New Scopes-Microstar 410

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einman
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New Scopes-Microstar 410

#1 Post by einman » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:36 pm

Picked up a few more scopes, Laborlux D, Leica M80, and aMicrostar 410.

Hey Apo.. any suggestions as this lies smack dab in your expertise. I have had a few Diastars in the past but they were never up to my standards, meaning they had issues whether it be focusing, lighting or a combination. This one looks like it may be in great shape. We will see. I want to compare it against the Bestscope BS2080 but only if a perfect example and in the best position possible.
Last edited by einman on Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

apochronaut
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Re: New Scopes- Diastar 410

#2 Post by apochronaut » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:10 am

Diastar is the 420; 100 watts with a 3 x 5 gang filter pack forward of the collector lens. 6 place nosepiece on a sliding dovetail.
Microstar is the 410 24 watts , 4 or 5 place nosepiece on a round dovetail. Which is it that you have?

einman
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Re: New Scopes- Diastar 410

#3 Post by einman » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:06 am

My mistake I have the microstar Iv or 410. I should have caught that. I haven't had a Diastar 420 in years. Although I had a new one in my lab fully outfitted back when I was a formulator.

I have since owned one other 420 and probably 4 410's. Although the 410's I had always had issues. They were well used scopes!

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Re: New Scopes- Diastar 410

#4 Post by apochronaut » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:44 am

Then, you should know all this. You didn't just flip what you previously had, now, did you? Both of them, aside from the features previously mentioned can use either planachro, planfluor or planapo optics. Lots of options but 200mm tube length. Olympus infinity objectives at 180mm present as 11% overpowered compared to the marked magnification, and the reverse with some percentage loss. They are the best value in a high grade, fairly modern microscope available used, bar none. The funny thing about the supposed focusing problem is; it's a 1.00 part and the guy who disentangles shopping carts at the mall, could fix it. That makes your potential repairman, close at hand.

Last Diastar, with 5 infinity corrected planachros I bought , I paid 149.00 for....meanwhile people are buying OMAX and Amscope for 5 times more. Previously, I bought a 4 objective phase Diastar, complete , with a 2.5X and 4X planachro as well for 200.00. It's not that I nabbed them, I waited until the end of the auction and finally bought them, with no other bids!. I have bought new, Reichert planfluor objectives for less than 100.00 each. The same objectives were reformed as Leica, 10 years later and sold for 3,000.00 plus.

You want to compare one of them to a bestscope? What have you been smoking?

einman
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#5 Post by einman » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:07 am

Exactly!! I want to show that the older Reicherts are a better option than these new Omax/Amscopes!!! In fact i want to show how they compare to even the Chinese scopes that list for $1600.

Oh and I did flip them..with the exception of the one with the focusing issues which is sitting here in the corner. I believe I sold some of the parts to you as I recall. Didn't I sell you a phase contrast set? It was from that scope. :)

I was thinking more along the lines of upgrading the objectives after I did the comparison as well, so your knowledge of alternative brands like the Olympus is useful.

"You want to compare one of them to a bestscope? What have you been smoking?" - Yes and I believe the Bestscope will prove comparable to superior although not as valuable given the cost differential. I believe we have covered that topic already. Although you did a fantastic job of comparing some of the newer Chinese infinity objectives vs the older Reichert objectives.
Last edited by einman on Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

einman
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#6 Post by einman » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:25 am

Also back in the day when I used one in my lab I knew little about microscopes other than how to use one. So to recall the performance of the scope back then and compare it to a scope today would be disingenuous.

I have a good deal of respect for all the older brands. At that time as I recall it was actually listed as a Reichert-Jung. This would have been oh about 1988 maybe. Sometime more or less. I do recall a fellow researcher had a Zeiss the model I do not recall that performed much better. So much so that I called in a service company to make sure my 420 was adjusted properly. Given my little knowledge at the time it could very well have been comparing planachros to apos..I have no idea. He probably got a good laugh out of that!

einman
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#7 Post by einman » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:38 am

In regards to pricing I recall one that sold on E-bay a Diastar 420 equipped with Fluorescence and looked to be in excellent condition for less than $500. The seller was located in Canada. I believe you and I discussed that one as well. I had made him an offer he turned it down and then ended up selling it for less about 2 weeks later.

I really would like to make my way up to your part of the woods some day.

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lorez
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#8 Post by lorez » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:55 am

The funny thing about the supposed focusing problem is; it's a 1.00 part and the guy who disentangles shopping carts at the mall, could fix it.
Apo, I'm interested to know about this mystery part.

apochronaut
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#9 Post by apochronaut » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:41 pm

Every time I have seen a messed focuser on one( 3 of them now, out of about 12) ; it's been a cracked Belleville washer in the right hand focuser.

