My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

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Sauerkraut
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My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#1 Post by Sauerkraut » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:03 pm

I bought a phase contrast Optiphot on eBay from a seller who said he didn't know anything about scopes, etc, etc. - probably a mistake I won't make again - if only because when the box arrived it looked like it had been through a war and the scope was not secured. Oh boy. I was prepared to have a funeral...

The good of the scope: it has 5 plan objectives (said 4 in the listing), including a ph 40x and ph 20x. the condenser has ph1-4, DF, and BF. All of the mobile parts seem mobile. The brightness indicator lamp in front lights up. Generally the optics look good but will need a much closer look.

The bad: it's missing the lamp housing. The trinocular assembly (forgot the name) at the dovetail received some damage at the screw that holds it onto the stand. Nothing major just irritating because proper packing could have prevented this. The unit is dirty, as expected. There is some bonus hardware in the box.

I'm open to any and all suggestions on restoration, especially on replacing the missing lamp assembly. Is it better to buy an OEM or maybe think about LEDs? I am interested in DF so that probably makes halogen the better option than LEDs. I note the RetroDiode seller has these lamp housings but the 20w version is more than I paid for the scope.

Also, I downloaded an Optiphot manual but it does not mention those sliding levers on the rear of the unit. They seem like filters - how does the filter box come off?

Are the gnurled rings on the objectives for adjustments? They rotate.

On the ph1-4, I assume ph1 is for a 10x objective. Is ph4 for a 100x objective?

I'd like to get a 4x objective and a ph 10x at some point. Are there any special considerations for this, or just get Nikon 160s and they will work?

Thank you for any insights.
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Hobbyst46
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#2 Post by Hobbyst46 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:00 pm

Congratulations ! this is truely a prestigious microscope ! and it appears that you paid less than 150-200$ for it - so, provided that the coarse and fine focus are OK, it is a steal, even if you need to add a new illuminator.
The original lamp house connection of the Optiphot is a weak point, in my experience. I fixed a broken one with tons of epoxy cement.
For DF, either halogen or LED can be used. The original halogen lamp of the Optiphot is very bright but I did not try it for DF.
The Nikon objectives are excellent. I think that 20X and 40X phase contrast are an excellent start, more useful for the 10X phase contrast in my opinion, but this really depends on the specimens...
Last edited by Hobbyst46 on Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

MicroBob
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#3 Post by MicroBob » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:36 pm

Hi Heather,
that is a really nice microscope if you get it to work. Saul offered a combined flash and LED solution here a short while ago for some Olympus and Nikon microscopes. This might be just what you need.
For a first check you can probably use a flashlight as a light source.
The fine gear has to move the table without much force, otherwise the gears would get stiffed in a shot time.
The binocular tube should give you the same image leftand right, otherwise the collimation is not ok.
In the worst case you need a second stand to get a running microscope. In this case the individual sale of the superfluous bits will likely recompense for the extra cost.

Bob

PeteM
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#4 Post by PeteM » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:03 pm

To add,

- The box with sliders at the rear is for neutral density and color filters

- You can like find a replacement lamp housing, adapt a fiber-optic lamp, buy the LED unit (from Saul) noted above, or just make your own LED adaptation. No show stopper there.

- I may have a Nikon 10x phase objective for a bit less than Ebay asking prices. But as others have said, you already have the two most useful magnificaitons. And, yes, the phase rings go up in number and size as the magnification increases.

- Doesn't look like there are any correction collars or an iris on any of your objectives. If something rotates, it's likely so the magnification markings can be set for easy reading.

- Assuming you got a good price -- it would be otherwise hard to find those phase objectives and condenser -- all on one of the best microscopes for a serious hobbyist.

- As MicroBob suggests, check the lube. Two common failure points are a broken plastic fine focus gear ($50 or so repair) and a broken plastic condenser focus gear (harder to find an affordable fix).

