Update on 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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Update on Leica M80

#1 Post by einman » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:53 pm

So many of you know doubt saw my initial announcement when I acquired a Leica M80. I have become quite enamored with this stereoscope. Although Leica equipment tends to be quite expensive and their support less than stellar I have been leaning in that direction lately. It seems logical given I enjoy my Leitz compound scopes immensely.

I recently acquired an achromat 1.0x objective to complement my 0.63X achromat objective. I use the 0.63 quite often as it allows me to view my ant colonies within their containers due to the working distance. This particular Leica M80 is mounted on a Leica Boom stand, is equipped with a Leica L2 Halogen dual pipe fiberoptics illuminator as well as with Leica LED illumination. The L2 halogen light source is quite bright as is the LED.


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Last edited by einman on Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

einman
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#2 Post by einman » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:03 pm

Here are some tools I use to study and identify insects using the stereoscope:

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Last edited by einman on Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

einman
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#3 Post by einman » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:09 pm

I have also acquired a Leica Stand for this scope. It has Contrast LED lighting as well as Overhead LED lighting allowing the specimen to be viewed obliquely or from various lighting angles.
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Scarodactyl
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#4 Post by Scarodactyl » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:14 pm

I'm glad you're still enjoying it. Despite liking older AO/B&L/Wild stuff I've liked most of the Leica scopes I've tried as well, and my main scope is now a Leica Z6. They do make some awfully nice toys (though I still think they should get better visual/case designers, they've made some pretty....unique-looking stereos over the years. Looking at you, GZ6 and S9).
Last edited by Scarodactyl on Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

einman
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#5 Post by einman » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:00 pm

I like the various components they offer for their stereoscopes. Although the prices are just stupid. I, too, enjoy older scopes. Here are a few I use on a regular basis:

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einman
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#6 Post by einman » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:03 pm

Stereoscopes are awesome but when I want to photograph this is one of my set-ups:

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Scarodactyl
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#7 Post by Scarodactyl » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:22 pm

Do you get use out of all the stereos? I have eg an smzu and szh, but they feel pretty redundant to me (I'm not sure who copied who, but it was one from the other or a common third copyee for sure). I've been trying to sell down for a while now since I just don't end up using them all (fun as they were to buy, assemble and fix).

Honestly I've ended up combining most of my inspection and photography onto the z6 macroscope. No real 3D effect but it's comfortable to use and avoids some of the stereo issies with photography. I'll definitely keep one nice stereo alongside it though (whatever doesn't sell).

Hobbyst46
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#8 Post by Hobbyst46 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:26 pm

The microscopes are very impressive.
Please, tell us more about how the simple gadgets are used. The cork- and pin- based accessories etc. Are these all insect-carriers ?
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

einman
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#9 Post by einman » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:47 pm

Actually I sold the Olympus SZH recently. The optics were just not up to the same standards as the SMZU. I also have a Zeiss Stemi SR and an AO 580. But you are correct. I have been selling my scopes as I focus on specific models. The AO 580 is for sale currently on E-bay. It is an awesome scope, but as one forum person said, they become "shelf queens" as I favor one over another.

In regards to the devices yes I use them to hold insects. The Cork Ball allows me to position the specimen at various angles for viewing appendages etc. for identification. The "Tweezer" device is more to secure plant materials etc. The Cork on the plexiglass plate I also made for insects. Not as useful as the cork ball.

apochronaut
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#10 Post by apochronaut » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:58 am

As microscopes evolve, it becomes more affordable to upgrade and have better instrumentation, for whatever one does. I think it is evident that the lag time with stereomicroscopes, simply because better optics and illumination systems are more integrated into the system, is longer. One cannot easily swap compatible components as a method of utilizing an older stand to shoulder better optics. Congrats, Everett on moving upward and onward. From what I can see about your project(s), it can only be applauded and you deserve the best system you can afford. Finer equipment is costly.

With compound microscopes the situation is a little different, because infinity correction has altered the perspective a great deal. A stand made in 1972 that originally carried infinity corrected optics can be upgraded with close to state of the art optics and potentially accessories too, so with diascopic microscopes , optical upgrading can be carried forward, while utilizing the same stand.

Scarodactyl
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#11 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:26 am

apochronaut wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:58 am
One cannot easily swap compatible components as a method of utilizing an older stand to shoulder better optics.
That's actually (surprisingly) not the case with Leica's lineup. There is partial parts compatibility with the entire M series going back to the '70s M3 (which is indeed an infinity corrected scope). If you want to adapt Leica's most recent research-grade planapo objectives onto a Wild M3 there's an adapter for that (ok tecthnically the adapter will only fit perfectly on the later M3s when they slightly adjusted the m50 thread but it'd still work)--I have done it with a nice 1.6x planapo on an M3, and it works! There is just a 1.25x increase in rated magnification. Or you could directly screw it onto a Wild M10 and get rated mag, just as you can directly attach one of the objectives from this new M80 onto a Wild M8. Heads and other accessories intermediate between the head and zoom body have almost full compatibility across the entire M series (coaxial illuminators get a bit iffy with some more specific configuration work needed to get them to work across zoom bodies). It's true that full stand compatibility isn't there until the Mz series in the 90s since that was when they really adopted the standard 76mm ring (aside from the M7 I guess but it's a bit odd).
I'm not sure how much of that you get with other makers though. The SMZ-U seems to mostly be compatible with the SMZ-10a (but not the SMZ-10? I think?). The Olympus SZH looks like it has compatibility with some later SZX series objectives (the smaller DF ones, not the higher end PF ones) but I'm not sure.

