Nikon Small World Contest

Deadline: 30 April 2019
Open to: anyone over the age of 18
Award: cash prizes


Recognizing Excellence in Photography through the Microscope

The Nikon International Small World Competition first began in 1975 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Since then, Small World has become a leading showcase for photomicrographers from the widest array of scientific disciplines.

A photomicrograph is a technical document that can be of great significance to science or industry. But a good photomicrograph is also an image whose structure, color, composition, and content is an object of beauty, open to several levels of comprehension and appreciation.

The subject matter is unrestricted and any type of light microscopy technique is acceptable, including phase contrast, polarized light, fluorescence, interference contrast, darkfield, confocal, deconvolution, and mixed techniques. Entries submitted to Nikon are then judged by an independent panel of experts who are recognized authorities in the area of photomicrography and photography. These entries are judged on the basis of originality, informational content, technical proficiency and visual impact.


The Nikon Small World Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography through the microscope.

  • Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible, with the exception of employees of Nikon, their families, the contest judges, and individuals engaged in the manufacture or sale of microscopes, related accessories or photographic equipment;
  • Former first prizewinners are ineligible to win first prize in the three contests immediately following the contest they won, but can win other prizes;
  • Any image that has won any other photomicrography competition is not eligible.

Read the rules of the competition here.


  • 1st Prize – USD 3,000
  •  2nd Prize – USD 2,000
  •  3rd Prize – USD 1,000
  •  4th Prize – USD 800
  •  5th Prize – USD 600
  •  6th Prize – USD 400
  •  7th-10th Prizes – USD 300 each
  •  11th-20th Prizes – USD 200 each

Read more about the prizes here.

How to apply?

In order to apply and get more information about this contest please visit the official website.