Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

What equipment do you use? Post pictures and descriptions of your microscope(s) here!
Post Reply
Message
Author
Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#1 Post by Scarodactyl » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:47 am

There has recently been some interest in people posting their own first-hand experiences with Chinese microscopes, so I thought I should contribute. I'll try to get to the very popular Nikon SMZ series lookalikes in a bit, but for now I wanted to post a quick review of this Wild M3 clone:
Image
This baby is branded Parco (I'm as shocked as anyone that Parco sold something this nice, given their reputation--they don't sell them anymore anyway) but it is also sold by Mitutoyo, Motic, formerly by Unitron and many other suppliers.
This one is a clone of a later version of the Wild M3 (the earlier tan M3 took a 20mm post, this one takes a 25mm post and has a 50mm threaded objective). It has three zoom settings, 6.4x, 25x and 40x. I believe they also made one that's more like an M3C, with five zoom settings.

Optically, my impression is that it is comparable or a bit better than my old tan M3. It has a nice image but there is significant doming and curvature of field at the lowest zoom setting. I sold the M3 a while back, though, so I can't give a fine comparison.

Construction is very solid on it, metal everywhere like the old days--the only decision that seemed weird to me was a bit of surgical tubing that they apparently put in to smooth the motion of the lens drum, which had fallen off on one end and jammed things up. It was easy to remove and works well without it. It is clearly a very close copy. This one came with 10x/21 eyepieces, but they also have 10x/23 eyepieces which I have tried and give a nice wide field of view.

The head is fully compatible with Wild/Leica M series microscopes, which is also nice in light of how expensive those can get. I am not sure it is quite as good, though--the image produced is great, but when I look in a stereo there's always a small delay before the image converges, and the Chinese head's images are a little further apart than a Wild or Leica head. I don't know if that actually matters though. Actual alignment has been good on the two heads I have tried, in that both eyepieces saw the exact same FoV when properly set up.

Whoever makes these also makes clones of the M5 and the M7 (apparently two flavors of M7-alikes), including teaching bridges, drawing attachments and trinoc ports. I also have one of the trinoc ports--it works on a Leica and takes 38mm accessories, and has an iris as well. It does not look like as close of a clone as the rest of the scope, though, and the design feels a little cheaper. Still, given how expensive a used Leica trinoc port can be having the option of buying one new for a decent price is pretty nice.

Overall, it's beautifully made and really feels like a quality product. That being said, as you would expect quality comes at a price in China as anywhere else. From what I can tell these are around 1500usd new. At that price you could get a used genuine Wild with some excellent accessories and have a bunch of cash left over. But used they sometimes go for a lot less than genuine Wild, so if you're in the market for a basic stereo and see one for a good price you should definitely consider it.
Last edited by Scarodactyl on Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

PeteM
Posts: 1251
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:22 am
Location: N. California

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good!

#2 Post by PeteM » Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:10 am

Thanks for that review.

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good!

#3 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:59 pm

OK, let's get to the meat of things. I got it set up on a proper stand (one of these very well-priced modern Wild reproductions https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3944544346) and took some comparison pictures. I don't have a Wild M3 on hand, but I do have a Leica MZ6, equipped with their lowest-end non-plan achro objective. That's not an entirely fair comparison (this is a copy of the original M3, while the MZ6 is a descendant of the more advanced M3Z, but the MZ6 has a continuous zoom vs the simpler step zoom of this Parco scope) but it seems like it should be of interest.
How does it hold up? Pretty well, I think.
These shots were taken using the same Wild beamsplitter, direct projected onto my Canon EOS T6, on different stands but using the same cheap LED ring light. Exposure isn't always ideal on these shots, I was controlling it from my phone over wifi.
First the M3 clone (click for full size), in increasing mag order (.64x, 2.5x and 4x)
Image
Image
Image
There is pretty obvious blue-yellow CA on high contrast stuff, as well as spherical abberations.
So let's try a more interesting subject, a plate of uvarovite garnet crystals:
Image
Image
Image
On a more realistic subject than text on paper I think it does fairly well.

