Hello from Ohio

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
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JamesBeau
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 1:49 am
Location: Central Ohio, USA

Hello from Ohio

#1 Post by JamesBeau » Fri May 25, 2018 5:01 am

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the world of microscopes. That is to say that until very recently, I have not handled one in over 50 years. The last time was in a college microbiology class back in the early 1960's. I found the study of bacteria and the like fascinating but never got back to it. A friend rekindled my interest in microscopy about a month ago. I knew I needed some fresh information on the subject and discovered the MicrobeHunter forum which seemed to be just what I was looking for.

I read every post relating to the purchase of a new microscope that I found on the Beginners Corner forum. This took some time and I found excellent advice on what the relative benefits of purchasing an inexpensive new microscope vs. a used scope from one of the "big four" manufacturers. I decided to go with the used market and after much searching mainly on Ebay found a used Zeiss microscope which from the pictures and description appeared to be in excellent condition. The only possible downside was that it lacked any objective lenses. I made an offer and my offer was accepted. The Zeiss arrived 5 days later and it was in excellent condition. I also purchased three brand new objectives. The Zeiss worked perfectly, to my mind, and the controls (focus and stage) were firm yet very smooth. The lamp worked and I was able to view some prepared slides and the images were bright and clear. Later, I went out and got some pond water samples and viewed my wet slides (with cover glass) and found several little critters swimming around.

My equipment now is :
Zeiss Standard 14 serial no.? 470914-9902/42
Objectives: all are 160mm focal length
Plan 4/0 .10
Zeiss 10/0.22
Zeiss 40/0.65

My intended use for this instrument is to study things such as pond water, pollen grains, insect parts etc. I would like to see diatoms as they are often beautiful structures. My question is , can I replace my condenser (which I presume is a Brightfield) with a Darkfield or PhaseContrast type? Which ones would work on my scope and would I also need to buy special objectives for use with these? Also should my next purchase be a oil immersion lens or a high power dry objective? My last question (for now) is whether infinite focus lenses would work on the Zeiss 14 and would they have any advantages over my 160mm lens?
Thank you for whatever advice you may be able to offer.

Jim

Hobbyst46
Posts: 2163
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:02 pm

Re: Hello from Ohio

#2 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri May 25, 2018 7:42 am

Wellcome,
I believe you chose well to buy the Zeiss 14. Congratulations. There are several Zeiss experts who will help you in both using, repairing (hopefully you will not need that!) upgrading and objective acquisitions. And the water resources and woods of Ohio probably supply a huge variety of objects to study.
Here are some brief comments and answers.
I also purchased three brand new objectives
. This model and the accompanying optics are 50-60 years old. Brand new?
The lamp worked
Is it the original 6V 15W lamp?
Do please post photos of your scope and condenser.
Can I replace my condenser (which I presume is a Brightfield) with a Darkfield or PhaseContrast type?
Yes. I have often seen on ebay condenser 465277 that provides BF, some DF, and phase contrasts Ph2 and Ph3 for objectives 16x and up. the 10x objective is Ph1. The 16x can be ph1 or ph2. The 25x and 40x are ph2. The 63x and 100x are ph3. There are alternative condensers, like with Ph1, Ph2, Ph3.

There are other important objective features which one must consider, like Plan (most of the field of view is in focus), numerical aperture (NA), working distance (WD), and color correction (achromat, neofluar, Apochromat). Not all combinations exist. Also, NA is at the expense of WD,. Higher NA means better resolution.

Objectives that fit your scopes are DIN, parfocality distance 45mm, marked 160/- or 160/0.17. Infinity corrected objectives will not work.
For phase contrast you need appropriate objectives, designated Ph1, or Ph2, or Ph3. Phase IMO is indispensable for diatoms and protists.
There are downloadable web catalogue files of 160mm Zeiss optics. Example: the file named "ZeissOpticalSystems.PDF". The catalogue numbers can be confusing but they are reliable.

