Hello from UAE

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
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TareqPhoto
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Hello from UAE

#1 Post by TareqPhoto » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:29 am

Hi all,

I am new here to this forum, i was passion into microscopes when i was a kid also telescopes, but i never used them yet until last year i started Astronomy so i bought astro equipment.

Now i want to buy a microscope that allow me to see Bacteria good enough or good quality, but i only want to buy a brand new microscope and not used one even if it is the best highest quality in the world because i always like to buy first time as brand new.

What is important in microscopes to look for? and what type of microscopes some here prefer?

Thanks again and happy to join here and hope to learn and to share.

Tareq

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RobBerdan
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Re: Hello from UAE

#2 Post by RobBerdan » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:47 am

Hi before you buy a microscope - be clear about what you want to view or photograph. Any microscope with 400X - 1000X magnification will allow you to see bacteria, but having Phase contrast or Darkfield will let you see them more easily. Also in my opinion bacteria are not that diverse in shape and form like pond organisms. Bacteria will often be circles, rods, or spirals and some will move, but after a while you will discover there are lot more interesting things like ciliates, water bears, desmids, diatoms etc to look at. Also having the ability to use polarized light will let you see birefringent structures e.g. like minerals, starch grains or animal hairs in multiple colours. If you want to look mainly at insects or minerals consider a stereo microscope.

If you are inclined to buy a new microscope - I would recommend you start by looking at some Chinese scopes - I have purchased some from AM systems in California, they offer good fast service and so far I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of their equipment for the price. Their prices are about 1\5 to 1\10 that of name brands e.g. Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and Olympus - which I also own and they are great, but you also pay a premium for them. I have purchased lots of used microscopes from auctions, and Ebay and most of the time have found very good deals. I recently purchased a 40 year old Olympus IMT microscope for a few hundred and I believe it's worth a few thousand dollars - or at least it will be when I finish refurbishing it if necessary.

A good new microscope from China will cost about $1000-$2000 whereas those from the brand names will start at about $5000 depending on the features in my experience - for photography consider a trinocular head. A good used microscope can be purchased from about $300-$1500 or more, but it's important to know what to look for. If you have a friend or know someone knowledgeable it wouldn't hurt to get their advice. Also read some of the articles and advice by authors on this site and watch some YouTube videos.

Unfortunately most microscope sales people for brand name companies aren't much interested in selling to consumers - they want big government contracts. Also getting good results in microscopy is both about the equipment and the operators knowledge. Like buying an expensive camera it does not guarantee great pictures unless you know to get the best out of it.

Good luck in your search, take your time and in the meantime learn as much as you can about microscopes before purchasing. It's the same for telescopes, I sold mine in order to help me pay for a new microscope last year. Telescopes can vary greatly in price as well, but the best scope is the one you use often.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#3 Post by TareqPhoto » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:19 am

Thank you very much for this post, well said.

I did look at so many microscopes and videos on Youtube, but i still can't decide on one yet, mainly Chinese ones are more offered at certain prices, and those of high end names i can't see them in stock as brand New, only used, so i feel like i will risk with Chinese one.

I did read about brighfield and darkfield and phase contrast and even Polarizer light and DIC, but i really can't sum them all and say i want to do all, i am not interested in insects at all, and minerals i feel i will pass that, so i will mostly focus on moving cells or let's say human/plants/animals cells, and i want to use a digital camera to show on screen or record videos or take photos, after all photography is what made me to get interested in all optics related things.

I did ask once but i think maybe i couldn't get a real answer, here it is:

What make those high end microscopes so pricey? if the objective and design then if i buy a cheap microscope with good design but low quality objectives then i change all those objectives into something better quality or even one of those high end objectives if compatible with that microscope design will that produce a better quality then? i feel the design is just a design, but optics which lights transferring through is what will determine the quality, i know the design will make life easier, but i looked at some big names brands microscopes designs and i feel the design is not that much exciting but i am sure it is so sturdy and lifetime, so if i take care of my cheap microscope and i like the design but i used high quality objectives and eyepieces won't that give quality then?

Excuse my language and my curiosity or questions.

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75RR
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Re: Hello from UAE

#4 Post by 75RR » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:35 am

Buying top of the line objectives and putting them on a low quality microscope that will not let you implement many of the special illumination techniques is not a practical project.

