All About



You can learn all about Rheinberg filters on this web site.

I'm Mike Shaw, and 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. Now you can make Rheinberg Filters too!

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

Rheinberg Filters Book

OR - Preview the book on Amazon here Your Microscope Hobby

I no longer make Rheinberg Filters commercially for sale. Sorry!


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.


When using Rheinberg filters, 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, these are 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?
My book won't just tell you how Rheinberg works.
It's not a book about optics, or light theory, or about microscopy.
This is a practical manual for filter making.
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 your own 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. You can order right now, or continue reading about Rheinberg filters here on this website.
More about the book here...


Have you ever heard of DIC? That's Differential Interference Contrast.
It is an extremely high tech technique to look at microscope specimens.
It basically creates "relief" in the image, giving it a 3D type depth.
Do It Yourself Differential Interference Contrast (DIY/DIC)
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! It simulates DIC.
Real DIC is super expensive and may not even be available for your microscope. DIY/DIC is the affordable alternative.


My book explains how to make these too.

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.

You get basic info on how to create the DIC effect in the book.
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. But is it fun trying.


Above 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 very responsive to questions. A great resource to amateur microscopists everywhere!

Pam R


Are you nervous about making your own Rheinberg filters?
Heck, 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 included in the book "How to Make a Microscope Camera Adapter" loaded with how to pictures and a parts list.
I'm also 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.
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 cannot 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.


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



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