Seeing is believing and thus, optical imaging techniques are extremely useful to study brain structure and function. I will present two projects aimed at providing the neuroscience community with better imaging instrumentation. In the first part, I will introduce the mesoSPIM (http://mesospim.org/), an open-source light-sheet microscope that is optimized for fast imaging of large, cleared tissue samples at 5-7 µm isotropic resolution. Since 2015, the mesoSPIM evolved from a crude prototype into a highly capable instrument and we built a global community around it. Currently, we are developing a benchtop mesoSPIM that is more compact and cost-efficient. In the second part, I will talk about a recent project that takes inspiration from scallops and astronomy to build novel multi-immersion microscope objectives that are well suited for imaging cleared samples. These objectives combine long working distances (>1 cm), large FOVs (>1 mm), high numerical aperture (currently up to 1.08) with diffraction-limited resolution in any homogeneous medium ranging from air to the typical high-index immersion liquids used for imaging cleared tissue. They are especially well suited to augment low-to-mid resolution mesoSPIM overviews with high-resolution datasets.