If you mention your budget we could advise you on what would be a viable purchase.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
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MicroBob
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Re: Hello from UAE

#5 Post by MicroBob » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:31 am

Hi Tareq,
welcome to the forum!
A good microscope needs good optics but also good mechanics! Bateria have a size of about 1µ. When you want to observe bacteria you have to be able to adjust the focus in the sub 1µ range - not easy to do with cheap mechanics.
Microscope parts can only be mixed when you have a great deal of knowledge about microscope techics. I wouldn't recommend this to a beginner.

The resolution of a light microscope is about half the wave lenght of the used light, so max 0,2µ for visible light. This allows to determine the rough shape of bacteria, but no structural detail. For this reason bacteria are quite boring subjects to observe and are more intersting for someone with a scientific reason to look for them.
If you want to buy a new chinese microscope you might want to look for a higher end Motic instrument.

Bob

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#6 Post by TareqPhoto » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:50 am

I see.

I don't know what is the budget now, i am waiting a good budget later that i can use part of it to buy equipment for astro, i may use some of that too for microscopy, so anywhere from $500 up to $2000, if you ask for more then either i wait little more to go up to $3000 or i have to forget completely about microscopy.

So what exactly make a good or high end microscope as a choice over cheap ones?

I am looking for a trinocular microscope so i can see by both eyes or use a camera on ocular rather than one of eyepiece tube.

MichaelG.
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Re: Hello from UAE

#7 Post by MichaelG. » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:02 am

TareqPhoto wrote:... So what exactly make a good or high end microscope as a choice over cheap ones?
In three words : Attention to Detail

MichaelG.
Too many 'projects'

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#8 Post by TareqPhoto » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:05 am

MichaelG. wrote:
TareqPhoto wrote:... So what exactly make a good or high end microscope as a choice over cheap ones?
In three words : Attention to Detail

MichaelG.
Detail of what?

MichaelG.
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Re: Hello from UAE

#9 Post by MichaelG. » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:29 am

TareqPhoto wrote:
MichaelG. wrote:
TareqPhoto wrote:... So what exactly make a good or high end microscope as a choice over cheap ones?
In three words : Attention to Detail

MichaelG.
Detail of what?
Detail of design and construction
... These aspects are what differentiate a good thing from a mediocre thing.

Apologies if I have misinterpreted your question.

MichaelG.
.

Edit: Although the attribution to John Ruskin remains questionable ... It is worth reading this:
https://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/john- ... s-balance/
Too many 'projects'

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#10 Post by TareqPhoto » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:44 am

MichaelG. wrote:
TareqPhoto wrote:
MichaelG. wrote: In three words : Attention to Detail

MichaelG.
Detail of what?
Detail of design and construction
... These aspects are what differentiate a good thing from a mediocre thing.

Apologies if I have misinterpreted your question.

MichaelG.
.

Edit: Although the attribution to John Ruskin remains questionable ... It is worth reading this:
https://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/john- ... s-balance/
Ah ok, thank you very much!

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#11 Post by TareqPhoto » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:22 am

Just to start somewhere, is this one good enough?

https://www.amscope.com/compound-micros ... scope.html

billbillt
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Re: Hello from UAE

#12 Post by billbillt » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:17 pm

TareqPhoto wrote:Just to start somewhere, is this one good enough?

https://www.amscope.com/compound-micros ... scope.html
That looks good to me... Amscope is one of the better Chinese stands....

BillT

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#13 Post by TareqPhoto » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:33 pm

billbillt wrote:
TareqPhoto wrote:Just to start somewhere, is this one good enough?

https://www.amscope.com/compound-micros ... scope.html
That looks good to me... Amscope is one of the better Chinese stands....

BillT
Hey Bill

I just gave an example, if there is better then just guide me, if this is good enough maybe i can start with it, it is just what make this not good enough for that price, because i think any microscope that is nearly $1000 or more it should be good enough even a Chinese one, and i chose one that has Phase One kit, so i don't know if that will open some doors at least, and about the body design or structure, anything so i don't have to waste money even for this one.

billbillt
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Re: Hello from UAE

#14 Post by billbillt » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:28 pm

You look on Ebay for some used stands... Phase contrast is good for some uses, but not necessary for everything... You can look for older used stands from Zeiss, Leica, Nikon, or Olympus with similar equipment and maybe you can get one for what you are willing to spend... If this is for hobby use the Amscope is certainly a good choice..

