Any experience with OMAX?

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jadmac
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Any experience with OMAX?

#1 Post by jadmac » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:17 pm

Currently looking for a good quality microscope to homeschool my kids with, thinking of purchasing a compound microscope from a middle of the road brand like Omax as opposed to a Leica. Specifically interested in the Omax 40X-2000X Lab LED Binocular Compound Microscope, I just read a review here : http://microscopespot.com/compound-microscope-reviews/ but not too sure what to make of it? Has anyone got any experience with them? Would appreciate your feedback.

Thanks in advance

apochronaut
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#2 Post by apochronaut » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:34 pm

That isn't a very reliable review. It comes off as being more of an advertising site. Irregardless, a microscope of that type will be perfectly acceptable as a home schooling resource.
Omax and Amscope etc. are assembled from parts that are made in various countries and generally the features of one within a certain category of scope mirrors the other. They can have optics from usually India or China but I have seen older ones with Korean optics too.

The microscope you have chosen is a basic 4 objective, school grade microscope capable of providing a good level of performance. A similar one, branded Amscope, with exactly the same objective lenses is currently being sold at a ridiculously low price on ebay with free shipping. Normally, it would be about the same price as the Omax you have inquired about but at 25.66 with free shipping you cannot go wrong.
there are only 8 left.https://www.ebay.com/itm/112651818735

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Aenima
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#3 Post by Aenima » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:47 pm

Not sure about that particular Advert, but i tried to buy the same model (amscope) a few weeks ago for 26.99GBP and it was removed a short time later by ebay, and i then was unable to follow usual steps for a refund. It was a dodgy transaction all round. So be sure to check the reputation and feedback before buying. Looks legit though, just checked and seems to be plenty of feedback. :)

apochronaut
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#4 Post by apochronaut » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:26 pm

good to have that heads up. do you recall the name of the seller?
I do admit that the listing seems a bit odd but I did look at the feedback and the few from Sept. looked o.k. I used to be very critical of ebay but in N.A. at least, if you pay by paypal, there is a very secure guarantee for new items. You get a tracking # and if the item doesn't arrive, you get a refund. It can be a little dodgier with damaged items and used ones but generally, the situation for buyer protection has improved greatly.

I am curious why you did not get a refund in the U.K.?

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Aenima
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#5 Post by Aenima » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:15 am

i'm not sure, but to be honest there is a chance i failed to properly follow up on it. Ebay pulled the ad a few seconds after i paid them, and all the info i found was based on the listed item still existing and me using the resolution center via those links, but of course without a listing to quote and click on i was left unsure what to do. At that point i googled it etc and found i had to wait until the last date the shipping was scheduled to be 'out of time' just in case the item did turn up - but at this point i wrote it off a little frustrated and haven't bothered since.

I checked my purchase history and found the user was no longer registered, and i noticed there weren't any feedback - so i put it down to my own stupidity. :P

https://www.ebay.com/usr/yxg8832-3?_trk ... 2749.l2754

The advert you linked has a good amount of feedback, which seems much more legitimate, its just the similar price that alerted me - always pays to check these things haha :P

vendav
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#6 Post by vendav » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:53 am

Hi,

I believe that I was responsible for ebay pulling that listing.

I saw that item and realised that it was too good to be true and asked ebay to investigate the seller.
I "bought" one just to keep in the picture as it were, but didn't pay pending ebay's investigation.
Sure enough, I was soon advised that the transaction was invalid and that ebay had removed the listing.
By the way, the listing reappeared a couple of weeks later under a different name. I again reported it to ebay and it quickly disappeared, I haven't seen it since so presumably the crook has moved on to pastures new.

Sorry that you got caught by this scam artist but given that ebay are aware of the fraudulent activity I should have thought that you had a very good chance of getting your money back from them.

Glad to see that you are still finding the Leitz to be working for you, I found that it gave a very decent image.

Kind regards,
David

apochronaut
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#7 Post by apochronaut » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:52 pm

I need another microscope like I need a 6th hole in my head but I can always pass this one on to a deserving kid, if it arrives, so I bought one. It cost me about $35.00 CDN. It doesn't look good, already. There were 9 left and there are still 9 left. I received a tracking # , by the next time I checked; about 1/2 an hour. Delivery is supposed to be by the end of this month. We will see. It might certainly test ebay's mettle.

billbillt
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#8 Post by billbillt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:32 pm

apochronaut wrote:I need another microscope like I need a 6th hole in my head but I can always pass this one on to a deserving kid, if it arrives, so I bought one. It cost me about $35.00 CDN. It doesn't look good, already. There were 9 left and there are still 9 left. I received a tracking # , by the next time I checked; about 1/2 an hour. Delivery is supposed to be by the end of this month. We will see. It might certainly test ebay's mettle.

