I have an old Nikon Alphaphot microscope that came with a 100x oil immersion objective, but no manual. I've seen plenty of sources that explain that you need to place a drop of oil between the slide and objective, but when I went to order immersion oil I discovered that there are several different types. There's Type A, Type B (apparently similar to Type A but more viscous), and a number of specialty types. My plan is to use the microscope for projects like looking at blood cells, pond water, and other high school science project-type investigations?

Which type of immersion oil is right for all around, general purpose use?


1 Answer 1


For the best image (where you lose the fewest photons and get less refraction), you want the immersion oil to have a refractive index as close to the refractive index of the coverslip you intend to use. In my experience, this is not much of a consideration on the oil-side, but rather on the coverslip-side.

There is little difference between type A and B oil, although for other types of oil see here. If I were you, I would just use some type A.

For a lesson on the impact of immersion oil on optics, see this Zeiss website (similar sites for Nikon and other scope manufacturers exist too I'm sure!)


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .