Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#1 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:29 pm

I'm a big Leitz and Zeiss man but here's the problem... I get on this forum and see the neat toys you other guys work with and then I start poking around on Fleabay and "click", "click", before I hardly realize it, I've started collecting more toys myself. The other problem is, I'm slightly nostalgic about my childhood and one of my favorite shows growing up was "Quincy, Medical Examiner" with that AO model Ten and the viewing screen that would morph into the Q in Quincy's name as the opening credits ran...

For $257.92 (including shipping) I got these three "domestic" beauties and a vintage darkfield cardiod condenser to add to my collection. Within the year, I'm going to be setting up a YouTube microscopy studio to demonstrate equipment, techniques, and repair/machining of (primarily German) vintage apparatus from what I consider the Golden Era of Microscopy (from roughly the 1950s thru the 1980s). I consulted my 1964 AO price list and averaged that this stuff was probably around $1800 then... AMAZED at what I got (from 4 different sellers)... widefield eyepieces, plan-achro objectives, centerable illuminators with field diaphragms and an external transformer, trinoc head, graduated stage, 2 of the stands even had filter turrets under the heads (one looks like it was designed for barrier filters)... AMAZED also at the superb view when going through some prepared slides. Already love these scopes and haven't even rebuilt them yet! Well done, American icon, American Optical!

Back when I worked for Carolina Biological Supply Company, we had a high school teacher who wanted to order a replacement plan-achro objective (the 40X, I think) and Reichert-Jung wanted something like $300 for an original "new old stock!"
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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

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rnabholz
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#2 Post by rnabholz » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:12 am

Welcome the AO Anonymous. My name is Rod and I am an AO-cholohic....

I came at it from a different angle. When I got interested in Microscopy a couple of years ago, I was looking for an affordable stand to see if it was as much fun as I imagined it to be. My first was a One Fifty, an entry level model that I picked up for $60 on ebay.

I was really pleased at what I got for that money, so after a time when I wanted to upgrade, I stayed with the AO line and have ever since. You are correct about the bargains to be had on these on Ebay, and plenty of parts stands to fix anything that might need attention.

As to their performance, I hold no illusions about keeping up with some of the industry's top vendors, but for my purposes, on my budget, I am thrilled with my stable of stands, all American Optical.

Enjoy your new toys.

Rod
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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#3 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:55 am

"Hello Rod!" (lemme go get another cup of coffee before I get back to the group... the coffee pot is about 12 steps away!)...

I like your trio! Somewhere out in my repair bone yard, I've got one of those Series 6 stands with a monocular camera tube on it. I've always admired the mechanical stages on those and the bakelite stages. In my Fleabay watch list, I've already got a Series 6 trinocular head saved... I also love that phase contrast set you've got and that's going to probably be my next AO acquisition. Phase contrast is on nearly every one of my scopes that I use for pond and diatom work.

My plans for these Model 10s, in the YouTube universe, is to have two of them set up with trinocular heads - one permanently featuring the darkfield cardiod condenser and the other with phase contrast. I also admire that fancy Ortho illuminator you've got as well and will probably eventually take that plunge myself!

UGH... the disease claims another victim, blissful victim
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

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rnabholz
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#4 Post by rnabholz » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:57 am

Thanks, I have a lot of fun with them.

My 10 on the Ortho is a dedicated darkfield stand. It has the 1096b Toric condenser, which is nice as it will fully illuminate everything from a 10x to 100x objectives. It also has the 100x Iris objective to allow for some tweaking as needed. Really a nice luxury to have a dedicated darkfield stand, but at the price you can get a10 for, not an extravagant one.

The Ortho is a Silge and Kuhne, they sold out to AO after supplying them their OI's for a time.

The series 4 Apostar gets a lot of use lately as I play with oblique. Its ergonomics are very good for that, and the Apo objectives perform very well. Really enjoy that stand.

The 20 is my phase scope. I have both Dark and Bright Phase objectives, and recommend having both if you can. They both provide unique looks and compliment each other nicely. Dark is pretty common, bright less so, but out there if you are patient.

All the scopes have trinocs, the 10 and 20 share one photo tube, but the set up on the Apostar is different requiring a compens eyepiece to correct the objectives. My adapter ir is a homebrew, but works well.

Anyway, enjoy outfitting your new acquisitions.

Rod

MicroBob
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#5 Post by MicroBob » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:05 pm

These AO microscopes are quite exotic for me. I live in Germany and there are rarely to be found here. On the used market you can find Zeiss east and west and Leitz some Olympus, nearly no Nikon and the second row german makers and of cause some east block microscopes.
The mechanical design of the AO stands is quite modern and the microscopes appear as if they have been made by a company that has experience and knowledge that goes beyond the common stuff. I would be very interested if you could post your experiences with your new toys here, especially in comparison to your Leitz and Zeiss microscopes.
When you start with your "YouTube microscopy studio" give us a hint - I will be for sure watching what you show us!

