Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

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zzffnn
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Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#1 Post by zzffnn » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:57 am

Is there anybody interested in a pocketable field microscope capable of 450x?

Review of it can be found here:
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... micro.html

Cost may be around $75. Group buy may lower the price slightly.

Not much details now. A distributor is in the same city as mine. And he told me, over text message, that he has a limited amount available.

I will meet him and check it out in the near future. If I like it, I may buy one for myself. Other options of the same magnification are much more expensive.

Please post in this thread, if you are interested in a group buy. Continental USA only, sorry.
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#2 Post by 75RR » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:41 pm

An interesting idea, if to my mind a bit on the expensive side.
Given the write-up, and the images it shows, I would say that it would be most useful in the field as a way to check if the sample one is collecting contains the organism one is after.
This is particularly useful if conducting a study or collecting at some distance from home.
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#3 Post by zzffnn » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:13 pm

^ I mostly agree with you, 75RR.

It is not cheap, but the other commercially available option (Chinese clone of Swift FM-31) costs $300. Neither of those have real condensers, standard objectives, filter trays or mechanical XY stage.

McArthur pocket microscope may be available on eBay sometimes, but auction price would be difficult to predict. And I have never seen one for the past year (I did searches). Other options exist, but are even more expensive or rarer.

This kind of pocket scope is useful in a pocket or backpack (along with a slide and a few cover slips), when you are going to an interesting water body with family/kids, but not specifically hunting for protists.

I have a Meade ReadiView pocket scope that provides up to 160x and reasonable images, but I want more magnification.

Last time I took my LOMO Biolam (~9 lbs) with my kids to a park. Since I also took camera gears, drinking water and other stuff, my belongings got really heavy and big..........

And sometimes when you use a full-sized scope in a park, people look at you like you are a mad scientist (though I am one :twisted: ) or a bio-terrorist :?
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#4 Post by KurtM » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:14 pm

I'm interested, for the reasons you enumerate. I'm always on the lookout for a field microscope since I often prowl rivers and streams 600 miles from home looking for diatoms.
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#5 Post by zzffnn » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:20 pm

Thank you, Kurt. I will keep you in mind.

As a previous kayaker, I understand that. All the space you have on board is that hatch.......I don't even take my camera when I am on a kayak.

And space / weight allowance is needed for water samples too. On a river, you have too many water samples to take - best way is to check it first, then decide whether it is a keeper or not.
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#6 Post by zzffnn » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:20 pm

Seller said $35 per piece, if volume is under 5 pieces. If over, $30 each. This is without shipping, I assume.
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#7 Post by charlie g » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:56 pm

Thanks for the heads up,zzffnn! I would be very keen on haveing one if $35.

Thanks for the article link. The devil is in the need for a simple yet efficient means for stowing the needed:

1) microscope slides, coverslips, 2) transfer pipett and scizzors and tweezers and needle probe ( you don't tweak filament algae, or critters off stones,off sticks, off a fish or crayfish,or snails,or insect etc;'s body without these simple tools), 3) set of different power occulars, clean up wipes. And I know I'd want to do an image capture right there in the field setting!

This unique device I keenly would want for $35...it's built in/ adjustable light source is a super useful aspect of it's use in the field.

Sadly, I agree with zzffnn that eyebrows raise should a hobbyist setup a microscope at a popular beach resort...this side of the pond beer okay...but an adult useing a microscope?!! Please keep me in mind, zzffnn if your going for this device. charlie guevara

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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#8 Post by KurtM » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:00 pm

charlie g wrote:The devil is in the need for a simple yet efficient means for stowing the needed:
<snip>
Perhaps field collection, and the kits we carry is a good thread idea...?
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#9 Post by zzffnn » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:03 pm

I met the seller (Mr. Bikash Ghosh, as mentioned by David Walker 11 yrs ago) and bought one unit off him on the spot. He actually gave me two units (one for Kurt) and said that Kurt can try it himself first and then decide to keep (and pay for) it or send it back. Kurt, please email me your shipping address. I will ship it to you, unless you are at home next week (I may be able to drop it off to you).

