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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:17 pm 
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I am a a long time amateur astronomer, specialized in building large Dobsonian telescopes, including mirrors for Newtonian telescopes (made about 40 mirrors). About a year ago a friend gave me a 7-45x stereoscopic microscope from his work. I have been observing insects with it and not long ago I also started observing micro water life, mostly in water from my small pond. Though its is possible to see many small water creatures with this relatively small magnification, I am now reading all kind of information about compound telescopes and intend to buy one in the near future. Most interesting I find the trinocular microscopes that have the ability to make movies/photographs while at the same time looking though the eyepieces.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:04 pm 
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Hi Jan,
in microscopy you always have clear skies and it never rains - come here to us, on our side everything is much nicer! :mrgreen:

Plancton is a really nice microscopy subject since you don't have to do much preparation and there is a whole lot to observe. You don't need especially expensive objectives for plancton, good achromats are good enough. It is useful to have 100x 200x and 400x magnification from 10:1 20:1 and 40:1 objectives. The stereo microscope is useful for larger critter and many other uses. If you happen to speak german you might have a look into the german Mikroskopie-forum.de. You might even find a good used microscope for sale with affordable shipping costs there.

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:06 pm 
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Welcome janvangastel

Quote:
Most interesting I find the trinocular microscopes that have the ability to make movies/photographs while at the same time looking though the eyepieces.
Practically a requirement if you wish to photograph/video through the microscope. Best to get it to start with if possible as adding a trinocular head later can sometimes be difficult/more expensive.

I think that you will find that a used microscope from one of the big four: Leitz/Leica, Nikon, Olympus and Zeiss will give you better value and flexibility.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:30 pm 
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Be careful lumping Leitz and Leica together. It can become confusing to novices, who might think that parts or accessories from one brand can be used on the other. They aren't connected much in design and not at all in ownership of the company . Leica microscopes bear more similarity to AO/Reichert or the later infinity corrected Reichert Austria microscopes .
Reichert Austria had a fairly large presence in Western Europe , and in the Netherlands for sure. Smaller lab models such as the Diavar 2 and Neovar 2 are infinity corrected and have a broad compatability with other AO/Reichert or Reichert Austria components, even some modern Leica components.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:46 am 
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Well I'll be, there's Jan van Gastel, an old friend from way back! As I recall, we had great fun comparing notes on building large aperture Dobsonian telescopes with one-piece truss tube assemblies and equatorial tracking platforms. Good to see you here Jan -- small universe, eh?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:36 pm 
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Hi Kurt, yes small universe indeed. I already found your name in another thread. Not much woodworking in microscopy I think.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:47 pm 
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Quote:
I think that you will find that a used microscope from one of the big four: Leitz/Leica, Nikon, Olympus and Zeiss will give you better value and flexibility.

Yes, that's possible. Sometimes I see these brands on Ebay. But I know too little about microscopes to be able to judge the quality of what's offered. I saw for instance a Zeiss standard on Ebay https://www.ebay.com/bhp/zeiss-standard-microscope , but without objectives as far I could see. I don't know if the objectives needed are stille available. Two weeks ago I visited a demonstration of this Bresser microscope https://www.bresser.de/Mikroskopie/BRESSER-Science-Infinity-Mikroskop-30.html with this camera https://www.bresser.de/Mikroskopie/BRESSER-MikroCamII-20-MP-1-Mikroskopkamera.html. The combination gave very nice stills and video's. But I don't know if a Zeiss or other hight end brand would have a much better image quality.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:19 pm 
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Have a look at these two pdfs:

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... oscope.pdf

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... iss-WL.pdf

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:03 am 
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Thanks for the links. I am not sure about the message though. I think the first paper says 'buy a relatively cheap instrument to start with'. The second paper says 'build one of the high end brands yourself'. I have beel looking around on Ebay. Most of the instruments offered are in the USA and will cost $200 plus to get to The Netherlands. Most of the used instruments (Zeiss) in Europe are without a camera eyepiece, like for instance this one https://www.ebay.nl/itm/Carl-Zeiss-High-Quality-Microscope-Up-to-x1000-Magnification/202438711800?hash=item2f224999f8:g:lg4AAOSwfhxbnfTv:rk:5:pf:0. I also found this one https://www.ebay.nl/itm/Carl-Zeiss-Standard-phase-contrast-binocular-research-microscope/143037124973?hash=item214dad516d:g:fy8AAOSwzGBcBEXT:rk:1:pf:0 . No possibility for a camera but looks nice. Problem is, I have no idea to evaluate how good is really is.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:01 am 
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Quote:
I am not sure about the message though. I think the first paper says 'buy a relatively cheap instrument to start with'. The second paper says 'build one of the high end brands yourself'.
I can see how one can get that impression.
The first article does perhaps cover all the bases too well.
The second is just to give beginners an idea of how much building/upgrading a microscope could cost.

