New Lomo Microscope - need further information

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Amoeba
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New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#1 Post by Amoeba » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:03 am

I recently acquired a Lomo microscope which came in a nice wooden case along with several optical pieces in a tray. It is probably a very basic student instrument but it is heavy and seems well made. There seems to be no indication of the date of manufacture, but the model number looks like M6P-1. The '6' has an unusual squared rather than rounded top so I figured that it must be a Russian letter and sure enough, it appears that it is a 'b'. Searching for MbP-1 I found a scanned English manual in PDF format, but although the text can be read, the scan is rather poor and some of the details of the illustrations are difficult to make out.

My first goal is to identify what all of the controls do but I have to admit I am struggling with that from this version of the manual. I was hoping that someone on here might have a clearer scan or know where I can get further information?

I have been able to work out some of them, e.g. rotating the turret, raising and lowering of the optical assembly arm for course focus. There is also a fine focus control both to the left and the right of the main column, with the one on the right having some numerical markings. The condenser is present under the stage and this can be raised or lowered. There is an iris that can be opened and closed. There appears to be a slot for a filter and a lens that can be swung in and out of place between the condenser and the mirror. The mirror is two sided, with a flat mirror on one side and a convex one on the other although I'm not sure why one would use one side versus the other. I have found that I can flip the mirror over if I raise the condenser assembly far enough upwards.

I can see that one of the controls moves the stage backwards and forwards, but I'm not sure what the others do. According to that manual it should be possible to rotate the stage although I have not yet managed to do so. One of the thumbscrew controls on the stage is very stiff indeed and barely moves. Another long rod control with a screw threaded end appears to be designed to slide left and right but does not move. I think the stage may require cleaning and lubrication but I would like further advice on this.

The microscope came with a 7x, 10x and 15x eyepiece as well as the following objectives:

Lomo, 3.7, 0.11
Prior 4x, 0.12
Unbranded, 8, 0.20
Prior, 1/6, N.A .70 x42
C Baker, London, 1/6, N.A 0.7 x40

I am curious as to what the 1/6 means on the last two in the list?

I would also like to find out whether there is a lamp that can be purchased that is suitable for this model and that can be used in place of the mirror. At a push, I could probably build one myself out of spare bits I already have to hand.

As a quick test I used a small good quality LED torch held in the hand and pointed at the mirror to light the underside of a piece of paper that I had clipped to the stage and I could see the fine details of fibers using the 7x eyepice and the x40 objective. I don't have any slides yet, but as a starting point I was thinking of getting one of those sample sets one can get on eBay for £30 or so and also some blank slides and covers to prepare my own slides in due course.

At some point I will probably want to look at objectives as there seems to be quite a gap between x8 and x40, so it occurs to me that something in between, say x20 or x25 might be useful.

For now, I would like to find as much further information as possible, particularly regarding the controls on the stage. A clearer instruction or user manual would be ideal. If anyone can help answer any of my questions, that would be appreciated as well.
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MichaelG.
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#2 Post by MichaelG. » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:27 am

Is this the manual that you found ?
http://mikroskopfreunde-nordhessen.de/dateien/MBR-1.pdf

Russian grease is notorious for 'stiffening-up' ... You may get away with thinning it with light oil or kerosene ['PlusGas formula A' dismantling fluid is good], but will probably need to dismantle, clean, and re-lubricate.

1/6 refers to the focal length of the objective in inches.

MichaelG.
.
.
P.S. That fine focus mechanism is much better than the big disc that they used on later models.

P.P.S. Useful link: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... ource.html
Too many 'projects'

Amoeba
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#3 Post by Amoeba » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:26 pm

MichaelG. wrote:Is this the manual that you found ?
http://mikroskopfreunde-nordhessen.de/dateien/MBR-1.pdf
Yes, that is the one. I have found it useful and am grateful to whoever posted it, but the resolution is rather low and consequently I have found some bits a bit difficult to work out.
MichaelG. wrote: Russian grease is notorious for 'stiffening-up' ... You may get away with thinning it with light oil or kerosene ['PlusGas formula A' dismantling fluid is good], but will probably need to dismantle, clean, and re-lubricate.
I have heard the same said about grease in some telescopes made in China. At some point I will have to take a deep breath and start dismantling to clean it up. Will need to get the lubricants in first though.
MichaelG. wrote: 1/6 refers to the focal length of the objective in inches.
Thanks for explaining that.
MichaelG. wrote: P.S. That fine focus mechanism is much better than the big disc that they used on later models.

