Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

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Krs
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Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#1 Post by Krs » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:05 am

We are a family of 3 curious about stuff.

We have a stereo microscope that fits us quite well https://www.bresser.de/en/Microscopes-M ... scope.html but sometimes I feel like more than 20x magnification would help.

I think an extra pair of eyepieces to increase to 40x or 50/60x would be enough, the body mechanics of the microscope is enough for our needs.

I cannot figure out what eyepieces I need and were can i buy some.

jfiresto
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#2 Post by jfiresto » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:09 pm

Have you talked to or written Bresser? They sell a similar looking microscope to yours that they supply with 10X and 25X oculars, to magnify twenty or fity times. Perhaps the 25X oculars are compatible with your microscope and they will sell you a pair, separately.

The 25X oculars will magnify the center of what you presently see, much like a digital zoom on a digital camera. They will show 2.5X less specimen but show what you do see, we hope, 2.5X more closely. As with a digital zoom, beyond some magnification you will not see any more detail and you may think you are wandering toward a painting by Messr. Monet. Bresser should be able to say if 25X oculars might be for impressionists.

At this point, I would seriously consider investing in a good, expandable, higher performance microscope if you think stereo microscopes will be a long term passion. There are so many more things to discover once you can see them. With a little care, a well made microscope will also give a lifetime of satisfaction of owning a good tool.
-John

Krs
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#3 Post by Krs » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:39 pm

So if I got it right the eyepieces will not enable me to "see" more, for that I would need a better stereoscope? Can someone on short explain what difference should I expect? Cause I thought it was only the mechanical part, and the ability to gradually "zoom". I have tried to find a video but had no luck.

jfiresto
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#4 Post by jfiresto » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:32 pm

Yes and no. With a 25X eyepiece, you will see a smaller area of the specimen (typically only the inner 40% of what you see with 10X). On the other hand, if the microscope's objectives provide enough resolution (which I expect), a 25X eyepiece will magnify the inner 40%, 2.5X and with that much greater resolution – just like you want.

For everything to work, you need to know:
  • if you can swap the eyepieces
  • if Bresser offer compatible 25X eyepieces and
  • if the objectives have enough resolution.
These are straight forward questions you could ask Bresser. Or it is probably easier just to explain to them your needs and what you would like to do, and see what they think.
Last edited by jfiresto on Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-John

apochronaut
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#5 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:39 pm

The problem is somewhat analogous to attempting to see what is written on a letter that you can't read in a movie, by walking closer to the screen. If the resolution is not there in the first place, no amount of magnification will reveal it.

Generally, manufacturers have been very accurate in matching appropriate eyepieces to systems based on their optical specifications but in the 50's and 60's the Japanese and more recently the Chinese have been somewhat more focused in impressing the naive with overblown claims of magnification, in an effort to sell millions of kits to amateurs. I can only imagine how many 20 or 25X microscope eyepieces and short focal length telescope eyepieces have ended up as ant incinerators over the years.

A better option would be to see if a 2X supplementary objective was available for it, or possibly trade it in for one with multiple objective lenses.

jfiresto
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#6 Post by jfiresto » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:55 pm

Because the OP's microscope has a very similar looking twin, rated for 50X, a twin that accepts both 10X and 25X eyepieces, I suspect the two share the same objectives, and that his microscope's objectives have the resolution. Optical engineering, however, is a matter of approximation and optimization. To cut costs, the OP's 'scope may use lower resolution objectives: by design or by finding and using the lower performing ones (e.g., only using the 50X rejects at 20X).

I also prefer a 2X auxiliary objective, but then could you add it and could you bring the specimen close enough to the objective?
-John

Scarodactyl
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#7 Post by Scarodactyl » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:29 pm

jfiresto wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:55 pm
Because the OP's microscope has a very similar looking twin, rated for 50X, a twin that accepts both 10X and 25X eyepieces, I suspect the two share the same objectives,
Definitely the same scope just with an extra pair of eyepieces included.
jfiresto wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:55 pm
and that his microscope's objectives have the resolution.
I think you're putting more thought into it than they did. To be fair the lack of a zoom mechanism does remove some optical challenges and you can sometimes get a surprisingly nice image even off of older or low-end fixed mag stereos, but it's not like a lot of consideration needs to go into putting a pair of 25x eyepieces into the box and and raising the price.

It's hard to imagine this scope would accept any sort of auxiliary objective. It does take standard 23mm eyepieces, and getting a pair of cheap 20xes to try out wouldn't be a bad idea. That said, I really have to agree with jfiresto that getting a better stereo would likely be money well spent. When I upgraded from my intro amscope to a much nicer scope (b&l sz7) I was pretty amazed at the difference and how much more I could see.

jfiresto
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#8 Post by jfiresto » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:47 pm

Scarodactyl wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:29 pm
... I think you're putting more thought into it than they did. To be fair the lack of a zoom mechanism does remove some optical challenges and you can sometimes get a surprisingly nice image even off of older or low-end fixed mag stereos, but it's not like a lot of consideration needs to go into putting a pair of 25x eyepieces into the box and and raising the price....
You are probably right and I am being charitably old fashioned. These days it is so much easier to snag high profits through appearance instead of substance.
-John

apochronaut
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#9 Post by apochronaut » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:50 pm

jfiresto wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:55 pm
Because the OP's microscope has a very similar looking twin, rated for 50X, a twin that accepts both 10X and 25X eyepieces, I suspect the two share the same objectives, and that his microscope's objectives have the resolution. Optical engineering, however, is a matter of approximation and optimization. To cut costs, the OP's 'scope may use lower resolution objectives: by design or by finding and using the lower performing ones (e.g., only using the 50X rejects at 20X).

