We have a suite of microscopes that allow us to examine samples under both transmitted and reflected light at high magnification. The microscopes vary in size from a stereo microscope to hand-held unit with USB connection.

Leica MZ8

Alex Beard with Leica MZ8.

This stereo microscope is frequently used to examine larger samples under incident light.  The microscope is set up with an external set of ringlight and gooseneck lights that makes it possible for us to carefully control the illumination of the sample.  The microscope also has a cable and camera that allows us to capture images using computer software.

Mortar micrograph taken with the Leica MZ8


Leica S6D

This is a smaller stereo microscope that we also use to examine and photograph hand-samples.  Similar to the MZ8, it is set up with incident lighting and camera.


Leica DMRX

This is our modular research microscope, which has the greatest amount of application flexibility.  It has a series of light filters, including for certain UV wavelengths, and complete control of polarization.

Kristen George analyzing an oiled stone sample with the Leica DMRX.


Leica DM750P

Suzana Radivojevic teaching a wood identification workshop using the Leica DM750P microscopes.

NCPTT invested in a set of eleven Leica DM750P petrographic microscopes in order to teach a range of microscopy workshops including wood identification, ceramic petrography, and fiber identification.  One of the microscopes has a camera accessory that makes it possible to show demonstrations on a large screen and capture images.

Wood cross section image taken with the Leica DM750P



This is a small, handheld microscope that can be connected to a computer.  The major advantage of this microscope is that it is highly portable and can be used on almost any surface.


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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119