Best Regards,
BillT

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#15 Post by TareqPhoto » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:03 pm

billbillt wrote:You look on Ebay for some used stands... Phase contrast is good for some uses, but not necessary for everything... You can look for older used stands from Zeiss, Leica, Nikon, or Olympus with similar equipment and maybe you can get one for what you are willing to spend... If this is for hobby use the Amscope is certainly a good choice..

Best Regards,
BillT
definitely hobby, and wanted to see just some cells either like human cells [blood, hair, skin,....etc] or animals cells or plants cell and those small living such as Bacteria [Amoeba, Paramecium, diatoms,....etc], not asking for super quality clear or colorful, in fact the darkfield filter showed me details and colors that was completely lost in brightfield, amazing, so i still didn't test Phase Contrast quality then if it will give more than darkfield itself, and a darkfield condenser wasn't great because it needed much powerful light so i ended up using a DF filter then.

apochronaut
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Re: Hello from UAE

#16 Post by apochronaut » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:52 am

You might look into Magnus Microscopes, made in New Delhi, or other companies distributing in your country. I know they are sold in Dubai and probably elsewhere in the U.A.E., since you trade well with and have a history of trade with India.
It would make sense for you to avoid any problems that might be encountered with buying lower end products, such as a modest mass produced Chinese microscope from afar. Amscope has had a sketchy history of customer support and quite frankly their marketing literature is liberally sprinkled with nonsense. If you had any problems with the instrument or shipping, it would be a miracle if they were solved easily.
I would think toward buying as local as possible .

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#17 Post by TareqPhoto » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:07 pm

apochronaut wrote:You might look into Magnus Microscopes, made in New Delhi, or other companies distributing in your country. I know they are sold in Dubai and probably elsewhere in the U.A.E., since you trade well with and have a history of trade with India.
It would make sense for you to avoid any problems that might be encountered with buying lower end products, such as a modest mass produced Chinese microscope from afar. Amscope has had a sketchy history of customer support and quite frankly their marketing literature is liberally sprinkled with nonsense. If you had any problems with the instrument or shipping, it would be a miracle if they were solved easily.
I would think toward buying as local as possible .
Sorry for late!

I think i prefer to buy online and then anything can be the same for me whether from India or USA, i don't send items back, and most likely any items i bought online is great enough, so i won't send anything back even if something damaged.

I looked at Magnus microscope, for their compound standard microscope either bi or tri i feel they aren't much different than my microscope actually, the only difference i can see is that they use "Plan" objectives, i don't know how much differences it will make from non "plan" ones, i already saw Plan objectives as a set i can buy to use with my microscope, just i need to gather more information before i keep modifying my microscope or buying another one that is not huge improvement anyway, i already mentioned that when i used a darkfield filters it was so amazing on dead fixed cells i checked out, i didn't try yet to see living/moving cells yet because i didn't test something yet like a pond water, so i will give it another try and see, but it is very surprising that the filter did a better job for me than an actual darkfield condenser i bought, i felt that the condenser is nice or great really but the light is weak, needed a more powerful light but i won't change that if that will damage the illumination, i just asked if there is any high end microscopes still available as a brand new to buy that, otherwise i will stay with cheap ones and not care to high quality then.

apochronaut
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Re: Hello from UAE

#18 Post by apochronaut » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:51 pm

Plan objectives give a flatter field of view but for thicker specimens, the difference is not great. Often too a plan objective has better peripheral colour correction.

Is it possible your DF condenser is an oil type? Many DF condensers need to be oiled to the bottom of the slide in order to direct the light properly. In such cases, an oil DF condenser should be no less bright than a DF stop or filter, as you say. When you attempt high magnifications with a limited illumination source even an oil DF condenser will be dim but in that case a DF stop is usually unusable as well.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#19 Post by TareqPhoto » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:03 pm

apochronaut wrote:Plan objectives give a flatter field of view but for thicker specimens, the difference is not great. Often too a plan objective has better peripheral colour correction.

