This Arachnoidisucus sendiacus is 453 microns or 0.453 mm: a large diatom. Diatoms are single celled algae with a glass cell wall.
The image is stitched together from about thirty images, each of which where composites of two images at different depths of field. The original magnification was x1000, using the most powerful type of microscope lens. High power lenses require immersion in an oil with a high refractive index to cause the light rays to spread out to increase resolution. The tiny blobs, called punctae, in the centre are about one micron. Thats just two wavelengths of visible light, and close to the limit of resolution of a light based microscope.
This photograph was constructed from a slide I bought from perhaps the most famous slide maker and diatomist, Klaus Kemp. Every other image I have made is from samples/slides I have prepared.
Shades of Grey
A penntate diatom, again from a slide made by Klaus Kemp. Sadly I don’t have an id on this one, but will update when I do. This is 198 microns wide. I used a yellow filter, which slightly improves the resolution of the x100 oil immersion objective lens, x1000 with the second photo-relay lens, and then shot only in shades of grey.
Lots of little dots.
Thalassiosira baltica a marine diatom 103 microns again many thanks to Klaus, again using the immersion lens at x1000. I have inverted the colours digitally. The image seems even more striking in this form.
The image is of the base of the flower, the ovaries, of Narcissus cyclamineus sectioned at ten microns, 0.01mm , using an expensive professional microtome. The blades of the microtome are made by a Japanese company that still manufactures samurai swords.
Preparing some tissue for cutting that thin is quite time consuming and takes dozens of processing steps after fixing the tissue in formaldehyde , in this instance for a month. The tissue was stained with fast green and a red DNA stain called saffarinin. When viewed on one of my professional c-type prints it is possible to spot those cells that were undergoing cell division in the red stained ovaries when placed in formaldehyde. On smaller prints one must use a magnifying glass to see this, on a large print one needs to look closely.
The black background is digital and used to enhance the contrast in the image.
Moss leaf showing chloroplasts.