slide sample using the two mechanical stage control knobs.
  4. Turn the light control dial to an appropriate level. Make sure the iris diaphragm lever under the stage is almost wide open, and the condenser is all the way up.
  5. Move the 10× objective lens into place and move the slide as far up as you can. Focus on the slide with the 10× objective, by using first the coarse focus control, followed by the fine focus control.
  6. Then without moving the stage, focus using the 40× objective. Only minor adjustment should be needed with the fine focus control. The light intensity may need to be increased.
  7. Place a rounded drop of immersion oil on the area to be observed. Rotate the white-striped 100× oil immersion objective lens into place, and adjust the fine focus. Only minor adjustment should be needed. Using the iris diaphragm and the light intensity, adjust the light to obtain optimum contrast.
  8. Please note it is not advisable that you go back to 40× objective lenses after applying the immersion oil. You may quickly go back to 10× objective lenses, taking caution not to contaminate the lens with immersion oil, and focus again before going back to 100×. If you still have problem focusing your sample, please begin from step 4 again using the duplicate sample you prepared on the slide.
  9. When finished, wipe the oil off of the oil immersion objective lens with lens paper, lower the slide platform, turn the light control dial back down, turn off the microscope.
  10. Unplug the power cord, loosen the lock on the eyepiece, turn the eyepiece back for safe storage, and wrap the cord around the base of the microscope.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • If you are unable to see your specimen, make sure the light intensity is not too high. However, remember that as magnification increases, light intensity must also increase.
  • Under oil immersion, a fuzzy sample may need another small drop of oil.
  • Specimen was lost when moving to a higher power: The specimen must be placed in the center of view before moving to a higher power objective.
  • Make sure you are not focusing on dust on the lenses – the sample should move when you move the slide slightly.