Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

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Katie2020
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Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#1 Post by Katie2020 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:02 pm

I know everyone here is probably fed up of 'wHaT mIcRoScOpE sHoULd i gEt" questions, so im sorry. About me, im a beginner (hopefully), but im about to start a biology degree (hopefully) and ive had experience with microscopes in the past, so I know a fair amount about the biology aspect and a bit about how microscopes work etc. Ive also been doing a lot of research about microscope features since i started looking for one, so i understand a bit more vocabulary than i did originally. I'm just looking to do stuff as a hobby, as an undergrad i wont have a lot of free access to the labs and they definitely won't appreciate me messing up all their million pound lab equipment just to look at pond water.
Im looking for a microscope under £250 that has a fairly good resolution, id ideally like to see some bacteria (i know this can be hard and unexciting though) but also other stuff. I honestly don't care about monocular vs binocular vs Trinocular, ive used all before and am happy enough with monocular. Don't mind about LED or halogen, or how easy/fiddly something is, im just frugal haha. The main thing im looking for is resolution and being able to see more detail.


Ive narrowed down two choices for my first microscope. Ive found a few Swift Sw380s and 350s for £200 online, which I have seen recommended as a beginners scope, so I think its a safe choice. I also like the idea of it being modern, mass-produced and fairly standardised, which will make getting accessories and stuff easier.


I have also found a Leitz SM LUX for £125, it looks in good condition from the photos ive seen and offers warranty etc. I've seen a lot of people enthusing about the Leitz Sm-lux both on here and elsewhere, but the trouble is, I'm not sure if the one im looking at is the one everyone else is talking about if that makes sense? Ive attached a photo of the one im looking at, can anyone advise on whether this is a good deal? Ive seen lots of 'SM LUX's online that look totally different and at >£500, which seems like a big difference. I'm not sure if I'm just looking at a monocular version, or if its got entirely different specs. Will it be hard to find accessories like darkfield filters (idk if thats a thing) etc for it?

Im assuming that the Leitz will be better resolution wise, because despite being monocular it doesnt differ much in price from the Swift. Is there any truth to this?

Leitz sm-lux
Leitz sm-lux
_20200629_164749.JPG (57.3 KiB) Viewed 433 times

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75RR
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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#2 Post by 75RR » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:40 pm

Get the Leitz SM-LUX Binocular at Brunel: http://www.usedmicroscopes.co.uk/leitz.html

If they say it works, then it works.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#3 Post by Katie2020 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:12 pm

75RR wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:40 pm
Get the Leitz SM-LUX Binocular at Brunel: http://www.usedmicroscopes.co.uk/leitz.html

If they say it works, then it works.
Thanks for the link.

The thing is, I'd rather get the monocular if its almost £100 cheaper and essentially the same otherwise, I just wasn't sure if the scope i was looking at was the same, or a 'student' version.

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#4 Post by 75RR » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:24 pm

Katie2020 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:12 pm
75RR wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:40 pm
Get the Leitz SM-LUX Binocular at Brunel: http://www.usedmicroscopes.co.uk/leitz.html

If they say it works, then it works.
Thanks for the link.

The thing is, I'd rather get the monocular if its almost £100 cheaper and essentially the same otherwise, I just wasn't sure if the scope i was looking at was the same, or a 'student' version.
Not really £100 especially after you replace the missing objective. I am assuming it is only missing one.

Older microscopes are all about what it comes with and condition.

If you know the seller or it is someone very local then fine. Otherwise I would go with the one that is certain to work well.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#5 Post by Katie2020 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:32 pm

75RR wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:24 pm
Katie2020 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:12 pm
75RR wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:40 pm
Get the Leitz SM-LUX Binocular at Brunel: http://www.usedmicroscopes.co.uk/leitz.html

If they say it works, then it works.
Thanks for the link.

The thing is, I'd rather get the monocular if its almost £100 cheaper and essentially the same otherwise, I just wasn't sure if the scope i was looking at was the same, or a 'student' version.
Not really £100 especially after you replace the missing objective. I am assuming it is only missing one.

Older microscopes are all about what it comes with and condition.

If you know the seller or it is someone very local then fine. Otherwise I would go with the one that is certain to work well.

Sorry it's not the best photo it looks like it's missing two, all four are present in the other photos and the description. I appreciate the advice though, thank you.

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#6 Post by deBult » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:12 pm

Katie,

The appreciation of the binocular (easy on the eyes) will last when the extra cost is forgotten.
Personally I would vote for the bino.
Brunel is a reliable supplier.

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#7 Post by mrsonchus » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:19 pm

Must agree with above here, the binocular is in my experience a far, far better choice for this reason alone.
Brunel as already said, is a very reliable company from whom I've purchased 'scopes both old and brand-new in my 5-years and counting with a microscope.
The SM-LUX is a beautifully made 'scope (I've had one) and the Leitz optics of that era are also very good indeed - and very reasonable to buy and easy to find.
John B

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#8 Post by Katie2020 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:41 pm

Thanks guys for the advice, you've convinced me! I'll focus on the binocular.