P.P.S. Useful link: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... ource.html
[/quote]
Yes, it does seem to have a nice feel to it, but there does seem to be a notch. I can't find mention of this in the manual which makes me wonder if there is some problem. The information at microscopy.org is certainly useful. Some good tips about cleaning and lubricating. I didn't realise that specialised lubricants would be needed.

I have attached a photo of the unknown objective in the hope that someone can identify the logo? The other side has just '8 0.20' stamped on it. Can anyone tell me anything about the other objectives. I presume they are pretty much bottom end stuff but although I have come across C. Baker before, I'm don't think that I have heard of Prior although I see some of their microscopes for sale on eBay. Are these objectives better than the Lomo ones which they appear to have replaced at some point?

BTW, the top of the condenser looks kind of dull. Perhaps it has oil or glycerine residue or some other grime on it ad and just needs a good clean. Is IPA OK to clean this?
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MicroBob
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#4 Post by MicroBob » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:41 pm

This is a close and well made copy of the Zeiss Jena LG model from 1934, a groundbreaking design at it's time. In the Lomo infothek you will probably find a repair manual for it too. Your objectives are a mix and probably not parfocal. This means that you might crash into the slide when you change objectives. If you seek for "Lomo Biolam", a close, cheaper made copy, you will find lots of information.
I had one of these and it was nearly as well made as a Zeiss Lg, and it it still a good work microscope today.
It is 160mm tube length. If you can turn the focus wide enough up you might be able to use more modern 45mm objectives.

You might look for a matching set of objectives, a binocular tube, a light source and a 5-seat nosepiece.

Bob

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Crater Eddie
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#5 Post by Crater Eddie » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:56 pm

Yes, this is a good model scope and you should be able to upgrade it at very reasonable cost.
CE
Olympus BH-2 / BHTU with Olympus E-P1 MFT camera mounted
LOMO BIOLAM L-2-2
LOMO POLAM L-213 / BIOLAM L-211 hybrid
LOMO Multiscope (Biolam)

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#6 Post by Amoeba » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:07 pm

MicroBob wrote:This is a close and well made copy of the Zeiss Jena LG model from 1934, a groundbreaking design at it's time. In the Lomo infothek you will probably find a repair manual for it too. .... If you seek for "Lomo Biolam", a close, cheaper made copy, you will find lots of information.
Thanks for this. I had a look at http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... ource.html earlier as provided by MichaelG and this had some information on Biolam microscopes, but the images gave the impression that the information was for more modern scopes so I haven't dug too deep yet except to consult an article about cleaning and lubrication. I couldn't find any date information on the instrument itself or in the manual, but it does look to be earlier than the more squared designs of the 70s. Having googled the term, I see there is much more information including some history. I had seen some objectives on eBay labelled as Zeiss-Lomo and wondered what the connection is. I see that there there was a common manufacturing history before WW2 but then there was a separation, so I guess this is still a manipulation of keywords to get hits? Anyway, I will have a search for the repair manual that you mention as it would be very helpful.
MicroBob wrote: Your objectives are a mix and probably not parfocal. This means that you might crash into the slide when you change objectives.
I had forgotten about parfocality and its a good point, something for me to consider once I get it cleaned up.
MicroBob wrote: You might look for a matching set of objectives, a binocular tube, a light source and a 5-seat nosepiece.
5-seat-nosepiece? Took a few moments for me to realise what this was. Well the would allow me to mount an additional objective. A matching set of objectives and then a binocular tube would probably be of a greater priority once I have cleaned and lubricated it. I do appreciate the advice.
Crater Eddie wrote:Yes, this is a good model scope and you should be able to upgrade it at very reasonable cost.
CE
Sounds like my initial investment of £30 wasn't a bad one then although further investment is sure to follow!