Now the MZ6, taken at nominally the same magnifications using the zoom knob:
Image
Image
Image
Similar levels of CA visible, maybe a bit less. Magnification levels aren't quite the same either.
Image
Image
Image
On the Uvarovite performance is also similar. Here they are at max mag, side by side:
Image

Obviously, if you have a choice between the two at the same price point you'd want a real Wild or a real Leica. The original M3 it's a copy of is a solid and beautiful scope but not top of the line. That being said, I am quite pleased with the performance of the clone.

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#4 Post by jfiresto » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:33 pm

For comparison, here are some images from a ca. 1980 Wild M3, using an even older Wild 376788 photo tube, projecting directly onto the sensor of a 12 megapixel, Micro Four Thirds Olympus E-PL3 camera, with no additional optics. The text is from a 1200 dpi laser printer with ca. 5 µm toner particles. The color cast is from a single, IKEA Jansjö lamp that fooled the camera's auto white balance sensing. The full frame images are decimated to 1024 pixels wide; the center crops show 1:1 the camera's JPEG pixels.

6.4x_full_frame.jpg
6.4x_full_frame.jpg (196.98 KiB) Viewed 7478 times
6.4x_center_crop.jpg
6.4x_center_crop.jpg (82.44 KiB) Viewed 7478 times
16x_full_frame.jpg
16x_full_frame.jpg (201.5 KiB) Viewed 7478 times
16x_center_crop.jpg
16x_center_crop.jpg (158 KiB) Viewed 7478 times

I closed the photo tube iris half way to bring more of the periphery into focus. I will try a more modern tube and camera to see how much that improves the images.
Last edited by jfiresto on Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
-John

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#5 Post by jfiresto » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:34 pm

...
40x_full_frame.jpg
40x_full_frame.jpg (177.62 KiB) Viewed 7478 times
40x_center_crop.jpg
40x_center_crop.jpg (123.2 KiB) Viewed 7478 times
-John

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#6 Post by Scarodactyl » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:08 pm

Thanks! I appreciate that. These are better pictures for showing quality as well (I was kind of rushed in taking mine, and ring lights are not very flattering on this type of subject).
The M3 family definitely shows some CA, and doming distortion as well in the earlier ones (though that doesn't show up in photos like it does in the eyes). But they're still awfully nice.

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#7 Post by jfiresto » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:36 pm

I am glad they were helpful. I wanted to include some shots of a green mineral, but have misplaced it.

It is funny. All this time, I saw but never really felt the original Wild M3's, enthusiastic dome distortion – until a few minutes ago, when I looked at the text, again, in stereo, through the eyepieces. I had grown used to the images from an M7x which, by comparison, look plano plano.
-John

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#8 Post by Scarodactyl » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:32 pm

It's a common issue with CMOs at lower magnifications, even some thst were rather high end in their day (like the Nikon SMZ-10).
The m7 is a later scope, and it does deliver excellent views. I wonder how the Chinese M7 clone compares, but they only seem to be sold as part of a very expensive teaching bridge setup. There is one on eBay now listed as a Parco SMZ 7.

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#9 Post by jfiresto » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:29 pm

I believe the Motic K700 is a derivative. You can get both single and dual observer versions from Ted Pella. Their prices appear reasonable. They list the Motic 1500.3 photo bridge for $190. I have seen it as high as $300.
-John

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#10 Post by Scarodactyl » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:38 pm

The k700 is pretty similar (maybe it's modeled after the original M7?) but the one I'm thinking of is an M7a clone:
Image
Motic doesn't sell this one.

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#11 Post by jfiresto » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:53 pm

Could that be Motic's previous model that Parco has copied, and a copier being copied?

I ask because Motic continues to sell the spitting image of Parco's photo adapter, for the K700 – and ask their customers to mix visual styles: Swiss rounded and Chinese rounded rectangular.
-John

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#12 Post by Scarodactyl » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:51 pm

I have heard that Motic doesn't actually make these, but instead get them from a supplier like everyone else. Parco certainly doesn't make anything, they just resell scopes (usually the cheapest type of stuff, though these were an exception). In theory Motic could be the original source and stenciling for other sellers, but I have found the m7a-alike model still on offer on alibaba.

