New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

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Hobbyst46
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New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#1 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:04 pm

mrsonchus wrote: imagine what you could do with a basic stereo 'scope
My recent experience with mosses made it clear that a stereoscope is a must. Initially, I opted for an AO 570, but the owner regretted and took it back. Then out of the blue came, from a local friend, a beige-colored Olympus VMZ 1X-4X, complete with eyepieces and 20W halogen illuminator and clear glass stage plate. Binocular, but my main purpose is vision and dissections, not photography. For a price of <$140. It is fully functional, only tiny issues that I will be happy to resolve:

1. Eyepieces are G10X LOW eyepoint. I might replace them with unbranded Chinese 10X high-eyepoint on eBay, at around $50 a pair.
@75RR - yes, the eyepiece tube diameter is 30mm...

2. The zoom ring rotates, but is somewhat stiff. I would appreciate advice on if and how to repair it. A repair manual would be great.

3. The 6V 20W halogen lamp provides a weaker illumination that I hoped for. The bulb seems OK, no inside blackening of burn-off.
On the other hand, the illuminator is well installed, and there are three built-in alternative modes - epi-, trans-, or epi+trans. With the highest supply voltage the stand already becomes hot, so unlikely that a higher wattage lamp is the answer. LED upgrade appears difficult, unless I give up the illuminator base. :?

Edit: I note that the upwards light reflector is a flat piece of frosted glass at an angle of (?) 45 degrees. Would it make sense to try and replace with a mirror, and diffuse the light by means of a very lightly frosted glass plate? Probably, Olympus know what is best, but nevertheless...

4. Cosmetic flaw - paint chips off the peripheral ring below the stage glass plate. I would appreciate advice if and how to touch it.

5. Stage clips are missing. There are 4 empty stage clip holes, diameter of ca 4-5mm, I do not know whether they are threaded and which thread. There is an eBay listing for threaded stage clips. Is there a standard for stage clips?
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Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

MicroBob
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#2 Post by MicroBob » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:20 pm

Hi Doron,
congratulations to you new stereo microscope. In my experience the risk of getting a bad one is higher than with compound microscopes, so it is good luck to be able to get one locally from a reputable source.
I have an older Oly SZ (the nuclear reactor model) and I think it came with the same eyepieces. If I remember right they were very low eyepoint, at least for me fairly shot sighted person. I first bought chinese eyepieces with high eye relief. They are good, but I didn't really felt them compatible with my eyes. Then I got newer Oly eyepieces and like them best. I can describe this closer when I'm at home the coming weekend.
Zoom-ring: No idea.
Paint: I would scrape an sand the loose paint away in a circular area and paint it black there. I would test the paint before, it has to become really hard, otherwise it will be difficult to remove the glass. Car painters could get you a real matching colour but too expensive in my eyes.

Light: I see it as a big advantage to have rechargable battery lights for the stereo microscope. So you might use a cheap chinese 3W LED torch with 18650 lithium battery on two arms like this: https://www.ebay.de/itm/Neewer-4-Stk-28 ... 0752.m1982

Stage clips: There is a screw in one of the holes.
They are standardized: Every manufacturer uses his own standard. :lol: I never had a use for stage clips on a steeo microscope. Usefull is a tiltable little table made from a steel ball and a magnet.

Bob

Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#3 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:02 pm

Thanks Bob!
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Scarodactyl
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#4 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:29 pm

I have found that I use fiber optic illumination more than anything else, even when using a specialized gem microscope with nice darkfield illumination. 150w fiber optic illuminators aren't very expensive, though tracking one down with a forked poseable gooseneck can be a bit more of a pain. Totally worth it though.
Last edited by Scarodactyl on Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PeteM
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#5 Post by PeteM » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:12 pm

With respect to the repair manual -- I've seen Olympus manuals for the "SZ" series, which uses the same sort of ring-adjustable ring as yours. Example: https://www.atecorp.com/atecorp/media/p ... Mnaual.pdf

What I don't know is the differences between the Olympus SZ models (I have several) and the VMZ model you have.

Does anyone know the differences? I'd guess the more angularly shaped VMZ models are somewhat newer; but perhaps very similar inside??

Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#6 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:27 pm

PeteM wrote:With respect to the repair manual -- I've seen Olympus manuals for the "SZ" series, which uses the same sort of ring-adjustable ring as yours. Example: https://www.atecorp.com/atecorp/media/p ... Mnaual.pdf

What I don't know is the differences between the Olympus SZ models (I have several) and the VMZ model you have.

Does anyone know the differences? I'd guess the more angularly shaped VMZ models are somewhat newer; but perhaps very similar inside??
Thanks a lot, PeteM. Having seen the SZ manual and assembly drawings, I guess the mechanical principles are more or less similar, in that the zooming ring apparently rotates 3-4 small levers, which in turn rotate a helicoid inside. I would then have to dismantle deep enough to reach old dried grease (suspected reason of the stiff zooming ring) inside the helicoid. With the risk of ruining the objective alignment and balance, where special tools are needed to repair. And the trouble is, that the manual is does not refer to my specific problem - a difficult to rotate zooming ring. Rather, it addresses re-alignment.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

MicroBob
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#7 Post by MicroBob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:09 am

Hi Doron,
I compared the three eyepiece types I have:
-Oly old: Extremely low eye point for me with my -7 dpt. Terrible.
-Chinese new: Highest eyepoint, best for use with glasses, eyes have to be positioned a little more precisely than with Oly newer
-Oly newer: Widest field of view, but no big advantage over chineses ones, medium high eyepoint, a little more forgiving with eye position over eyepiece, nicer for use without glasses.

All give a similar quality of view.

So you wouldn't do wrong buying the chinese eyepieces.

I think the round lower portion of the microscope head is just a cover over the zoom mechanics. When you can remove it, you should be able to clean the guides without disturbing anything.

Bob
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Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#8 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:57 am

Thanks very much Bob for the comparison! I will go with the Chinese eyepieces, they are more affordable than original Olympus GWH10X on eBay.

I understand now why you called the SZ model "reactor" type! but the VMZ has a different top. Quite flat. I suspect that it is held in place by means of the two tiny screws, one of which is encircled (green) in the photo below. But I'm not sure, perhaps there are other retaining screws beneath the bulky eyepiece tubes. Before opening Pandora's box...
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MicroBob
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#9 Post by MicroBob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:03 am

The zoom mechanism is in the lower part of the microscope head, under the tubular cover. I would remove the head from the stand and look for screws holding the cover.
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Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#10 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:40 am

I removed the head from the stand. There are no visible retaining or set screws on it, other from the three "groups" of screws:
Encircled in green - two of them, beneath the eyepiece domes/tubes.
Encircled in yellow - two of them, on the bottom of the eyepiece domes. Probably not related to the zoom.
Encircled in blue - three of them, vertical (parallel to the optical axis), seemingly connecting the lower wide tube (that covers the objectives) to the zooming ring? are these the key screws here?

I cannot manage to rotate or "unscrew" the objective cover tube. Should it be possible? perhaps it is not just screwed in but retained with a Loktite adhesive, to prevent the user (me) from tinkering with it?
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Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#11 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:57 am

Scarodactyl wrote:I have found that I use fiber optic illumination more than anything else, even when using a specialized gem microscope with nice darkfield illumination. 150w fiber optic illuminators aren't very expensive, though tracking one down with a forked poseable gooseneck can be a bit more of a pain. Totally worth it though.
Thanks Scarodactyl ! Yes, gooseneck fiber optics are excellent, but will take too much of my tiny bench space. For the epi-illumination there are other solutions, even a LED ring, but am more concerned with the trans-illumination. It works fine, just less bright than optimal.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

MichaelG.
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#12 Post by MichaelG. » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:45 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:... am more concerned with the trans-illumination. It works fine, just less bright than optimal.
To quote myself, from a previous thread:
If you want a 'quick fix' for the lighting, try these:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-LED-Nigh ... 2900726945
They are useable on the stereo for either incident or transmitted lighting
good colour rendering; usefully bright soft light; easy to use; and bargain priced !