Is it possible your DF condenser is an oil type? Many DF condensers need to be oiled to the bottom of the slide in order to direct the light properly. In such cases, an oil DF condenser should be no less bright than a DF stop or filter, as you say. When you attempt high magnifications with a limited illumination source even an oil DF condenser will be dim but in that case a DF stop is usually unusable as well.
Ok, it will be up to me if i really want to get Plan objectives later or not, not in rush.

I ordered the "Dry" darkfield condenser, i know there is the oil type one, i was going to order that too just in case i want to use it for 100x oil immersion one day, but i decided why not give a try for a dry first, so this should work just fine, in fact even with 4x the lowest magnification it is dim, i adjusted the condenser to have it dead center, so i don't know why, but the filter is better because that dark/black circle isn't too big, while with the darkfield condenser it is likely 98% circled with black one, so very tiny light just going through, so that i felt it is either the light isn't strong enough or they at least shouldn't make that black/dark circle that big nearly to the edge, do you have another solution for that?

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Re: Hello from UAE

#20 Post by apochronaut » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:44 pm

DF is supposed to have a very large black circle, so large that there is no direct light being observed by the objective. All of the illumination with DF is created by oblique light outside the aperture of the objective illuminating the subject by total internal reflection inside the slide. This causes a very dark to black background and luminescent subject(s). A high illumination must be used because so much of the light is lost.
It sounds like you may not really be getting DF with your stop otherwise you would need about the same illumination level with it. A DF condenser even a dry type, is really just a condenser with a precisely located DF stop built in.

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Re: Hello from UAE

#21 Post by TareqPhoto » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:51 pm

apochronaut wrote:DF is supposed to have a very large black circle, so large that there is no direct light being observed by the objective. All of the illumination with DF is created by oblique light outside the aperture of the objective illuminating the subject by total internal reflection inside the slide. This causes a very dark to black background and luminescent subject(s). A high illumination must be used because so much of the light is lost.
It sounds like you may not really be getting DF with your stop otherwise you would need about the same illumination level with it. A DF condenser even a dry type, is really just a condenser with a precisely located DF stop built in.
Ok, i will figure it out later or keep trying, thank you very much!

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#22 Post by TareqPhoto » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:26 pm

I checked out my microscope specifications and it turned out that the illumination is actually LED, 3W, so i don't know if this is powerful enough or not, but sounds it isn't, now the question is, can i change it to something stronger like maybe 6W without any harm to the microscope or electrical thing for illuminator?

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Re: Hello from UAE

#23 Post by apochronaut » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:27 pm

You probably can. There isn't much heat from even a 6 watt led but based on what I see in the marketplace that is about as high as the lower end scopes go as an in base illuminator. You would have to make sure your power supply can handle it.

As a guideline, a 6 watt led, if the emitter is right under the stage, seems to be enough for 400x DF, maybe even 600x , with a dry condenser.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#24 Post by TareqPhoto » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:18 am

apochronaut wrote:You probably can. There isn't much heat from even a 6 watt led but based on what I see in the marketplace that is about as high as the lower end scopes go as an in base illuminator. You would have to make sure your power supply can handle it.

As a guideline, a 6 watt led, if the emitter is right under the stage, seems to be enough for 400x DF, maybe even 600x , with a dry condenser.
I will try to find a compatible LED light with this microscope if possible more than 3W, and as you said, i will go maximum with 6W if there is nothing higher or if it isn't recommended.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#25 Post by TareqPhoto » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:21 am

I really don't know how you are people enable to see germs or bacteria under 10x or 40x objectives, i use 10x and 40x objectives with 20x eyepieces, and it is like very very difficult to see even under darkfield, i see very tiny things moving around, few are link rings, but other things i can't really tell the shape or what are they, and they move around very fast, is that normal?

apochronaut
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Re: Hello from UAE

#26 Post by apochronaut » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:14 am

You can only use the 20X eyepieces with the 10x objective. If your 40X is a .65 N.A. you enter the zone of what is called empty magnification, so even though everything gets bigger, it doesn't gain any resolution.....kind of like walking right up to a movie screen , hoping to see more detail.
You cannot go any more than 1000 x the N.A. of the objective for the magnification limit with any objective. You can use a 15X on most 40 X objectives , or if you happen to have a 40X with an N.A. of .85, you could get away with a 20X but I can't think that I have ever seen a high N.A. 40X on a 3 watt led microscope.