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#13 Post by jfiresto » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:47 pm

The pictures I posted earlier are somewhat pathological, in that they try to excite the optical shortcomings of the microscope rather than demonstrate its strengths. The Wild M3 was sold as a "routine" microscope, designed to efficiently support daily production and inspection, in the field or on the factory floor. Its subjects have considerable and much more interesting relief and variation that push those shortcomings into the shadows.

I bought a used, die cast T-connector off ebay that has a rusted nut that just will not come out. So, I put the casting under the microscope and took a picture at 6.4X. Here is the JPEG out of the E-PL3, first decimated to 1024 points across and then cropped, with the original pixels, around the top of the nut:

casting_nut_full.jpg
casting_nut_full.jpg (157.92 KiB) Viewed 7354 times
casting_nut_crop.jpg
casting_nut_crop.jpg (155.18 KiB) Viewed 7354 times

Here is a stereo microscope that is in its element. I think I will spoil the seller sending him the picture.
-John

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#14 Post by Scarodactyl » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:59 pm

Two more things:
First, I got the scope mounted on its new home, a vintage GIA microscope base.
Image
I also found this old link: http://www.labtek.net/Wesco-motic.htm
It looks like Motic had an 'm series' before their current 'k series' which includes both my M3 clone (3 magnification) and the M7 clone above. Their K series likely aren't very different aside from updated styling (which I don't like quite as much because it isn't as similar to the Wild look) and excluding the M300 style 3 mag changer. I have one of those M7 clones (just a single head) coming in soon because I'm an idiot who can't say no to a good deal on something I'm curious about. That doesnt' really answer whether Motic actually makes these or if they get them from a supplier, especially since the old style M700z is offered for sale in a few places still.

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#15 Post by jfiresto » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:20 pm

Scarodactyl wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:59 pm
... I have one of those M7 clones (just a single head) coming in soon because I'm an idiot who can't say no to a good deal on something I'm curious about....
You never know: it may come in handy. If it copies the Wild M7/M7A, it will have the amusing trick of being rather axial and letting you rotate the optics, in place, to any horizontal angle with respect to the stand.

I recently acquired a badly worn, Wild double-rail boom stand (an 18 kg beast) on which I will now mount an M7A I have been wanting to use as a video microscope. The trick is made to order as I will be able to swing the arm and microscope from side to side, and at or at nearly the same time, rotate the microscope within its cradle, to level the image shown by the monitor.
-John

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#16 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:33 am

The M7 clone came in. Visually it is a very close copy--the only really major difference is that the focus mount is permanently attached, rather than being on a standard 76mm removeable ring (the only 76mm scope wild made). I really wish it were a 76mm scope, because the performance seems quite good. Nice smooth zoom action, and a flatter field of view than the M3 clone, with overall performance that really does seem quite comparable to a real M7. I think I'm even more impressed with this one, though it's in worse shape than the M3 clone (including quite a few scratches on the objective which seem to have no visible effect on performance, as is often the case).
A few bad pictures, better ones later:
Image
Image

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#17 Post by jfiresto » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:38 am

Scarodactyl wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:33 am
The M7 clone came in. Visually it is a very close copy--the only really major difference is that the focus mount is permanently attached rather than being on a standard 76mm removable ring....
What is the diameter of the ring? In your second photograph, are those a couple, radial set screws / set screw holes? (Just sending some positive waves.)
-John

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#18 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:05 pm

There are a couple set screw holes there, but unfortunately they don't hold the head in (and indeed don't seem to be occupied at all). They also put the magnification marker on the ring, so it's definitely meant to be permanently installed in the same orientation.

