Surfaces under the microscope

Hi folks,

A recent discussion about rendering micro surface details (thread) motivated me to start taking pictures more regularly with my binocular microscope, be it for reference or simply for curiosity. The lenses go up to 80x, but I found some things happen to look more interesting at a lower zoom level. Perhaps some of these will turn out to be fun to recreate in Blender?

You’re welcome to suggest things for me to capture, but I’ll start with something I captured back in february (I won’t say what it is for now), under two different lighting conditions : backlit and frontlit.

Regarding image quality : right now it isn’t great I know. For each picture, I run several captures through focus stacking and noise removal. It’s the best I can do with the hardware I own. (I added the vignette in post to embiggen the mysteriousness) What I see with my own eye through the lens is actually a hundred times better, sharper and more vivid… the camera is the bottleneck. Until I get a better one, this kind of quality will have to do.

Tagging some of yall let me know if I’m abusing my power @Renzatic @joseph @MartinZ @Secrop @CarlG @kram10321 @Ace_Dragon @pixelgrip @EntityDesigner @sozap




Just a quick note here…
Microscopic images start to break the ‘common’ logic of light and RGB colors… At those scales, wavelength interference becomes too important to be represented by our current analytic models of scatterring. And with a bigger magnifications, wavelengths become irrecognizable to the human eye.
I don’t know if even having a spectral renderer wouldn’t require to throw all our closures away, and build everything from scratch again. :slight_smile:


depends on how microscopic, but yes

I don’t think we’re quite at this scale here. See the next capture is exactly 1mm across (taken at the lowest zoom level, 20x).

Any idea what it is?

I have troubling getting enough light in… guess I’ll have to invest in something powerful. The backlight is barely bright enough to illuminate thin slices too, let alone whole samples.

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Yesterday’s mysterious surface was -of course- Plectranthus Amboinicus ! surely it was on the tip of everyone’s tongue. It is delicious as an infusion, I have it almost daily so it was naturally pretty high on my “watchlist”.


In the other discussion, I think someone or you mentioned human nails being totally gross. Could you by any chance show us a proof? I’d also love to see bark, if you stumble upon an interesting specimen. I imagine it to be so full of microscopic life and things.

I’ve been meaning to explore this eventually, when I have the money for it, so I’ll also ask: which microscope do you have? Which better one have you eyed?


Ok ! I will try. I can definitely grab a selection of barks too. The issue is, if I want to use the big zoom levels, light may become an issue. Short-term, I’ll see if adding a flashlight to the mix helps.

Bresser Researcher :
You can look at this page they have plenty of different models :


Sugar or salt? :salt: I think it looks more like sugar.


My money is on salt (NaCl).
The other one I’d have guessed to be common nettle (Urtica dioica). Not quite, I guess.

greetings, Kologe


I’d go with sand which can look pretty interesting actually:


@KickAir_8P wins the prize ! it was indeed… brown sugar. :grin:

@Kologe now you make me think of something…! there’s a stinging plant that grows here in Mayotte -absolutely terrible stuff- that I should try capturing… pretty certain it bears spiderman-level barbs

@sozap some of these sand samples look eerily like brown sugar…

Let’s try something else now. Focus stacking doesn’t do a good job because all the different captures are slightly misaligned, due to… lens breathing I guess? I’m not exactly sure, optics nerds please correct me. So let me try videos. Hopefully they convey depth a little better.

I’ll reserve the fingernails for another day. (maybe Halloween)


Beautiful, thank you for sharing it! At this size, bark looks like green mountains or something. In the first video, there is something moving, I wonder if it’s some sort of small creature.

Well, if that’s the case, I’d say go for it.

Just make sure to wear the

appropriate work outfit

when you gather it. :laughing:

greetings, Kologe

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Well… that was too easy! you named the picture as ‘24_05_30_sucre_brun’!! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Damn I thought Discourse renamed pictures. I checked on Pixelfed (it does!) but did not check here… Next time it’s obfuscation all the way