Making photograph through a microscope is called photomicrography .It is not beyond the capabilities of most photographers, provided their interest is great enough and their working methods are careful and accurate .There is certainly no shortage of subject matter .You can find suitable specimen in the kitchen and garden, or indeed almost anywhere you look. For successful pictures through the microscope you need three basic pieces of equipment: a microscope, a light source and camera.
For you first experiments in photomicrography there is nom need to spend a fortune on acquiring a superb instrument unless you really want to even low priced models are adequate .Before committing yourself to a purchase perhaps you can arrange to borrow a microscope from a friend, or from a school or college during the vacations, or to hire one from a reputable dealer .This way you can find out what suits you best ,and if you interest is deep enough to buy equipment of your own. The simplest type of microscope consists of the following basic parts: eyepiece, tube, objective, stage, sub-stage condenser, light source.
At the top of the microscope is the eyepiece which allows you to view the microscope image. For photomicrography you must use a “flat field” eyepiece to eliminate fuzzy edges which would occur with ordinary eyepiece. Choose one or two with magnifying powers around x6 and x8.
The tube is simply a piece of cylindrical metal which separates the eyepiece from the objective. The tube length is not unlike the focal length classification of a camera lens.
The microscope lens. The objectives are often sold separately from the microscope. You need on or two objectives to begin with. Magnifying powers of between x5 (five time magnification) and x20 (20 time) all give interesting views of simple structures. The most common objectives are called “achromats”. These are the least expensive type and are perfectly adequate for the beginner .If and when your interest deepens there will be time enough four you to invest in more expensive objectives with greater correction of image distortions.
To produce a good photomicrograph you need a good light source. What ever source you choose it should be bright enough to allow reasonably short exposure times. A 100W tungsten lamp is a suitable light source for black and white pictures. For colour slides you might prefer to use a photographic lamp (colour temperature 3400K) to ensure correct colour reproduction with tungsten balanced film. Special microscope lamps are also available. They usually have an iris diaphragm which can be adjusted to control the size of a light beam. Although you may have limited success by using daylight ,its colour quality and brightness are variable. You would not be able to take pictures in the evening, and the unreliability and unpredictability of daylight causes problems. You would find it difficult to estimate exposures in different weather conditions, and colour reproduction will vary. Flash is consistent in quality and can be useful when you are photographing living, moving specimens and want to freeze the motion. But unless you can adapt the flash head to fit a modelling light inside it you will find it difficult to judge the lighting effect.
The stage is a platform on which the subject is held firmly in position(by clips) at right angels to the objective. The subject is a microscopic specimen mounted on a small glass oblong called a microscope slide. The stage has a central hole to allow light to pass through from below.
A system of lenses below the stage which focus light intensely on the subject.
Only more expensive models have a lamp built in below the stage. Simple microscopes use a swivelling mirror under the stage to reflect light up through the subject and into the objective. The mirror is often double-sided-flat( or plane) on one side concave on the other .It can be swivelled to select either surface.
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