Sometimes, the vertical shaft in the arm, needs a bit of tweaking. It can be stiff or loose but it is an easy adjustment.
Last edited by apochronaut on Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#10 Post by apochronaut » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:21 pm

einman wrote:Exactly!! I want to show that the older Reicherts are a better option than these new Omax/Amscopes!!! In fact i want to show how they compare to even the Chinese scopes that list for $1600.

Oh and I did flip them..with the exception of the one with the focusing issues which is sitting here in the corner. I believe I sold some of the parts to you as I recall. Didn't I sell you a phase contrast set? It was from that scope. :)

I was thinking more along the lines of upgrading the objectives after I did the comparison as well, so your knowledge of alternative brands like the Olympus is useful.

"You want to compare one of them to a bestscope? What have you been smoking?" - Yes and I believe the Bestscope will prove comparable to superior although not as valuable given the cost differential. I believe we have covered that topic already. Although you did a fantastic job of comparing some of the newer Chinese infinity objectives vs the older Reichert objectives.
Yes. If Chinese newly developed PlanF objectives are inferior to 30 year old AO planachros, one would think that their planachros would be too...irregardless of whatever name is painted on the barrel.
Since, Leica evolved their next generation optics, up to about the year 2000, (after they left the 160mm stuff behind), from the AO/Reichert infinity series, it might seem that the optical quality is up to a certain level, not to mention the planfluorite and planapo objectives from the same series, that often sell on line for sometimes oddly low prices. In fact you sold me a planfluorite objective because you didn't have a stand to put it in. Thanks; I use it in my Diastar all the time. You should have kept all that Reichert stuff, it would have worked nice in the Microstar IV.
It is nice that all these optics and stands to go with them are pretty much under the radar, thanks to enough bad comments about those microscopes. It's the one way, someone can get into a medium research grade microscope for pennies on the dollar.
You know , there are 18 planachromat, 4 Neoplan achromat, 8 planfluorite and 4 planapo objectives that were designed for that system. Those are just the ones, I know of.
In addition there were the subsequent Leica releases that are engineered to the same optical specs, not to mention Olympus infinity corrected objectives and whatever Chinese infinity stuff that one might encounter, that are acceptable( the 2 planF I trialled are but only just, and they are easily out priced by original planachros that are as good).

einman
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#11 Post by einman » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:58 pm

Quote:"You should have kept all that Reichert stuff, it would have worked nice in the Microstar IV.". So true.

To be honest it has been your continued reviews/evaluations that prompted me to keep an eye out for a good 410/420 stand.

Although I disagree in respects to your comment that your evaluation of the PlanF objectives could be used to indicate the state of Chinese objectives in general. My contention is if an objective does not have a brand or any company's label there is probably a reason.

Those companies like Accu-scope or Bestscope are putting their reputation (or their attempt to build a reputation) on the line by labeling their scopes and as such, have more of an incentive to deliver higher quality merchandise. Just because you select a no name Chinese objective Fluorite, planachro or apochromat etc and it performs poorer than what was once a 30 year old $3000 objective does not mean there are not higher quality Chinese objectives out there. Zeiss, Olympus, Nikon, Leica all have objectives of varying quality and a significant variation in price. My suggestion is the low end Olympus, Nikon, Leica Zeiss objectives are available for less $$$ unlabeled. While their mid level objectives are most likely available under brand names such as Accu-scope or Bestscope. I have compared an Accu-scope plan Fluorite to an unlabeled planfluorite and found the Accu-scope's to be superior. Interestingly, they label their objectives making it easy to consistently compare them across brands. If you purchase an unbranded objective how do you even know if you are comparing apples to apples? One could be of low quality and another of higher quality. With no trace-ability how can you tell which one you have or if you buy more than one if they are even from the same manufacturing site etc?

This is what makes it difficult for hobbyists like ourselves to identify and obtain Chinese made high quality objectives. This is true with the 160 TL objectives as well. Crater Eddie shared his recent experience. I, on the other hand purchased an Amscope 60x/0.85, a Motic 60x/0.85, and a no name 60x/0.85 and compared them to a Leitz 63x/0.85 160 TL objective. The Amscope was significantly poorer than both the Motic and the no name. The no name performed as well as the Motic. The Leitz was superior to all of them. I also tried a Reichert infinity 63x and found it directionally better than all of them. My point there is variation within Chinese manufactured objectives as you have often pointed out.

