Need help in buying first "used" microscope.

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ain2108
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:48 pm

Need help in buying first "used" microscope.

#1 Post by ain2108 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:10 am

Hi!

First of all, I would like to say how wonderful this forum is – I have been quietly reading for some time now and have learned so much already. Thank you.

I am new to microscopy (apart from a year long stint at a microbiology lab, but we studied bacteria, so only used stereo microscopes to observe the biofilms). My first thought was to buy the cheapest not toy instrument, and see how it goes. But this forum has convinced me that it would be wiser to buy a "used" big 4 instrument instead. My budget for such instrument is around $1000 (I can go up to $1500). I want to look at everything I can find and make a sample out of (ofc), but I'll be starting from some pond water :lol: I would like to be able to attach a camera (so I can journal my observations better), thus I am looking for a trinocular instrument. I am quite frugal, and have not bought anything for myself since I came to USA 7 years ago, so this is a present for myself; I would like to be able to use the instrument for foreseeable future.

This is a listing I found for BH2, but being a newbie I of course cannot tell much:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/OLYMPUS-BH2-TR ... SwikhfOsw1

If somebody could suggest other good instrument models that would fit my budget, I would be very appreciative. Thank you very much in advance!

Very Best,
Anton

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I am Richmond, VA based right now, and don't mind driving in 3hr radius.

Tom Jones
Posts: 167
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: Need help in buying first "used" microscope.

#2 Post by Tom Jones » Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:28 am

Anton,

I personally think that particular microscope is a good deal. Synchrostream has been around a long time and sells quite a few microscopes and parts. They offer a 30 day return, and free shipping. Properly packaged shipping's about $100 by itself. It's not the cheapest, but it's well within your budget. So many sellers are clueless as to what the have and how to package it for shipping, that it's worth (to me anyway) a little more to buy from someone who knows what they're doing and is willing to take it back if there's a problem.

I'd actually consider buying it myself if I didn't already have two exactly like it, and five more with only binoc heads, all of which I use for outreach. BH-2s are very sturdy microscopes, parts are pretty easy to find used (except DIC :o which costs a lot anyway). Repair instructions are available readily on the internet, and now YouTube, thanks to Carl Hunsinger, should you ever need to do a little maintenance. I'm actually overhauling/regreasing one of my stages right now, following Carl's instructions.

This is set up well for bright field with a full set of objectives. By the way, for pond life you'll love the 20x! Lots of scopes don't have them. All you'll need for photography is an NFK photoeyepiece of the appropriate magnification to match your camera sensor size, and a camera adapter.

And no, the seller isn't a friend!

Tom

ain2108
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:48 pm

Re: Need help in buying first "used" microscope.

#3 Post by ain2108 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:12 am

Tom,

Thank you very much for the quick response. This sounds like a perfect fit hehe I think I am going to get this listing :D

Best,
Anton

PeteM
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:22 am
Location: N. California

Re: Need help in buying first "used" microscope.

#4 Post by PeteM » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:15 am

+1 I agree with Tom. The BH2 is a good scope. That one looks complete, with decent DPlan objectives, and fairly priced.

If you want to dig deeper, send a PM when you can and I can send you a PDF guide to various microscope brands and models.

Depending upon what you want to look at, it's possible you might want to include options like phase contrast, polarization, reflected illumination etc. ? The BH2 series will have those options available on the used market (as well several other good brands).

ain2108
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:48 pm

Re: Need help in buying first "used" microscope.

#5 Post by ain2108 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:59 am

Hi PeteM,

Thank you very much for your input. Just purchased the BH2; should be here by 28th September, and I cannot wait :D

That said, I will definitely PM you when the system allows me hehe

Thanks everyone!

Best,
Anton

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