Like the look of your first link: https://www.ebay.nl/itm/Carl-Zeiss-High ... :rk:5:pf:0 but not the price.
It is one of the more modern Zeiss WL with the newer focusing dials.
If you can get it for around €300/350 it would be worthwhile.

It would need a power supply, a better condenser and a trinocular head. See second article for approximate prices.

Might need eyepieces as well ... ask for photos that show the markings. The ones it has look unfamiliar.

Also ask seller to confirm that the objectives are not delaminated‡ - low power objectives are usually ok but it is always best to ask.


It is the type of instrument that would grow with you as your interest develops. You would not really need* another upright microscope.

‡ An annoying failing of Zeiss but not insurmountable.
*Unless you grow two more arms and another head that is. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:01 am 
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Photography with the microscope was quite difficult and expensive in film times. For this reason trinocular heads are much more difficult to find than binocular heads. Not all binocular heads allow to see the image and take a picture at the same time. Many have 100+0 /0+100 light path switches. I quite like to use a light mirrorless camera with a short lens and an eypepiece for taking pictures. The Nikon 1J5 with 18,5mm lens is really nice for this.
Since you just start into microscopy it might be an idea to buy a solid used binocular microscope for an acceptable amount and get into microscopy first. Then look further wich way to go. A trinocular head for a Zeiss Standard costs around 250€, about the same what you pay for the complete microscope with binocular head. And most of these trinocular heads are 100+0.
Is there a microscopy group in your area?

Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:37 pm 
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75RR wrote:
Also ask seller to confirm that the objectives are not delaminated‡ - low power objectives are usually ok but it is always best to ask.
I would ask if the objectives and eyepieces are free from delamination and fungus.

What has happened to me:

1. I purchased a 16X objective from a 99-100% reputable seller, who told me he had checked it and failed to observe any delamination. Indeed, the view through that objective was acceptable. But, I recognized the obvious delamination when I looked through the binocular head without an eyepiece, through the phase telescope, to inspect the back focal plane. Unfortunately, I discovered it too late to return it,

2. My first eyepieces were Zeiss 10X WF - both were delaminated to some extent. Usable, but annoying.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:45 pm 
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Quote:
I would ask if the objectives and eyepieces are free from delamination and fungus.
Good advice. I have heard that delamination has driven some microscopists to drink! So be warned.

As to zeiss trinocular heads, the USA seems to have more for sale and better pricing than Europe.

First image is of a Jentzsch type trinocular head. 100/0 and 0/100. All light is either through the eyepieces or the phototube
Second image is of the Siedentopf type trinocular head. 100/0 and 20/80. All light through the eyepieces or 20% through the eyepieces and 80% through the photo tube.

Note that both heads were sold recently by the same seller. He seems to have one or the other for sale every few weeks.


Attachments:
Zeiss-trinocular-heads.jpg
Zeiss-trinocular-heads.jpg [ 35.05 KiB | Viewed 455 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:56 pm 
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I'm not sure whether you have made a decision to purchase but if not, you might look into this one. It is in Germany. Rathenow survived East Germany and has been a small but quality German brand. Their current line seems a bit hybridized with Chinese optics and they are dialed in with Zeiss in some way but this is D.I.N. 160mm, so pretty universal and the price is right for a trinocular. I can't read enough Dutch to get the full drift of the listing.
https://www.ebay.nl/itm/ASKANIA-Mikrosk ... Sw~slcBZjI


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:21 pm 
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Thanks for the link. I have not decided yet. The language is German, not Dutch, so like you, I don't understand everything written and the photographs are also not informative enough to make a decision. I asked the seller some questions about the microscope to get some more relevant information. I read that the instrument is untested and that the seller does not accept returns.
I am still not sure about buying second hand or new. I am not sure 'old' is always good or 'better then modern', even if we are talking about high end instruments like Zeiss. I have tested relatively old telescopes from well know, expensive brands that were no good at all one way or the other.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Quote:
I am not sure 'old' is always good or 'better then modern', even if we are talking about high end instruments like Zeiss. I have tested relatively old telescopes from well know, expensive brands that were no good at all one way or the other.
I do not believe the comparison between used telescopes and used microscopes is valid, entirely different customer base.

Be that as it may, I think MicroBob's suggestion that you contact a microscopy group in your area is a good one.