They'e cheap enough anyway, but ranpo-technology sells a few on auction, and provides excellent postal service.
< disclaimer: I'm just a satisfied customer >
MichaelG.
Too many 'projects'

MicroBob
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#13 Post by MicroBob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:21 pm

Hi Doron,
I would loosen the blue ones first and look whether the tubular cover starts to move while the optics stay in place.
For your transmitted light: Can't you place a stronger LED somwhere? It can't take so much power.

Bob

Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#14 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:04 pm

MicroBob wrote:Hi Doron,
I would loosen the blue ones first and look whether the tubular cover starts to move while the optics stay in place.
For your transmitted light: Can't you place a stronger LED somwhere? It can't take so much power.

Bob
So I did - loosened the three blue screws. The cover included within the red rectangle moves. That includes the black zooming ring. What do you suggest to do next?
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MicroBob
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#15 Post by MicroBob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:39 pm

Did the objectives move too?
I don't have this microscope and can just supply some vague hints. :(
There are lens pairs moving up and down steered by some kind of mechanics. When reassembling the black ring will have to be coupled to this mechanics.
You might post the question in german www.mikroskopie-forum.de or american www.photomacrography.net/.

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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#16 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:44 pm

MicroBob wrote:Did the objectives move too?
No. they are stationary. I think that the zoom with this Greenough head is complex, since the zoom moves each tube diagonally, their tips approach each other upon zoom-in. Apparently, the part that is now loose is not just a "cover", but is really connected to the mechanism.
Actually, the stiff movement of the zooming ring is not much of an issue for grown-up microscopists, but I am preparing it for use by children, so I prefer it to be easily rotatable.
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MicroBob
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#17 Post by MicroBob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:02 pm

Often stiff movements lead to much increased wear in microscopes. Either you dig into it on your own or ask in one of the forums for advice.

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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#18 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:41 pm

Thanks. Looks like I am risking damage to the zoom if I dig in on my own, especially without a repair manual.

Edited: bottom line - this time, service by a professional machinist solved the problem.
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Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#19 Post by Hobbyst46 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:55 pm

Update: new inexpensive Chinese no-brand 10XWF FN=23 eyepieces, instead of the original Olympus G10X FN=22.
(thanks MicroBob for the recommendation).
The small extra FOV is not so important - but the new ones have a high eyepoint, about 15-20mm, vs about 10mm highpoint of the old ones. That makes a big difference in the convenience of use, especially for eyeglass wearers. Also, The new eyepieces come with small rubber eyecups. A Very satisfactory deal.
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Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#20 Post by Hobbyst46 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:59 pm

Update: so now the noble Olympus VMZ stereo is equipped with:
a home-made LED trans-illuminator
a pair of inexpensive 10X23 WF non-brand eyepieces
an inexpensive non-brand LED epi-illuminator
and an inexpensive 5MP industrial camera that came with Toupview software. The camera includes a 0.5X coated relay lens within a short tube.

And they all work nicely together.
The camera and tube adapters (for tubes of 23.2, 30.0 or 30.5mm inner diameter) are made of aluminum or similar metal.

Issue (1): Each adapter is wrapped with an O-ring, to provide tight fitting inside the tube. However, sliding the adapter into the tube is difficult and apparently should be done along a helical path. I consider smearing the o-ring with silicone grease for easier fitting.

Issue (2): White balance in Toupview. There is an option of auto-white balance. But, if that option is not selected, I thought that custom white balance is possible, yet I can't figure out how. There is a slider to set color temperature, but there seems to be no way to select an area of the FOV to set white balance. The software Help instruction manual claims that a red square should show up on the captured image, for selecting a region as white balance base line. But this does not happen - no red square or any other aid. So, if anyone has an idea, I would appreciate. Thanks in advance.

Shown below are the setup, and a quick example of a spike of a plant, resized for uploading, the white balance was corrected in pp.
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mrsonchus
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#21 Post by mrsonchus » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:10 pm

Hi hobby', don't worry, it's pretty easy once you know how!

When the various drop-downs on the left are opened, some of them put a broken-lined box on the screen to enable this to be used, by resizing it and dragging it, to define the region to be 'used' for whichever feature you've selected and dropped-down on the left. So, look around the edge of the live image and you'll see the box for the selected dropdown (e.g. exposure and white-balance both put on a box and one may obscure the other if you have both dropdowns open together...). Make sure no other boxes are present by closing the other options that may also put up their own box.

