Dichalcogenides with the common formula MX2 are layered materials with electrical properties that range from semiconducting to superconducting. Here, we describe optimal imaging conditions for the optical detection of ultrathin, two-dimensional dichalcogenide nanocrystals containing single, double and triple layers of MoS2, WSe2 and NbSe2. A simple optical model is used to calculate the contrast for nanolayers deposited on wafers with varying thicknesses of SiO2. The model is extended for imaging using the green channel of a video camera. Using AFM and optical imaging we confirm that single layers of MoS2 and WSe2 can be detected on 90 and 270 nm SiO2 using optical means. By measuring contrast under broadband green illumination we are also able to distinguish between nanostructures containing single, double and triple layers of MoS2 and WSe2. We observe and discuss discrepancies in the case of NbSe2.