The discovery of Langerhans and microscopic description of islets in the pancreas were crucial steps in the discovery of insulin. Over the past 150 years, many discoveries in islet biology and type 1 diabetes have been made using powerful microscopic techniques. In the past decade, combination of new probes, animal and tissue models, application of new biosensors and automation of light and electron microscopic methods and other (sub)cellular imaging modalities have proven their potential in understanding the beta cell under (patho)physiological conditions. The imaging evolution, from fluorescent jellyfish to real-time intravital functional imaging, the revolution in automation and data handling and the increased resolving power of analytical imaging techniques are now converging. Here, we review innovative approaches that address islet biology from new angles by studying cells and molecules at high spatiotemporal resolution and in live models. Broad implementation of these cellular imaging techniques will shed new light on cause/consequence of (mal)function in islets of Langerhans in the years to come.