Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

Do you have any microscopy questions, which you are afraid to ask? This is your place.
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SunshineLW
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Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#1 Post by SunshineLW » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:20 pm

Okay, so I am not new to microscopes, but I am new to purchasing microscopes. I have about 5 years experience on an Olympus BX-51 (bright field) and I have taken thousands of micrographs. I already have a top of the line microscope camera and I am more than satisfied with the quality of images it produces. I am interested in buying a new compound microscope and I am curious if anyone can provide advice for or against what I am planning on doing.

Money is tight. I am most interested in high quality microphotography and, therefore, high quality lenses. I want to purchase an amscope microscope (without objectives). Then, fit the Amscope microscope with second-hand, Olympus UPlanSAPO 60X (oil) and 100X objectives. I know that resolution is optimized when viewing through objective-compatible eyepieces (and while using the objective-recommended immersion oil), but does eyepiece compatibility have any effect on the trinocular port (i.e., camera resolution)? Also, will a 160 tube-length objective function on an infinity microscope?

Here are the details about the equipment I am interested in:
- AMSCOPE: 40X-2500X Professional Infinity Plan Achromatic Trinocular Compound Microscopeamscope (http://www.amscope.com/40x-2500x-profes ... scope.html)
- Olympus UPlanSAPO 60X OIL UIS2 BF1 Microscope Objective (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-UPlanS ... 2542774401)
- Olympus NC SPlan APO 100x 1.40 Oil Iris 160 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-NC-SPl ... SwCcdZ0f9s)

Thank you for any advice you may be able to share.

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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#2 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:27 pm

Just one small tip:

I would verify that the Olympus objectives that you consider (at least the 60x is excellent) can be mechanically installed on the Amscope.
Last edited by Hobbyst46 on Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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75RR
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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#3 Post by 75RR » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:29 pm

I would not mix brands if I were you. Stick to one. You mention Olympus, it is an excellent choice.
Have you considered buying a used quality microscope?
I would suggest you have a look at an Olympus BHS.

See link to Charles Krebs old set up. If photography is your goal, what he has achieved with his should inspire you.
http://www.krebsmicro.com/microsetup2/index.html
Also, will a 160 tube-length objective function on an infinity microscope?
No, one can not place finite objectives on an infinity microscope.
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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#4 Post by SunshineLW » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:31 pm

Thank you for the sweet link to Charles Kreb's setup. I recently stumbled across that page and already have it bookmarked, but I am still on the fence. let me explain:

I purchased an Amscope stereo-microscope last year, and I fell in love with the brand. It is an extremely sturdy, well-built microscope with plenty potential for upgrades. I was on the fence about buying that microscope, as well, and now I'd recommend an Amscope dissecting microscope to anyone. I think there are many misconceptions about these "Chinese Import" brands and I would really like to debunk some of the myths. Unfortunately, Amscope does not manufacture Plan-Apo objectives and I have been becoming increasingly interested in determining whether or not the Amscope microscopes are compatible with the Olympus objectives.

What problems may I encounter by mixing an infinite Olympus objective with the infinite Amscope microscope?

I understand that the idea is innately flawed, which is why I am asking the professionals for their opinions and personal experience. It is logical that using consistent gear is the safer route to take, but there are serious financial advantages if my plan works. My options are to buy:
(1) Amscope: brand-new, professional quality microscope with a 5-year warranty for 1/3 the price of a used Olympus; possibly incompatible with plan-apo objectives, or
(2) Olympus: used, professional quality microscope with a brand name that is historically acclaimed for superior quality and service; compatible plan-apo objectives; potentially +300% overpriced due to a plateau in microscope/ lens technology

I've talked to several microscope experts at my university and there is no clear consensus between them. They all make massive salaries (and can afford top-shelf zeiss microscopes) and have too much brand loyalty to give me an unbiased opinion.

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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#5 Post by einman » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:39 pm

WOW! Quite a drop from an Olympus BX-51 to an Amscope. I would much rather purchase a used Olympus, Zeiss, Reichert ( Diastar) or Nikon stand without objectives. Amscope's compound scopes are quite different from their stereoscopes. I have owned several of their high end stereoscopes as well as the stand you are considering. That stand is not bad, although the objectives were terrible. I am an advocate for Chinese scopes, browse my postings, so no misconceptions here.

The 5 year warranty is not worth much!! Try getting one serviced and then there are costs associated with it. Many of the Hobbyists here own several brands and in some cases like myself several dozen scopes. I am not loyal to a specific brand although I favor Leitz. Not because I consider it superior by any means, but because it happened to be the brand I slowly accumulated more equipment and subsequently knowledge of over the years.

