Leica Vs Olympus Compound Microscopes what are your opinion?

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Leica Vs Olympus Compound Microscopes what are your opinion?

#1 Post by lperepol » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:50 pm

I am looking to buy a higher end microscope and am considering Leica DM2000, Olympus BX43, Nikon Eclipse FN1.
I am dreaming for now and am scoping out prices. Does anyone have experience using these scopes?
1) OMAX 40X-2500X 18MP USB3 Plan Phase Contrast Trinocular LED with Turret Phase Disk
2) AmScope Trinocular Stereo, 3.5X-90X Magnification Four-Zone LED Ring Light

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Re: Leica Vs Olympus Compound Microscopes what are your opinion?

#2 Post by PeteM » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:57 pm

I have experience with somewhat similar microscopes, having a few Leica (DMLS, DMLB, DMRB), Olympus (pair of BX40), and some Nikon 60mm Apo & Fluor objectives (those mounted on a Leica scope). I've been playing around, trying to add DIC capabilities, without giving up both an arm and a leg.

First thing, they're all wonderful microscopes, with various models that compete head to head. Things like price, availability, and -- if you're in a research situation, support -- might trump whatever optical or ergonomic differences you might find. On the ergo front, I do like a tilting head. It's an option with all three brands.

Also like the slightly longer working distances of the 60mm parfocal Nikon objectives I have, but then you're into proprietary Nikon territory for upgrades.

Images from fluorite objectives from all three brands seem pretty much comparable to me.

All three scopes can be configured for wide fields of view (around 26mm). I can see why this would be productive for someone scanning slides all day, but for me 22mm is comfortable. I almost have to strain to see the wider view. Your impressions might vary.

If you plan to dip into the used market and want to add various options and objectives as time and funds permit, then my experience might be of some use. There seems to be a slightly wider range (in the US, Ebay, etc.) of Olympus infinity options and objectives available in the used market than Nikon -- and significantly wider (affordably) than the higher end Leica scopes. Exception to this would be the glut of wonderfully inexpensive 20x Nikon Plan Apo DIC objectives recently dumped on the market (apparently from an obsolete gene sequencer). 10X Nikon Fluors are also affordable in Nikon.

If you're on a budget, it's also possible to turn a finite Olympus BHS or Nikon Optiphot 2 into an infinity scope by making an intermediate piece, swapping the heads, and picking up infinity objectives. If these are 25mm objectives, you can find nosepieces that will fit them (or adapters). So if you find a source for a great set of infinity objectives, rather than a great and complete stand, that might be something to consider. Both those older and cheaper finite scopes will have 100 watts of illumination, removable nosepieces, lots of room to an adjustable stage, etc. The original Optiphot (same specs, except the 50 watt halogen lamp) is another option and easier to find affordably.

Just to add if you find an Olympus BX40 (lots available), adapt it to a removable nosepiece, and add a brighter LED lamp -- you're pretty much in top tier territory. And even the base 30 watt lamp (same as BX40 and BX43) works pretty well for most everything.

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Re: Leica Vs Olympus Compound Microscopes what are your opinion?

#3 Post by apochronaut » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:51 pm

There should be a lot of used BX 40's in Canada. The distributor, Carsen, was very aggressive in the Canadian market in the 90's and even once went so far as to tell me that Nikon was just about out of it. They went after Bausch & Lomb big time for the DF market, did clinics , lent microscopes out, workshops etc. As a result they sold a lot of them. A lot are still probably in use too.

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