Hello from Sutherland

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
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SutherlandDesmids
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Hello from Sutherland

#1 Post by SutherlandDesmids » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:29 pm

My sincere good wishes to you all from the village of Dornoch in the county of Sutherlandshire, Scotland. A quite remarkable place, geologically and botanically, with a pronouncedly oligotrophic blanket-bog, moor and loch habitat quite exceptionally rich in desmids. I was a pupil of the late Alan Joyce of Melness in Sutherland, quite a noted amateur expert sadly cut short in the midst of a highly promising paper on desmid-distribution, the fruit of many years work. A great deal of material, and especially the most beautiful forms, in the exhaustive Monograph of the British Desmidiaceae was got at Rhiconich.

I think that sums most detail up -- I am a very serious amateur botanist and phycologist to be precise.

I am trying to get for the first time a large research stand with an external lamphouse and true Koehler to replace my student microscope (mirror and white-cloud) and set of appurtenances as complete as I can afford -- unexpected bills or irate tradesmen we've forgotten about aside, I should have a fair fund by the New Year. If in possession of such a stand (I think I can manage e.g. a Zetopan)) as well equipped as the budget allows (especially contrast enhancements), do please private-message me if you're in the UK.

I am being helped most kindly by the Quekett, but I do not think it does any harm to cast the net wide.

Mere personal gain aside, I really look forward to looking at your instruments and discussing anything I could help with.
Last edited by SutherlandDesmids on Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg.”

-- Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 'The Worst Journey in the World' vol. ii p. 578

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75RR
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#2 Post by 75RR » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:50 am

Welcome SutherlandDesmids,

You have no doubt seen this article, but I wonder if you have contacted its author Ian Walker directly? If you haven't I recommend that you do so. He is both knowledgeable and helpful.
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... topan.html

Here is a set of images in a variety of illumination techniques that might help you decide which would most suit your needs.

Brightfield, Oblique, Darkfield and Phase
Image Image Image Image

P.S. Do post some photos of your oligotrophic blanket-bog
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

MicroBob
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#3 Post by MicroBob » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:10 pm

Hi, welcome to the forum!
Do you already have a photo setup for your student microscope so you could post images of your desmids?
I probably have come through Dornoch on a motorcycle round trip in 1992 or with some friends in 1995 by car.
Good luck with your microscope search. If you want DIC contrast you will probably find it most easy on a Zeiss West system, but any DIC microscope will usually be somewhat beyond your price range.
What is your name, it makes it easier to adress you?

Bob

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SutherlandDesmids
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#4 Post by SutherlandDesmids » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:34 pm

Regrettably I don't have a photography setup -- it's one reason I need a new microscope! I hope this link to DIADIST, a useful online database, will slake your thirst

Yes, DIC belongs rather firmly in the category of Pipe Dreams. It's the Sangreal of microbiology for a good reason -- it's hard to find! I am trying to sell a painting to a dealer to raise the budget to c. 2000, which might suffice, but the main advantage of a modular instrument will be that I will probably be able to acquire a compatible set later.

My name is Patrick Gray, PJG to my friends (my middle names are Joseph Kenneth Christopher, but that's a bit long for a nickname!) PJG or PG is fine, so is Patrick, Paddy, Pat et cetera.

My school nickname was ''The Little Professor''! Interestingly you'd have been in Sutherland the year before I was born! I'm only here myself by chance -- my grandparents and aunt rented a house at Merkland on the west coast, Mother came up from Glasgow (she was at the Hunterian) to live with them when, rather unfortunately, her marriage went wrong, so hence I went to the local Achfary Primary School.

Dear me! I've inflicted a potted family history on you. Please forgive me.
“If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg.”

-- Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 'The Worst Journey in the World' vol. ii p. 578

MicroBob
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#5 Post by MicroBob » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:51 pm

Hi Patrick,
nice to hear a bit more about your background! Problem with DIC is that only a few companies offered it and due to the high price it was sold only in small numbers. So if someone wants to spend real money on a research microscope and wants DIC sooner or later availability has to be taken into account. I'm not sure whether it was available for a Zetopan and how likely it would be to assemble a complete set.

About micro photography: You can acheive very pleasing results with a smartphone camera, hand held through the eyepiece. Usually you get a round image with some black area around, but this can be cut away with photo editing software and there is plenty image content left.

