If I had to choose one book, this would be it. Nachtigall covers every aspect of microscopy for the serious amateur. He covers all of the equipment, and all of the needed techniques, including photography and makeshift equipment. NOTE – this is pre-digital photography – which is why it hasn’t been reprinted. Nonetheless, the book is detailed about optics, and Nachtigall gives a beautiful explanation of phase contrast. Yet, when it comes to selecting objectives and eyepieces, you will want to refer to this work. There is an excellent section on microorganism identification, and the photos are superb. The author doesn’t hesitate to show you several ways to photograph the same subject. I corresponded with the author and had the honor to hear from him about his Olypmus 35mm film camera set up, which I imitated. But about microscopy itself, you will learn everything you need to know to get started and continue expanding your knowledge. Whether you are calibrating a reticle against a stage micrometer for the first time, of making your first darkfield stop, or playing around with Rheinberg effects- this book is great, thorough, and inspirational. This is a first rate book, but out of print, so you will have to buy it used. Well worth the price! It’s my favorite.