No, you can't use the 40X scale bar, and yes, it's not that simple.
Even if the image with the 40X scale bar were taken on the same
microscope with the same camera and the same settings, it wouldn't be
in an exact 1:4 relation with the 10X objective.
Further, you don't know what if any zoom your collaborator used. If
the image was taken with a standard digital camera (e.g., a Nikon
Coolpix) through an eyepiece adapter, there is often vignetting
around the edges. This prompts people to use the zoom function to
eliminate this. Which of course means the image isn't "10X".
Which it may not have been anyway, depending on the lens in the
The only way to get images with known scale bars is to take a
micrograph of a stage micrometer **without changing the camera**,
especially the zoom, for each objective used, *at the time the
micrographs are taken*. Otherwise it is nearly impossible to
replicate the zoom used. Calculations/measurements based on field of
view aren't trustworthy for the same reasons -- you don't know the
true field of view.
If no zoom was used, then it may be possible to take a photo of a
stage micrometer with the same objective, etc., and be OK. But I
wouldn't trust it.
Given what you have, there are really only 2 courses: first, is there
a structure in the micrograph you have that has a well know size?
RBCs don't count, they change size by a micrometer or more depending
on how they're treated (and yes, still look like nice, biconcave
discs). If there is, you can calculate magnification and therefore a
scale bar from it.
But likely not. The other recourse is to have you collaborator take
the image again, and this time also take an image of a stage
Anything else is just guessing.
>I'm trying to finish up some figures for a paper. One collaborator
>has given me 10X images that appear to have been taken from a
>standard digital camera. Can anyone suggest a quick and easy way to
>add a scale bar? Unfortunately the journal requires it and I just
>don't have it. I have a scale bar for a 40X picture from a
>different microscope/experiment, any chance that I can use this?
>I'm guessing it is not as simple as my 40X scale bar being 1/4 of
>Sorry, but I am clueless about this... any suggestions would be appreciated.
>Histonet mailing list
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