Other makers objectives can be used, for visual inspection under brightfield, but are less compatible for photography and not at all for phase contrast.
A phase contrast objective is quite usable for other techniques (BF, DF) though not optimal.
Planapos are great but IMO plan Neofluars or even just Neofluars are very satisfactory.

Oil immersion provides great views of very flat thin images. However, in choosing between Oil immersion and phase contrast, which to buy first, it is not the same expenditure. Plain 100x1.3 oil objectives are fairly abundant and not expensive. HOWEVER, IMHO, I would prefer to spend my savings on phase contrast. All the more so since your stated subjects of interest can be enjoyed without oil immersion.
Dry 16x-25x-40x Ph2 Neofluars are excellent for pond life as well as diatoms.

There exists also a Zeiss Plan-Neofluar 63x0.90 Ph3 (dry). I do not have it and never used it, so cannot comment on it.
The 40x0.95 high resolution (dry) objective I rarely use, its WD is short and inconvenient.

I would invest in Plan-phase objectives or Neofluar phase objectives (or Planapo phase objectives, but they are expensive), NOT in the inexpensive achromat phase objectives. I own a 25x0.45 (dry achromat) Ph2 and I regret having bought it. Although there is nothing wrong with the lens, the uneven focus across the field of view and the chromatic aberrations are annoying.
One last advice: when buying objectives or other optical components, inquire the seller about the status of the lenses: ask about delamination, fungus, scratches, since all these objectives are very old and might have suffered a lot.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

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75RR
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Location: Estepona

Re: Hello from Ohio

#3 Post by 75RR » Fri May 25, 2018 9:36 am

Hi JamesBeau, welcome.

I echo Hobbyst46's recommendation to download http://www.science-info.net/docs/zeiss/ ... ystems.pdf
Just about everything in there will fit on your microscope.

Best to keep all objective purchases to 160 Zeiss, as the eyepieces are also part of the correction process.

Infinity ∞ objectives are not compatible with finite systems.

Here is a link to a short article on Zeiss Phase condensers: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... denser.pdf

Do post some images of your microscope in the 'My microscope' section - not only do we all like to see what everyone has but it also makes it easier to make suggestions if needed.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

JamesBeau
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 1:49 am
Location: Central Ohio, USA

Re: Hello from Ohio

#4 Post by JamesBeau » Sat May 26, 2018 3:34 am

Hi to Hobbyst 46 and 75RR,
Thank you both for your prompt reply. I have read your replies to my questions and appreciate your insight. In reference to statements which I made in my initial text, I see that I misspoke. Instead of saying "brand new objectives", I should have said "previously unused objectives" The two Zeiss objectives and the one Plan objective show no signs of previous use or even being out of their original packaging. But the Zeiss objectives may very well be quite old.
I have no idea how to tell if the lamp is 6V 15W and I am a little anxious about taking it out of its base. Or am I being worried about nothing? I have taken pictures of my microscope and its condenser and plan to post these pictures on the "My Equipment" forum this weekend. I also do appreciate the links to equipment that will work on my microscope. I will read these this weekend after posting the pictures.
Thanks again,

Jim

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75RR
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Location: Estepona

Re: Hello from Ohio

#5 Post by 75RR » Sat May 26, 2018 4:32 am

Looking forward to the photos. Please include images of your objectives.
I am new to the world of microscopes. That is to say that until very recently, I have not handled one in over 50 years.
Not sure how rusty you are, but just in case those 50 years have taken their toll here is a fun and useful tutorial on how to set up Köhler.

