A darkening of the corners of an image relative to its center (see example below) is likely a result of vignetting, which is an expected effect with many lenses. There are different types of vignetting, including optical, natural, and mechanical vignetting.

One way to reduce or eliminate this effect is to buy an appropriate C- or CS-mount lens for the sensor size of the camera. You can get these from companies such as Navitar, Edmund Optics, Pentax, Computar and Fujinon. Another option is to buy a larger format lens. For example, if you are using a PL-B952, which uses a 1/3" CCD, a lens built for a 2/3" CCD might reduce this effect. However, be aware that focal lengths can differ significantly between different lens formats.

The most common causes of vignetting in microphotography and macrophotography:

  • Optical axis of camera and microscope not in line

  • Camera lens limits the light path

  • No optical adjustment between the microscope and the camera

  • An unsuitable projection lens is already integrated in the microscope’s photo tube or C-mount connection

  • The optical system is off-centre