Then again, there might be yet broader compatibility with the right adapters. Martin microscope sells a "Meiji RZ Apo" which is a Meiji RZ stereo (a clone of the SZH10, though the head is a Leica clone) with what looks like a Leica planapo objective adapted on, which apparently works though with an added 1.26x mag factor. Similarly Askania sells planapo objectives for their stereos which have Leica part numbers associated with them. So it may be that most(?) modern stereo objectives can be adapted onto most other systems, since they're all infinity corrected now and none have eyepiece corrections (though corrections in the zoom body are a theoretical possibility of course). I would love to spend some time examining this but it'd be a pretty costly endeavor to get the objectives bought and the adapters made.

einman
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#12 Post by einman » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:05 am

It is true Leica sells adapters to allow utilizing objectives across the their stereo line up. They pop up on E-bay pretty regularly. For a while you could find new parts rather easily on E-bay as Leica stopped using dealers to sell their scopes resulting in many selling off their inventory on e-bay.

The Nikon SMZ-U is still one of my favorite scopes. There is a lot of nostalgia associated with the AO series, bringing back memories, and thus my hesitancy to sell. They are still fine scopes. But as Phil once mentioned to me a well used scope is better than a shelf queen that just sits. I might as well sell them now to individuals that would get more use out of them.

I tend to price them proportional to the nostalgia I associate with them. LOL

I will probably list my B&L SZ7 as well and the Zeiss Stemi SR. All fine scopes and built like tanks compared to the Leica. But the Leica is a pleasure to use and easier on my eyes.

However, the Leica line-up aside, I agree with Phil's observations on stereo scopes vs compound scopes, in terms of upgrading optics.

Rorschach
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#13 Post by Rorschach » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:53 am

Fabulous setups!

And I know how you feel...I currently have a Wild M5A, a Wild M7S, two Wild M8, one Wild M3Z (with a huge selection of accessories and objectives) and a Wild M3C. Plus loads of various parts, eyepieces and accessories for these, including some carriers and stands for Leica MZ series.

I have used all of them for invertebrate id work but obviously there are far too many...it's just hard to sell them. They're all classics and in excellent condition.

einman
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#14 Post by einman » Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:01 pm

I understand not wanting to sell them! However, I have too many interests and my resources are not unlimited. I fear they will just sit until that fateful day comes when this journey ends and another begins! Then my daughter would probably just sell them off or worse dispose of them LOL.

So I would rather keep those most practical and let others enjoy them now.

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zebra222
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Re: Update on Leica M80

#15 Post by zebra222 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:30 pm

Good day. Do you have any photoadapter for M80 or you not using it for documentation? Since you mentioned only Achromat objectives in your inventory it should have annoying color fringes on objects, especially visible on photos. But these issue of Achromat objectives, very visible with CMO stereos, could be fixed, to some extend. You just need to make adapter for objective which allow you to align it to left or right channel of you microscope, depending on which channel is translating to camera. Such adapter could be dome from metal, or it could be 3d printed. It even could be bought. But not for Leica M50,60,80 line, which is a shame. In older days of Wild there was such adapter. Strangely enough most people are not familiar with this hint. It's economical way to get most from your scope. Or any CMO scope. Without spending fortune for PlanApo objectives. Even so such setup will improve image quality overall since it will create centered system and dismiss objective decentering aberrations also. Even for PlanApo. It will create setup similar to mentioned Leica M6 Macroscope. Surelly it will not create bigger resolution (since there will be no change in NA), but overall image quality improves. And of course it's reversable change.
I'm not agree with other persons view about problems with upgrading of stereomicroscopes. CMO scopes is modular systems which is fully equivalent to infinity-corrected compound microscopes. The only difference is that it have pancratic or fixed magnification changer. Zoom in casual words. And two channels for sure. But it mostly create restriction for image field vignetting (or cut off) with lower limit magnification, when you using other objectives. To exclude such kind of situation one just need to know that objective which you want to use is from stereomicroscope with interchannel distance same or bigger that your scope, which most of the time is.
Yes, opticall things is not so simple. But all the same issues is with interchanging objectives for compound microscope as well.
Even if we talk about photoadapters and binocular heads. Interchangability is working. In this domain only interchannel distance is important. But if difference 1-3 mm it is totally acceptable, at least from my experience.
What is stereomicroscopy is lacking, at least most models of 20th century is sophisticated lightning. But it mostly due to dominance of incandescent lamp as a light source. It's totally fine for compound microscopy with it's flat objects, but very limited for bulky objects of stereomicroscopy speciments which is require most of the time microphotostudio lightning setup, which is obviously could not be done properly with bulky bulbs. I believe that such kind of setups start to appear only in 21st century with advance of LED lightning. Even so in my opinion it's only a start. Presently flexible good quality LED lightning with good customization could be bought only from giants like Shott or similar. I hope things will change in future. And we could expect even more stereomicroscopy suitable lightning with advance of microLED light sources, which combine even bigger lightining efficiency and localization.
Sorry for quite a long post, I hope it make sense.

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Re: Update on Leica M80

#16 Post by zebra222 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:57 pm

I wonder if you could provide some details about Leica M80 model. Over the years I was checking Wild models internal structure evolution. I checked M8, M3, M3Z, Leica MS5, MZ6. But never checked recent generation, M50, M60, M80 because it's out of my budget all the time. If you have any free time and curiosity, you could dismantle plastic covers of microscope body and share some pictures. It should be totally safe since plastic body is only have decorative function and no optics have connection with it, so no damage possible. The only concern which I see, is that I could not understand how zoom knobs is mounted. In previous models knobs had screws in it's end center, but from your photos I could not see it. Maybe it's torqued somehow. But knobs could be glues, in this case it mean Leica done something unusual.
Да будет свет

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