Bob

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rnabholz
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#6 Post by rnabholz » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:46 pm

Bob,

Since you don't have access to many American Optical scopes, here are links to a few pages of pics of some of my AO scopes. Some offer close details that catalog pics might not provide.

http://www.homebuiltastronomy.com/Ameri ... al20Phase/

http://www.homebuiltastronomy.com/AO4/index.htm

http://homebuiltastronomy.com/OI/index.htm

Rod

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#7 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:24 am

Hello Bob!

I apprenticed for 4 years in machining and microscope repair and my teacher was German and had come to the United States in 1961. At that time, Germany required mandatory conscription military service and my teacher, Klaus Wirbelauer had one brother, Horst who, due to having lost their father in WWII, served for both of them since they were granted an exemption due to the loss of their father. Klaus apprenticed in the Karl Kaps factory in Asslar, very near the huge "Leitz werke" in Wetzlar.

Karl Kaps is a very fine optical instrument manufacturer still and I used to love hearing stories of Klaus' apprenticeship and how difficult the German apprentice program was... he used to tell me of how, for the entire first year, they just taught you how to use a file! And how, at the end of the day, when they made you sweep the factory floor, you loved it because it meant you were done filing!

I'm looking forward to creating some YouTube content and the only microscopy area I'm currently a little lacking in is Differential Interference Contrast. I have some limited Zeiss apparatus with a few de-lamination issues that I think I can work around. I will definitely do some posts as the studio comes together to try and create a little buzz about the channel. As a machinist, I enjoy watching what other people are doing because machinists love posting videos - I'm hoping that more microscopists will start creating YouTube content. I think if a few of us start posting videos, it's gonna create a snowball affect and everyone will start posting!

JeffO
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

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#8 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:32 am

OMG, Rod - LOVE those pics!

I must admit, I have a guilty pleasure of looking at home astronomy setups on the internet and I have visited your site before!

I am intrigued by those ortho illuminator pics and particularly like that paint finish on the ortho. I have been doing a lot of paint finish and airbrush experiments in the past year in order to learn how to repair paint finishes - I have a huge German explosion proof paint curing oven that I bought for pennies 10 years ago, and I have been emphasizing duplicating the krinkle and hammer-tone finishes that were soo popular years ago.

Again, keep the pics coming - I love your website!

JeffO
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

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KurtM
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#9 Post by KurtM » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:17 am

There really should be quite a few AO-Spencer enthusiasts on this side of the pond, as there's just nothing else that comes close to delivering the bang for the buck. The optics are underrated, and still pretty much take my breath away every time I draw a critical focus through one. Phase contrast in AO scopes produces a very nice effect, particularly the bright phase objectives. The stands are rock-solid, built like tanks, and the mechanics usually slop-free and buttery-smooth. The gravity-assisted moving nosepiece focus arrangement is pure genius; no way to accidentally crush a slide. It's easy to regard them as kinda cheap because they're so common and inexpensive, but to those of us who know them well, it's almost exasperating to see noobies buy new import scopes when a fraction of the money (plus some good old fashioned effort) would give them far nicer stands.

You can see a few of my AO's on a little web page I put up here: http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/

Image
^^^ Look ma, no cord!

My bench is now occupied by a Zeiss WL, and Nikon Diaphot TMD, but that's pretty much only because I can't get an AO with DIC. But there is one out there ... and so far as I know, only one. A member of this forum owns it, and with any luck he will chime in -- it's super seriously COOL.
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

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rnabholz
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#10 Post by rnabholz » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:05 am

ebenbildmicroscopy wrote:OMG, Rod - LOVE those pics!

I must admit, I have a guilty pleasure of looking at home astronomy setups on the internet and I have visited your site before!

I am intrigued by those ortho illuminator pics and particularly like that paint finish on the ortho. I have been doing a lot of paint finish and airbrush experiments in the past year in order to learn how to repair paint finishes - I have a huge German explosion proof paint curing oven that I bought for pennies 10 years ago, and I have been emphasizing duplicating the krinkle and hammer-tone finishes that were soo popular years ago.

Again, keep the pics coming - I love your website!

JeffO

Thanks Jeff. Glad you enjoyed the pics and the astro site, always nice to know that people have seen it and liked it.

The OI's glossy paint seems to be unique to the earlier Silge and Kuhne version, AO went to the textured/crinkle paint for the units they sold.

Restoring a 70's eq mount have me cause to look into the crinkle paint process, it is involved. In the end I took the easier route and did a light over spray. I admire you if you have worked out the secrets of that routine.

Thanks again.

Rod

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#11 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:09 am

Hey KurtM!

I'll have to say to you, what I've mentioned to the others... NICE website! I gotta get with the program and come up with something like that myself. I must admit, I am somewhat ignorant about creating such things but am gonna have to learn!

I particularly admire your AO Model 33. I've long appreciated those as a machinist: always have been fond of the rounded knurling on the knobs and the grease slots milled into the body of the dovetail focusing slide on the course focus. Not only are both halves of the dovetail brass, those slots allow extra grease to be loaded in the dovetail - beautiful!