Image quality is decent and worth $35 in my opinion. Probably not at $75 though. There is no condenser and no filter holder (no darkfield or oblique - just plain brightfield). And no, diatom dotting at 450x cannot be done. Dots on Navicula lyra were NOT resolved. 45x objective lens is tiny though bright enough. I won't use more than 10x eyepieces on it though.

Brightness and focus can be easily adjusted.

My other minor complain on it is that 10x and 45x objectives are NOT parfocal. Adjustment takes getting use to, but it was not difficult for me. Overall, ergonomics are better than my Meade ReadiView pocket scope.

Mr. Bikash is a very nice, soft-speaking and old fashion guy. He said he is no longer running his previous business and just want to get back what he paid for those microscopes. He is happy that someone finds it useful. He did not bother to sell them on eBay and does not even have a PayPal account (he did agree to use his current email address for accepting PayPal - PM me for his email, please).

To make it easier for Mr. Bikash to ship all units at once, I suggest that we wait for a week and then each PayPal's him $36.3 individually and gives him shipping address. He does not know much about microscopes, so technical questions may be difficult for him. I will try to help, if there is any.
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#10 Post by zzffnn » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:32 am

Charlie,

Sorry, I left home to meet the seller without seeing your post.

I grabbed two units, but one unit (which I did not check) has a defective LED that circles between bright and dim. I would have to go back to seller next weekend, if his remaining 18 units include at least two good ones. That seems to be a common problem with cheap LEDs. Edit: the flickering was caused by a "new old stock" battery that has not been used after its purchase in 2006. With a new battery in, the scope works fine. So its LED is fine.

I apologize as I was in a hurry today (with kids), so I checked only one unit (which checked out fine) and just grabbed the other (which is supposed to be new). Seller said he will check all his units tomorrow and report back.

40x is good for eyes but dim for photography (but with long exposure will work). Good enough for me at $35. If not good enough for you, seller won't mind at all.

And do use mounting putty on the scope's feet, if using DSLR. The scope is too light to support DSLR without some help

Let me know. I will try to upload some test diatom photos taken with the pocket scope.
Last edited by zzffnn on Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#11 Post by KurtM » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:48 am

Maybe you can try methyl cellulose on the kids to slow 'em down a bit... :?

I don't have any plans to take pictures with a field scope, but do have some rough diatom strew slides that give a view that's close to what you get fresh out of a river sample, so are just the thing for testing field scope candidates. I sent you my street address, thanks!
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#12 Post by zzffnn » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:59 am

LOL :mrgreen:

You know my little monsters would eat methyl cellulose like cake mix (some cake mix does have MG as thickening agent) and become loose and running again in no time :evil: Super glue is needed for them.

Charlie G, I will update this thread, once I hear back from the seller.
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#13 Post by zzffnn » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:19 am

Some test diatom photos (sorry, my test diatoms were damaged), shot with long exposure (iso 200- 600, 2'' exposure, F/2.8 to F/4). I tried to focus onto lines of Navicula lyra. No post digital enhancement was added.

10x performs much better visually, though its long focus depth and my camera's small screen made focusing accurately difficult.

40x is a bit dim for photos. Methyl cellulose and/or long exposure may be needed for good photos.

The pocket scope itself is too light to stably support my micr4/3 camera. I had to add some mounting putty to its feet and press it onto my table.
Attachments
10x jpeg.jpg
10x jpeg.jpg (96.7 KiB) Viewed 2718 times
40x 1 jpeg.jpg
40x 1 jpeg.jpg (151.69 KiB) Viewed 2718 times
40x 2 jpeg.jpg
40x 2 jpeg.jpg (144.56 KiB) Viewed 2718 times
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Re: Pocketable field 450x microscope - group buy?

#14 Post by zzffnn » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:17 pm

The seller's email is
bikash.ghosh at sbcglobal dot net

People who is interested in this pocket scope can contact seller directly. He will ship your pocket scope to you, as long as you are within continental USA.

Edit: Here is seller's direct eBay listing with "Buy It Now" for $47 and free shipping within continental USA:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/micro-microscop ... 1830741617
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