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#7 Post by Amoeba » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:39 pm

I had another look at the stage tonight. It seems that it does rotate OK after all. I just had to slacken off the thumbscrew that secures it. There is quite a bit of resistance and I suppose it could run a little easier, but it does glide quite nicely. There are also two thumb screws, one either side, that position the stage moving it left and right and when operated together, forward and aft. It was the right hand one that was very stiff. I could only move it a couple of half turns or so at a time. It took me a while making a half turn or two in one direction then back the other, but I was gradually able to unscrew it all the way, remove it and clean both the screw thread and the hole. I imagine that some of the thick grease at the base of the stage must have contaminated the thread and got pulled in at some point. So the good news is that the stage seems fine.

I am curious about the feet. There are no felt or rubber pads on the bottom. I'm not sure whether there should be or not, but I do have some felt pads and wondered whether I could put them on to protect my table top a bit?

I don't suppose it has any particular significance but I discovered a signature on the bottom of the case. Can't quite make it out except for the R.
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#8 Post by zzffnn » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:05 am

The 3.7x NA 0.11 objective, or at least one version of it, has been tested and considered to be very good for macrophotography. You don't need eyepiece compensation for it and it provides a large well corrected image circle to cover at least APSC sensor at 150mm objective shoulder to sensor distance. It is not a plan design though.

The 8x NA 0.20 objective looks like LOMO's design as well. I heard LOMO 's plan 9x NA 0.20 is supposed to be better and very good, but the 8x is definitely not bottom end stuff.

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#9 Post by MicroBob » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:52 am

Your microscope is from 1969 (see serial number first two digits)
It was sold with objectives of about 33mm, close but not exactly the same as ca. 33mm Zeiss objectives.

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#10 Post by Amoeba » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:49 pm

zzffnn wrote:The 3.7x NA 0.11 objective, or at least one version of it, has been tested and considered to be very good for macrophotography. You don't need eyepiece compensation for it and it provides a large well corrected image circle to cover at least APSC sensor at 150mm objective shoulder to sensor distance. It is not a plan design though.

The 8x NA 0.20 objective looks like LOMO's design as well. I heard LOMO 's plan 9x NA 0.20 is supposed to be better and very good, but the 8x is definitely not bottom end stuff.
Thanks for your feedback on the objectives. I had wondered whether the x8 might be one of the original Lomo pieces but it doesn't actually have their name stamped on it so I had my doubts and I do not recognize that logo. There is a x9 on eBay at the moment for not too much (£24+pp) but I will hold off for now.
MicroBob wrote:Your microscope is from 1969 (see serial number first two digits)
It was sold with objectives of about 33mm, close but not exactly the same as ca. 33mm Zeiss objectives.
Thanks. I didn't know that the year of manufacture was encoded into the serial number.

Incidentally, thinking about possible upgrades you mentioned earlier, I had ordered some slides and covers and then came across a binocular with 2 x K10 eyepieces but I'm not sure what kind of price I should be paying? Its less than £50 but it is black. Although my microscope has a black stage, it is predominantly grey/beige. I tend to put functionality above cosmetic appearance, but I'm must confess to being rather unsure about how that combination might look! Rather curiously, there were 2 x K7s that came with this microscope along with an unknown 10x as well as a K15. I have not had the opportunity any of them properly yet and they do need cleaning, but I understand the K15 to be rather poor? The binocular and the K10's would seem to complement what I already have rather well, but would cost me more than the microscope before I had even taken a look at a single slide!

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#11 Post by MicroBob » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:00 pm

This is the socialistic side of microscopy: In most cases you don't see more with a more expoensive instrument, it is just more comfortable.
So if you are a one-eyed pirate, the binocular tube may be of little importance.
You could use either a Lomo bino with tube factor 1,6, an old Zeiss Jena Lg bino with tube factor 1,5 or a newer Zeiss Jena NG/NF Bino with tube factor 1.
The colour of your microscope is rare, I don't know if there were binos in this colour at all.