To all of you again - love seeing the AO rigs and how you're using them to accomplish some outstanding photomicrography!
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

MicroBob
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#12 Post by MicroBob » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:42 pm

Hi Rod,
thank you for the links, really nice microscopes.
The markets were probably cleanly divided between american and german microscope companies so they had the room to develop independently. The laws of physics and the user demands were the same, but the provided solutions were quite different. Nice to see for someone who likes technical and scientifical instruments.

I have a couple of old american professional grade power tools (restored classics in regular use). They were then developed much further than the german counterparts. I guess that this is because there was a market and competition much earlier in the USA than in Germany.

Bob

MicroBob
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#13 Post by MicroBob » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:52 pm

Hi Kurt,
thank you for the link to you microscopy page! You show a AO Spencer Model 26L stereo microscope. It is quite similar to my Leitz stereo microscope from the same era. The Leitz does not have a turret but a three-objective sliding mechanism. The objective pairs and prism housing and the elevated glass table look the same.

Bob

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KurtM
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#14 Post by KurtM » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:07 am

Thanks, fellas! Like Rod said, it's always good to hear when someone took a look at the ol' web pages and liked what they saw. I haven't updated them in forever, maybe this will spur me into action...

Both the Model 33 and 13 are just fantastic scopes -- as Jeff says, the craftsmanship put into the manufacture has to be seen to be believed. They're quite heavy and solid, but move with unreal smoothness and precision. The heavy steel knurled chrome knobs are touches you don't see any more. I gave $80 for the Model 13, and it was in such excellent condition that the case even has its leather handle, and key for the lock.

Those old AO/Spencer Model 26 stereo scopes are one of the best values to be found on eBay here in the US. Around $50 will get you a good one if you're patient, the optics are absolutely wonderful, and they're built to outlive you.
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

einman
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#15 Post by einman » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:30 pm

I'm a Leitz guy myself having started with AO, which I love..moved on to Leitz. I have several Diaplans etc

Great to know we have another Leitz expert.

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Radazz
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#16 Post by Radazz » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:11 pm

Hi, Rod,
I just happen to have an extra head to complete that microscope.
Image
PM me if interested.
Jim
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

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rnabholz
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#17 Post by rnabholz » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:53 pm

Radazz wrote:Hi, Rod,
I just happen to have an extra head to complete that microscope.
Image
PM me if interested.
Jim
Hey Jim,

Did you mean me or the OP?

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Radazz
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#18 Post by Radazz » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:59 am

Looks like one missing in the first picture.
These are on the bone pile. I have a series 10 with the single lever on the front of the Illuminator, and an AO 120 in the collection, but my main interest as far as Spencer goes is in Buffalo logo equipment.
These can go, make me an offer, I can’t lose on the deal.
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

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rnabholz
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#19 Post by rnabholz » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:52 am

The first pic is of JeffO's equipment, maybe he will respond.

I am all set, thanks for the offer.

Rod

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#20 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:52 pm

rnabholz wrote:The first pic is of JeffO's equipment, maybe he will respond.

I am all set, thanks for the offer.

Rod
Hey Jim!

I may be interested in that series 10 trinocular head... I've got my eye on a phase contrast setup that includes one with it but will definitely PM you if that falls through!
JeffO
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

geo_man
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#21 Post by geo_man » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:03 pm

Hi all, i'm just starting; purchased an AO model 110 Trinocular and an AO Cycloptic stereo model 56B on ebay. They haven't arrived yet. But i'm super excited to mess around with them.

My question is, for a newbie, what do you recommend tor beginning photography? I have an iPhone x and a sony s95 point and shoot.

If I want to go big, would I buy a "PARFOCAL C-MOUNT ADAPTER FOR Spencer, AO, American Optical TRINOCULAR MICROSCOPE" for $28n on ebay and what else (a DSLR i know)??

Thanks!

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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#22 Post by sailor_ed » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:32 pm

If you have a PC with a usb3 port I would recommend the Omax A3550U3 5MP camera. It comes with good software and runs around $220 on Amazon. This can fit as is in an eyepiece tube or in the "parfocal AO tube" sold on eay.

Sorry for the thread drift

einman
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Re: Help! I'm becoming "domesticated"!!

#23 Post by einman » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:22 pm

I use to own the AO21 DIC but sold it to another forum member. You can search on my postings and see pics. I was big into AO but as space in my lab became limited I have drifted to Leitz. I have quite a bit of various heads and parts for AO's that I collected over the years. If anyone is missing a part let me know and I may have it in one of my bins.

I have owned nearly every model of AO inclding the AO21 DIC, Polstar, Apostar etc.

Currently I own a 10 series, a Biostar inverted, several cycloptics and a newer Reichert Microstar which is essentially an upgraded AO110. I have sold quite a few of my scopes over the last few months reducing the number from 56 to 20. A few Diaplans and a Dialux 20..some Bausch & Lombs..etc. I have been focusing on stereo scopes as of late as my primary interest is entomology.

It is an addiction that I am trying to kick! LOL

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