Oldfield Research & Development




Wasp wing

Living Slime Mould

Oldfield Microscope


This website is the only one which, together with its contents, has been authorised and approved by Harry Oldfield, the inventor of the Oldfield Microscope.

Harry Oldfield cautions against the use or reliance on any information, descriptions or claims about the Oldfield Microscope that appear on other websites or in publications that are not specifically approved or authorised by him.

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This patented light microscope provides substantially improved image quality for a wide variety of specimens and also makes possible the observation of living samples that until now could be viewed only as dead specimens. Samples that usually are viewed after chemical staining frequently exhibit good detail without staining, and thus the real material rather than a distorted or contaminated sample is seen. The Oldfield Microscope uses one or more diffraction gratings to select specific frequencies from a white light source, enhancing both resolution and depth of focus. Many specimens so illuminated reveal substantially more detail than in conventional light microscopes.

The Oldfield Microscope may be manufactured as a complete instrument, but in many circumstances existing optical microscopes may be modified. Microscopes like those used for education purposes and certain fairly routine applications usually may be fitted with a grating simply and at moderate cost. Higher performance microscopes modified as Oldfield Microscopes with gratings also show markedly improved image quality, with detail visible that remains obscured in conventional microscopy.

Light reflected or transmitted by gratings is split into a spectrum, and each frequency leaves the grating at a different angle according to the position of the grating, the dimension of the grating and the wavelength. Thus, for example, white light from a suitable source may be reflected by a mirror grating so that selected parts of the spectrum pass through the condenser and onto the specimen. The light reaching the specimen will be composed of only certain frequencies (colours), variable according to the angle of the mirror grating. Colours are induced optically in the specimen, and the light does not affect the morphology of the object under observation. The colour and intensity of any given portion of the specimen can differ considerably from neighbouring portions, assisting the discrimination of fine detail. The images at the cellular level (e.g. histology, blood, oncology, botany, zoology) should form the basis for a quantum leap in the technology and application of microscopy. At higher magnifications (e.g. sub-cellular), the detail observable will provide a substantial new information base. Where specialized techniques like phase contrast or dark field are employed, often the Oldfield Microscope yields more detail.

The inventor, Harry Oldfield, believes that the improvements in detail, clarity and depth afforded by the invention arise from the illumination being only selected frequencies and intensities, thus reducing the tendency in conventional white light microscopy for the many light frequencies containing no useful information to dominate the fewer that do. In other words, when many frequencies illuminate the same part of a specimen the frequencies that pick out the detail can be obliterated by the many unhelpful frequencies devoid of detail. A further advantage of the Oldfield Microscope is the 3-dimensional character of the image formed in many cases. Specimens may be viewed at different depths and structural detail obtained virtually on a layer by layer basis.

Harry Oldfield, inventor of the Oldfield microscope, is a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society and has demonstrated the microscope at the Museum of Natural History in London. He is also a Member of the Quekett Society.

Here are some sample images, comparing a normal microscope view with an
Oldfield Microscope view of the same subjects at the same magnification:

Volvox: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views
Volvox: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views

Heliozoan: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views
Heliozoan: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views (Normal looks best in monochrome)

Pollen: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views
Pollen: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views

Daphnia: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views
Daphnia: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views

Wasp Wing: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views
Wasp Wing: Normal and Oldfield Microscope views

Living Slime Mould growing in kilner jar
Living Slime Mould growing in kilner jar

Young Living Slime Mould with Oldfield Effect
Young Living Slime Mould with Oldfield Effect: video 1.4M

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