New Scope Leica M80

What equipment do you use? Post pictures and descriptions of your microscope(s) here!
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einman
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New Scope Leica M80

#1 Post by einman » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:54 pm

Well it arrived and it is a beauty. Looks like it is brand new and fresh out of the box. The boom stand is one of the best engineered I have seen. Pictures do not begin to do it justice. The LED lighting system is superb and the scope itself looks brand new. The initial evaluation revealed no defects and I was actually surprised by the quality of everything. Of course given what these scopes retail for you would expect no less.
I plan on doing a side by side comparison soon various research scopes so stay tuned. More to come including lots of photos. I need to clear off my benches as they are currently cluttered with equipment.

Spring is coming so I need to clean-up and prepare for my entomological escapades. One downside to using Amazon almost solely is the accumulation of cardboard boxes. I am guessing this will have to be addressed soon from a recycling perspective. Time to give our recycler a call for an additional can!

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einman
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#2 Post by einman » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:10 pm

Here are some additional photos alongside one of its distant relatives the Bausch & Lomb SZ7. Notice the color similarities. Where the Leica M80 goes to 60X the Bausch and Lomb goes to 70X. Both have comparable resolution although the Leica M80 has a significantly brighter image, much larger working distance and a wider FOV 23mm vs 20 mm. The SZ7 is all the more impressive though when you consider it is decades older.

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The accordion attachment on the head allows you to tilt the head back and forth. The LED is manufactured specifically for the Leica and is superb in both function, construction and design. I must say I am impressed with this scope. As mentioned I will compare it to my other stereoscopes in design, performance and technical specs within the next few weeks.

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75RR
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#3 Post by 75RR » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:39 am

I must admit that I tend to get my microscope shopping thrills vicariously (as I suffer from both an iron will and a lack of sufficient funds) - so thanks for today's high ;)

I am quite curious about the LED setup, is there any way you can take a peek and see how they have arranged to dim it?
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

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Radazz
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#4 Post by Radazz » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:59 pm

Beautiful!
Arnold, Missouri
Olympus IX70 HMC
Olympus BX40 Phase Contrast
Olympus SZ40 Stereoscope

einman
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#5 Post by einman » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:28 pm

75RR wrote:I must admit that I tend to get my microscope shopping thrills vicariously (as I suffer from both an iron will and a lack of sufficient funds) - so thanks for today's high ;)

I am quite curious about the LED setup, is there any way you can take a peek and see how they have arranged to dim it?
What do you mean? Internally? I can send you a brochure on their lighting systems if you think that might help. The LED system plugs into a switch supply that reduced the output to 33v and 34W. I can open it up and take a pic so you can see how it is put together.

These purchases are driven by curiosity as to their performance to price ratio compared to older scopes available online. Pretty much the majority of my posts lately. Upon satisfying my curiosity I sell them, some faster than others. As long as I can get what I paid for it then I am content. That is usually easiest when dealing with the big name brands. I have not tried to sell the Bestscope and despite my recently verifying that it has, in fact, the same optics as the Olympus BX series I would probably have problems selling it for anywhere near its retail. I had the opportunity to converse in some detail with a Leica dealer ( soon to be ex-Leica dealer, apparently Leica is eliminating their dealers and going direct)and he confirmed, and in some ways enlightened me, as to by whom and where the scopes are manufactured. He also confirmed that in those cases where the manufacturer is making stands for a name brand they have contracts which restrict them from making comparable unlabeled or alternatively labeled "research" grade scopes as I have conjectured in past posts. However, where they do not have a contract specifically prohibiting them from copying say the objectives, they may do so but can not use the brand name. I learned quite a bit more.. but that is not the intent of this thread.

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75RR
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#6 Post by 75RR » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:08 pm

What do you mean? Internally? I can send you a brochure on their lighting systems if you think that might help. The LED system plugs into a switch supply that reduced the output to 33v and 34W. I can open it up and take a pic so you can see how it is put together.
What with more manufactures using LEDs I was wondering how they differed from the home made LED conversions.
I downloaded this brochure. Not sure if that is the one you have.

