Good quality digital images of brain sections are produced in different ways, depending on the size of the field to be imaged:
- For sections or fields over 25 mm in length or width, use direct scanning of the tissue in a good quality desktop scanner (e.g. the LaCie Silverscanner II), using the Transparency mode.
- For sections that are less than 15 mm in length or width, a microscope is used with either a film camera (to make 35 mm slides for subsequent scanning) or a digital camera (in our tests, the Kodak DCS 200 or the Leaf Lumina Scanning Camera)
- For sections between 15 mm and 25 mm, optimal results are obtained using a camera (film or digital), a good series of "macro" lenses (Leitz Summar or their equivalents by Nikon, 24-80 mm), and an appropriate slide holder and illuminator.
Images obtained from the desktop scanner or the digital camera had two advantages over those captured from film and subsequently scanned:
- Much less editing is needed to produce good final results, and
- The electronic images were immediately available, thereby avoiding the time-consuming processes of film development and subsequent scanning.
For brain sections, computer image files of 150 pixels per inch, with a maximum dimension of 1050 pixels (stored as PICT files, compressed by the "high-quality" level of JPEG compression included in the PICT file creation module of the Adobe Photoshop program), provide good economical electronic storage and transmission, for on-screen viewing, and for making good quality prints.