With higher resolution, you would be able to see some detail of bacteria at 400X but it is the objective creating that resolution and you just have to have really good ones.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Hello from UAE

#27 Post by TareqPhoto » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:48 am

apochronaut wrote:You can only use the 20X eyepieces with the 10x objective. If your 40X is a .65 N.A. you enter the zone of what is called empty magnification, so even though everything gets bigger, it doesn't gain any resolution.....kind of like walking right up to a movie screen , hoping to see more detail.
You cannot go any more than 1000 x the N.A. of the objective for the magnification limit with any objective. You can use a 15X on most 40 X objectives , or if you happen to have a 40X with an N.A. of .85, you could get away with a 20X but I can't think that I have ever seen a high N.A. 40X on a 3 watt led microscope.

With higher resolution, you would be able to see some detail of bacteria at 400X but it is the objective creating that resolution and you just have to have really good ones.
My 40X objective is 0.65, and believe it or not, it allowed me to see something very tiny to move, it was so so difficult to see that with 4X or 10X objectives, and i did use 20X eyepieces.

What do you mean higher resolution? resolution of what?

Are there something like 40X eyepieces? so i can use that with 4X or 10x objectives if possible.

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Re: Hello from UAE

#28 Post by desertrat » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:52 am

Some of the larger bacilli found in my one remaining pond water culture can be seen with a 20x N.A. 0.50 objective and ordinary brightfield illumination. The condenser needs to be stopped down just a bit, more than a little will kill the objective's resolving power.

Adjusting the focus slightly can make the bacilli look light against a darker background, or darker against a lighter background.

Don't know if I could successfully photograph them with my existing setup, though.

Edit to add: I'm using standard 10x eyepieces.
Rick

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Re: Hello from UAE

#29 Post by TareqPhoto » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:49 am

Just want to know if what i see in videos by cameras is exactly the same how you see in eyepieces or not.

apochronaut
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Re: Hello from UAE

#30 Post by apochronaut » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:38 pm

TareqPhoto wrote:
apochronaut wrote:You can only use the 20X eyepieces with the 10x objective. If your 40X is a .65 N.A. you enter the zone of what is called empty magnification, so even though everything gets bigger, it doesn't gain any resolution.....kind of like walking right up to a movie screen , hoping to see more detail.
You cannot go any more than 1000 x the N.A. of the objective for the magnification limit with any objective. You can use a 15X on most 40 X objectives , or if you happen to have a 40X with an N.A. of .85, you could get away with a 20X but I can't think that I have ever seen a high N.A. 40X on a 3 watt led microscope.

With higher resolution, you would be able to see some detail of bacteria at 400X but it is the objective creating that resolution and you just have to have really good ones.
My 40X objective is 0.65, and believe it or not, it allowed me to see something very tiny to move, it was so so difficult to see that with 4X or 10X objectives, and i did use 20X eyepieces.

What do you mean higher resolution? resolution of what?




Are there something like 40X eyepieces? so i can use that with 4X or 10x objectives if possible.
Resolution of details in your subject. Yes you can see things moving and using eyepieces of a higher power increases the magnification but the fine details of what you are looking at get blurred. If you use an objective with higher magnification and a higher N.A., staying with a lower power eyepiece, you get more magnification and the finer details will be more defined and sharper.
High power eyepieces also usually have poorer eye relief( the distance between your eye and the lens) and are often uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.
Based on the formula above a 40X .65 objective has a useful total magnification capability of about 650X, maybe 700X at the extreme, so using a 15X eyepiece with an average 40X objective is o.k. Anything above that will yield very little if any extra information.
A 4X objective, which usually have an N.A. of about .10 could accept a 25X eyepiece, although since you have a 10X objective ???? A 10X .25 objective could be used with a 25X eyepiece and that might have some value at 250X.
Most of the higher magnification eyepieces are special purpose and more often than not designed to be used with very high N.A. objective lenses.

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