My task is to take photographs of fungus spores under a microscope at x100 using oil immersion.

My problem is that I get all these little blobs. How do I prevent the blobs?

So, I have been instructed to first put the spores on the glass slide, then add a teensy drop of water to it (I use a syringe so I have exact control over the droplet) and then put the coverslip on top of that. Then I tap the coverslip down with the eraser-end of a pencil to force the excess water out from under the coverslip. The immersion oil goes on top of that and then I can view the spores and take the photos.

This is what I mean:

enter image description here

All those little blobs aren't supposed to be there. I can't tell what are spores and what aren't, or if these spores have ornaments or not. However, I happen know this spore does have ornaments (rhodotus palmatus).

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    $\begingroup$ Have you tried stirring the spores into the droplet of water (e.g. with the end of a clean toothpick) before adding the cover slip? I have no idea if it would help, but if the spores float on the droplet, it might give you a cleaner picture. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Nov 21 '16 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ No, I haven't actually. Thanks for the idea. $\endgroup$ – bgmCoder Nov 21 '16 at 0:50

At least some of the blobs that you have appear to be air. Seating the coverslip carefully will help to prevent air-bubbles from forming under the coverslip. Lay one edge against the fluid and slowly ease it down.

enter image description here

You mention using an oil immersion lens. It is possible that water has come into contact with your lens. Oil finding its way beneath the coverslip could also introduce refractory blobs as well.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm.. I think you probably nailed it with the application of the coverslip - I'll have to try this out. I don't think the problem is with oil underneath the coverslip because I'm pretty careful. I'll try slowly easing the coverslip down, as you say. After I try it, I'll come back here and tell you how it went. $\endgroup$ – bgmCoder Nov 21 '16 at 23:09

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