I enjoy them all. The T600 and 700 series are good stands. If you want to use Olympus objectives I would go for the T750 stand, marketed under various Chinese brand names such as Accu-scope, Bestscope as well as Amscope. I have seen and compared the Accu-scope 3025 and the Bestscope BS-2080 version with and without Olympus objectives compared against an Olympus BX41 and they are comparable.

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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#6 Post by einman » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:51 pm

By the way Olympus markets a plethora of objectives under various designations in part to disguise the fact the same objectives can be purchased without the Olympus branding for soooo much less. The challenge is locating those objectives.

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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#7 Post by SunshineLW » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:01 am

einman wrote:WOW! Quite a drop from an Olympus BX-51 to an Amscope.
Seriously! I am no longer working for the private investigator whom allowed me to conduct my hobby microphotography on her research BX-51. At least I am familiar with the ins-and-outs of a decent quality scope and will quickly identify whether or not the scope I purchase is a dud.
einman wrote:I would much rather purchase a used Olympus, Zeiss, Reichert ( Diastar) or Nikon stand without objectives.
This appears to be the resounding consensus, so I may just suck it up and take that leap. Especially if this is where most of the Hobbyists eventually find themselves over time. Also, the Amscope stands you suggest are comparable in price, so it is becoming more apparent that purchasing a used Olympus would be the wisest decision I could make.
einman wrote:I have owned several of their high end stereoscopes as well as the stand you are considering. That stand is not bad, although the objectives were terrible... If you want to use Olympus objectives I would go for the T750 stand, marketed under various Chinese brand names such as Accu-scope, Bestscope as well as Amscope.
Very interesting! Thank you so much for the specific suggestions. I have tried my hardest to identify which Chinese Import would feel the closest to the scope with which I am familiar, and your recommendations appear to be my best bet.
einman wrote:I have seen and compared the Accu-scope 3025 and the Bestscope BS-2080 version with and without Olympus objectives compared against an Olympus BX41 and they are comparable.
Awesome! Sounds very similar to what I've been planning. If anything, this gives me some piece of mind knowing that my scheme was not entirely illogical.

Thank you everyone for all the expert advice and suggestions. I think y'all may have swayed me to go with the "Charles Krebs" setup but, if anything, at least now I have significantly more data to make an informed decision. I knew the microscope community wouldn't leave a future hobbyist out in the cold. I sincerely thank you all for your words of wisdom.

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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#8 Post by SunshineLW » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:07 pm

Thanks again for the advice MicrobeHunter-Forum experts. I took your (75RR and einman) advice and went with the Charles Krebs setup (Olympus BH-2 with Olympus SPlanApo 10x, 20x, 40x, 100x objectives).

I believe I may have got a once-in-a-lietime deal, too.

The eBay seller knew nothing about microscopes and had listed the SPlanApo objectives as SPlan objectives, but I recognized that the "SPlan's" were in fact "SPlanApo's" from the image thumbnail while scrolling through eBay. It was "Newly Listed" when I stumbled across it, and already had 2 offers (i.e., "make an offer"). I felt it was too good a deal to pass up, so clicked "buy it now" for $1,500.

What do y'all think? Assuming the optics are clear, was I right to buy? The microscope is currently in transit to my place, so I have yet to examine the items in hand. I'm praying that the seller didn't "clean" the objectives with ammonia-based products or abrasive material before posting the eBay listing.

I'm currently working to determine the best method to mount my digital Amscope camera to the Olympus, so I was curious if you had any suggestions? If so, follow this link to the "Camera Systems and Imaging" sub-forum (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5829&p=52079#p52079).
Attachments
Olympus BH-2 with Olympus SPlanApo objectives (10x, 20x, 40x, 100x), DIC, and twin headpiece
Olympus BH-2 with Olympus SPlanApo objectives (10x, 20x, 40x, 100x), DIC, and twin headpiece
Ebay Purchase.jpg (225.74 KiB) Viewed 1713 times

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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#9 Post by einman » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:14 pm

Excellent deal. I actually made an offer on this scope but was declined!! LOL I wont bother to mention his counter offer although even at the buy it now it is a good deal.

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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#10 Post by SunshineLW » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:29 pm

einman wrote:Excellent deal. I actually made an offer on this scope but was declined!! LOL I wont bother to mention his counter offer although even at the buy it now it is a good deal.
Holy cow! Talk about a small world! Well, it's relieving to know that my first compound-scope purchase wasn't a complete noob-purchase.

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Re: Help with microscope purchase (Mix-&-Match)

#11 Post by 75RR » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:43 pm

Congratulations! That is a fine microscope and some pretty impressive objectives.
Do post more complete images of it when it arrives.
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