I also prefer a 2X auxiliary objective, but then could you add it and could you bring the specimen close enough to the objective?
It's a 65 Euro microscope, sold for profit by the manufacturer, shipped from another country for profit, likely with import duties and or taxes added, and being sold for profit in a country with one of the most expensive economies in the world, likely with a warranty factored in. Just how good do you think those optics are going to be? I have a 2X infinity corrected plan objective here, that was close to $1,000.00 when it was made and it can barely accept 25X eyepieces.

jfiresto
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#10 Post by jfiresto » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:37 pm

I briefly entertained the idea of asking the OP to measure the geometry of his microscope, from which we could estimate an upper bound on its numerical aperture, but I decided, no, it would be better to talk with Bresser and let them encourage or discourage the idea of 25X oculars. It would test Bresser's product support, in case someone was interested in a microscope, and their reputation, which Bresser probably still thinks about.

They want another 30 euros (60% more) for the ICD-Pro model that adds transmitted lighting and a second set of 25X eyepieces; amazon.de wants about 26 more. That might leave an extra 10 euros to put into its manufacture. I plowed through the Amazon user reviews and found a couple that suggest the 25X oculars bring little benefit. Both praise the view at 20X, but at 50X, one reviewer saw little more detail; the other implied the illumination was inadequate. The microscope is meant for young children, who probably have not learned how to spell "empty magnification" (leere Vergrößerung).
-John

Krs
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#11 Post by Krs » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:09 pm

Ok thank you all for your inputs. I think I will call it quits with the old stereoscope and try to orient myself to something new.

We use it mainly for biology or geology observing. Little things living on leaves, our fingers :), insects, interesting rocks, pixels of prints , LCD pixels . And of course splinter removing :)

I think I would like something that has a little more magnification 50x? A few extra centimeters space for bigger subjects (15 - 20 cm distance), and zoom if that does not break the bank...

I would be perfectly happy with this one.... https://www.bresser.de/en/Microscopes-M ... scope.html except....its 500!!! euros...

Can anyone recommend something similar? for less ~ 350Euros?

jfiresto
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#12 Post by jfiresto » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:44 pm

Krs wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:09 pm
... I would be perfectly happy with this one.... https://www.bresser.de/en/Microscopes-M ... scope.html except....its 500!!! euros...
That one looks much more feasible. It has a standard working distance of 90mm and will need an 0.5X auxiliary/supplementary objective to increase the working distance to 137mm, a bit short of your desired 15–20 cm. The maximum magnification will only be 22.5X with that working distance. You can probably use higher power (15X, ...) eyepieces to get more magnification, but beyond some power (10X?/15X?/20X?) you will not see any more detail (have empty magnification). You need a high end microscope to get both 50X and a long working distance, at the same time.
-John

Roldorf
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#13 Post by Roldorf » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:59 pm

Optica Italy has a factory outlet with some pretty good sale prices on stereo microscopes.

See Here:-

http://www.optikamicroscopes.com/optika ... et/page/3/


This one SZN-2 was 1062 euro now 341 euro seems to be what you are looking for and is trinocular.

http://www.optikamicroscopes.com/optika ... uct/szn-2/
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Scarodactyl
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#14 Post by Scarodactyl » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:34 pm

A bit odd that they call it a factory outlet (since their lineup really looks the same as any seller of chinese microscopes, though I guess they don't really say where the factory is?). I'm also not sure I'd trust the before price (given eg Amscope's shenanigans on that front), but that all said that isn't a bad price for one of those.

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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#15 Post by Roldorf » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:09 am

They claim to be manufacturers !! but I am not totally convinced. I do have one of their scopes and I am very pleased with it (still).

Here is the supplier that I bought my scope from when I was at a mineral show in Clausthal-Zellerfeld (where they are based):- https://www.winlab.de/schule/mikroskopi ... ikroskope/

This is from Optika's website claiming they are manufacturers:-
http://www.optikamicroscopes.com/optika ... /about-us/
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jfiresto
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Re: Advice on upgrading a stereo microscope

#16 Post by jfiresto » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:26 am

Roldorf wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:09 am
They claim to be manufacturers !! but I am not totally convinced....
I spent a few years in light manufacturing on the engineering side (largely production equipment and a bit of planning). I viewed their "About us" videos showing their facilities. They are almost certainly reselling goods made off-site, and the shown manufacturing is indistinguishable from rework and repair. Who, for example, puts a quality control department (the department?) inside a warehouse, a warehouse with windows, so many windows? Unless, you are receiving finished goods from a vendor with a significant defect rate, say, in China.
-John

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