- CFWN (rather than CFW) eyepieces will give you a slighter wider field of view and should show up affordably at some point.

- It may just be the perspective, but it sort of looks like your microscope head takes 30mm eyepieces - judging from the size of the CFW eyepieces in the distance??? If so, you might have an ultrawide head. More likely, it's just a foreground/background perspective thing that has me wondering.

- There was an earlier thread about affordable import 4x objectives that work with Nikon. If you're using the 4x for scanning or even some photos, it's a decent and cheap solution.

- Longer term you might want to pick up another nosepiece - they're replaceable on your scope. One with brightfield/darkfield/maybe even someday DIC, the other with the phase objectives??

Sauerkraut
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#5 Post by Sauerkraut » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:21 pm

Thank you Hobbyst46, Microbob, and PeteM. I'm admittedly excited about this scope and will take your suggestions to heart. Here begins my love affair with Nikon.

Everything moves smoothly but due to its nature, the fine focus is a question mark - Microbob's flashlight idea is smart and will let me check fine focus and collimation.

Good to know about the wider field eye pieces, Pete and maybe I'll contact you on the ph 10x once the scope proves functional. I haven't checked any pricing yet and sadly have to work today.

The base is going to have to come off to tighten a component (something anchored with heat sink paste). Is that just a matter of taking out the 4 allen bolts or are there other steps?

Heather

Hobbyst46
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#6 Post by Hobbyst46 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:01 pm

Sauerkraut wrote:...
Hi Sauerkraut,
Just recalled that for the Nikon Optiphot, a repair manual is downloadable (just Google it's title).
Here is the text on its top page:

"Nikon OPTlPHOT LABOPHOT BODY REPAIR MANUAL
The repair guide for a beginner as well as an experienced technician"
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

apochronaut
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#7 Post by apochronaut » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:12 pm

Despite the surprises, once you get that up and running full tilt, you won't have much to regret if any.. Quality , finely engineered microscopes like that with a group of desirable accessories , don't come along too often, so at the right price despite the odd wrinkle they are usually worth it because buying individual phase optics, a phase condenser or a trino head can cost close to the price of a stand. I think it looks good. There was an Optiphot lamphouse just a week or so ago for 50.00, so they are not always expensive. Just watch the listings and most always it pays off.

Scarodactyl
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#8 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:01 am

PeteM wrote: - It may just be the perspective, but it sort of looks like your microscope head takes 30mm eyepieces - judging from the size of the CFW eyepieces in the distance??? If so, you might have an ultrawide head. More likely, it's just a foreground/background perspective thing that has me wondering.
This is a standard T head. The UW head would be marked UW, and have CFUW eyepieces.
The UW head is superb, and the eyepieces are especial standouts. I got an extra pair that I have on my Olympus SZH, and they work great in that context too. They aren't super cheap but keep an eye out for a deal on one, after having an UW head anything else looks a bit like viewing through a drinking straw.

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KurtM
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#9 Post by KurtM » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:08 am

Nicely done - a lovely instrument! I have a Labophot and Diaphot TMD, and can vouch for the very nice phase contrast your Nikon is likely to deliver.

Here's a web site with Nikon info you might enjoy: https://lavinia.as.arizona.edu/~mtuell/ ... heads.html
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
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Sauerkraut
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#10 Post by Sauerkraut » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:47 pm

Thank you Hobbyst46 and KurtM for the links - I'll be viewing them shortly.

And thank you apochronaut and Scarodactyl - I'll keep my eye out for nice additions to this scope. Sorry I missed that lamp house and good to know about the UW head.

gastrotrichman
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#11 Post by gastrotrichman » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:38 am

I didn't see a response to your question regarding removal of the filter housing. It slides up and off … should be easy.
gastrotrichman

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Sauerkraut
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Re: My first project microscope - Optiphot questions

#12 Post by Sauerkraut » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:50 pm

Thank you, gastrotrichman.

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