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Michael Hooker Microscopy Facility (MHMF.ORG)

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Nikon Microphot SA  (Upright Compound Microscope)

Location: 6129 Thurston Bowles



This upright microscope is well suited for transmitted light microscopy although it uses the older 160 mm tube length optics.  It has a good quality color digital video camera attached to it, the Nikon DXM 1200, which is linked directly to the Dell PC (called \\Hooke on the MHmicroscopy Windows network).  Files can be transferred to connections to other computers on the campus network or to the MHmicroscopy file server called \\Minsky, which is accessible from either Windows or Macintosh computers. 

For very low magnification pictures please use the Leica MX16FA Fluorescence Stereo Microscope/Macroscope, which has transmitted and/or overhead illumination available as well as fluorescence.

Two different programs can run the DXM 1200 camera (both programs can not be run together):

Setting up the Microscope - Kohler Illumination

  1. Turn on power to microscope.  Switch is on left front side of the base (1).
  2. Lower stage to allow sufficient clearance to change objective
  3. Choose objective
  4. Place slide on stage
  5. Open field diaphragm at base of microscope to maximum
  6. Minimize condenser aperture
  7. Set lamp power to about "9" or press green "photo" button on the front of the base
  8. Move condenser up as close as possible to the slide using its focus knob
  9. Set condenser ring to "0"
  10. Open port to the eye pieces (use the diagrams next to the sliders for guidance)
  11. Choose neutral density filter (NDF) combinations, 1/2, 1/8 or 1/32 (front 3 buttons on right base of scope) for sufficient light - typically all out for no NDF
  12. Focus on sample first
  13. Minimize field diaphragm
  14. Focus condenser by getting the sharpest image of the field diaphragm as possible
  15. Center bright spot to match center of the field of view
  16. Open field diaphragm to just fill the field of view
    *When imaging with the 4x or lower power objectives, the wide field of view condenser needs to be used.  See a facility director for instruction on changing the condenser.
  17. Open the condenser aperture to maximum - gives more light, less contrast, thinner depth of focus and more even illumination intensity.  This is the best setting for photography.
  18. Adjust focus if necessary




Using the ACT-1 Software (easier to use)

Using the SimplePCI (more complex, but on all image acquisition systems)

Acquiring Images Using SimplePCI with the the Nikon DMX1200 color camera




Acquisition Software

The Nikon DXM 1200 color camera can be controlled by either Act-1 or C-Imaging SimplePCI.  Of course both programs can not be used at the same time.

Fluorescence Filters

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Copyright 2001-2014  Dr. M. Chua, Program in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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Last Updated: 2014-07-23