Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

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pdxhiker
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Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#1 Post by pdxhiker » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:37 am

Last week, I ended up purchasing a National Optical 162 Microscope with super high contrast objectives on the whim, today I learnt that without Phase Change Objectives I wont be able to see the contrasty images of bacteria etc like shown in the pictures, I am planning to exchange the Super High contrast objectives for Phase Change Objectives, but it add extra $$$ and I am worried if its worth spending on this brand. Is this Scope a keeper for lifetime or just another made in China toy. :?
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Standard 14/15/18 (not sure) | Illuminator 100 with 12V PS| Trinocular tube
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75RR
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#2 Post by 75RR » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:14 am

That is some serious money you have put down and if you go for the Phase you will be putting down quite a bit more.

Why do you want to view bacteria?
What pictures are you referring to?

http://www.amazon.com/National-Optical- ... ptical+162

http://www.amazon.com/National-Optical- ... ptical+162
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pdxhiker
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#3 Post by pdxhiker » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:23 am

I am just curious about seeing tiny things (bacteria was just an example) and want to get kids interested in the hobby.

pictures I am referring to are similar to below where microorganisms look contrasty instead of just translucent.
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/intro/illu/ampha.jpg
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Standard 14/15/18 (not sure) | Illuminator 100 with 12V PS| Trinocular tube
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#4 Post by zzffnn » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:39 am

Welcome to the forum!

I don't think that is a well-respected brand. They did not even list NA values of their objectives. Condenser is a standard typical 1.25 Abbé.

For >$600, you can buy a name brand used scope, in very good condition, with phase contrast. At least 3 experienced forum members here can sell you such an instrument. Please wait for Lorez, Charles and Apochronaut to chime in.

What you linked there is an ameoba and it is much bigger than a bacterium. Bigger subjects, viewed by lower power objectives (that have higher NA/magnification ration), usually give a more contrasty image.

Phase contrast does help a bit with viewing bacteria, which is quite a difficult subject though. Many more interesting subjects, such as Rotifers or Stentors, are much bigger and easier to view (phase may not be necessary).

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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#5 Post by lorez » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:06 am

super high contrast objectives
You have to be aware of the hyperbole used in the advertising of Chinese microscopes. It often promises more than it will / can deliver.

The National brand is the lowest tier of scopes made by one of the Chinese manufacturers and I would not call it a lifetime investment.

I agree that you will benefit greatly (especially with phase contrast) with a used scope from AO or Olympus, but pricing and condition is something you will have to pay close attention to.

lorez

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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#6 Post by pdxhiker » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:29 am

lorez wrote:
super high contrast objectives
You have to be aware of the hyperbole used in the advertising of Chinese microscopes. It often promises more than it will / can deliver.

The National brand is the lowest tier of scopes made by one of the Chinese manufacturers and I would not call it a lifetime investment.

I agree that you will benefit greatly (especially with phase contrast) with a used scope from AO or Olympus, but pricing and condition is something you will have to pay close attention to.

lorez
thanks, where are these AO/Olympus scopes sold?
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Standard 14/15/18 (not sure) | Illuminator 100 with 12V PS| Trinocular tube
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#7 Post by lorez » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:40 am

thanks, where are these AO/Olympus scopes sold?
The safest place is from members of groups such as this, but the selection may be limited. eBay is a bit riskier and I think it is helpful to have some experience or assistance in this case.

lorez

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75RR
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#8 Post by 75RR » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:18 am

You should find out whether you can return your microscope.
If you bought it on Amazon that may be possible.

Either way have a look in the Pictures and Videos section for images and videos that were taken using Oblique illumination, Darkfield and Pol as well as van Egmond masks. You should be able to use all those techniques and a few more with the microscope you have.
Phase is fun as they say, but it is not a requirement to be able to enjoy microscopy.
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#9 Post by pdxhiker » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:53 pm

I m going to return my scope. Any pointer on which AO/olympus models should i look for.
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Standard 14/15/18 (not sure) | Illuminator 100 with 12V PS| Trinocular tube
PH Condenser Ph2,3, BF, DF | 6.3x Plan, 16x,25x, 40x,100x(Oil),Neofular Ph2 & Ph3, 40x PlanAPO Iris | 10x Eyepiece

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75RR
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#10 Post by 75RR » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:03 pm

Have a look through this thread: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=2535
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#11 Post by pdxhiker » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:23 pm

thanks, looks like AO was suggested by everyone and the poster ended up buying one. Any thoughts on Meiji scope? specially the one below

https://www.microscopeworld.com/p-675-m ... scope.aspx
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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#12 Post by zzffnn » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:44 pm

pdxhiker wrote:I m going to return my scope. Any pointer on which AO/olympus models should i look for.
If you plan to upgrade to the top tier plan apochromatic optics (>=$200 each optic) and contrast techniques, Olympus BH2 (which is very popular among hobbyists) may be on your list.

AO 110/120/10/20/400 series of infinity scopes have slightly less upgrade options (no plan apo optics available), but they offer very high performance/cost ratio, more so than other brands.

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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#13 Post by zzffnn » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:48 pm

pdxhiker wrote:thanks, looks like AO was suggested by everyone and the poster ended up buying one. Any thoughts on Meiji scope? specially the one below

https://www.microscopeworld.com/p-675-m ... scope.aspx
For a budget of over $2000, if you are that serious, I would suggest having a customer builder build you a DIC scope. But many say DIC may be difficult to learn for beginners.

Probably better to spend less than $700 and get a used phase contrast scope with cheaper achromatic optics first.

If you have to spend >$1000 on phase contrast, I suggest going with Leitz Heine system, which is one of the few high resolution phase system available. Not sure how beginner friendly it is though.

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Re: Is National Optical 162 Scope keeper?

#14 Post by pdxhiker » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:13 pm

Hello All - thanks for all the suggestions, I returned the National Optical Scope and ordered a used Zeiss Standard 18 model.
Compound
Standard 14/15/18 (not sure) | Illuminator 100 with 12V PS| Trinocular tube
PH Condenser Ph2,3, BF, DF | 6.3x Plan, 16x,25x, 40x,100x(Oil),Neofular Ph2 & Ph3, 40x PlanAPO Iris | 10x Eyepiece

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