Hello from West Chester, Pennsylvania!

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
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Docgene888
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:45 am
Location: West Chester, PA USA

Hello from West Chester, Pennsylvania!

#1 Post by Docgene888 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:26 am

I posted earlier today in the Camera Systems & Imaging forum. Copying a portion of that post here:

Hello all,

I joined the forum back in August but got caught up in work projects and am just now catching my breath so this is my first post. I had an interest in film photography back in high school (Minolta SRT-101) and then in digital photography (mostly Nikon DSLRs) after I established my first practice in Tucson in the early 1980’s. I also have had an interest in microscopy since my undergrad/grad school days as a microbiology major. Now that I am nearing retirement, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with my spare time and after much reflection, I decided to blend my two life-long interests and take up photomicroscopy as a hobby. I purchased compound and stereo microscopes on sale from AmScope earlier in the year to verify my current interest and future dedication to this hobby and thankfully, both were confirmed! My day job is as a physician administrator at a VA hospital in the Philadelphia suburbs and through a colleague I became aware of an auction open to the public of six microscopes, four of which were made by Olympus, that came from the pathology lab at a VA Hospital (not the one I work at but not far from where I live) conducted online by the General Services Administration (www.gsaauctions.gov). For those so inclined, GSA auctions are a terrific way to buy lab and medical equipment at prices far below market value. The only thing that limits availability is locality in that you have to pick-up your purchase in-person...GSA will not ship items to the winner. From this forum and Oliver Kim’s informative videos, I learned about the desirability of microscopes made by the “Big 4” (in fact, I recall using Zeiss microscopes in med school). In the end, I was the high bidder and two days later, I picked up six microscopes - 2 Olympus CX31s, 2 Olympus SZ61TRs with LED bases, one AO 1036A and one AO 110 Dual Head with a 40x phase contrast set-up. The four Olympus scopes are essentially in like-new condition with annual preventive maintenance having been performed by the facility’s biomedical engineering department. I decided to keep one of the CX31s because of the quality of the infinity (UIS 2) plan optics and both of the older AO microscopes as future restoration projects. I will be selling the other CX31 and both of the Olympus stereo microscopes, most likely on ebay. So that’s a bit about me and how I came to join this forum. I would just like to add that I hope to be able to make meaningful contributions here.

Thanks!

Gene
Olympus CX31
Olympus SZ61TR-LED
AmScope T490B-LED
AmScope SM-2TZ-LED
AO 110 MicroStar Dual Head
Canon EOS 40D

Dave S
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 11:06 am
Location: Suffolk, UK
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Re: Hello from West Chester, Pennsylvania!

#2 Post by Dave S » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:05 am

Hi Gene, and welcome. :)
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

Roldorf
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:58 pm
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Hello from West Chester, Pennsylvania!

#3 Post by Roldorf » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:46 pm

Hi Gene,

Welcome to the forum. When you decide to sell your extra scopes why don't you give the members here a 'heads up'.
Alan
Bresser Science Infinity 4x 10x 40x 60x 100x oil. Canon EOS 4000d
Optika SFX 90

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Docgene888
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:45 am
Location: West Chester, PA USA

Re: Hello from West Chester, Pennsylvania!

#4 Post by Docgene888 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:02 pm

Hello Dave and Roldorf,

Thank you for the welcome!

I found a website where medical practitioners can post sale items such as microscopes, but I’m not sure how effective that would be. I also intend to offer them on eBay. However, I will post them to this forum at least a week in advance of those other venues with a link to photos I plan on taking of the three microscopes this week. The two Olympus stereo microscopes are the SZ61TR model with the SZ2-ILST LED base. One also has an Olympus 0.75x reduction lens included. The CX31 has 4 Olympus UIS2 plan objectives (4, 10, 40, 100) with Koehler illumination which I verified works. All are truly in like new condition, with a few minor scuff marks on the bases of the stereo microscopes. The CX31 looks like it just came out of the box. I’m still trying to determine the correct asking prices and have gotten some assistance from Olympus in that regard. But eBay asking prices are widely variable (wildly too) for the same or similar models and of course I can’t tell what they actually sold for. I really only need to sell one of the stereo microscopes at an average of the eBay asking prices to cover the auction price I paid for all six. And I’m in no rush to sell them. I suspect that buying and reselling microscopes, especially from eBay sellers who don’t know much about what they are selling, could become a hobby in and of itself! As an example, I needed a transformer for the AO 1036A that was one of the six auctioned microscopes and found one on eBay being sold attached to a AO 1036A that looked in ok condition from the listing pics - but one thing caught my eye in one of those pics was that the condenser on that scope was actually a PhaseStar model and as such was worth much more than the $99 asking price for the package. I counter-offered and paid $35 for the transformer and the AO microscope. Of course I might have buyer’s regret once it arrives later in the week but still, the emotional thrill of the successful hunt for the transformer was something else indeed.

Best,

Gene
Olympus CX31
Olympus SZ61TR-LED
AmScope T490B-LED
AmScope SM-2TZ-LED
AO 110 MicroStar Dual Head
Canon EOS 40D

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75RR
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Location: Estepona

Re: Hello from West Chester, Pennsylvania!

#5 Post by 75RR » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:49 pm

But eBay asking prices are widely variable (wildly too) for the same or similar models and of course I can’t tell what they actually sold for.
One of the most useful features of Ebay's Advanced Search to my mind is the ability to see how much specific items actually sold for*, as opposed to what some optimistic/outright bandit sellers are asking.

The advanced option is at the top right, next to the blue search button.
Press it and type in the name of what you are searching for.
A little further down tick the sold listings box, then press search.
Sold listings prices appear in green

*Unfortunately when an offer is accepted by the seller, the amount is not shown.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

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Docgene888
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:45 am
Location: West Chester, PA USA

Re: Hello from West Chester, Pennsylvania!

#6 Post by Docgene888 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:57 pm

Thank you, 75RR! I am an eBay novice so that is a very helpful tip. The prices I’ve seen for good used microscopes range from reasonable with a fair shipping & handling fee to fantasy with an exorbitant shipping cost from an Asian country. The most helpful thing I found to determine a fair asking price was to look at the original MSRP from Olympus. I was able to establish a business account with Olympus under my professional medical corporation and browse some but not all of their current microscope prices. Putting it all together, it seems to me that quality used 1-2 model-year old microscopes from the Big 4 generally sell for around 50-75% of current model prices. Older models and those in less pristine condition, for a lower percentage.

Best,

Gene
Olympus CX31
Olympus SZ61TR-LED
AmScope T490B-LED
AmScope SM-2TZ-LED
AO 110 MicroStar Dual Head
Canon EOS 40D

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Docgene888
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:45 am
Location: West Chester, PA USA

Re: Hello from West Chester, Pennsylvania!

#7 Post by Docgene888 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:32 pm

Hello all,

I posted the notice of sale for the second Olympus CX31 and one of the SZ61TRs w/SZ2-ILST LED base in the equipment for sale section of this forum. Here is the link: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8168#p71621.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks!

Gene
Olympus CX31
Olympus SZ61TR-LED
AmScope T490B-LED
AmScope SM-2TZ-LED
AO 110 MicroStar Dual Head
Canon EOS 40D

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