Edit: maybe not, the microscope listed on that page isn't available on the shop website and i can find anything else <£250

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#9 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:17 pm

You can sometimes get a very good deal on monocular scopes because of the general preference, and with a little practice they work just fine. On the old Dynoptic I have, one ocular was nearly always occupied with a camera setup, so much of my observation was monocular-- without the convenience of being able to switch eyes! The old-timers would just learn how use one eye or in the age of electric light, use a microscope in an otherwise dim room. You could alternatively, with some card and black tape, make a blind for the unused eye. It's just a little patch that blocks your unused eye from seeing anything.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#10 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:18 pm

Oh also, if you see a good monocular with excellent objectives, you sometimes, by biding your time, run across a compatible binocular stand without objectives for a good price.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#11 Post by 75RR » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:21 pm

BramHuntingNematodes wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:17 pm
You can sometimes get a very good deal on monocular scopes because of the general preference, and with a little practice they work just fine. On the old Dynoptic I have, one ocular was nearly always occupied with a camera setup, so much of my observation was monocular-- without the convenience of being able to switch eyes! The old-timers would just learn how use one eye or in the age of electric light, use a microscope in an otherwise dim room. You could alternatively, with some card and black tape, make a blind for the unused eye. It's just a little patch that blocks your unused eye from seeing anything.
They do say that in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. I would not go that far. Get the binocular and keep both eyes!
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#12 Post by Katie2020 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:55 pm

BramHuntingNematodes wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:17 pm
You can sometimes get a very good deal on monocular scopes because of the general preference, and with a little practice they work just fine. On the old Dynoptic I have, one ocular was nearly always occupied with a camera setup, so much of my observation was monocular-- without the convenience of being able to switch eyes! The old-timers would just learn how use one eye or in the age of electric light, use a microscope in an otherwise dim room. You could alternatively, with some card and black tape, make a blind for the unused eye. It's just a little patch that blocks your unused eye from seeing anything.

Might fix my slight lazy eye as an added bonus, just like those patches they make kids wear :lol:

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#13 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:58 pm

I should also point out that this microscope blind is affixed to the eyetube, not affixed to the eye.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#14 Post by Katie2020 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:02 pm

BramHuntingNematodes wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:58 pm
I should also point out that this microscope blind is affixed to the eyetube, not affixed to the eye.
Oh right, it's been a long day

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#15 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:16 pm

The binocular, isn't exactly the same as the monocular , in ways other than the viewing body. It has a snazzier stage with a more advanced flush slide holder. Hard to tell but the illuminator control knob may be damaged or not original on the monocular as well.
One further thing is that there might be a chance that since it is basically a student microscope, the monocular might be fitted with a Huygens eyepiece. The binocular has periplans, which will give a flatter wider view.
......just in case you lean towards changing your mind.

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#16 Post by Charles » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:28 pm

Katie2020 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:41 pm
Thanks guys for the advice, you've convinced me! I'll focus on the binocular.

Edit: maybe not, the microscope listed on that page isn't available on the shop website and i can find anything else <£250
On the Brunel link, the Leitz SM Lux binoc is still available for 195.83.

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#17 Post by 75RR » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:46 am

Katie2020 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:41 pm
Thanks guys for the advice, you've convinced me! I'll focus on the binocular.

Edit: maybe not, the microscope listed on that page isn't available on the shop website and i can find anything else <£250
Katie2020 is correct, when one presses the Online shop button item does not appear on the next page.

I would contact them, it might be sold or then again it could just be a glitch.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#18 Post by Katie2020 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:13 am

Yeah there was a used one which doesn't show up on the online shop, but there is also a new one they were selling for closer to £195.
However in the end I just bought the monocular version anyway - i found out that it was used by my old college, so I may have even used one before! I'll probably end up sticking a camera on it half the time anyway, and viewing through that.
apochronaut wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:16 pm
The binocular, isn't exactly the same as the monocular , in ways other than the viewing body. It has a snazzier stage with a more advanced flush slide holder. Hard to tell but the illuminator control knob may be damaged or not original on the monocular as well.
One further thing is that there might be a chance that since it is basically a student microscope, the monocular might be fitted with a Huygens eyepiece. The binocular has periplans, which will give a flatter wider view.
......just in case you lean towards changing your mind.
Thanks for this, this is the kind of information I was looking for. Those differences are fairly insignificant for me luckily, and the description of the one I bought says that the eyepiece is periplan, and that all the knobs etc work. It's got warranty and a good return policy so I'm optimistic.


Thanks all for the help, hopefully i will be able to contribute some cool stuff in the near future!

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#19 Post by viktor j nilsson » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:19 am

Sounds like a good buy, I am sure you are going to like it. You might want to keep an eye out for an affordable trinocular head anyway, which would make the binocular head redundant as well.

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#20 Post by Katie2020 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:24 am

viktor j nilsson wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:19 am
Sounds like a good buy, I am sure you are going to like it. You might want to keep an eye out for an affordable trinocular head anyway, which would make the binocular head redundant as well.
Thanks, good idea, i will do

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Re: Is this Leitz SM LUX any good?

#21 Post by 75RR » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:07 pm

However in the end I just bought the monocular version anyway - i found out that it was used by my old college, so I may have even used one before!
You do have the option to return it and hopefully sufficient experience to check that it is working correctly - so lets assume that you are covered.
An additional positive note (assuming I identified the right one) is that it has a 5 place nosepiece which is always a plus.
Lets us know how when you get it.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

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