User guides, FAQs and more
User guides, FAQs and more
What magnification range is available?
Magnification has a slightly different meaning on a digital microscope, that needs a bit of thought if you are used to analogue microscopes.
ioLight offers two versions of our microscope, labelled 1mm and 2mm. If your microscope has no marking on the head then it is a 1mm version. This labelling indicates the width of the image or field of view which, together with the screen size, determines the magnification.
For example, an iPad Air 2 has a 9.7″ screen that is 197mm wide, so with the 1mm microscope, the magnification you see will be x197. The 2mm microscope has a wider field of view and so a lower magnification. On the iPad Air 2 it would deliver x197/2 or approximately x98.5.
A 1mm microscope working with an iPad mini with a 7.9″ screen gives x160 and the iPad Pro 12.9″ screen gives a beautiful x263. The 2mm product delivers half of those magnifications.
In general, the magnification may be calculated as:
Magnification = width of screen (horizontal axis)/ioLight field of view.
The magnification is fixed so the original images are always the width printed on the microscope head. However, they are saved to the camera roll as .JPG files, so it is easy to crop them and enlarge them digitally just like any other photo. We have used this digital zoom to get x1000 images that still look great.
Like any digital image, ioLight images eventually become pixellated if you enlarge them too much. The limit of resolution of ioLight’s 1mm microscope is 1 micron (that just 1 thousandth of a mm!) What this means is that if you look at two lines, each 1 micron wide, that are 1 micron apart, you can see that they are in fact two lines and are not merged into one. We leave it to you to work out how to prove this (Email us for the answer if you give up!)
This does NOT mean that you can clearly see objects that are 1 micron across because there is not enough resolution to see inside them. For example, red blood cells are typically about 9 microns across, so we can see them very clearly and we can easily count them. However, it is pretty hard to see much structure inside these small cells. Nevertheless, plant cells are bigger and look fabulous. You can see an onion cell in our image gallery.
Does the microscope have an XY stage?
The ioLight microscope has a fixed stage, which is absolutely essential to get high resolution images. If you are looking for 1 micron resolution, then the sample must be held still to better than 1 micron. You certainly cannot do this by hand, which is why hand held microscopes cannot deliver 1 micron resolution in practice. Some of them can produce 1 micron of resolution if they are tightly clamped in a heavy stand, but then they are not very portable.
ioLight decided not to have an adjustable stage on this microscope for three reasons: Firstly it is difficult to make an adjustable XY stage robust enough to get a great image unless you spend a lot of money on sophisticated mechanical engineering, like professional quality lab microscopes do. Secondly we are trying to keep the price down, well below professional quality lab microscopes. Finally we have found that it is pretty easy to move the slide around on our glass stage by carefully rolling two fingers, one on each end of the slide. With a bit of practice, we think this is much easier than controlling a traditional microscope stage. Why not try one and tell us what you think?
ioLight has invented a portable microscope, with a resolution of better than 1μm, which produces beautiful pictures of animal and plant cells and displays them directly onto your tablet or mobile phone.
T: +44 (0)333 202 7101
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