Tube factor 1,5 means that a 10x18 eyepiece acts as if it were a 15x12 eyepiece (magnification-field of view). To get the same image a tube with tube factor 1 offers with a 10x18 eyepiece you would need a 6,7X27 eyepiece which is not possible inside an RMS tube. So in practice a higher tube factor means a smaller image. Since the eye sight is sharpest in the middle this is mainly a disadvantage for seeking, not so much for observing.

It might be the best idea to use your microscope as it is and if you like microscopy to buy a complete stand with most parts you would like to have. This depends of cause on the money you have available. If you can't afford more, you got a lot of microscope for little money and will be able to get started.

Bob

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#12 Post by Amoeba » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:14 pm

MicroBob wrote:This is the socialistic side of microscopy: In most cases you don't see more with a more expoensive instrument, it is just more comfortable.
The Nikon microscope I use for electronics work has a binocular and this is indeed more comfortable, and I would say even essential for this kind of work where the depth of field important. However, I'm not so sure whether depth of field is that important for biology? I appreciate what you mean when you say that you don't see more. Its still the same sample and same image, just that with a binocular it is being viewed with both eyes and with a more expensive instrument the sharper image provided by superior optics would minimize eye fatigue.
MicroBob wrote: You could use either a Lomo bino with tube factor 1,6, an old Zeiss Jena Lg bino with tube factor 1,5 or a newer Zeiss Jena NG/NF Bino with tube factor 1.
...
Tube factor 1,5 means that a 10x18 eyepiece acts as if it were a 15x12 eyepiece (magnification-field of view). To get the same image a tube with tube factor 1 offers with a 10x18 eyepiece you would need a 6,7X27 eyepiece which is not possible inside an RMS tube. So in practice a higher tube factor means a smaller image. Since the eye sight is sharpest in the middle this is mainly a disadvantage for seeking, not so much for observing.
The Lomo bino I was looking at is an AU-12 with a 1,5 factor and is the one specified in the user manual. I hadn't considered what impact the tube factor might have but if I understand this correctly, then a 10x eyepiece will act as a 1,5x (because of the binocular magnification factor of 1,5), so the f.o.v will be correspondingly smaller. I would therefore expect to see an area of the slide that is also correspondingly smaller because I am "zoomed in" 1,5x closer as it were. I can see how that might make scanning a sample more difficult, but I'm still unclear how that translates into a smaller image? I would have thought that the actual circle of the image would remain the same? Or have I mis-understood? Sorry If I'm talking rubbish. I just want to understand the implications.
MicroBob wrote: The colour of your microscope is rare, I don't know if there were binos in this colour at all.
I did actually come across a couple. One was from Belarus and was twice the cost and without the eyepieces. It was described as Lomo... Zeiss..... but had no branding at all on the piece. A copy perhaps? There was also one from Russia, branded, and with both K7 and K10 eyepices, but costing three times as much.
MicroBob wrote: It might be the best idea to use your microscope as it is and if you like microscopy to buy a complete stand with most parts you would like to have. This depends of cause on the money you have available. If you can't afford more, you got a lot of microscope for little money and will be able to get started.
The binoviewer isn't actually essential for me to be able to make use of the microscope and I am not inclined to spend too much initially. But, equally, I didn't want to pass up what might be an opportunity to acquire at a good price. However, if the price (£40-£50) is about the going rate for the bino + 2 x K10 eyepieces and these crop up regularly then there is no real urgency. On the other hand I also see the merit in using what I have and establishing what my interests in microscopy might be, and then later buying a kit that suits my requirements. Something to think about.

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#13 Post by MicroBob » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:07 pm

You microscope will not offer stereoscopic view with a binocular tube. It will just offer the same content (hopefully) to both eyes. With two eyes it might be somewhat easier to observe and for me it is much more convenient.