It will allow you to try out several microscopes, talk directly with experienced microscopists and give you the opportunity to decide how interested you really are in this hobby.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:38 pm 
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I was writing this as the last was posted; entirely agree.

It is a mistake to compare telescopes to microscopes because despite being optically based instruments, there have been fewer truly dynamic developments in telescope design than there have been with microscopes since W.W.II. What has happened though, as an example, is that now one can buy an Asian made apochromatic refractor for peanuts when 40 years ago, they were a small fortune and even an achromat refractor with a decent aperture was pricey enough. Even the availability of decent rigid mounts at low prices has improved dramatically due to acceptable Asian mfg.

That same user friendly improvement has not happened with microscopes, simply because high end microscope optics are much more complicated than telescope optics; more expensive to engineer and make. With a telescope apo, you have a triplet objective, and much happens in the eyepiece , which is often purchased separately. With a microscope apo, a modern one could have as many as 20 lenses in 5 or 6 groups, minutely centered and spaced. One high N.A. planapochromat objective made by a quality manufacturer costs the same as 10 entire, brand new Chinese 4 objective lab microscopes. So, the Chinese industry has not really embraced making higher end stuff because they would end up pricing themselves out of the market. A couple of makers , Motic for instance have ventured that far but then you are into a mid. 4 figure microscope.

With a budget under 2,000.00, you are pretty well locked into a Chinese or Indian microscope if you are buying new. Almost all of those are stencil microscopes. Tens of thousands of them are assembled from a component supply in dozens of factories, and shipped with dozens of names on the same or a similar microscope, or one that varies only a little. They are utilitarian achromat or planachromat microscopes and the designs of the optics are roughly 30 years old, in most cases. Generally, the imaging is good but not great. It isn't going to get better until you blow more dough and buy into better compatible optics from one of the majors.
Some companies, such as the aformentioned Motic from China and Magnus from India are more dedicated factories and one gets the impression that they are more directed towards development rather than merely copying basic older designs. Don't get fooled by the ergonomic look of the stands. That is the easy part to make and it is subterfuge. The optical quality will still be about the level of a microscope from one of the main companies from the 1980's, possibly worse. They change the look of the stand but put the same 30 year old optical designs in them, that they poorly copied back then.

Companies that made first rate products at the end of the 20th century were, in alphabetical order. American Optical( not common in Europe), Bausch & Lomb( not common in Europe; certain production periods had de-lamination issues), Carl Zeiss, also known as Zeiss West( some older stuff had de-lamination problems),E. Leitz Wetzlar, Leica( not associated with E. Leitz Wetzlar), Kyowa, Lomo, Meiji, Nachet( uncommon and Europe only), Nikon, Officine Galileo(uncommon and Europe only), Olympus, PZO, Reichert, Rathenow(uncommon), Tiyoda, Vickers, Watson, Wild, Zeiss Jena also known as Carl Zeiss East or Zeiss East. Although some of these are uncommon, all of them made excellent microscopes, meeting full specification for their type and superior in most ways to modern average grade Chinese scopes. All had facility for trinocular heads, plan optics and in most cases better grade fluorite or apochromat optics, that are still around if you are patient and look hard enough.
My rule of thumb for buying a used microscope is to buy by condition and specification, not by brand adherence, which can become a kind of cult , almost a fetish. All of the above brands made stands and optics that performed to spec. If you were to try out each one of the above, made to an identical optical specification, you would barely find much in the way of difference. Fortunately, the cult status has not evolved for some brands for whatever reason, and that becomes a boon to prospective buyers, since the second hand price usually reflects the level of interest in them.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:08 pm 
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Apart from the risky but sometimes cheap ebay microscope or a new instrument that costs real money when from a well known brand there is a third option: Buying from a professional dealer a with good reputation. Thilo Immel is said to be a good dealer though I never bought from him myself: http://www.thilo-immel-optics.de/
He trades mainly in Zeiss Standards. You can have your scope outfitted as you like.

I would guess that the telescope market and the microscope market are not 1:1 comparable. One difference of many is that microscopes are fully modular and the mechanical and optical parts can be assembled as you like. My main instrument is a Zeiss Jena NF research stand from about 1965 with Leitz NPL Fluotars and fitting eyepieces from about 1985 (and lots of other components you would never get for a cheaper chinese stand). My guess would be that a telescope is much more a fixed unit than a microscope is.

In microscopy there is also a kind of socialism: You can see most of what there is to see with a cheap used instument from a second row quality brand. This can be as little as 20€. You will not have the best comfort and photography capability, but the important image content is there. In contrast there are some much sought after microscope components that sell for more than 20 times this price.