So, in short, the camera selection box (also on the left) is fine open as it has no box, close the others such as exposure and open just the white-balance drop-down. Look for the broken-line box around the screen's periphery then drag a corner to make it smaller, then drag the smaller box over the area of the image that you wish to use for white-balance setting - usually a background area to set a white balance.

The same method is used for exposure setting, resize the box, drag over the area of the image that you wish to use to set exposure... and so-on.

John B. :)
John B

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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#22 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:57 pm

mrsonchus wrote:Hi hobby', don't worry, it's pretty easy once you know how!

When the various drop-downs on the left are opened, some of them put a broken-lined box on the screen to enable this to be used, by resizing it and dragging it, to define the region to be 'used' for whichever feature you've selected and dropped-down on the left. So, look around the edge of the live image and you'll see the box for the selected dropdown (e.g. exposure and white-balance both put on a box and one may obscure the other if you have both dropdowns open together...). Make sure no other boxes are present by closing the other options that may also put up their own box.

So, in short, the camera selection box (also on the left) is fine open as it has no box, close the others such as exposure and open just the white-balance drop-down. Look for the broken-line box around the screen's periphery then drag a corner to make it smaller, then drag the smaller box over the area of the image that you wish to use for white-balance setting - usually a background area to set a white balance.

The same method is used for exposure setting, resize the box, drag over the area of the image that you wish to use to set exposure... and so-on.

John B. :)
Thanks John B for the quick answer and support. I tried, but failed so far. The selection squares mentioned in the Toupview manual do not appear. When I changed the selection tool from the default palm to square, as shown in the photo, there appears a cursor - a small white cross (+). With is I can draw an ROI, of a white dashed border, as shown in the photo. But I do not see any way to "apply" this ROI. The white balance bar, when expanded (see photo), includes just an "Auto" box, a slider and a "default" pushbutton. So, I leave the box unchecked, but there is no control tool to set anything on the basis of this selected ROI. The default pushbutton just sets the slider to a preset value (4500 in my case).
My Toupview version is x64, 3.7.8481, built in 2017.
Perhaps it is all related to my camera, which is one of the cheapests - yet I was guessing that white balance is a software tool that should be applicable to all cameras...
What is your opinion?
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#23 Post by mrsonchus » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:34 pm

Hi, the ROI will allow you to 'take snaps' just of this region - can be very handy when you wish to make for example a stack but only of a particular part of your camera's view. Each layer captured will be only of the selection, to stack in the usual way. ToupView's stacking is amazingly fast also!

I'll have a look at ToupView again tonight just to make sure I'm giving you accurate info. Back later with a few screen-shots and hopefully a definitive solution.

John B.
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#24 Post by mrsonchus » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:34 pm

Hi again,
here are a couple of screen-grabs showing the ToupView screen and those boxes,

With image,
ws_tview screen snipped.jpg
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Black image shows boxes more clearly, two on screen at once,
ws_tview screen snipped 2.jpg
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Hope this helps a little.

John B.
John B

Hobbyst46
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#25 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:21 pm

Thanks again, John B. The pics you showed help.
Clearly, the user interface shown in the screen captures you posted is exactly what it should be according to the instruction manual. The interface in my copy of Toupview is not, it lacks some control buttons, as well as the green and red overlays on the video screen. The title of my software is Toupview, not Touplite or other version. So, either my copy of the software is not up-to-date or, more likely, my camera lacks some features, and the user interface depends on the recognized camera, so some of the controls are hidden, since they are ineffective anyway. I would expect, though, that a non-relevant control icon would be visible "greyed", i. e. disabled, and not invisible, but who knows. This software is astonishingly sophisticated...
I mailed a question to Touptek, hopefully will be answered, so I can inform about the results.
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Re: New stereo microscope for Mr. Moss

#26 Post by mrsonchus » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:51 pm

Hi, I think you can download ToupView here.

The first link on the RH larger panel of the page is the one - ToupTekToupViewSetup as it's written, in blue....

Download the setup exe file and run it, the installation program will begin - easy. The current version is 3.7.
It's a complete program and is completely legitimately free.

John B.
John B

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