Looking for first microscope

Do you have any microscopy questions, which you are afraid to ask? This is your place.
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Hobbyst46
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#61 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:07 pm

A green filter improves the performance of the phase contrast optics because they were designed for a certain wavelength in the green region.
However, it is not an absolute necessity. You can observe phase contrast without it.

There are two types of neutral density filters (at least): Reflective and absorptive. Reflective are usually better because their effect is uniform across the wavelengths of visible light. You only need 2-3, say a 10% and 20% or 20% and 5% (transmission). Combining them provides more levels of attenuation.

By the way, the plastic "glasses" dispensed by 3D (IMAX) movie theaters are circular polarizers and can be used (in pairs) to attenuate illumination.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#62 Post by sbaum » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:04 pm

I must be doing something wrong. When viewing water, unless the condenser aperture is completely closed the light is so bright it almost blinds me. This is using the 5v setting on the transformer. Could it be that I don't have enough water on the side?

One other question, there is a lense that swings in under the filter. Should that be swung in or out? The only difference I have noticed is that it offsets the field view.

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#63 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:27 pm

1. In general, a very bright illumination is a virtue. One can always attenuate it - much easier than the other way round. In your case, perhaps the illumination is not uniform, such that the center is too bright and the perimeter is relatively dark.
2. The amount of water in the slide has a very small effect on brightness.
3. The swing-out front lens of the condenser provides the full NA of the condenser. It should be in for high NA objectives and out for low NA objectives.
4. I think that it is easiest to start the session with the 10x objective.
5. If there is an auxiliary lens below the condenser (there is such on my scope), right above the filter carrier, that lens has a function too: when using low-mag objectives 10x, 6.3x, it helps to fill the field of view with light. So it should be swung in. For higher magnification objectives it makes no difference.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#64 Post by Aenima » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:47 am

Wow, so jealous! Hehe :) You certainly landed on your feet with this forum, and i have to say these guys' advice is impeccable - i had the same dilemma when i first started a few months ago (brain ache and a zillion questions) and went the same way with a used Leitz SM-LUX.
I am very glad i did! I think the finer points of having a top quality used microscope will start to make more sense the longer you use it, for example being able to find vintage APO objectives for under 40 quid/bucks is a big deal for me. Especially for imaging purposes. The same with the other accessories. I find that decent quality gear can be affordable providing you are happy to travel back in time...

So while i have no real expertise in the subject, i can definitely recommend (to anyone reading) that the advice on the forum is well worth considering and i am grateful for the direction i ended up taking as a result.

I'm currently enjoying the hobby more than i think i would have with something more cheap and generic. :)


Best wishes.

Jay

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#65 Post by sbaum » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:08 am

Aenima wrote:Wow, so jealous! Hehe :) You certainly landed on your feet with this forum, and i have to say these guys' advice is impeccable - i had the same dilemma when i first started a few months ago (brain ache and a zillion questions) and went the same way with a used Leitz SM-LUX.
I am very glad i did! I think the finer points of having a top quality used microscope will start to make more sense the longer you use it, for example being able to find vintage APO objectives for under 40 quid/bucks is a big deal for me. Especially for imaging purposes. The same with the other accessories. I find that decent quality gear can be affordable providing you are happy to travel back in time...

So while i have no real expertise in the subject, i can definitely recommend (to anyone reading) that the advice on the forum is well worth considering and i am grateful for the direction i ended up taking as a result.

I'm currently enjoying the hobby more than i think i would have with something more cheap and generic. :)


Best wishes.

Jay
Hi Jay! Yes, the guys on this forum have been great and very patient with me. I'm determined to learn as much as I can.

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#66 Post by sbaum » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:24 am

Hobbyst46 wrote:1. In general, a very bright illumination is a virtue. One can always attenuate it - much easier than the other way round. In your case, perhaps the illumination is not uniform, such that the center is too bright and the perimeter is relatively dark.
2. The amount of water in the slide has a very small effect on brightness.
3. The swing-out front lens of the condenser provides the full NA of the condenser. It should be in for high NA objectives and out for low NA objectives.
4. I think that it is easiest to start the session with the 10x objective.
5. If there is an auxiliary lens below the condenser (there is such on my scope), right above the filter carrier, that lens has a function too: when using low-mag objectives 10x, 6.3x, it helps to fill the field of view with light. So it should be swung in. For higher magnification objectives it makes no difference.
Is it possible there could be something wrong with my condenser? I viewed a drop of water and then took off the condenser. The view didn't look any different to me as far as resolution or contrast.