Lack of success in microscopy doesn't usually come from a cheap instrument but from a too tiresome progress in getting into the sample collection and preparation. This is the reason why I always suggest to look for contact to a group (or individual microscopists) and a good basic instrument as a starting point. Your advantage is that you have mechanical abilities so you could get a used microscop to work.

To apochronauts list I would like to add Meopta, Hund/Will, Hertel&Reuss


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:42 am 
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[url]Be that as it may, I think MicroBob's suggestion that you contact a microscopy group in your area is a good one[/url]
I have beel looking for one, but not find one yet.

Thanks for the long answers. I think I get the point now concerning well known professional brands and newer telescopes. Yesterday I talked about this with a friend of mine. He is a chemist by profession (now retired) and worked mostly with Zeiss microscopes during his professional carreer. He will look around for me and talk with former collegues at universities to see if there are some nice microscopes around that are not uses any more. Maybe it's a long shot but it might work. On Ebay (Europe) I found this https://www.ebay.nl/itm/Carl-Zeiss-West-AXIOSKOP-mikroskop-microscope/233026110660?hash=item36417044c4:g:-NcAAOSwQQBa~~8G:rk:23:pf:0 this https://www.ebay.nl/itm/Carl-Zeiss-West-AXIOSTAR-mikroskop-microscope-phase-contrast-phototube/233026110704?hash=item36417044f0:g:7O4AAOSwGkVbAqJL:rk:41:pf:0 and this https://www.ebay.nl/itm/Zeiss-Mikroskop-Microscope-Jenamed-Variant-mit-Trinokulartubus-und-4-Objektiven/262809160261?hash=item3d30a58a45:g:0fcAAOSw2xRYe8Gx. Yesterday there were som chepar ones, bu not any more today.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:33 am 
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Caution: If you continue to solely reference Zeiss microscopes you run the risk of cultism, or worse. ;)


On a more serious note, with the Axioscope, Axiostar and Jenamed you are taking a step away from 160 tube length and into infinity territory.

Not a problem in itself, but there are positives and negatives.

The main positives are the advances in objective design and materials. This is good as objectives are the heart of a microscope.

The downside is the cost of these objectives, many hundreds more than the best 160 tube system ones.

Not sure that the difference in price is entirely justified by the difference in performance.

Also, many of these newer microscopes incorporate electrics/electronics which could be an additional source of trouble in a used microscope.


Link to an article on the Jenamed:

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... named.html

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:10 am 
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janvangastel wrote:
Of the three Zeiss Axio microscopes, shown in the links, I can say about the first two. The second one, the Axiostar, is a better value for money than the first Axioscop, since (1) it is a trinocular, (2) it includes phase contrast, at least for the (very useful) 40X objective. Although the Axioscop looks like it is more easily expanded. However, as 75RR already commented, any expansion gadget for these relatively modern (late 1980's) microscopes will be expensive.
And, it is very important that all mechanical controls function smoothly. In my opinion, as important as the quality of the objectives and eyepieces. The latter can be replaced when faulty. Service to the mechanical controls might become a challenge.

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Last edited by Hobbyst46 on Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:17 am 
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How about this one:https://www.mikroskopie-forum.de/index.php?topic=32906.0;topicseen


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:30 am 
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MicroBob wrote:
Requires membership to view. Here are the highlights courtesy of google translate:

"Hello,

I sell a used, but in excellent condition (and still current!)

Zeiss Axio Lab A1
with phase contrast and phototube (trinocular tube)
and plan optics

This is a device from the current series or the current delivery program from ZEISS and is offered in this Zeiss webshop at a cost of 5000 EUR.

It is in a good, clean Gebaruchtzustand, no scratches on the table, etc. No significant signs of wear, only smaller insignificant paint scratches on one side.

All shoots run flawlessly, no play, no resinification, etc., the nosepiece snaps in full.

Domestic equipments:

Trinocular phototube

2 wide field eyepieces E-PL 10x / 20 glasses

3 lenses

A-Plan 10x / 0.25 0.17 infinite Ph1
A-Plan 40x / 0.65 0.17 infinity Ph 2
A-Plan 100x /1.25 0.17 infinity

Phase-contrast turret condenser for brightfield, darkfield and phase contrast with aperture stop

field diaphragm (Köhler illumination)

Bright infinitely adjustable halogen lighting

Blue filter (conversion filter)

The Verasnd is insured and well padded, pickup I would of course prefer.