http://zeiss-campus.magnet.fsu.edu/tuto ... flash.html

Note: In the Interactive Tutorial one should start by aligning the filament first - this part is really for microscopes with an external light source.
In the illumination system in your standard 14, the lamp filament will already be pre-focused and aligned. You will however have to set up Köhler every time you change objectives.
My intended use for this instrument is to study things such as pond water, pollen grains, insect parts etc.
1mm (1000µm) is extremely large in a compound microscope, if you wish to view insect parts you might want to look into getting a stereoscope at some point.
I have no idea how to tell if the lamp is 6V 15W and I am a little anxious about taking it out of its base. Or am I being worried about nothing?
No need to remove anything, a photo of the underside of your microscope or even one of the back showing the cabling will probably be enough.
I imagine it is either a 6v 10w or 6v 15w
Also should my next purchase be a oil immersion lens or a high power dry objective?
I would suggest that since that you have a 10x and a 40x that you get an intermediate objective. The jump from 10x to 40x is very big ... too big in fact. A 25x would cover the gap nicely.
Best prices on ebay are obtained by those who are not in a rush, there is no need to get one tomorrow - reasonably priced ones do come up for sale from time to time.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

JimT
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:57 pm

Re: Hello from Ohio

#6 Post by JimT » Sat May 26, 2018 7:46 pm

Jim from Ohio, welcome. As you can see, lots of good advice on this site.

JamesBeau
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 1:49 am
Location: Central Ohio, USA

Re: Hello from Ohio

#7 Post by JamesBeau » Mon May 28, 2018 3:05 am

I wish to thank all those who have responded to my introduction to this forum. The information, tips and links you have provided are quite valuable to an old rookie like myself. I am currently trying to download images of my Zeiss, its objectives and condenser but having a little trouble. My son gave me an option to try and I will go for it tomorrow. Thanks again,

Jim

PeteM
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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:22 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: Hello from Ohio

#8 Post by PeteM » Mon May 28, 2018 7:43 am

JamesBeau wrote: . . . My intended use for this instrument is to study things such as pond water, pollen grains, insect parts etc. I would like to see diatoms as they are often beautiful structures. My question is , can I replace my condenser (which I presume is a Brightfield) with a Darkfield or PhaseContrast type? Which ones would work on my scope and would I also need to buy special objectives for use with these? . . .

Jim
I've got an unaccompanied (no stand) Zeiss phase contrast condenser and a set of Zeiss phase lenses left over from a massive scope refurbishment program for our local children's museum. Phase contrast is especially good for pond critters, maybe the pollen, and by offsetting various phase rings you can usually get pretty good oblique and darkfield effects. The condenser lens is also a two part job with a .32 NA lower portion that would be good for insects and a 1.4 achromatic aplanatic part that is about as good as it gets for high power objectives.

For your intended subjects, you won't really need a 100x oil immersion lens; though there is a very nice 100x NeoFluor phase lens in the set, along with Plan 10x and 25x and a 40x NeoFluor phase lens. A low power plan lens would be good for the insect parts.

Rather than buy a bunch of stuff to begin, though, you might want to use what you have for a while and see where your interests take you.

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75RR
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Location: Estepona

Re: Hello from Ohio

#9 Post by 75RR » Mon May 28, 2018 3:39 pm

I've got an unaccompanied (no stand) Zeiss phase contrast condenser and a set of Zeiss phase lenses left over from a massive scope refurbishment program for our local children's museum. Phase contrast is especially good for pond critters, maybe the pollen, and by offsetting various phase rings you can usually get pretty good oblique and darkfield effects. The condenser lens is also a two part job with a .32 NA lower portion that would be good for insects and a 1.4 achromatic aplanatic part that is about as good as it gets for high power objectives.

For your intended subjects, you won't really need a 100x oil immersion lens; though there is a very nice 100x NeoFluor phase lens in the set, along with Plan 10x and 25x and a 40x NeoFluor phase lens. A low power plan lens would be good for the insect parts.
Of all the illumination techniques available, DIC (Differential Interference Contrast ) is the best. Phase is a close second.
I have been slowly upgrading my phase objectives from Achromats to Neofluars, it has taken a while. I have a 16x and a 25x at the moment - next on my list is a 40x.
If you have the opportunity to get a Phase Condenser that includes a full set of Ph Neofluar objectives, you should give it some serious consideration. It is well worth having.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

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