I'm not sure that I have a swing out front lens. Here's a picture of the top of my condenser. I saw that there are two lenses 0.32 and 0.63. The 0.63 screws off and on.

Image

I do have an auxiliary lens but it is below the filter carrier, which is how it is labelled in the manual. I did notice when I took the condenser off and looked down on the auxiliary lense there looks to me some sort of brown film on it. Swinging the lense in and out doesn't appear to affect the image though.

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#67 Post by 75RR » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:09 am

When viewing water, unless the condenser aperture is completely closed the light is so bright it almost blinds me
Can you post a photo of your light bulb? I wonder if perhaps it has been adapted.

Also, can you enumerate all the settings on your condenser? Curious as to if it has a 'D'
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#68 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:53 am

sbaum:

Please disregard my calling the front lens of the condenser "swing-out" in my previous comment no 2. My mistake, sorry, I realize that on the condenser shown in your photo, the front lens is screw-in. It provides an NA of 0.63 to the condenser. If you screw it out and remove it, the NA will be just 0.32.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#69 Post by Charles » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:26 pm

There are Zeiss Phase condensers with the flip top, as you can see here on the left:
2 Phase Condenser Flip and Not.jpg
2 Phase Condenser Flip and Not.jpg (29.74 KiB) Viewed 3885 times
There are also a variety of condenser tops. Most without the top screwed in are 0.32 NA. There are also the 0.63 tops (yours), which are primarily used for inverted scopes for for their long working distance but you still can use them up to 0.63 NA objectives. Then there are the 0.9 NA and 1.40 NA tops, as you can see on the two in the photo, for high NA objectives such as the 100X.

The phase condensers will have different annuli for phase use and darkfield use. The primary Zeiss phase have up to seven openings/settings, J for brightfield, 1-2-3 for phase and D for darkfield, and then there are open positions to be filled with whatever the user wishes to put in there. If you are lucky, you will have all phase 1-2-3 annuli plus the D darkfield one. Some only have phase 2-3 and darkfield others just the phase 2-3 or any combination of the above or even special annuli or lenses like Hoffman Modulator, DIC or Fluoro inserts.

You can check to see which you have by taking the condenser off, turn it over, and rotate through all the openings.

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#70 Post by MicroBob » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:36 pm

sbaum wrote: Is it possible there could be something wrong with my condenser? I viewed a drop of water and then took off the condenser. The view didn't look any different to me as far as resolution or contrast.

I'm not sure that I have a swing out front lens. Here's a picture of the top of my condenser. I saw that there are two lenses 0.32 and 0.63. The 0.63 screws off and on.
I do have an auxiliary lens but it is below the filter carrier, which is how it is labelled in the manual. I did notice when I took the condenser off and looked down on the auxiliary lense there looks to me some sort of brown film on it. Swinging the lense in and out doesn't appear to affect the image though.
Of cause there could be something wrong! :lol:
The condenser has the job to deliver a light cone that allows the objective to perform properly. For a low power objective you don't need a condenser at all, it only offers more light. A 100:1 objective is nearly useless without the right condenser.
Which objective was it that didn't show a gain from using the condenser? What object where you looking at?

Swing-in lenses are used to make the condenser usable for a wider range of apertures. Your condenser looks as if it had n.a 0,32 plus top lens 0,63. This is suitable for low and medium n.a. objectives.

Bob

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#71 Post by sbaum » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:11 pm

Hey guys, thanks for all the replies.
75RR wrote:Can you post a photo of your light bulb? I wonder if perhaps it has been adapted.

Also, can you enumerate all the settings on your condenser? Curious as to if it has a 'D'
Here is a picture of my bulb, it looks like the bulb in the manual to me: https://postimg.org/image/671p37yej/

My condenser has the following settings, turning clockwise (looking from top): J, (blank), 1, 2, 3, (blank), (blank)
Hobbyst46 wrote:sbaum:

Please disregard my calling the front lens of the condenser "swing-out" in my previous comment no 2. My mistake, sorry, I realize that on the condenser shown in your photo, the front lens is screw-in. It provides an NA of 0.63 to the condenser. If you screw it out and remove it, the NA will be just 0.32.
No worries. Your posts have been very helpful.
MicroBob wrote: Of cause there could be something wrong! :lol:
The condenser has the job to deliver a light cone that allows the objective to perform properly. For a low power objective you don't need a condenser at all, it only offers more light. A 100:1 objective is nearly useless without the right condenser.
Which objective was it that didn't show a gain from using the condenser? What object where you looking at?

