Modern compound microscopes operate using a dual stage magnifying design that incorporates a primary imaging lens, the objective, coupled to a secondary visualizing lens system known as the eyepiece or ocular mounted at the opposite ends of a body tube. The objective is responsible for primary image formation at varying magnifications, while the eyepiece is used to observe the image created by the objective. Advanced microscopes feature infinity optical systems. The microscopist is able to observe a greatly enlarged virtual image of the specimen by peering through the eyepieces. Magnification is determined by multiplying the individual values of the objective and eyepiece. Resolution and contrast in optical microscopy are derived through a number of optical strategies and is strongly coupled to the types of reagents used to prepare the specimen.
Fundamentals of Light Microscopy and Electronic Imaging. Wiley-Liss, New York, New York (1st Edition). 360 pages (2001). Dr. Murphy constructs a solid foundation on the basic concepts of geometrical optics, light, and color, and then provides excellent introductory reviews of important topics in light microscopy, including contrast-enhancing techniques and advanced methodology.
Introduction to Optical Microscopy. Roberts and Company Publishers, Greenwood Village, Colorado (1st Edition). 413 pages (2009). Professor Mertz provides an introduction of the fundamentals of optical microscopy. Starting from basic principles in Fourier optics, partial coherence, imaging theory, and the physics of scattering and fluorescence, this treatise explores a broad range of microscopy techniques.
Basic Methods in Microscopy: Protocols and Concepts from Cells: A Laboratory Manual. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York (1st Edition). 375 pages (2005). A useful reference for a teaching laboratory or a microscopy facility with very general interests in a variety of microscopy techniques primarily for fixed tissues.
Introduction to Light Microscopy. Garland Science, Taylor and Francis, Florence, Kentucky (2nd Edition). 136 pages (1998). The authors present a general introduction to microscopy and the various components of the microscope optical train, including objectives, condensers, light sources, resolution, and contrast-enhancing methodology.
Light and Video Microscopy. Academic Press, New York, New York (1st Edition). 312 pages (2008). With an excellent presentation of geometrical optics, this book will assist the reader in understanding image formation and light movement within the microscope. It also provides an explanation of the basic modes of light microscopy and the components of modern electronic imaging systems.
An Introduction to Microscopy. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida (1st Edition). 180 pages (2009). The authors target this book at helping students master the fundamental principles of microscopy, but do not attempt to cover all aspects, such as polarized light and fluorescence. Instead, the book is designed to provide students with the basic knowledge necessary to understand advanced techniques.
Bioimaging: Current Techniques in Light and Electron Microscopy. Jones and Bartlett Publishing, Sudbury, Massachusetts (1st Edition). 456 pages (2008). This book is the optimal text for any undergraduate or graduate bioimaging course, and will serve as an important reference tool for the research scientist. Included is an excellent section on optical microscopy.
Dictionary of Microscopy. John Wiley, New York, New York (1st Edition). 358 pages (2005). Featuring over 2,500 entries for terms used in microscopy, the dictionary is intended to provide easy navigation through the microscopy terminology and to be a first point of references for definitions of both new and established terms and concepts.
Digital Microscopy, Methods in Cell Biology, Volume 81. Academic Press, New York, New York (3rd Edition). 632 pages (2007). The book presents optical fundamentals needed to provide a quality image to the digital camera, including the fundamental geometric optics of finite and infinity-corrected microscopes, physical optics, and the theory of image formation.
Photography with a Microscope. Cambridge University Press, New York, New York (1st Edition). 288 pages (2000). The book includes chapters on standard photography, modern digital techniques, and methods for improving contrast. In addition to its value as a work of reference, the authors' clear, didactic style makes this book suitable as a textbook for courses in photomicrography and elementary light microscopy.