Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
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Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

#1 Post by Fiddlercrab » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:29 am

Hi everyone. I am a retired health scientist/chronic disease epidemiologist--but not a bench scientist, no lab experience whatsoever--who decided to explore the smaller worlds with his grandkids and for his own pleasure.

I first bought a used Leica Stereozoom 6 photo on craigslist to look at all the stuff crawling around in the moss etc. during our wet winters here, plus interesting fungi, and the many other beautiful things between 1 and 60x. Unfortunately, this particular stereoscope has a phototube that is not the usual diameter, and that is unlike any other Leica Stereozooms (the 6 apparently was made in the US based on a B&L model, after Leica bought B&L). I would like to make videos, possibly even 3-D videos, of these subjects at this scale but so far have not figured out how to do it. For the kids, it might be cheaper and better to just by a hand-hold-able digital microscope from China.

I then bought a ~1959 Leitz Wetzlar SM-style scope from a veterinarian for US125, which I cleaned up and which now seems to work well, although I am still just getting started with it. And I bought a trinocular head for it on ebay that MIGHT fit and MIGHT be repairable--we'll see when it gets here.

Seems like what I really ought to try to find is a used inverted scope, which will make it easier to view live field samples and (I am learning) easier to add filters, darkfield, phase contrast, polarization and so on--and with fewer objective-compatability issues if I need to mix and match used lenses.

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Re: Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

#2 Post by billbillt » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:52 am

Welcome fiddlercrab,
Glad you joined.. I also have one of the older Leitz Wetzlar SM-style scopes, and it is a fine instrument... Am looking forward to see what you do in you endeavors!...


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Re: Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

#3 Post by 92111 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:23 pm

hi health scientist.
darkfield is not common in an inverted microscope.

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Re: Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

#4 Post by 75RR » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:29 pm

Welcome Fiddlercrab,

Is this what you have?

http://microscope.database.free.fr/512_ ... e%20SM.pdf

Do post some images of your microscope in the My microscope section, we all like to see what members are using.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
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Re: Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

#5 Post by apochronaut » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:24 pm

Welcome from most of the way across the continent. Right now, I would have to start looking for critters in moss by starting with a shovel. They are probably down there, though; a bit slow, I would guess.

Although your SZ6 was a fairly recent design, it was envisioned at a time when emulsion film was still the rule. You may be lucky enough to find a photo system for it and usually those are not too hard to adapt to receiving a digital camera. However, most of the camera systems made for the film based trinoculars were designed to capture only the center portion of the field. If you want to have a system that captures the field as you see it through the eyepieces, then building one up with some of the many inexpensive adapters available on ebay is pretty easy. Start with using one of your eyepieces as a relay lens and work from there. Tube length and eyepiece magnification can be adapted easily to get parfocality and full field coverage but beware, not just any eyepiece is adapted to the optics of your instrument. Stick with what you have until you are certain another of a more suitable magnification will work and provide as good an image as the ones the microscope came from the factory with. If you can find a manual, there may be reference to a photo eyepiece. B & L made them for some instruments. I don't know about the SZ6.

Usually, using a 1/ 1/4" telescope adapter fitted over the trino tube and fixed with 3 set screws works well as a base for a camera mount. These come with a standard thread mount, usually a T mount. You can then fit the appropriate bayonet for your chosen camera. Distance pieces are available for fine tuning. With the adapter fitted over the tube , you can raise or lower the camera relative to the eyepiece to adjust both field coverage and parfocality. Once you get the distances right you can get it perfectly fixed and secure. The parts for such a set up are usually less than 30.00 + eyepiece+camera body.

Leica is an invented name for microscopes, peeled away from one of the original parent companies donating a microscope division to
a rather large merger. Prior to 1991, there were no Leica microscopes but to the corporate bosses associated with the merger, it was the most marketable name available to them. It was Cambridge instruments that purchased the Bausch & Lomb Scientific Optical Products Division from Bausch & Lomb and then Cambridge Instruments and Wild-Leitz merged.

When Cambridge purchased Bausch & Lomb, they also owned AO-Reichert-Jung and therefore had their hands full of competing instruments in their own stable. The SZ6 was viewed as a replacement for the similar but more expensive AO 580 Stereostar. With it's integrated photo tube, lighter streamlined design, and similar performance parameters, it probably made sense to concentrate on the production of it out of the B & L plant and let AO concentrate on the Microstar/Diastar biological microscopes, which continued in production until somewhere around 2002. The AO stereo microscopes were discontinued and the B & L line were carried forward, eventually branded Leica by the newly formed and named conglomerate.

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Re: Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

#6 Post by zzffnn » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:06 pm

Welcome fiddlercrab!

I used to be a bench microbiologist, but am moving back to health care (I did BS in pharmacy and PhD in microbiology and immunology).

I don't think you can make true 3D videos from regualr microscopes.

Inverted scopes actually do not have obvious advantage in 1) viewing live samples; 2) adding filters or 3) objective compatibility.

Re 1)

It may actually be hard to view live protists under inverted scope. Yes, no cover slip means easier sample handling. But cover slips to protists is like cages to birds. No cage means birds would fly around very quickly in all possible directions, which makes viewing harder. Cover slips compress water column and limit movement of protists.

Cover slipped sample handling just needs a kitchen filter to remove big debris / sand and some gentle compression to remove excessively thick water column.

You can actually use an inverted objective (which is optically corrected for 0.8-1.2mm cover) on a upright scope, if tube length match (160 mm for 160mm, 170 for 170 and infinity oo for oo). Just pick an inverted objective with cover slip correction collar and invert slide or DIY a flat wall side with 1-1.2mm tall walls.

2) and 3) are the same for invented and upright scopes.

The real advantage of an inverted scope is 1) keeping samples alive longer and 2) sample handling while viewing sample at the same time. Handling is not an easy practice. You either needs specialized (expensive) pro devices or a very stable hand.

You can DIY a flat well slide with 1.0 -1.2 mm tall walls and view / keep protists under an upright scope. Protists can live a long time that way. So again, you don't have to use an inverted scope.

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Re: Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

#7 Post by gastrotrichman » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:39 pm

Welcome Fiddlercrab. I am located in a rural area 30 miles or so south of Portland, so we share fauna, weather, moss flora, etc. I am retired with an interest in freshwater gastrotrichs. Good luck with the grandkids. Mine are still too young for a real microscope.

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Re: Hello from Portland, Oregon, USA

#8 Post by wstenberg » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:42 am

Welcome to the Forum!
I was out in Astoria, OR for a few years. There was a store in Portland that sold scientific surplus items. I would stop in on every trip into town to see what they had.
Good luck with the microscope.
Dallas, Texas

Zeiss Standard WL with POL
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