Swing-in lenses are used to make the condenser usable for a wider range of apertures. Your condenser looks as if it had n.a 0,32 plus top lens 0,63. This is suitable for low and medium n.a. objectives.

Bob
I was viewing a drop of water from a pond and I usually start with the 10x objective (Ph1). My objectives are: 10x Plan (0.22), 10x Ph1 (0.22), 16x Ph1 (0.32), 40x Neofluar Ph2 (0.75). So for my 10x and 16x objectives should I be removing the 0.63 top lense and only use it when viewing with the 40x objective?

I wonder if maybe the water I'm viewing is too "clean"? It has no algae or other visible plant life in it. Last night I was viewing a drop of water from the same pond and found a much larger organism. Using the 10x objective I needed to keep the condenser field closed. If it was fully opened then the light was too bright and hurt my eyes. I did notice that as I switched to the 16x and 40x objectives that I was able to open the condenser field more (not fully) without it hurting my eyes. I'm assuming this was because the organism was taking up more of the view and was more opaque than the surrounding water. Here's a picture I took with my phone through the trinocular tube. The lighting in the picture was not the same as when viewing directly.
Image

This was looking at it through phase contrast (setting 1 I believe):
Image

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#72 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:35 pm

1. The bulb looks like a tungsten bulb.
2. I wonder if anyone has tempered with your transformer and changed settings. So the "5" position provides more power than it did originally. That can be easily checked in an electronics workshop, you do not need a microscopy workshop for that. But your best option now is to get hold of neutral density filters. A flat piece of grey glass will do for a start. or the polarizer films.
3. That nice organism in the photo you posted cannot reduce the brightness. It is too thin to do that.
4. When at the pond, try and locate aqueous plants - any of them: Water lilies, Water Hyacinths, Elodea, Algae. They need not look clean and green and pleasant- on the contrary. Pick some and squeeze them gently into a plastic or glass container. The "dirty" water in the container is very likely swarming with life.
Last edited by Hobbyst46 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#73 Post by sbaum » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:38 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:1. That is a nice organism, but neither it nor anything similar to it will reduce the brightness. They are two thin to do that.
2. When at the pond, try and locate aqueous plants - any of them: Water lilies, Water Hyacinths, Elodea, Algae. They need not look clean and green and pleasant- on the contrary. Pick some and squeeze them gently into a plastic or glass container. The "dirty" water in the container is very likely swarming with life.
Thanks for the tip! Any idea what the organism is? Me and my sons were looking at images online and at first we thought it was some kind of ciliate but we also saw some rotifers that looked similar.

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#74 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:56 pm

Regretfully I do not know what this creature is, but experts will soon identify it, I am sure.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#75 Post by 75RR » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:31 pm

Thanks for posting an image of the bulb. It looks correct.

Very good first image. looks like a rotifer to me.

I have another suggestion on the illumination brightness problem.
You could get a different power supply, one that will allow you to reduce the voltage below the min 5v you now have.

See link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/CARL-ZEISS-LEP ... Sw87RarEGS

The advantage of this power supply is that apart from permitting a lower voltage i.e. 2v, 3v, 4v .... it will also allow you to power the 60w and 100w lamp houses if you decide one day to upgrade your illumination system.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#76 Post by Charles » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:13 pm

75RR wrote:I have another suggestion on the illumination brightness problem.
You could get a different power supply, one that will allow you to reduce the voltage below the min 5v you now have.

See link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/CARL-ZEISS-LEP ... Sw87RarEGS

The advantage of this power supply is that apart from permitting a lower voltage i.e. 2v, 3v, 4v .... it will also allow you to power the 60w and 100w lamp houses if you decide one day to upgrade your illumination system.
That is an excellent suggestion. As you notice on the back of that power supply, there are four connection points. For your 6V system, you would use the top two or the bottom two, and for a 12V system, you would plug into the two middle. You can also plug in two 6V systems by plugging one into the top two and the other the bottom two. The voltage selector allows you to select whatever is comfortable for you.

