Like the saying ‘no foot, no horse’, one can say that ‘no lens, no microscope’. Your microscope is only as good as your lenses, and this is why it is important to understand how they work. Later in the book we will also discuss how to care for your lenses. Alongside a knowledge of light, a knowledge of lenses and how they work will solve most issues in microscopy.
In this chapter, we will look at the characteristics of lenses and some of the key behaviours that are most relevant to microscopy. Optics is, of course, much more in depth than what is described here. But again, you do not need to learn equations or complicated concepts to have a workable understanding of your lenses.