Zeiss Axio Observer manual
Power-up protocol
1. Mercury lamp
2. Power strip on shelf
3. Computer
The Mercury lamp should always be first-on and last-off. This prevents any electrical surges caused by
ignition damaging other equipment on the same circuit.
Then log-in with your ASADMIN or local password, double-click the MetaMorph icon on the desktop and
choose your name from the drop down menu.
The Microscope
Binocular eye pieces - adjust the inter-ocular distance
Wheel on the leftside of the scope controlling the light path - Either to camera (arrow), eyepice
(circle) or 50/50
Stage - control xy position manually using hanging drive
Focus knobs - outer part is coarse; inner is fine focus
Objectives
Mag
5x
10x
20x
40x
63x
100x
NA
0.16
0.30
0.50
0.75
1.40
1.40
Oil?
NO
NO
NO
NO
Yes
Yes
DIC/phase
Phase1
Phase1
Phase2
Phase2
DIC III
Phase 3
Condenser
The condenser is above the stage and is only used for transmitted light imaging H - Brightfield
Phase contrast 1
Phase contrast 2
Phase contrast 3
DIC III
The DIC analyzer is in filter cube position 1
Transmitted light imaging
Cube 1 (DIC analyzer) is the best choice for transmitted images (DIC, phase or brighfield)
Press the TL button on the scope to turn on the light, adjust brightness.
Kohler illumination
If you want to accurately observe or capture transmitted light images, you will need to establish Kohler
illumination each time you change objective. This ensures the illumination is even and is essential for
optimal image quality.
Focus on your specimen using transmitted light
Close down the field aperture until it occupies about 2/3 of the field of view.
Focus the condenser with the knobs underneath the stage that raise/lower entire condenser. Then
center the field of view using the centering pins also located underneath the stage. Finally, open the
field aperture until it is out of view.
Remove eyepiece and close condenser aperture until 2/3 of field is illuminated (or you can adjust
this while looking at your sample until the image has the best contrast)
Fluorescence imaging
The reflector turret contains these filter cubes:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
For transmitted images
DAPI
CFP
GFP
YFP
Red
A far-red cube is available.
Choose the cube you want
Make sure the TL is off
Choose "Fluorescence" from the MetaMorph illumination menu
Click the toggle shutter icon to the right of the menu to open/close the shutter
The brightness can be adjusted with the 6-position fluorescence attentuator
Image acquisition using MetaMorph
When you have located and focused on your specimen, rotate the wheel to send light to the camera.
Remember that the field of view of the camera is a smaller than the field of view down the eye pieces so
make sure your sample is centered.
Open the acquire dialog box
This can be opened from the task bar Acquire or from the dropdown menu, Acquire> Acquire
Things to set in the Acquire window:
Set the display to "Autoscale" - the triangles on the image histogram show the scale min and max.
The image gamma - the relationship between measured and displayed brightness. 1=linear
Exposure Time - Type in value (or choose AutoExpose) mouse-over image to give pixel intensity
values (between 0 and 4095)
Full chip uses entire CCD camera, sub-arrays produce smaller files and may be faster
Binning - combines CCD pixels to form n x n super pixels - increases sensitivity but reduces
resolution
Press Show Live to see the specimen through the camera - it may be necessary to focus or move
the stage slightly
Clicking the folder icon allows you to set whether each image starts in a new window or overwrites
the previous image (handy for optimizing your image, be careful not to lose your data though)
External shutter linked to camera should be [Current Shutter]
Gain and offset for the camera under the Special tab - Start as 0 and 255 respectively
Press the Acquire button to capture the image
Saving images
Simply click save and name your file. Images will be saved as 12-bit TIFF images with all the original
data. Not all programs will open these images but you are recommended to save the original images.
To save your individual images as 8-bit files (compatible with all programs but some information is lost)
Press Copy to 8-bit button on the task bar
Select the desired image from the "Image:" drop-down menu
Press Copy and Save by going to File >Save as (make sure the file name is different otherwise you
will overwrite the original)
If you have more than one colour, you can make an overlay of the images. Click "overlay images" on the
task bar and follow the dialog box. The result is 24 bit RGB image compatible with all programs.
Finishing and shutting down
Clean any oil objective(s) using lens tissue and cotton tipped applicators
Close MetaMorph
If there is somebody booked after you, logoff the computer
If nobody is scheduled to use the instrument within 1 hour of finishing, please shut it down:
1. Computer
2. Powerstrip
3. Mercury lamp (Remember: First-on, last-off)
Fill in log book, noting lamp hours
If you are the last user of the day, please cover the microscope making sure the cover doesn't touch
the hot mercury lamp housing
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