Damaged lenses. . .or not?

I purchased a classroom kit for my homeschool and our co-op. I was so excited to get them, but then very disappointed to find that every lens in the set had what looked to be a blue spotted film over them which made it impossible to see the slide contents underneath. I spent a couple hours wiping lenses, rewatched the assembly video,  and then, in frustration, wrote an email to Foldscope.

Rewatch the assembly video they said. Well, I had done that multiple times. Honomi graciously offered to meet with me to help me troubleshoot this evening. I spent the afternoon cleaning lenses again and noticed something. Each lens had the exact same pattern. That was curious. I then rotated the lens and the pattern didn’t rotate. In addition, there was a halo around the outside of the pattern.

By then, I realized that it wasn’t the lens at all. I attached the Foldscope to my phone and the image was perfectly clear.  The problem was my eyes. I have Fuchs Dystrophy. The image I was seeing on the lens looks a lot like this:  https://goo.gl/images/suwZ3W

Where the dark spots are on the image – I see as blue. Where it is light colored – it is clear. The entire lens carries a halo around the outside.

Honomi suggested I share my experience here and maybe someone might help me understand what is happening.

Why does the image show up when I look directly through the lens and not at my camera or all day long?
Why would the dark spots show up as deep blue?
Would other cornea or eyes diseases pose a problem when looking through the lens?
Could not being able “to focus the foldscope or properly clean the lens” be an indication you need to see an eye doctor?

This has been a very interesting adventure thus far and has sent out homeschool on a hunt to find out more about eyes and how we see things.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Honomi says:

    @SONYA Thank you so much for sharing your experience here! Delighted to read that your experience led to deeper investigation on how vision works. Looking forward to your more discoveries!

    1. Sonya says:

      Thank you for your help and to the wonderful staff at Foldscope for being so helpful. I have told the story multiple times since I posted this and everyone the reaction is always the same, “Why would that happen?” I still find it amazing.

  2. Manu Prakash says:

    Dear @Sonya,

    What a wonderful documentation of exploration. The goal is indeed to question what does it mean to see; and magnify.

    On a more philosophical note; long time ago I enjoyed reading this beautiful essay: “Do we see through the microscope?”
    https://philpapers.org/archive/HACDWS.pdf
    I thought you might enjoy reading this..

    cheers
    manu

    1. Sonya says:

      Thank you so much for the article. I will be sure to read it!

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