Just a comment on the state of current technology and how China has influenced it. At least choosing a brand like Reichert can assure you of quality and consistency.

einman
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#12 Post by einman » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:38 pm

ok So the scope had some issues. The stage was worn to the point where there was a good deal of play in certain areas due to the teeth being worn down. I replaced the stage with one I had. I have a lot of stages floating around. The lamp was out and upon further examination found to have the wrong bulb, although new. I replaced the bulb. I have a lot of those as well.
Initial examination only served to strengthen my respect for these scopes. The optics are quite good! Now to set-up the comparison. More to come.

apochronaut
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#13 Post by apochronaut » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:55 pm

There were a lot of Microstars sold. They were good value for the money and provided state of the art imaging and a full slate of possible accessories in a sturdy 5 objective laboratory microscope . The ones coming up for resale at low prices, branded Reichert, have been in service for 20+ years and have usually been in daily use over that period, sometimes to the point of wear. Stage tracks and gears get worn and the stage surface gets buffed down to the aluminum. Then, there are quite a few in good to excellent shape too. Many of these get remarketed by dealers and never see ebay or maybe after a while, they do . More gently used or more frequently serviced or refitted with spare parts than their centurian counterparts , they usually sell at prices reflecting their better condition but every now and then, one shows up on ebay in better than average shape at a price not reflecting that fact. Oddly, even these don't sell too rapidly on ebay. I think, because so many of them have signs of heavy usage, many potential buyers base their perception of condition on price rather than what is being sold and there have been quite a number of negative comments about these microscopes. I think it goes something like this : It's only 149.00, it says on the internet that those are lousy microscopes. it must be garbage.
Well, I haven't found that out to be true. I have had quite a few of these in my hands over the past number of years, over 10 and the only one that might be thought of as truly a parts scope, is the most recent one I bought for 35.00 + shipping. I haven't had time to completely check it over , it only arrived a week ago but it came with a cord and it lights up. Probably will end up a really nice 5 objective planachro microscope with many years left in it and I will sell it cheap.
Then there are the Diastars. 6 objective, 100 watt. I've had 4 of those and all of them arrived because no one else wanted them . The grand total invested in the 4 of them has been 1,050.00 dollars + shipping. One had a broken focuser that took 1 hour to fix. They were all trinocular, with two of them coming with the very expensive 100/0, 20/80, 0/100 3 position head. One was a complete phase contrast system, one was a 5 position teaching microscope ,one was a fluorescence microscope and one was a 6 objective BF scope . The complete phase contrast scope , with a 3 position trinocular and factory armrests was that hypothetical 149.00 microscope, mentioned above that no one bid on. That 3 position trinocular head, originally sold for about 7 times what I paid for the entire P.C. system,.

Point is. If you are looking for a microscope that has optical quality that you won't find yourself questioning , consider a good one of these. You won't have to worry about upgrading from achromat to planachromat because they were never fitted with achromats in the first place and if you choose to aim for higher grade optics, planfluor or planfluor apo or planapo objectives are all out there, engineered to perfectly work + many other objective options from other factories.

apochronaut
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#14 Post by apochronaut » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:59 pm

einman wrote:ok So the scope had some issues. The stage was worn to the point where there was a good deal of play in certain areas due to the teeth being worn down. I replaced the stage with one I had. I have a lot of stages floating around. The lamp was out and upon further examination found to have the wrong bulb, although new. I replaced the bulb. I have a lot of those as well.
Initial examination only served to strengthen my respect for these scopes. The optics are quite good! Now to set-up the comparison. More to come.

make sure you put the right bulb in. It's 24 watt on those, not 20, like the one in a 110.... or did you have one from that broken Microstar you never used from a few years ago?

einman
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Re: New Scopes-Microstar 410

#15 Post by einman » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:34 pm

apochronaut wrote:
einman wrote:ok So the scope had some issues. The stage was worn to the point where there was a good deal of play in certain areas due to the teeth being worn down. I replaced the stage with one I had. I have a lot of stages floating around. The lamp was out and upon further examination found to have the wrong bulb, although new. I replaced the bulb. I have a lot of those as well.
Initial examination only served to strengthen my respect for these scopes. The optics are quite good! Now to set-up the comparison. More to come.

make sure you put the right bulb in. It's 24 watt on those, not 20, like the one in a 110.... or did you have one from that broken Microstar you never used from a few years ago?

Ha ha I have extras but I did use the one from the broken Microstar. It came in handy I for the stage, eyepieces etc. This one came with Olympus eyepieces. Which by the way appear to work quite well though I swapped them for cat #181 eyepieces.

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