Nikon’s 2020 Small World Calendar

The 2020 Nikon Small World calendar features the 20 winning digital images, 15 honorable mentions, and images of distinction resulting from the 45th annual competition.  This year’s contest drew entrants from 98 countries, as well as from a diverse range of academic and professional disciplines.  Winners came from such fields as chemistry, biology, materials research, botany, and biotechnology.

2020 Nikon Small World Calendar 



The Nikon Small World Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography (or digital imaging) through the microscope.  Truly international in scope, entries have been received from the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.  Winners have included both professionals and hobbyists.

The subject matter for this year’s contest is unrestricted and any type of light microscopy technique is acceptable, including phase contrast, polarized light, fluorescence, interference contrast, darkfield, confocal, deconvolution, multiphoton, 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.

Entries may be submitted either on film (in 35 millimeter transparency format) or uploaded digitally through your web browser. The links below provide options for entering the contest.

Digital Entries - Entrants may enter Nikon’s Small World Competition by uploading digital images directly to our servers.  Before you begin, read the Contest Rules and prepare your images for uploading according to the instructions.

Prize List - Winners will receive one of 20 prizes, sorted according to rank in the competition.  First place is $3000 (US).

Exhibition Tour Schedule - An eclectic group of striking scientific images will soon have viewers asking “What is that?” at a museum near you. These twenty photographs, submitted by photomicrographers from around the globe, are winners of the 45th Annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, and are touring cities across North America.

Small World Photomicrography Gallery - The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Gallery gives you a glimpse into a world that most have never seen. It is a window into a universe that can only be seen through the lens of a microscope. Included in the Small World Gallery are images from the 2019 contest winners as well as the winners for the past 45 years, all the way back to the beginning of the competition.