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#77 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:22 pm

I wonder if the LEP stands for Ludl Electronic Products. Their illumination shutters and filter wheels were excellent. Do they modify Zeiss instruments or refurbish them? Or represent Zeiss in the US?
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#78 Post by 75RR » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:50 am

I wonder if the LEP stands for Ludl Electronic Products. Their illumination shutters and filter wheels were excellent. Do they modify Zeiss instruments or refurbish them? Or represent Zeiss in the US?
Yes, Ludl Electronic Products. They used to make 110v power supplies for several manufactures. Among them Wild, Wetzlar and Zeiss
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#79 Post by 75RR » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:57 am

Here is another one (combined 6v and 12v) at a reasonable price:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/LEP-Microscope ... Swe7BWxLTY

Don't worry about the 7.5-15V labeling - that is just the Lab it was used in reminding the 'overenthusiastic' microscopists that if you put the needle in the red it over-clocks it and shortens the bulb lifespan.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#80 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:38 pm

sbaum:
About rubber eye-cups, to fit over the eyepieces and protect eye glasses:
I ordered from

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rubber-Eye-Cup ... 2749.l2649

The diameter of my eyepieces is 35mm except for the front rim which is 36-37mm
I ordered rubber eyecups of size 36mm (whatever that means).
Just arrived, after a long transit and postal (or other) delay, so arrived two weeks later than latest scheduled day.
They fit OK over the eyepieces, and are useful but not convenient. The rubber is hard so I must press into the cups in order to see the whole field of view.
They only cost $7.80, but I would rather buy a better brand when I find it.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#81 Post by sbaum » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:03 am

Thanks for the suggestions on transformers. I will keep that in mind. For now I think I will sit back and try and enjoy using the microscope as-is, and learning more about microscopy.

I received my green filter today and used it during phase contrast. It did seem to make it easier to see structure.

Hobbyist46, thanks for your feedback on the eye-cups. I am thinking about ordering these from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/OMAX-Small-Rubbe ... B00FG8B474

This thread has varied a lot in topic. Do you guys think I should open a new thread for my questions going forward?

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#82 Post by 75RR » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:57 am

Thanks for the suggestions on transformers. I will keep that in mind.
We should have suggested it earlier. Do go for it. It is not the cheapest but it is by far the best solution.
Being able to dim the light precisely is a prerequisite for good imaging. Less eyestrain as well!
This thread has varied a lot in topic. Do you guys think I should open a new thread for my questions going forward?
It has got a bit long. Good idea.
Last edited by 75RR on Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#83 Post by 75RR » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:10 am

Looking at this image - I would say it is COL (Circular Oblique Lighting) rather than phase.
Not to worry. COL is a kissing cousin to Phase, and a worthwhile illumination technique it its own right.


Image

See link: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... jcol2.html
It is worth a read. Note: It is in 4 parts.

Do you have a Phase telescope? It is not enough to swing in the matching ph port.
You need to center the annulus very precisely with the 'x' and 'y' axis controls.
See link to photo showing these controls:
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5815&start=30#p52591
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Re: Looking for first microscope

#84 Post by GaryB » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:58 am

Fun and interesting thread and congrats on getting a great microscope.

When you have some free time it's worth watching "Understanding the Light Microscope by Peter Evennett"
https://youtu.be/60_jgZtyR6U
It covers a lot of the questions you have in a very well presented way, giving lots of information about how everything works in easy steps with clear explanations and impeccable demonstrations. It has a good deal of depth without getting overly technical. Luckily, he uses the same microscope but with a special objective setup for demonstration purposes as it's easier to show what he's doing. You will know and understand a lot more after watching it. It has logical segments so you can skip to any area of particular interest. Grab a coffee, put it on and sit back and enjoy!

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#85 Post by sbaum » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:41 pm

GaryB, thanks for that video link. I have start watching it and it's very informative.

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#86 Post by Nance » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:37 pm

wow @charles ! wowza!

looking at those WL's, I am wondering... how compatible are the parts with the older LG?
GaryB wrote: When you have some free time it's worth watching "Understanding the Light Microscope by Peter Evennett"
https://youtu.be/60_jgZtyR6U
great video, so clearly presented with great demonstrations. thanks for the link.

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Re: Looking for first microscope

#87 Post by wstenberg » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:07 am

Great Microscope. Congratulations!
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