Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:57 pm

Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

#1 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:04 am

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That quote from Rodney Dangerfield would have to crystallize my thoughts regarding the homely Zeiss KM microscope. Anyone on here ever used one of the little beasts? I've always loved the GFL and WL and the curves of the Standards, Photomics, and Ultraphot... makes me wonder what the design team was thinking when they drew up plans for the KM? I suppose the boxiness would imply the utility of a Jeep but still - *that* is an unattractive scope!

This was prompted by the appearance of a KM on Fleabay right now.
JeffO, aka "Ortho amore"
Leitz Ortholux I
Leitz Orthoplan
Leitz Macro-Dia Device
Zeiss GFL
Zeiss Standard
Zeiss Photomicroscope III
Zeiss OPMI 6S
B&L Stereozoom and Balplan

apochronaut
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Re: Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

#2 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:26 am

When I was born, the doctor picked me up and slapped me in the face....another Rodney. The KM was a portable. Not much to f with and a basic durable scope, all in one package. Quite brilliant but a little big.

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Re: Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

#3 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:30 am

I wondered how heavy it might be... it does look sturdy! I apprenticed as a machinist/repairman in the microscope dept. of one of the very large biological supply houses and, back in our graveyard, we had several of the old AO/Spencer "Scholar" school microscopes. I think the bases on them was made of bakelite and I was always amazed that, to be something meant to hold up in a Jr. High environment, why they chose bakelite - we would have to occasionally machine bakelite discs to repair fouled silvering in phase condensers - it is fragile!

At any rate, I never thought the little AO "Scholar" matched the beauty of it's pedigree - just like the Zeiss KM.
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JeffO, aka "Ortho amore"
Leitz Ortholux I
Leitz Orthoplan
Leitz Macro-Dia Device
Zeiss GFL
Zeiss Standard
Zeiss Photomicroscope III
Zeiss OPMI 6S
B&L Stereozoom and Balplan

apochronaut
Posts: 2733
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

#4 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:52 am

Bakelite is brittle and if one of those was dropped on a hard floor ,the base could sustain some damage, however the interior does have structural ribs. I haven't come across a broken one yet.
I have a Field MIcroscope project on the go based on one of them, with a rack and binocular head from a series 15 installed and a 4 position nosepiece. About a week ago I had it sitting on the far side of a stairs, waiting to be ferried up to it's resting place while I set the project away for a while to ponder the condenser options for it, that will go in the base. Well, wouldn't you know it, my wife , accidentally knocked it down about 5 flights of stairs. Pretty bad place to leave it but, no damage.
I'm sure it was always a struggle, putting a simple, functional microscope into schools that could provide optical quality at a price the educational system could afford. As well, if one did get dropped and cracked or broken, how much would it cost to put another base on? Very little and anyone could do it.
The Scholars Microscope was designed in the 40's, so the inexpensive plastic choices were probably poorer

Overall it was a successful microscope and had the added bonus of having first rate objectives possible for it, with a decently wide f.o.v. They even made a polarizing version, with a slider above the the nosepiece.

charlie g
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Re: Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

#5 Post by charlie g » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:47 am

Hi, ebenbuild and apo...I too wonder the total shift from curves/ball forms...to ugly 'boxes' and harsh rectangular contours....perhaps somebody was slapped to cause this change in microscope frames?

My Reichert/Austria student Biozet microscope has the curves and ball shapes...as do other stands by other firms of that vintage. And recall the curves and ball-contours of the classic: "Microbe Hunter". Are the harsh boxy/rectangular contours simply 'cheaper to fabricate' in microscopes?

Thanks, ebenbuild for a mention of 'sooo ugly' microscopes contours. I always wonder why grace and almost organic curves/ball contours were dropped from stands.

Charlie Guevara, finger lakes/US

billbillt
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Re: Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

#6 Post by billbillt » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:08 am

I actually like the design of the KM.. I guess to me it is "form following function"...

BillT

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Radazz
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Re: Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

#7 Post by Radazz » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:39 am

I admit I really love the curves and balls of the older Zeiss scopes.
The Axioskop looks more like a sewing machine by comparison.
Then again, microscopes are all as much fun to look at as they are to look through.
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

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mrsonchus
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Re: Sooo ugly, the Dr. slapped his mother!

#8 Post by mrsonchus » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:25 am

Well, a fine pair of little gems. I personally really like the look of the KM - It really does look 'up-for-the-job' and ready to go - handle and all! I'd love to take one of these away with us on one of our 'jaunts to the hills of Yorkshire'.

Lovely little 'scope.
John B

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