Any standard photographic enlarger can be used to make negative or positive black and white or color prints of whole thin sections directly. A specially constructed polarizing thin-section holder can be inserted into any type of enlarger, producing conditions usually found in a petrographic microscope. The thin-section holder consists of several easily fabricated segments which house a removable analyzer, polarizer, and full wave length retardation plate; all optical parts are commercially available.
This photographic technique is best utilized in the study of very fine-grained or very coarse-grained rocks where visual observation and comparison of whole thin sections are necessary. Textural and structural analyses are facilitated by this technique. The polarizing thin-section holder is an efficient and inexpensive research tool and teaching aid.
Some other methods of thin-section printing and photography which do not require a polarizing thin-section holder have been tried successfully.