You can observe very well with a bino tube with 1,5 tube factor. Only in direct comparison you will see that it offers a bit of a keyhole view. When choosing the eyepiece tube factor is important: Abbe determined long ago that you shouldn't enlarge the image to more than 500-1000 times the numeric aperture of the objective. E.g. a 4:1 n.a. 0,12 objective should not be enlarged more than 120x combined mag.. This would allow a 20x eyepiece with a 1,5 bino tube, so no limitation. When you take a 40:1 n.a 0,6 things change: You shouldn't exceed 600x total mag. Here a 15x eyepiece with a 1,5 tube factor bino tube would be too much already. For this reason these old Zeiss design binos were used with 7x and 10x eyepieces.

There is much more to a good start into this hobby than a nice microscope. You need interest and ideas what to observe, you need sources for samples and preparation materials. And probably you need someone to share your findings with, like in this forum. So you can just start with your microscope and look how you get going. It would be a big benefit to have a microscopy group to attend to. Is there one in your area?

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#14 Post by Amoeba » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:28 am

MicroBob wrote:You microscope will not offer stereoscopic view with a binocular tube. It will just offer the same content (hopefully) to both eyes. With two eyes it might be somewhat easier to observe and for me it is much more convenient.
This is no surprise. Given the very shallow depth of field I would not have expected a stereoscopic view, just as you point out, "the same content with both eyes". From my so far limited experience, it does seem a bit more difficult - but not impossibly or unduly uncomfortably so - to work with the single tube, however the eye does seem to fatigue that bit more easily.
MicroBob wrote: You can observe very well with a bino tube with 1,5 tube factor. Only in direct comparison you will see that it offers a bit of a keyhole view. When choosing the eyepiece tube factor is important: Abbe determined long ago that you shouldn't enlarge the image to more than 500-1000 times the numeric aperture of the objective. E.g. a 4:1 n.a. 0,12 objective should not be enlarged more than 120x combined mag.. This would allow a 20x eyepiece with a 1,5 bino tube, so no limitation. When you take a 40:1 n.a 0,6 things change: You shouldn't exceed 600x total mag. Here a 15x eyepiece with a 1,5 tube factor bino tube would be too much already. For this reason these old Zeiss design binos were used with 7x and 10x eyepieces.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. I will bear this in mind.
MicroBob wrote: There is much more to a good start into this hobby than a nice microscope. You need interest and ideas what to observe, you need sources for samples and preparation materials. And probably you need someone to share your findings with, like in this forum. So you can just start with your microscope and look how you get going. It would be a big benefit to have a microscopy group to attend to. Is there one in your area?
Point well take, I already have some ideas regarding what I might want to explore but without slides, I am currently a bit restricted. I would like to explore diatoms and other microscopic water life as well as plants/flowers etc.

For now I have only looked at things I can easily clip into the slide holder, e.g. a piece of printed paper to examine the microdots of the print, and a lens cleaning cloth to examine the fibers. For the print I found that the x8 objective was ideal, however, for the fibers, I found that the C. Baker x40 objective seemed to provide a far superior image to the rather more modern looking Prior x42. Looking through the C. Baker x40, it was clear that what I was looking at was individual strands of fibre, whereas in the Prior, I could initially only see fuzzy edges and it was difficult to tell exactly what I was looking at. Only after looking at the image in the C. Baker could I make sense of the image in the Prior and I therefore suspect it is perhaps not well suited to this 'scope'. Another benefit of the C. Baker is that is seems to be practically parafocal to the Lomo 8x - I can swing either it into place and only a minor tweak is required. The barrel of the Prior on the other hand, is rather longer and I have to remember to back off before turning the rotary selector.

I also found I have to experiment a bit with the position of the mirror as well as the condenser diaphragm to get the lighting just right. In fact , tilting the mirror so the light was somewhat offset and gave a dark-field view seemed to be better suited in this case.

The information on microscopy.org and elsewhere has been helpful and I think I am making some progress in understanding how to operate the instrument. No doubt much more to be learned, like for example, preparation materials, which I had not even considered yet.