Asking price: 2499 EUR VB

If interested, please PN"

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:10 pm 
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75RR wrote:
Caution: If you continue to solely reference Zeiss microscopes you run the risk of cultism, or worse. ;)


...kind of missing the point. the idea is to help novices save money, while acquiring top notch equipment, not steer them towards one's own preferred choices.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:41 pm 
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Quote:
How about this one:https://www.mikroskopie-forum.de/index.php?topic=32906.0;topicseen

I have subscribed to the forum, but the link doesn't work . And the price of this instrument is too high for me at the moment.

Quote:
If you continue to solely reference Zeiss microscopes you run the risk of cultism, or wor

I have been looking for other brands - Leica, Leitz, Olympus - as well. I saw some nice ones, but I don't have enough knowledge at the moment to make a decision.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:09 pm 
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janvangastel wrote:
I have been looking for other brands - Leica, Leitz, Olympus - as well. I saw some nice ones, but I don't have enough knowledge at the moment to make a decision.
Why not post photos of them and get supporting comments ? Many of the great looking images of plants and animals that appeared on this forum and other some other web sites that I have seen were acquired with microscopes that, at least in their basic configurations, typically cost less than a 1/3rd of the eBay listed prices for the Zeiss Axio.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:40 pm 
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Here is something a little different: The Leitz Orthoplan Trinocular and the Leitz Ortholux 11 Trinocular

http://www.usedmicroscopes.co.uk/leitz.html

and a link to an article on them: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... _Ver_4.pdf

There are a couple of members who have one - I am sure they can answer any questions you might have.


Attachments:
Leitz.jpg
Leitz.jpg [ 76.24 KiB | Viewed 208 times ]

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:28 am 
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Thanks for the links and images. I hope you don't get tired of my questions.
I wonder if it would be a good idea to buy a phase contrast microscope instead if a normal compound microscope. Or is a phase contrast too specific? Is it better to upgrade later to phase contrast?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:53 am 
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Hi Jan,
the microscope will be the same, only condeser and objectives are different. With a betterresearch stand you would have both: I objective turret phase and one or more for other uses, on condenser for phase, and one or more other ones.

Phase contrast is for phase objects= objects with no or little amplitue effect on the light that passes through, but which induce a phase offset. It is useful for plancton and some medical purposes. It is useless for e.g. crystals, plant sections, diatoms. Phase contrast gives good visibility, but the image is often not so pleasing to the eye because of strong halos around stronger parts of the object.

A normal phase revolver condenser has about 3 phase stops, one bright field setting with aperture and usually some more settings. Many phase objectives can be used for bright field with little disadvantage over a normal bright field objective. In some cases the impact on image quality is stronger so you would prefer a second set of objective in this case. You don't pay much more for a microscope with phase contrast, but buying a phase contrast kit later will be more expensive.

Microscopy is a very wide field and there are components and gadgets without end. There is also a lot of learning necessary. This is the reason why I suggest to get started with a simple instrument from a quality brand. It will already do 80% of what the amateur does and you avoid the risk of running out of steam just on the puchase project alone. This could even be an old horseshoe microscope and a Lomo Biolam is a good start for sure.

Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:35 pm 
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Janvangastel; I suspect that you are still being hampered in your decision making by comparisons to telescopes. Microscopes are more modular in general. If you own a light bucket and you also need a small refractor, you have to have both. With microscopes, the frame or stand as they are called, can have various accessories applied to it at will, so it could be a reflector microscope one time and after the removal of the reflecting objective and condenser and addition of refracting optics, it becomes a refractor. I hope that helps but for the time being, I think you should shelve telescope comparisons.

To my mind, the best way to buy a first microscope is to settle first on how much you want to spend. Then you go and look for a quality stand, that has as many accessories as is possible for that amount of money. The possibility to upgrade the system with add ons, such as phase contrast, dark field, fluorite or apo optics etc., will exist for a considerable period of time, when it comes to most of the quality major brands on the list provided above. In some cases, you can use components from one microscope on another. In some cases, you can make a slight modification to make other components work.

If you buy new and cheaper; accessories, such as phase contrast or a trinocular head are available for the asking price but they will be more limited in scope. You won't find DIC available for 99% of the Chinese or Indian microscopes, for instance and anything but achromat objectives are also rare. You also have to be aware that the advertising for such instruments is overstated.

If you buy used, you will have to search out added accessories some. There will be more possibilities in scope with established brands but it will take a bit of time to find them. With older established brands, patience is a virtue but the value gained is worth the wait and ultimately anyone buying a used quality instrument has the capacity to turn it into a thoroughbred.


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