Understanding and Using the Light Microscope

 microscopy book cover

Books and a suite of 9 videos to help you get started with using the Compound Light Microscope

"Free to view, buy to own"

To look inside the book on Issuu, please click here

Do you need to use the light microscope as part of your work, training or pleasure? This introduction to the light microscope gives straightforward information about your instrument and how to use it to get the best results. 

The quick start guide at the beginning introduces the parts of the microscope with a simple 13 point procedure on setting up and using this high-precision optical instrument.

The book continues with a more comprehensive explanation of the key microscope components and how to set up the instrument. There are numerous illustrations, photographs and links to nine instructional videos that accompany the book. The explanations are generic, so that you should be able to apply them to your individual microscope model. If you do have a manual, it is worth having it to hand.


The 56 page booklet is available in four formats:

  1. The online preview on the web (see below)
  2. The printed booklet (see below)
  3. A PDF ebook with fully functional hyperlinks, suitable for tablet through to PC (see below)*
  4. A fixed format Kindle ebook suitable for tablet through to PC (see below)

The nine videos are available for preview or for download, so you can always access them (see below).

*School Teachers: You can obtain a free licence to share a purchased PDF ebook with your students using tablets, on request. Please e-mail Chris@miltoncontact.com 


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Book - Free Preview: View on Issuu - click here

Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9929289-2-6
56 pages with 54 photographs and illustrations.


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Print book: RRP £8.00 (plus P&P) 
Available to purchase on Amazon - click here
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9929289-2-6
56 pages with 54 photographs and illustrations.


Small iconE-book (Pdf): £5.00  -  here (UK, Rest of World, excluding other EU countries)

E-book (Pdf): £5.00  WORLD here: PayHip (including EU, EU VAT)

E-book ISBN: 978-0-9929289-4-0
With fully functional internal hyperlinks and external links to the accompanying videos. 

*School Teachers: You can obtain a free licence to share a purchased PDF ebook with your students using tablets, on request. Please e-mail Chris@miltoncontact.com after purchase.  (Excludes purchases from EU countries other than the UK**)

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E-book (A Kindle fixed format colour booklet): £5.00 (+VAT in EU)

Kindle ISBN: 978-0-9929289-5-7
Available from Amazon: http://goo.gl/t43l5q



For helpful advice and answers to user's questions, please visit our microscopy Q&A section.

Video suite:

Available to View on - Select the YouTube link below

Small iconVideo 1. The parts of the microscope (YouTube) 

Small iconVideo 2. The best way to set up a microscope for optimum resolution (YouTube)

Small iconVideo 3. Using a higher magnification on your microscope (YouTube)

Small iconVideo 4. Quickstart reminder on setting up and using the microscope (Youtube)

Small iconVideo 5. Key lenses of the microscope (Youtube)

Small iconVideo 6. Different sample stages on microscopes (Youtube)

Small iconVideo 7. Focusing your microscope (Youtube)

Small iconVideo 8. The microscope condenser - for lighting and resolution (Youtube)

Small iconVideo 9. Light sources for your microscope (Youtube)


About the Authors:

Dr Chris Thomas

Dr Chris ThomasI have had a microscope or three for most of my life! I’ve used them for pleasure and professionally when I worked as a research scientist in commercial plant molecular biology for over 20 years.

I need to know how things work. This helps me with my current interest of photographing through the microscope for pleasure.

Lewis and I teamed up again because we wanted to provide a no-nonsense, straightforward guide on using the compound microscope, following on from our previous successful collaboration on “Understanding and using the Stereomicroscope”. 

Lewis Woolnough

Lewis WoolnoughI’m a retired headteacher and have pursued microscopy with a passion for the past 20 years. I also use my microscopes as a beekeeper and now regularly give courses in microscopy to others.

My previous book “Understanding and using the Stereomicroscope”, designed and published with Chris’s help, was a great success.

Like Chris, I believe in providing guidance and information in an accessible way. This book is for those who need or want to use compound microscopes either professionally, as interested amateurs or as absolute beginners.

We are both members of microscopy organisations such as the Quekett Microscopical Club and the Postal Microscopy Society. Lewis is also a member of the Royal Microscopical Society.

Microscopy training or assistance:

We can provide training on the use of your microscopes on site (currently Cambridgeshire and surrounding counties in the UK). Contact Chris (e-mail below)


If you need any further information about the books, videos, or further assistance, please email me, Chris Thomas, at Chris@miltoncontact.com


**The EU has imposed new VAT (Value Added Tax) regulations for sales of digital items to private customers (try googling #VATMOSS). The administrative burden makes direct digital sales unworkable for small businesses.