With a little care, it seems that photography is also possible. The attached are photos of a fine lens cloth, the first through the Lomo x8 and the second through the C. Baker x40 and the K7 eyepiece. The photos were done using my mobile phone via a suitable attachment adapter which I already had. I would point out that this was just a quick experiment so the setup was by no means optimal.

I am not aware of a microscopy group in the midlands and my Internet searches so far have come up short.
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#15 Post by MicroBob » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:04 pm

With a matching pair of 8:1 and 40:1 you have already the two most used objectives and can do most of the observing the amateur is likely to do. To evaluate the objectivey you would need a contrasty and very flat object. The 40:1 will be calculated for use with a 0,17mm cover slip - is this mentioned on the barrel?
Old objectives have often dirt on the back lens. 40:1 objectives with their small working distance are often encrusted with immersion oil and dirt. In this case the comparison of your objectives may have to be repeated.
When you are happy with the monocular tube, this is fine. There has to be a reason that binocular tubes were not immediately adopted by most microscopists, when they became available.

Plancton is a nice beginner subject. You only need one slide, one cover slip, one pipette. Then you need something to concentrate the plancton.
For this I always recommend a plastic tube with a piece of stainless steel grid of ca. 50µ mesh size welded on one opening. The grid can be bought on ebay.

Are your midlands close to one of these meetings?
http://www.quekett.org/about/programme
https://postalmicroscopicalsociety.github.io/meet.html

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#16 Post by Amoeba » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:52 pm

No, the cover slip thickness does not appear to be mentioned on any of the objectives. The C.Baker has 1/6 x40 NA 0.7 written on it. The prior has 1/6 N.A. .70 x42. When someone mentioned about the objectives being parafocal, I had a look and picked up a Lomo x40 on eBay for £11. It arrived just a few minutes ago. It has 40 0.65 stamped on one side and the Lomo logo and serial number on the other. It seems just as good as the C. Baker but has a slightly narrower field of view but a little more depth of field and is the closest in terms of being parafocal with the x8. The attached photo, while not being the exact same section, is the same cloth under the Lomo x40.

The Prior x42 also has a slightly smaller field of view than the C. Baker, perhaps more comparable to the Lomo, but I think it sacrifices much in terms of depth of field. If I get the focus just right I can pick out parts of individual strands, but the rest of the field of view blurs out of focus to the point of being indistinct, so what happens is that I actually see much less detail overall in the field of view. In a flatter field the difference may not be quite so significant. I am thinking about selling the Prior, but I take your point about a suitable contrasty object to evaluate properly so I will wait until I have had that opportunity. I will also check the rear lens of the objectives.

Plankton seems like an interesting first project. I had already been looking at pipettes for obtaining samples of water from e.g. the local reservoir or the ponds on the nature reserve. I was not sure whether to go for the glass ones which are re-usable, or the plastic disposable ones. I imagine a number of small bottles would also be useful. What do others on here use?

Is there anything of interest to be found in soil samples? Can one see algae and bacteria for example?

I also had a look on eBay for the stainless steel grid of ca. 50µ mesh size but I could find nothing relevant. Perhaps I was using the wrong search terms but if anyone can point me in the right direction it would be appreciated.
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#17 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:24 pm

Amoeba wrote:...I had already been looking at pipettes for obtaining samples of water from e.g. the local reservoir or the ponds on the nature reserve. I was not sure whether to go for the glass ones which are re-usable, or the plastic disposable ones. I imagine a number of small bottles would also be useful. What do others on here use?
Is there anything of interest to be found in soil samples? Can one see algae and bacteria for example?
I use disposable plastic pipettes, since the tips of glass "Pasteur pipettes" are fragile. I clean and reuse the disposable pipettes, many times. They are made of inert plastic, tolerate many cleaning chemicals - but neither strong oxidative acids nor heat.
Damp soil samples contain many organisms, often tiny worms. Algae are eaqsily observed with 10X-40X objectives and are beautiful. Bacteria are made visible with 40X and above by staining, but IMO are not very interesting.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#18 Post by MicroBob » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:08 am

