Options for Examining Fungi with
Microscopes and Cameras
The magnifying Glass
Traditionally, a 10-15X magnification hand lense or low power digital microscope has been used to help distinguish mushroom features like cap and stem texture, gill edge type and spore stains.
Costly stereo-microscopes have been used for low magnification of fungi surface and macro features.
Stereo microscopes use light reflected from the surface of the mushroom to produce 3D 20-300x magnification through combining the different viewpoints of the two eyepieces.
The magnifying power of stereomicroscopes are not high but their prices are.
Digital microscopes attach to a computer output either via a a built in screen or via usb connection to your computer. They can have a built in camera or a camera tube to which a microscope camera or regular digital camera can be attached.
There are both low power and high power digital microscopes. Digital microscopes allow you to see and photograph your fungi image via a screen which can be further projected via your computer. The high power versions usually have monocular or binocular viewing tubes as well as the digital screen.
These days, smart phone adaptations can be a vastly cheaper and more flexible alternative to a stereomicroscope. Click here for more on quality smart phone attachments.
High megapixal macro photos can achieve similar results to a stereo microscope with the bonus of making permanent records. Click here for tips on fungi photography.
To see microscopic fungi parts like spores and ascii you will need 1000x magnification.
Getting clear image detail at 1000x magnification has requires a quality oil immersion compound microscope.
A Compound microscope combines the magnification power of a lense that rotates above your slide with that of the ocular lens you look through.
There are usually four objective lenses with 4x, 10x,20-40x and 100x magification and a 10x magnification ocular lens making a total magnification of 1000 times.
Press here for a diagram showing each of the aspects of a compound microscope.