One other thing I like less about it than the M3 clone is that the bottom objective is not a 50mm thread, but a larger assembly held on with three screws. That said, I think this is like the M7, and since the objective seems to perform better than the removeable one on the M3 I can't complain too much, though it'd be nice to be able to replace or upgrade it.

jfiresto
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:19 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#19 Post by jfiresto » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:16 pm

Scarodactyl wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:05 pm
... They also put the magnification marker on the ring, so it's definitely meant to be permanently installed in the same orientation..
Well, that does put a damper on that hope.
One other thing I like less about it than the M3 clone is that the bottom objective is not a 50mm thread, but a larger assembly held on with three screws.... it'd be nice to be able to replace or upgrade [the objective].
I remember someone listed what looked to be an M7 microscope to M3 objective adapter on ebay.de a year or two ago. I should have saved the images for possible, later photogrammetry.
-John

einman
Posts: 1288
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:03 am

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#20 Post by einman » Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:58 pm

I have owned many Chinese clones and have mentioned in the past that at magnifications less than or equal to 40X they are quite comparable to the better known brands such as Nikon, Zeiss etc. It is only at the higher magnifications, if even available, they tend to have poorer optics.

But as you mentioned the higher quality Chinese clones new tend to become pricey for a typical hobbyist and used examples of research grade stereoscopes such as the Nikon SMZ-U or the Olympus SZH10 are better choices.

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#21 Post by Scarodactyl » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:36 pm

I would rate these highly relative to other lower-cost chinese clones I have tried. Optically the higher end smz-800/1000 clones have objectives that seem almost identical to the nikon planachro 1xes, and perform even up to 80x mag, but that comes at a high cost new.

But these are good for hobbyists to be aware of because noname scopes often sell for pennies used, even relative to name brand used prices. Both of these were way cheaper than a used Wild would be, heck they were cheaper than a Wild binocular tube would be. And if you want higher mag...
Image
There is technically no law against this, even if it's kind of dumb to do.

einman
Posts: 1288
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:03 am

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#22 Post by einman » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:10 pm

I agree the Chinese scopes are quite a good value. Given nearly all scopes are made in China, regardless of the brand, it gives the manufacturers access to the same technology. They typically package it into older style stands with various names or even unbranded. I have found they are hesitant or downright refuse to provide technical specs such as numeric aperture etc.

At least they did when I was writing a paper comparing stereoscopes a few years back.

Rorschach
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:44 am

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#23 Post by Rorschach » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:52 am

jfiresto wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:16 pm

I remember someone listed what looked to be an M7 microscope to M3 objective adapter on ebay.de a year or two ago. I should have saved the images for possible, later photogrammetry.
I think I was the one who bought that adapter :D I have it stashed somewhere but never tested it. I am in the process of selling my Wild M7S along with a couple of other Wild stereos (I have five, and building a sixth one) to cull the herd and to please the wife, so I will likely include the adapter with the M7S and maybe a phototube as well.

Rorschach
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:44 am

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#24 Post by Rorschach » Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:07 pm

I might try using that adapter before I sell the M7S. I happen to have a 1x PlanApo, 1x Plan and 1.6x Plan that are for M3 series Wild...Putting any of those on the M7S might be a killer combo for someone who is into photomicrography :-)

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#25 Post by Scarodactyl » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:45 pm

I would think so, yes. The m7 really is quite nice--I'll admit I prefer knobs to a rotating turret system but the nice view and easy integration to 76mm systems make up for it (much easier than later leica 76mm m series with their weird mounting geometry that doesn't work with many other focus mounts). I wonder if there will be added mag or other effects from the different objective, as with putting an m65 objective on an m50 system. I assume they had some reason to put it together like they did instead of giving it a compatible m50 thread, though maybe just to allow for a wider FoV?

Lifephoto
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:09 am

Re: Chinese scopes & Wild PLANAPO 1.6 OBJECTIVE; What does it fit?

#26 Post by Lifephoto » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:39 am

I need some advice in relation to my Wild PLANAPO 1.6 objective (Wild 445356)
I finally have managed to learn that it fits the Wild M3B, M3C, and M3Z (is that correct?)
In relation to the following, what advice can anyone give - - based on their experience.