This is the type of mesh I use, they sell worldwide:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/Edelstahlsieb-E ... ctupt=true

In plancton you can find a wide variety of algae and also a wide variety of small animals. Depending on the pond you take the sample from and from the time of year and the wheather the content is very different. In Hamburg the pond of the big graveyard has ledgendary plancton - really. :lol:

Bacteria have a size of about 1µ. The border resolution of the light microscope is aroung 0,2µ. So you can detect if the bacterium is there, get a vague image of the shape but get no information on the structure of the bacterium. The single bacterium tends to be a bit boring to observe.
We actually observed bacteria on a group meeting last year. One member spent a lot of time to develop a method to selectedly breed bacteria from surface samples. We then looked at agar plates on which there bacteria an fungi had grown for 10 days. But this difficult and the equipment again costs more than your microscope.

Bob

Amoeba
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#19 Post by Amoeba » Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:48 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote: I use disposable plastic pipettes, since the tips of glass "Pasteur pipettes" are fragile. I clean and reuse the disposable pipettes, many times. They are made of inert plastic, tolerate many cleaning chemicals - but neither strong oxidative acids nor heat.
Thanks you. I guess fragility (and safety) is as good an argument as any to avoid using glass pipettes.
Hobbyst46 wrote: Damp soil samples contain many organisms, often tiny worms. Algae are eaqsily observed with 10X-40X objectives and are beautiful. Bacteria are made visible with 40X and above by staining, but IMO are not very interesting.
Ok, so it sounds like it might be worthwhile to study some soil samples to look at algae and other organisms but leave out bacteria for now.
MicroBob wrote:This is the type of mesh I use, they sell worldwide:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/Edelstahlsieb-E ... ctupt=true
Thanks. I will order one of those. What sort of size tube does one need, and how does one go about "concentrating" plankton? Does the plankton get caught by the mesh when you filter water through it? Or does the mesh filter other debris? I had hoped to find some information about collecting techniques on one of the microscopy sites, but they tend to concentrate on equipment and the actual specimens but I seem to have found little on methods of collection and preparation. The Primer on microscopy-uk.co.uk for example, explains the instrument and how to use it, but nothing about collecting the actual samples so appreciate your advice.

I imagine, for example, that soil samples will need to be prepared in some way to remove the gravel and debris?
MicroBob wrote: In plancton you can find a wide variety of algae and also a wide variety of small animals. Depending on the pond you take the sample from and from the time of year and the wheather the content is very different. In Hamburg the pond of the big graveyard has ledgendary plancton - really. :lol:
Will be interesting to see what the local water features turn up.
Thank you for patiently answering my questions.

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#20 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:23 pm

Amoeba wrote:I imagine, for example, that soil samples will need to be prepared in some way to remove the gravel and debris?
It all depends on the composition of the soil, and that changes from location to location. For example, soil can be a mixture of quarz particles (=sand), silt (much smaller particles, some of them are transparent mica, some are feldspar) and organic decay material, often brown/green/gray. The sand particles ("gravel") are heaviest, so they rapidly sink to the bottom of the containder. The critters remain swimming in the suspension.
Get some small disposable or glass petri dishes, small beakers/vials, and collect small soil samples into these containers - a really small amount. Add a few drops of water, swirl to mix, wait for the heavy mass to separate, transfer a drop of the suspension to a slide and inspect. "Mud" from the beach or lake or river should be ideal. But it is all trial and error.
A year ago I received a sample of lake bottom soil. Hoped to find diatoms. But most of it was very fine sand, created by erosion of basalt. The only few organisms that I found were apparently very young larvae of snails.
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#21 Post by MicroBob » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:57 am

For soil samples it is advisable to use a Berlese funnel: http://www.mikrohamburg.de/Tips/T_Berle ... arate.html

For pond collecting methods there is a good book. We are at work to put it in a new layout. The original is here: https://archive.org/details/b28128163/page/n6

