This is the be-all and end-all for a general understanding of microphotography basics. The author, John Delly addresses illumination and cameras, and has a good explanation of microscope optics. The author walks you through types of eyepieces and objectives and explains pros and cons. Delly deals with darkfield, Rheinberg, phase contrast and everything else you might have a question about. He thoroughly explains slide preparation and even has a list of common chemicals to use for growing crystals to create neat looking slides. The book gets as technical as you might like with all the equations you might need, although it is written in a style which allows you to glean what you want in a non-technical way. I refer to it all the time when I get stuck and want to improve or get better at something. Then I ask myself why didn’t I read that before. Published by Eastman Kodak, my edition is from 1998, so there are still copies around.