Questions about my new foldscope.

I just received my new foldscope in the mail yesterday, i was super excited and assembled it. Although i have had adequate results with most of the viewing methods. I’ve had trouble focusing, with ALL of them, especially the direct view. Does any one know of anyway to correct this? I also don’t know what the purpose of the coupler on the bottom flap is for? it does not seem to have a purpose? Last but not least there is a second lens included in the kit, which has a plastic film around it like the couplers and this isn’t mentioned anywhere in the instructions…. what is this used for?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Welcome to the foldscope community @Malnasleh: the community is exactly the place for asking and sharing ideas.

    I assume you have seen video instruction for use of new foldscope – of not; please see this:

    2) for the lens you describe – can you attach a picture sonyour question is clear.

    Keep exploring

  2. malnasleh says:

    Hello Manu, thank you for attaching the videos I will look at them tonight and update. For the second lens, it’s actually just a second lens, it separated from the coupler, but it’s the same magnification as the first so is this just an extra lens? Also both lenses still have some sort of spots on them even after cleaning with cotton swab multiple times, is there another cleaning regiment? I will try to use my phone to take a picture and submit tonight as well

    Thank you

  3. fablabamy says:

    Hello! I was also super excited to receive my foldscope and get started right away. I’d watched the videos a while ago and had the instructions for reference. Still I made two mistakes, one which could apply to you. I’ll describe both in case it can help someone else.

    The first was silly and easy to fix. I installed one of the magnets backwards so when I tried to fold back the bottom of the lense stage the magnets repelled each other. All I had to do to correct this was to pop out the magnet, flip it over, and reinstall.

    With the foldscope completely assembled, the first thing I decided to take a look at was the fern rhizome slide. It was really tough to get the slide into the slide holding slots! I was very afraid of tearing my new foldscope I’d waited so long for! Since I was taking photos of what I was doing I decided to put the slide in with the label facing me, so I could still read the label. This was my mistake.

    When I tried to view with my eye directly to focus I had to slide the focus ramp all the way out to the stop tab and it was still a little blurry. It was like I couldn’t move the ramp out (lens down) far enough. I decided to try the other slide but got the same result. I don’t have very good eyesight so I thought it might look better through a camera lens. But when I held the camera up to the lens (I had to take my phone case off) it wasn’t better. I was kind of disappointed because I was expecting to get a nicer image!

    I took a break to throw away all the trimmings and clean up a little bit. I decided to go back to the fern slide because I knew it should have some nice large regular features. I was also only holding my phone camera up to the foldscope because the shape doesn’t let me stick the magnet directly on. So I was thinking about how I could get the phone and lens more firmly mounted and -closer- to the sample. Then I realized my mistake!

    Because I put my slide in with the sample cover facing away from the lens, it was now farther away from the lens. (The slide is much thicker than the slide cover). I flipped my slide around (which was much easier to insert now that the slit has been used some) and looked through with me eye… success! Focus is achieved with the ramp sort of in the middle of its range. And it was MUCH sharper than before.

    I hope my experience might have helped you with your troubleshooting. Keep at it and let us know how it goes!

  4. Velidae says:

    The coupler on the bottom flap is probably why you’re having trouble focusing, I had the same issues until I realised. It should be right behind your slide so it presses the slide against the lens. So from front to back it’s your eye, the lens, the slide, then the magnetic coupler from the bottom flap.

  5. malnasleh says:

    Hey thanks for your replies guys, yes that was the issue… Once I followed the correct steps in the video i had success! The image was focused and quite sharp. I’m still having trouble cause the focus point is so small and when coupled to my phone it’s very hard to move the ramp without moving anything else (my hands aren’t very steady.) But with a little persistence i can get some great photos. The direct view is great and easy to accomplish now!

    Thanks to everyone who replied
    Keep exploring

  6. Manu Prakash says:

    Dear @Malnesleh,

    Wonderful to hear that you have your Foldscope up and running. Science is much about tinkering and not giving up – so keep going. Microscopy is almost an art and it’s crucial to gain skills as you go along. We are all here to help.


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