Hand Made and Precision Cut

For Your Microscope

I'm Mike Shaw, and I've been selling Rheinberg filters all over the world for ten years.

You may have seen them auctioned on EBay, or read about them on a blog; heck, you might have bought a set from me.

In fact, just Google "Rheinberg Filters" right now. See whose name comes up, and which pages come up to the top of the list.

For ten years, I was the only one on the planet who made Rheinberg Filters for sale commercially. But all that's changed now. Why?

Because I wrote the book on Rheinberg filters.

Below, I'll tell you a bit about it, or you can click here for just information about the book:

Rheinberg Filters Book

OR - Preview the book here Your Microscope Hobby

You can learn all about Rheinberg filters on this web site. If you would like me to make a customized set for you, that's fine. But think about making your own filters too!

IMPORTANT NOTE: At the end of this year - I will stop making Rheinberg filters!

That's right. At the end of this year, I'm taking down this website, and will retire from making Rheinberg filters.

Contact me if you are interested in taking over this business. My email is: mike@mikeshawtoday.com

If you have read my book - you will know exactly what is involved in the production, distribution, and marketing of this niche business.

For a very fair price, I would send you all of my filter making equipment, the press, laminator, and punches, etc., as well as all of my raw filter material which I have in stock, enough to make quite a few sets of filters well into the future.

Over the years, I have made hundreds of sets of filters, ranging in price from $50.00 to $100.00 per set, depending upon the customer's needs and specifications. Although this business will not make you rich, it has always provided me with a little extra income and always allowed for some slush money in my PayPal account.

Just send me an email stating your interest, and I'll send you an inventory list.

As part of the deal, I'll keep this website up for two more years, except with your own contact info, or I can simply make it point to your own website if you like. All you have to do is Google Rheinberg Filters right now, and my name and this website comes up in the number one and number two spots on Google. That is valuable.

This website has served as a passive source of income for years without additional effort. BUT, if you put any energy into marketing in user groups and on microscope websites and blogs, perhaps set up an Etsy store, a FB page for Rheinberg Filters, and list some filters on EBay with the explanation of time frame needed, you could increase that income.

Thanks for your interest!



This is a set of Annulus rings. These rings give color to the specimen only - not the background.


This is a set of Center Stop filters. These rings give color to the background only - not the specimen.


And here's what happens to an ordinary diatom when you use a violet center stop, and a yellow annulus filter.


These sets are available in any size- the most common being 32mm for Zeiss standard. Would you like me to make a set for you?

Step 1. Measure your typical filter- such as a daylight blue, or neutral density, and let me know the diameter. Measure as accurately as possible the diameter in mm. Also, it would be helpful to know the maximum thickness your filter holder can handle.
Step 2. I will send you a test set (which you may keep) so we can determine the exact size for your microscope. There is a nominal charge for this of $5.00 which I will deduct from your Rheinberg Filter order.
Step 3. Email me the test results. Once I know the right size filter for you, I will build your complete full color set.

Step 4. When your set is ready for shipping, you can pay with PayPal, and I will ship it to you. I will deduct the price of the test set from your total.

Price will vary depending upon the number of filters in your final set. Handling and shipping is via Priority Mail or International Priority Mail, and will vary depending upon your mailing address.

You must send me an e-mail first, so I can send you your test set, and we can determine your correct filter size.


After you receive your final filter set. You can mix and match center stops and annulus rings to give you many color combinations. Look at these salt crystals.
And, you can overlay annulus rings to give you different colors as well. In this case, I'm using bi-colored rings to better demonstrate the variety of colors possible.
Above, three bi-colored filters. Below- overlay combinations of the same filters.


Are you wondering about the book? Feeling up to the challenge of making your own filters?
The title is: Your Microscope Hobby How to Make Multicolored Filters
My book won't just tell you how Rheinberg works, and give you a couple of hints about making these very special filters. It's not a book about optics, or light theory, or about microscopy.
I'm offering to you all of my secrets- my suppliers of materials, the tools I use, time saving techniques, how to market your filters, and more. This is a handbook and a start -up business manual as well.
My book not only teaches you how to make filters, but how to set up an E-Business, and I show you how to build a website, and run a profitable home based business.
For the past ten years, I've made filters for universities around the world, for the Mayo Clinic, for professors, industrial scientists, hospital researchers, doctors and veterinarians on every continent, and for amateurs of course as well.
My book is loaded with dozens of photographs explaining every point, every nuance of this art. I could never offer you that with a traditionally published hard copy book. The book would cost as much as a college textbook, or more. You can order right now, or read on about Rheinberg filters.
It is priced right. More about the book here...


More about the filters that I sell:
Are these high quality optical glass filters? NO. You normally pay about $40.- each for a solid optical glass filter.
This is an affordable collection for the serious amateur, university student, or even creative professional- in thin plastic in a nice assortment.
You simply can not purchase ready made optical glass cut into rings in these colors. When I find a way to do it- you will be the first to know. Therefore- I highly recommend these- which are hand cut from various plastic laminates, filter materials, and adhesive films.
What is in a typical Rheinberg set? You get as many colors as I have in stock- that's about a dozen stops in various colors and shades, and a dozen or so annulus rings, and a matching set of solid colored filters.
When I send you the test set, you will receive about four or five sizes of solid black center stop filters,which give you Darkfield. The different sizes of black allow you more flexibility to use different objectives from 2.5x through 20x. That's right, you get a set of Darkfield filters to keep. They are yours for just $5.00. Or get the money back when you pay for the Rheinberg filters.