I was 21 and 24 when I travelled Scotland. I have still quite a few important memories of both trips. At 21 I just had bought a motorcyle and Scotland was the first longer journey. I met some special people and learned a lot, and have a lot of good memories about it. At 24 I used the easter holidays for the trip.

Bob
Last edited by MicroBob on Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SutherlandDesmids
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#6 Post by SutherlandDesmids » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:57 pm

Thank you. Most useful. Thank you for the Zetopan advice. It's a very good and well-fitted out large research microscope in extremely high regard (described once by a chap I know as a Rolls-Royce). Also, I know I can afford it, as I narrowly missed one with brightfield and phase for £345.00 in the Spring. However, I'll consider everything I can find from a good maker.

I am glad you enjoyed Scotland. I imagine you went round the whole country. It's very beautiful, and, I believe, a most friendly country.



If it interests you, my mother's family farmed or were hand-loom weavers around Redbraes near Wigtown in the 1800s, a very unfortunate job on account of the Industrial Revolution! By the late nineteenth century they had moved east to become colliers in the E. Lothian pits or to find work in the Prestonpans brickworks.

My great-grandfather, a collier and a very able man, was the last miner in the family. He studied mining engineering as an amateur (we have a mathematical gold medal from his boyhood and a bronze medal for exceptional performance from Heriot-Watt College). He was rather a hard and austere man and a much feared foreman at Preston Grange before and between the Wars. There is a family joke that his nieces found it very hard to get husbands as the young men scattered when they learned that their uncle was Willie Gray!

Scottish pit families were great believers in education, largely as coal-mining with pick and acetylene lamp was hard and dangerous work, my grandfather was an accountant and Mother was a museum curator.

“If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg.”

-- Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 'The Worst Journey in the World' vol. ii p. 578

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75RR
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#7 Post by 75RR » Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:22 pm

If you want DIC contrast you will probably find it most easy on a Zeiss West system ...
I would agree with that.

To give you an idea of the potential costs, the dedicated condenser goes for around £400 and each slider (which is paired to a Plan objective) for approximately £150.
Additionally you would need a slide holder for each objective, they sell for around £50 or so.

On the positive side you don't need all the sliders + holders + objectives to get started, you can go adding them as funds and availability permit.

This would be in addition to the purchase price of the stand which depending on the configuration would be anywhere between £300 and £600

If you do decide to look into Zeiss as a possibility I would recommend either a Standard 18 or the WL


In the meantime there is the GUF See link: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=15142

and the van Egmond mask : viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4499
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

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SutherlandDesmids
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#8 Post by SutherlandDesmids » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:01 pm

Extremely useful. Thank you very much. Thus, allowing for four objectives, we would have c. 1100 for DIC omitting the plan objectives and the stand. The objectives bought would naturally depend on the prism sliders I acquired. Would c. 2100-2500 cover it, I wonder? It's a good deal of money, but not so immensely large as to make the task impossible given several years and scrimping and saving. Fortunately I am quite young and can quite feasibly hope to have a DIC set in two or three years, assuming only cost and not difficulty in tracing the items is an issue.
“If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg.”

-- Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 'The Worst Journey in the World' vol. ii p. 578

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75RR
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#9 Post by 75RR » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:27 pm

Have a look at this article : http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... iss-WL.pdf

If you manage to get a stand that is more than just bare bones you would save money, as a complete or partially complete stand is cheaper than buying the individual parts.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

Hobbyst46
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#10 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:48 pm

75RR wrote:Have a look at this article : http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... iss-WL.pdf

If you manage to get a stand that is more than just bare bones you would save money, as a complete or partially complete stand is cheaper than buying the individual parts.
Extremely important, not only financially; without a reasonable set of optics on the stand, how can you tell that it is mechanically sound and functioning? for example, that the stage, condenser rack and nosepiece are all correctly aligned along the optical axis?
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

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75RR
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Re: Hello from Sutherland

#11 Post by 75RR » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:25 pm

Extremely important, not only financially; without a reasonable set of optics on the stand, how can you tell that it is mechanically sound and functioning?
I take it that you are worried about the time it would take to be able to "look through" the microscope when buying a bare bones stand and whether the return period might have lapsed by then?

That would be one of the questions to ask the seller before buying. Buying from an established and bona fide seller would void this problem.

Having said that, unless the microscope has been dropped there is no reason to suppose that it would be misaligned.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

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