Using the plancton sieve: The best setup is to use piece of plastic HT-tube of 70mm diameter and ca. 90mm length. Cut it of halfway even. Then put the whole piece of mesh on top and weld it be heating the mesh. You can use a solder iron or even the kitchen oven. At first you weld single spots in diametral positions to fix the mesh on the tube. Then full weld the circumference. "Welding" here is just to heat the mesh to ca. 200 °C and press it into the plastic.
A really nice setup consisty of a round plastic box with a lid that holds the plancton sieve, and inside the sieve you can store a urine sample bottle of water enriched with plancton. At the pond you just keep on pouring water with the box through the sieve until you have a nice concentration together. Always fill the sample bottle completely because otherwise the splashing insife will harm the plancton life. Keep it evenly temperated and realease it into a pond aquarium with some plants afterwards. This can be any jar with clear glass of 1 liter or more.

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#22 Post by Amoeba » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:43 pm

My slides arrived the other day, but at least 4 were broken. Also no covers despite the listing saying that they are included. I guess I will have to wait a while longer before I can start observing in earnest....

I have also ordered some plastic petri dishes and some pipettes. Still to order the mesh. I think I have a suitable piece of pipe somewhere in the garage.

Microbob, thanks for the info on the Berlese funnel. I will give some consideration to setting something up.

Those Lomo binos have gone now. There were a dozen people watching so I guess someone eventually hit the BIN button and purchased them. Saw a Zeiss one as well for about £70 and that is gone too. Still, for now I'm concentrating on getting essentials such as slides so I can get a bit of observing done!

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#23 Post by MicroBob » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:31 pm

To get started you can just cut a CD cover in stripes and use transparent adhesive film (In Germany: TESA-Film) as the cover slip. For low power objectives this is very acceptable.

Bob

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#24 Post by Crater Eddie » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:33 pm

Hopefully you can get some satisfaction on your slides. Good quality slides and cover slips are an important part of your optical train, don't settle for bargain basement stuff.
Lots of good talk here about collection methods and whatnot, but don't overlook the fact that you can get started by just dipping a jam jar in the water and see what you find. Collect some small plants from the water, you will find many interesting creatures clinging to them. Dug up a little mud too, and let it all settle out. Lots of good work can be done this way while you put together the rest of your kit.
Don't hold your breath while you look for a five position nose piece for your LOMO, I haven't found one yet that looked like it would fit my similar scope. You might get lucky of course. You have the rotating stage with clips, if you don't mind spending money there is a very good add-on mechanical stage that will mount on that to give you good X-Y control of the slide. I see 2 or 3 on eBay right now. You could even replace your rotating stage with a complete mechanical stage with more convenient controls, I see several of those too. It all depends on how much you want to spend. If it was me, I would start with a binocular head and a set of good oculars as was mentioned earlier, then go from there.
CE

While waiting for your pipettes, look for the smallest diameter drinking straw you can find and use that. Hold your thumb on one end to seal it then let up when you have the other end in the water. Put your thumb back and Bob's your uncle. Its not ideal, but will work. It takes a bit of finesse.
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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#25 Post by billbillt » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:55 pm

Hi,

"For pond collecting methods there is a good book. We are at work to put it in a new layout. The original is here: https://archive.org/details/b28128163/page/n6"

Yes, it is a very good book.. Download the PDF version for easy reading or printing if you so desire..

BillT

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#26 Post by MicroBob » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:28 am

5-seat nosepieces from the Zeiss Jena LG, NG and NF (black) fit perfectly. Nosepieces from the Zeiss Jena Amplival-series ( beige) are just slightly higher, no practical problem. On german ebay these nosepieces cost about 25€ each.

Bob

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Re: New Lomo Microscope - need further information

#27 Post by Crater Eddie » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:05 pm

That's good to know Bob, thanks for the heads-up.
CE
Olympus BH-2 / BHTU with Olympus E-P1 MFT camera mounted
LOMO BIOLAM L-2-2
LOMO POLAM L-213 / BIOLAM L-211 hybrid
LOMO Multiscope (Biolam)

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