Received the set last weekend and am very pleased! A reasonably priced quality product above and beyond my expectations. I will be using them for years. A great addition to my microscopy accessories. Thanks again! Use me as a reference.
J. Wilhelm


Have you ever heard of DIC? That's Differential Interference Contrast. It is an extremely high tech and expensive technique to look at microscope specimens. It basically creates "relief" in the image, giving it a 3D type depth.
An amateur microscopist, named Wim van Egmond, came up with what he calls DIY/DIC, or Do It Yourself DIC. It is actually a form of Oblique lighing which achieves almost the same effect as real DIC!

Do It Yourself Differential Interference Contrast

I make these filters as well. The DIY/DIC filters are not included with a Rheinberg set, and do cost extra. I can quote these separately for you.

Below is a link to Wim van Egmond's page explaining it all. Wim is a super microscopist and photographer.
Different shapes work differently depending upon your microscope- so these are for experimentation, as I don't know what will work for you. No guarantee on this- but let me know what works for you and I will pass this information on to all. You get some basic printed info on how to create the DIC effect included with the filters.
Directly below is a photo of diatoms using 25X Zeiss objective, an orange center stop Rheinberg filter, and a DIY/DIC shape to produce the oblique illumination. These filters are experimental and work differently and unpredictably with each microscope and condenser combination. No guarantee you will get the same effect. But is it fun trying. There are at least six filters in each set I make.


Here is an example of Diatoms using an oblique illumination filter. These filters are experimental, and allow only a tiny part of the light beam to hit your specimen at an angle. the result is a 3D effect.
Above is a typical set of experimental DIY/DIC filters.




As a newbie to the field of microscopy, I found Mike Shaw online in searching for information on filters for my new 'scope. He has been just great, working closely with me to build a full set of filters to fit exactly, and providing great guidance along the way. You will find him most patient and very knowledgeable, as well as fair in his pricing and very responsive to questions. A great resource to amateur microscopists everywhere!

Pam R


If you are thinking about ordering a set of filters from me, I'm going to ask you to wait a moment. Sure, I'd like to sell you a set, and maybe a set of DIY/DIC filters as well.
But - did you know that there is a kitchen utensil that is perfect for making Rheinberg center stops?
Did you know that one of the best materials for making high quality Darkfield filters is probably in your basement or garage right now?
Did you know you can make a complete set of Rheinberg filters AND a set of DIY/DIC filters for less than $10.00?
All of this is in my book, plus more.
Included is a Bonus Section where I show you how to build a beautiful wooden filter case. I built and sold two of these cases for over $100.00 each.
And yes, of course, I'm also including bonus material on making Oblique Illumination filters (DIY/DIC). I'll also show you how to make plant press, for preserving leaves and flowers, and there is even a guide to building an objective lens holder.
AND - I've just added to the book "How to Make a Microscope Camera Adapter" - loaded with pictures.
And I'm going to tell you how to sell your microphotographs on-line, and in fact, how to sell anything on the internet. And while I'm on the subject of microphotography, I reveal the three professional secrets of good landscape photography. It's all in the Bonus Section of my book.
Why am I doing this?
Frankly, I'm getting on in years, and I don't have the kind of time I used to have for making and selling filters. I'm kind of hoping someone else out there might be as dedicated and skilled as I have been, and take over this business for me. I welcome it. That's how I roll.
But maybe you are just curious. You may not want to make and sell filters.
Then buy a set of filters from me, and you can still buy this book to add to your knowledge.
More about the book here...
Click here for a preview of the book on Amazon


Can your microscope handle Rheinberg Filters? Pictured below is a typical Abbe condenser.
Swing-out filter holder
Above, you see a condenser with swing-out filter holder, having a white diffusion filter (just for photo clarity) in the place where your Rheinberg filters will be placed.
Note- you must not stop down your condenser diaphragm. You need as much light as possible, and stopping down interferes with Rheinberg effect. Likewise, you must not stop down your base illuminator field diaphragm. No stopping down below the condenser, or you will lose the effect!
Also - you should not swing in the bottom lens as you would do with lower power objectives. No iris, no swing-in lens allowed.
Below are three examples of the same specimen of Alstromeria pollen. Left to right - Brightfield, blue center stop, red center stop.


A black center stop gives you a Darkfield effect. When used in combination with a light blue overlay ring, your subject has a natural color against a black background. See Vorticella below.
Hydra photos taken with green center stop and with violet center stop. Both used yellow annulus rings.


Technical Stuff: These center-stop and annulus rings work great using 10x objectives and below (i.e. 4x or 2.5x). Even using a 20x objective may give you very good results. But, you generally can not use these with a 40x objective and higher because the precision needed in matching your objective and the center stop size is very, very critical. this also varies between microscope and objective manufacturers. If you want a Darkfield effect using the higher objectives like 40x and 100x, you generally have to use a special Darkfield condenser. I always include with your test set a larger black darkfield stop you can try with a 40x objective- but no guarantee !


Above Daphnia photo was taken with green center stop, and daylight blue annulus ring.



Hi Mike,

The filters just arrived and I have to say that I am ABSOLUTELY FLOORED and THRILLED at the quality and quantity of the product. I am completely blown away. You outdid yourself and I will recommend you to anyone and everyone I can.

Thanks for the article, magazine and case with foam inserts. Man! I did NOT expect all that!

Please add me to any email lists you have and keep me abreast of any new products you come out with.
Fantastic work! THANK YOU AGAIN!


E-Mail your questions here

Email address: mike@mikeshawtoday.com


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