Note I have a Wild M5 with phototube. Also, my Wild Macroscope, also set up for a camera, needs its image to be improved.
( beware, spell check keeps changing Macro - - - to Micro - - - in the above sentence, so I am not sure what will be posted.)

My experience with the PLANAPO 1.6:
The PLANAPO 1.6 does not engage properly in my Wild M5, but held in place yields beautiful chromatic aberration free images.
Similarly held up to an adapter I have for my Wild Macroscope, it yields beautiful chromatic aberration free images.
I am working toward adapting it to my Macroscoope adapter (however, then that will yield only one magnification).
Can anyone offer advice for a scope option to give a fine photographic capability with multiple magnifications.

I see mention of an adapter that may let this PLANAPO 1.6 be mounted on my M5, how can such an adapter be identified.

I am also intrigued in relation to the Wild M7S ? ? ?

Any other input would be much appreciated.

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#27 Post by Scarodactyl » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:55 pm

What is the thread diameter on your 1.6x objective? 50mm or 65mm?
There were two different m50 threads with different pitch used as I understand it, though I can't remember off the top of my head which is which.
I think the M5 used the same pitch as the original M3, and the pitch was changed for the m3b, m3c and m3z (which carried forward onto the mz6, mz75, mz8 etc).

I am a bit confused about your macroscope reference. Do you mean an M400 series macroscope or an m20 macrotube? The m400 series don't have full interchangeable front objectives like an m series stereo, though they accept aux lenses. I suspect there would be some screweyness if you attached a full cmo objective in place of an aux.

Lifephoto
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:09 am

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#28 Post by Lifephoto » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:56 pm

THANKS for your quick reply Scarodactyl. The thread diameter of my 1.6 objective is 50mm, the same as the objective on the Wild M5. However, the pitch is clearly different. The lens engages into my M5 but does not thread properly, so I do not force it. Thanks for confirming the pitch specs matching from my M5 through the M3 (got to love the non-sequential number sequence of Wild models !). Thanks for confirming that later models of the M3 series - - the m3b, m3c and m3z as well as later models - - have a changed thread pitch, so they will likely match the pitch of my 1.6 lens ! !

There is a Wild M3z being offered now with the Planapo 1.6 objective, so my objective likely fits the M3z (as well as the M3b and M3c). My bias is to avoid a zoom scope for photography, because of the difficulty of designing corrected optics to perform in a zoom mode. Do you agree with my bias toward liking discrete changes in magnification, such as with the M3b and M3c ?

Do you know whether the Wild M series stereoscopes and the Macroscope utilize finite objectives ? It appears that they do, because other finite optics form good images on them.

Sorry to be confusing about my macroscope. My model is the "Photomacroscope M400". I have modified it to hold a Nikon SLR camera, by removing the original final stage photo components and replacing them with an open phototube (without an ocular). The resulting images are adequate, but not fine. The standard zoom objective on my Photomacroscope is not that well corrected. It shows significant color fringing on small highlights. I have an adapter that lets me mount other lenses on the M400 (with the standard zoom lens removed). With other lenses on this adapter, I can get better results. The PLANAPO 1.6 just held against the adapter yields beautiful image quality, free of visible color fringing when viewed through the oculars of the M400. Do you have any information about tube length requirements for these systems? Any other thoughts ?

Scarodactyl
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#29 Post by Scarodactyl » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:58 pm

These are all infinity systems, with both the objective alone producing an image focused to infinity and the zoom body producing an image focused to infinity (except the m5 where the mag drum produces a finite image). The head contains one or two (one for the m400, 2 for stereos) 200mm tube lens.
Using the m400 like that it is the same as a Nikon infinity head (down to a partially compativle dovetail). Not much point to that imo. The Makrozoom objective does have some CA but its resolution is exceptional for a zoom system even today. For apo performance you'd need to get an apozoom lens or a Leica z6 or z16 to attach to the head.
I don't think there is a significant degradation between fixed and zoom setups, for the simple reason that all the fixed/drum mag setups nowadays are on lower end offerings, so any inherent advantages are likely cancelled out by other improvements in higher end zoom systems (If you want a fixed mag setup within this system though the Leica ms5 is probably the cheapest option, plus it fits 76mm mounds). Specwise the resolutions are supposed to be the same across the m3 series but that doesn't cover ca or distortion. That's just within the context of stereos though--for better overall results you'd want a compound scope with a suite of long working distance metallurgical apo objectives (ie mitutoyo m plan apos) but that's super expensive and less convenient. Or if you want to go further down the rabbit hole you can hunt down some qioptiq mag.x objectives or other weird high end designer optics, or figure out tricky lighting to use higher resolution, lower working distance lenses.

