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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 12:32 pm 
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Posts: 1973
Dave S wrote:
...When I buy a Canon 'L series lens for my camera, I know exactly what I am getting in terms of build quality, and optical performance. Unfortunately, this is not the case with my buying a Chinese microscope.
The same goes for big-4 and other top-quality microscopes, old and antique, vs new stencil microscopes. In fact, it is even more problematic for microscopes, because of the amount of mechanical moving parts. The experience and ability to estimate the value of an advertised microscope has been recently called "snobbery"...

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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 1:37 pm 
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Location: UK (England)
Radazz wrote:
If I were purchasing my first microscope, I wouldn’t hesitate to get a basic Chinese microscope to start with. Learn all I could using it, until I decided which aspect of the hobby appealed to me the most and then look for a scope with the features I need to go there.
Radazz


Yep, start from the ground up, learn, and move up, if and when the time feels right.

I could afford to buy a 'high end' microscope now, but I plan to take the sensible route, and buy a budget to mid-point Chinese microscope, see if the hobby grabs my interest, and if it does, then I will 'set my sights higher'. If it doesn't, then nothing much invested, donate it to the local school, and move on. :)

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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 6:02 am 
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Many microscopists have at least one additional simple microscope to take outdoors, on trips or to meetings. This would be a role where a beginners microscope could fit in when he moves on to something better.

Bob


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 7:25 am 
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Scarodactyl wrote:
Which one, and which style? I believe the later Gemolite bases (VII-X) were built in China, possibly by Chlight--if not, they make or perhaps made a very passable base that is very similar and built to the same standard. Similarly, the newer Motic gem scopes have a reputation for being quite decent and I see them in use a lot (notably by Lotus/Richard Hughes, no slouches gemologically). On the other hand there are the cheaper plasticy bases with poorer heads, and worse the non-tilting ones with an add-on nonswitchable darkfield condenser. That all being said, the Chinese gem scopes have intrigued me but I've never seen one used for cheaper than a used gemolite, which is such an excellent value I've never had an excuse to pick one up, and I'm quite curious about them.


It its this one, An AmScope. No model info anywhere. Has been sitting in the closet ever since.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:27 am 
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Oh wow, I have only ever seen this model on alibaba and eBay, never in someone's hands. I'll admit I have been kind if curious about these mid models since they're somewhere between a boring flat base with a fixed darkfield condenser and a full gemolite clone. Too bad it's a dud. If you don't mind me pressing for more, is it the head, lighting, ergonomics, all of the above? I have heard from some satisfied customers on their higher end base though, in addition to dissatisfied ones.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 11:10 am 
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Scarodactyl wrote:
Oh wow, I have only ever seen this model on alibaba and eBay, never in someone's hands. I'll admit I have been kind if curious about these mid models since they're somewhere between a boring flat base with a fixed darkfield condenser and a full gemolite clone. Too bad it's a dud. If you don't mind me pressing for more, is it the head, lighting, ergonomics, all of the above? I have heard from some satisfied customers on their higher end base though, in addition to dissatisfied ones.


It's a few years now so I can't remember details. But people were not all that impressed with optical quality, same with ergonomics. Also there was some free play with the controls.

Edit: about longevity I can't say anything specific regarding this unit as the thing was never really used after testing. What I have heard from elsewhere does not exactly inspire confidence, though.

The idea was to test if it's possible to find something relatively good at a reasonable price. That was not the case. This one is probably ok for a beginner or some light use. Absolutely not for professional use or for a serious hobbyist.

We will stick with Zeiss top models at work and I will stick with Wild top models at home :-)


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:37 pm 
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Posts: 313
Thanks for the info. It's good to finally get some first-person intel on them.
That being said, I'm not sure it's entirely fair to compare amscope's next-worst gem microscope against a high-end Zeiss or Wild scope and conclude from it that Chinese microscopes are bad? Not that Amscope sells anything that'd go head to head with a good Wild or Zeiss and come out ahead, but their CMO models are not garbage. I really wish I knew who was making them. I have also heard generally good things about some of the Nikon clones coming out of China, though it's hard to know if you're getting the same thing as someone else if you don't go through the same vendor. It's unclear to me if there are several factories putting out identical-appearing scopes, or what.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 6:28 am 
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Scarodactyl wrote:
Thanks for the info. It's good to finally get some first-person intel on them.
That being said, I'm not sure it's entirely fair to compare amscope's next-worst gem microscope against a high-end Zeiss or Wild scope and conclude from it that Chinese microscopes are bad? Not that Amscope sells anything that'd go head to head with a good Wild or Zeiss and come out ahead, but their CMO models are not garbage. I really wish I knew who was making them. I have also heard generally good things about some of the Nikon clones coming out of China, though it's hard to know if you're getting the same thing as someone else if you don't go through the same vendor. It's unclear to me if there are several factories putting out identical-appearing scopes, or what.


Yes, a direct comparison would not be fair. However, we were not expecting Zeiss top model quality. Rather we hoped for something "pretty good" for more routine stuff. This unit was not a CMO, though, as you can see from the pic from below.

For student and general use, we have about ten Zeiss Stemi 2000 units and those are actually extremely good for the purpose. Perhaps even slight overkill. Decades ago my institute used Soviet Union Lomo stereos for student use / field courses. Those were optically ok for that level of use but prone to mechanical problems and not very good in terms of ergonomics. We gave all of them away to schools etc. years ago.

Our current imaging stereo is a Zeiss Stereo Discovery V.12 with an objective revolver, a couple PlanApos and a very wide selection of different lights etc. It is extremely well liked.

But at heart, I'm a Wild guy :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 am 
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Location: NorthWest England
This makes interesting reading:
https://www.shanghai-optics.com/design/reverse-engineering/

MichaelG.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:56 pm 
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Thanks, MichaelG. for the link.. Quite interesting...

Regards,
BillT


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:03 am 
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Location: NorthWest England
billbillt wrote:
Thanks, MichaelG. for the link.. Quite interesting...

I think it nicely demonstrates the global nature of modern business.
The whole site is very impressive, and they seem to be very competent.

It would be easy to interpret this reverse-engineering offering as 'evidence' of a Chinese threat ... but this is a company with a presence in USA, Canada, and Australia

MichaelG.

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Too many 'projects'


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:15 pm 
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I am sure some will see it as "proof" that the Chinese "steal" all technology, and can't do their own innovations..

BillT


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:33 pm 
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Posts: 1344
Location: NorthWest England
;)

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