Pollen – A first attempt at using FoldScope

Pollen from an unidentified flower, as seen under FoldScope's high-mag lens.
Pollen from an unidentified flower, as seen under FoldScope’s high-mag lens. Uh it also appears that I forgot to install the condenser in front of the LED unit.


It was very difficult to juggle cameraphone + FoldScope + flexing + toushscreen shutter release, so the above is a crop from the very edge of the field of view. I dusted some pollen onto the included adhesive coverslips, which actually work really well as long as you methodically squeeze out the air to avoid air bubbles. I haven’t gotten around to working out the magnification factor, but suffice to say I can’t get that close with my 80x stereo-microscope.

It may be better to clamp the camera in a vise so that my hands are free to translate and flex the FoldScope, using an intervalometer to take photos for me. For web use, one can also leave the camera on video mode and just go back and grab single frames where everything is in focus.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    We will shortly post a simple video of how to collect data. In short, three simple steps are:
    a) Always put the phone on the edge of the table. This way you have both hands free to operate the Foldscope.
    b) I use a timer on my phone photo app (I use a 10 second timer), and this way I have my hands free and I focus.
    c) For a lot of my live samples, I always collect videos. This allows me to actually image live things and also I trim to choose sections when interesting things happen.

    We will soon be posting a video detailing the tricks of this. I am curious – which phone did you use?


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