Lifephoto
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:09 am

Re: Chinese Wild M3 Clone: It's pretty good! [With comparison to mz6]

#30 Post by Lifephoto » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:34 am

First, a huge thanks for all of the great details in the Scarodactyl reply to my questions. Sorry for the delay in this response. The reply opened a huge set of possibilities that I explored ! Thus, I plunged into a very deep "rabbit hole".

I already have several Mitotoyo M Plan Apo objectives that I use on a Thorlabs 200mm tube lens. (see Robert OToole's site https://www.closeuphotography.com). The 2x and the 5x work beautifully on an extension tube set-up that contains the Thorlabs 200mm lens, which I mount directly onto my cameras. (Note, for this kind of magnification work, it is really valuable to have an electronic shutter in the camera and to use a mirrorless camera or mirror lock-up.) I often use a stackshot device to make a series of images that combine into one with more depth in focus. A microscope type configuration interests me because of the ease of making photos, while doing ID and observing. Fortunately for my present effort, I already have an adapter that substitutes for the zoom lens on the Wild Makroskope M400. This adapter has a Leica 39mm front thread to attach lenses, and it adds 34mm to the optical path (which should and apparently did not hurt image quality - given that the system is set-up for an infinity corrected main lens). With Scarodactyl's information about the 200mm tube lens in the Wild Photo Makroskope M400, I realized that I could try my Mitotoyo lenses, which are infinity corrected. The result worked beautifully. I will add some images to my posts to illustrate several things: I agree that the Makrozoom 400 produces amazing images, especially considering it has such a great working distance. They are quite sharp, and only show a small bit of chromatic aberration. I have a pair of images comparing it to the result from a 5x Mitotoyo M Plan Apo, where the Mitotoyo is better as expected. Hopefully, the differences survive the small files and on-line treatment. I will post the comparison images in the pictures and videos section, so they will be more readily seen, vs this thread.

Now on to - - given that my Wild 1.6 Planapo objective produces fine images when hand held on on both of my scopes (Makroskope M400 and Wild M5), I would hope that it would work well on the Makroskope M400 at least OR should I just mount it on an appropriate stereomicroscope. (Unfortunately, I am not sure I follow your very detailed discussion of stereoscope options) what would be the best use for my Wild 1.6x Planapo objective?? Would a Wild M3z be worth it, in relation to optical quality, or would it really be necessary to manage to acquire one of the other scopes you mention? I really appreciate your observations in relation to the Wild Zoom stereoscopes quality. A zoom microscope offers huge advantages in relation to changing magnifications in a precise way to fit the subject being photographed. A stereoscope or the Mitotoyo lenses also offer huge advantages for lighting, because of their greater working distance. Another KEY QUESTION, do you have any sense for the quality impacts of using a Wild Zoom scope with a 1.6x Planapo objective over the Mitotoyo M Plan Apo lenses?

Note I have fine capability in the area of compound microscopes. I have a Zeiss WL stand as well as a Zeiss Universal, with a solid selection of lenses for bright field transmitted and reflected imaging as well as Nomarski. The challenge is filling-in between the camera macro capabilities and the compound microscope capabilities.

Finally, my huge thanks for Scarodactyl's help and knowledge.

PS. One key part of Scarodactyl's previous response that I do not understand - - " Using the m400 like that it is the same as a Nikon infinity head (down to a partially compativly dovetail). Not much point to that imo.")

Post Reply