Welcome to the forum.
If it turns out to be junk (for example, delaminated optics, missing fluorescence filter/cube, no phase condenser, seized/broken focus drive), you won't be able to recover much of your investment. Simply return it back to seller under "item not as described" (even though seller does not accept return, "item not as described" is still covered by eBay).
Seller listed that scope as " used" (meaning fully functional). Technically, any defect that makes the scope not fully functional will allow you to return it and get full refund. eBay / Paypal almost always side with buyer in that kind of disputes.
Thanks for the advice - I hadn't really considered the distinction between 'used' and 'for parts' implying that a used version should still function and as a buyer i'm guaranteed as such when I win the auction. Will definitely keep that in consideration if it arrives in non-functioning condition.
Does seem to have one or more phase contrast objectives -- not sure if it has the condenser. However, those are not too hard to find.
Yeah, the only information about the condenser is that the auction author doesn't know how to spell: Auction Title: "ZEISS FLUORO CONDENSOR BINOCULAR PHOTO MICRSCOPE excellent condition". I'm hoping that's a good thing in that he just doesn't know what he has... but we'll see.
I recommend removing the Fluorescence attachments and using the microscope without them until you have some more experience.
As mentioned it does not seem to have a Phase condenser but they are easy to find.
Show us a photo of the condenser.
You will need a power supply for the 12v 60w lamp housing, again they are readily available.
Here is an article that will help you to spot any delamination in the objectives or the eyepieces:
You do not mention how much experience you have with microscopes. Do you have any?
I'll probably keep the fluorescence attachments on (assuming they are what I need correct filters etc) given the fact one of the things i'm most interest in taking pictures of are calcofluor & DAPI stained dinoflagellates.
I'm definitely eager to find out what kind of condenser is included and will certainly take copious photos when it arrives on friday.
I appreciate the power supply link, that will narrow down my searching efforts.
I have alot of experience taking phase-contrast / fluorescence photos of aquatic protists from a decade and a half spent in Academic labs, mostly using other people's nice fancy Zeiss microscopes (see my intro thread
that I see you've already found). I've only owned one compound scope though (Wesco CX-RII), and have never built my own or performed any maintenance beyond changing arc lamp bulbs on an Axioskop. I've been out of Academia for almost 7 years now and i'm really starting to miss the microscopy, hence the renewed interest in acquiring my own high end scope. I don't have any experience with delamination so your link will be a huge help to me.
This website has been an excellent resource so far, thanks for contributing!
My feeling is that you got a very good bargain - provided that the stand and head are in good mechanical condition.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
Since fluorescence accessories have much evolved and improved, the Zeiss Standard is not as convenient and flexible as the Axioskope, fluorescence-wise. The infinity optics of the Axio are also better (for fluorescence) than the older 160mm optics. Regarding a second-hand Zeiss Standard, I would check the cube filters and other excitation filters, since the coating on old interference filters is often worn out. Yet they can be individually replaced with newer filters.
Missing in your setup, I think, is the fluorescence power supply for the 100W HBO lamp house. Perhaps inquire about it with the seller, if the PS has been omitted from the photos on the sale list; such power supplies are only useful in conjunction with the HBO lamphouse.
There are specific safety rules for handling these high pressure Hg/Xe bulbs, I believe you have that experience.
I would be concerned about the heat these lamps create, and insert a heat filter (e.g. Schott KG3/KG5) between the collimated beam and the next element in the optical path.
Another very useful gadget would be a mechanical or electromechanical shutter (e.g. from Ludl, USA) in the optical path, to block off the light when you do not use it, since frequent turn-on/turn-off cycles shorten the lifetime of these Hg or Xenon lamps considerably.
Edit: there are powerful LED light sources for fluorescence microscopy. There are advantages of LEDs over the HG/Xe lamps, and vice versa. Although complete commercial LED lamps for fluorescence microscopy are expensive, I believe there are LED light sources made for epi-illumination on old microscopes, for hobby use. The main requirement is very bright illumination, so a 10W LED, or even a 20W would be inadequate (IMO), but higher intensity LEDs might provide sufficient excitation, even if not as intense as a 100W Hg or 75W Xe HBO lamp. And the advantage in this case is that a specific power supply for HBO is not required.
Thank you for this! Very useful information for me to consider. I definitely want the infinity optics eventually and will outfit an axioskop over the coming months / years to fit my fluorescence needs. In the meantime, my ebay-itis got the best of me and I have what appears to be a Zeiss standard fluorescence scope on the way that looks to be in pretty good condition. Thanks for the HBO power supply info, I was thinking along those lines also, but my memory is hazy on how these things work.