Langton Matravers spring meeting

Saturday 1st April 2017

By David Spears

The Langton Matravers meeting on April Fool’s day was very well attended with members demonstrating some interesting equipment and specimens. Some seventeen members together with some visitors filled the hall. From Joan Bingley’s fossilized wood section to Jeremy Poole’s fluorescent cheek epithelial cells, there were many interesting techniques on display.

Video seems to be becoming a useful tool for showing live specimens like Grenham Ireland’s frantically active nauplius larvae. These were collected near Poole and are the larvae of crustaceans; my guess from past filming work was that they were barnacle larvae, but I could be wrong! He used a small C-mount video camera that ran at a slow scan rate; perhaps 6 frames per second, but was great for seeing the detailed structures of the larvae.

My exhibit was a cheap video macro camera system from China. It comes with a C-mount camera and a zoom macro lens mounted on a focusing stand and with removable LED ring light. It costs £170 and has a quoted resolution of 14 MPixels for stills, and the video output is 30fps at HD quality. The output was displayed on a HD TV set. Other displays used  various digital stills cameras to feed live images to laptop computers.

Klaus Kemp showed some of his wonderful diatom artworks and Kit Brownlee showed some sections of meteorites, some of which showed some very interesting and puzzling structures.

In retrospect a very successful meeting  with a good attendance by members, and with a worthwhile attraction to interest members of the public.

The West Country meeting at the Neroche Hall near Taunton on Saturday 10th June 2017 will hopefully expand on the techniques we saw at Langton, by showing various image stacking systems for both macro and microscopy as well as a scanning EM demonstration.

Adrian BrokenshireAdrian Brokenshire showed samples of tiny mollusc shells

Brian Darnton and Mike WoofBrian Darnton (left) and Mike Woof

Brian Darnton demonstrating rare slides to Nigel WilliamsBrian Darnton (left) demonstrating rare slides to Nigel Williams

Derek StevensDerek Stevens showed freshwater fauna

Grenham IrelandGrenham Ireland showed nauplius larvae using a video camera

Jeremy PooleJeremy Poole demonstrated fluorescence microscopy on his epi-illuminated Nikon system

Jeremy Poole explaining his exhibit to Nigel Williams and Klaus KempJeremy Poole (left) explaining his exhibit to Nigel Williams and Klaus Kemp [by Joan Bingley]

Kit BrownleeKit Brownlee showed meteorite and lightning material

Pam HamerPam Hamer showed some interesting limestone specimens

Report and photographs by David Spears

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