Leica M50, M60 and M80
A fresh face for the laboratory: the Leica routine stereomicroscopes combine Leica's
legendary optical quality, many smart ergonomic solutions, and the extensive Leica
accessories program.


No details on the LED lighting system other than a feel-good blurb. Does the one you have actually provide details?
Then again, LED dimming on a stereoscope is probably not going to be the same as the one on a biological microscope.

Sorry to trouble you
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

einman
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#7 Post by einman » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:22 pm

I suspect it is no different in design than the many LED ring lights offered for sale on E-bay other than the components are of higher quality and better construction. I have a few of the cheaper LED ring lights and generally do not use them. In truth, though impressed by the design/construction of this particular LED light source, I am not a fan of ring lights in general. They tend to eliminate contrast and increase glare by nature of their vertical positioning. The glare from say a "shiny" specimen or a shiny surface etc. significantly reduces resolution.

It is for this reason I favor dual pipe or single pipe fiber optics or the IKEA lamps mentioned frequently.

When evaluating/comparing stereoscopes it is essential the source and positioning of the lighting be constant. Otherwise a stereoscope with incredible optics can appear to perform like a cheap toy.

Leica's LED systems are very expensive but have excellent engineering. In part because they use metal where others use plastic. Several of their lighting systems interface with your computer and can be controlled via their software.

einman
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#8 Post by einman » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:20 am

So I acquired an LED incident light stand for the Leica M80. It has a built in LED ring Light as well as an LED Pillar light. All of the LEDs are controlled by a single button which cycles through various configurations. Two additions buttons control the intensity. Leica's microscopes and accessories are ridiculously expensive although very well designed and built very solid. I purchased this stand on E-bay at a good price as the seller accepted my second offer.

The Leica M80 is an excellent scope and is supposed to be comparable to the Nikon SMZ-U in optical performance. However, given I currently only have a 0.63X objective I can not make a direct comparison yet, given the objective on the M80 has a lower na. I am still searching for a reasonably priced planachromat 1x objective as the lowest price I have seen to date has a starting price of $700.

I have no intention of paying that price even though it is about half that of other vendors. Here are some photos:

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Scarodactyl
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#9 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:32 am

I'm glad you're enjoying this one. I have heard bad things about the reliability of Leica stereos (I'm sure everyone has), but at the same time I see a lot of them in use when I visit my alma mater (and take some time to peek into the labs to see what they're using). It's certainly a very nice-looking instrument, and I know you know your stereo scopes. I'll have to keep an eye out for deals on one.

einman
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#10 Post by einman » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:00 am

I agree, Leica steroscopes do have somewhat of a bad reputation, primarily the lower end models like the S4 or S6. Those are, despite their prices, inferior to a B&L SZ7 or even an AO580 in terms of optical performance, although the FOV and brightness tends to be better.

Even so, I would much prefer a good SMZ-U or SZH10 to a Leica M50.M60, or M80 given the current prices. However, I acquired this one for a ridiculous price. You can find replacement plan objectives for both the SMZ-U and SZH-10 for well below the prices I have seen for plan objectives for the Leica M-series. Interestingly, you will note the scope manufacturers offering achromat objectives as cheaper alternatives to planachromats to keep the price down. The older scopes came with planachromats standard.

One other note. Leica is not one of my preferred brands given the hostility Leica has to the posting of older manuals etc online for enthusiasts like ourselves.

Scarodactyl
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#11 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:45 am

Out of curiosity, how do you think it would compare to their MZ6?

einman
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Re: New Scope Leica M80

#12 Post by einman » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:36 pm

The MZ6 is comparable to the M60 in terms of optical performance with both having a resolution of 225 lp/mm(na 0.075) using a 1x objective. They both have 40X magnification with a 1x objective. Although I believe the objectives for the MZ6 are less expensive to obtain on ebay and far more common.

The M80 is superior to the MZ6 with a resolution of 309 lp/mm (na 0.103)using a 1x objectiveand a mag level of 60x.

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