I got suckered into this also.. Someone reported it to Ebay, so they are shut down.. The crook marks your purchase as unpaid but charges your account.. This causes extra trouble for you to get a refund.. Ebay won't act at once unless it is marked as paid.. You have to call them and go through a lot of extra steps..

BillT

apochronaut
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#9 Post by apochronaut » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:36 am

Well: Jadmac, I have to apologize for posting that link. You clearly want a microscope for Christmas. To get back on track , the very same or similar microscopes are available from legitimate sources on ebay. There is this one, a little larger physically but with similar optics.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/40X-2500X-LED- ... 0505.m3226

All of the lower prices microscopes are smaller in size and fairly appropriate for students but the construction is light and there are a lot of plastic parts. If you would be looking for something that would be more of a professional instrument and be able to grow with your kids, if one or more of them maintained interest, a good used lab instrument such as this might be a better option.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bristoline-300 ... Sw44BYhVLz
That is an all metal instrument of high quality. A new one like it today, would cost over $1000.00.

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lorez
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#10 Post by lorez » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:59 pm

I've been following this thread a bit and have a couple of thoughts.

First, at the prices asked, neither are a bad place to start assuming that you will grow in your skills and interest and replace it with something more suitable.

I think the Chinese microscope, regardless of the brand, badge, name, or whatever it has painted on it about as basic as you can get. It has a lot of plastic and the electronics may or may not be reliable. Simply because it is a LED does not mean it is good or will last a long time. At the price, however, it is not so scary as to be avoided. It would not be my first choice.

The Bristoline is, as Apo mentioned, an all metal assembly. This style of focusing system was used on a variety of different brands because they all bought the same stock with their name painted on it. The weak point was/is the fine focus design and likely as not it has some failure aspects. The part about this model that I really do not like is the illumination. It uses a 30W bulb that is basically a refrigerator bulb. It has a single strand filament that is strung across three or four posts. It is the worst selection I've ever seen (this may be an exaggeration as I've seen a lot to bad stuff). Some models had a variable intensity and separate voltages could be selected. This model found some suitability in the small veterinary practice where the Dr was very aware of the $$ he/she invested. Apparently, it was good enough.

For an initial investment where there are limited funds and experience I believe that almost any functional microscope is better than no microscope.

lorez

Again, because of the low price to get in it would not be the end if one would change his/her mind.

apochronaut
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#11 Post by apochronaut » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:57 pm

It's not possible that you encountered examples of those Bristolines, where the correct bulb had been substituted by one that fit and worked but not properly, Lorez?


I think the correct bulb for those is the 31-74-28 , 120v, 30 watt, half silvered bulb . It was also used by Bausch & Lomb Accu-Scope, NIkon and Olympus. Had any of these companies made refrigerators, they probably would have used a cheaper less precisely designed bulb.

The filament in those bulbs is routed in such a way as to maximize coverage of the field with a tungsten wire filament, when mounted with the bulb axis lateral to the optical axis. The half silvered bulb envelope provides an even better coverage, by reflecting a blurred image of the filament.

The model being auctioned here has a 5 position intensity control and appears to have been serviced at least sometime by Davis Technical.

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lorez
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#12 Post by lorez » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:36 pm

It's not possible that you encountered examples of those Bristolines, where the correct bulb had been substituted by one that fit and worked but not properly, Lorez?
Anything is possible, but in this case the bulbs used in the Bristoline are not the 31-74-28 which was used in the variety of scopes you mentioned, but rather a 30S11/102 which is a medium screw base bulb rather than the DC bayonet of the 31-27-28.

I think this scope would be a great candidate for an LED conversion.

lorez

apochronaut
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#13 Post by apochronaut » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:35 pm

not 31-27-28 : 31-74-28

sure you aren't thinking of another model of Bristol microscope, with a lower tier illuminator ,Lorez? That one in the link is a Bristoline 3002, the same microscope as a Kyowa Unilux, who made it. Bristol had microscopes made by various mfg. over time, even Swift, who I know you are familiar with.----I think they morphed into Accu-Scope.

Both the Kyowa Unilux and the Bristoline 3002 use a 31-74-28 30watt 110v. half silvered microscope bulb. It is a 2 pin bayonet but it is not DC . It is AC 110 v. and controlled by a voltage limiter, for variable intensity. I'm pretty sure that is what is the illuminator in that Bristoline microscope I linked to.
There are a whole slew of microscopes that used that bulb including the Galen II, I think.

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lorez
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#14 Post by lorez » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:08 am

not 31-27-28 : 31-74-28
You are correct. That's what happens when I multitask.

I'm a bit confused about the specs you site on the bulb. Check here for their description:

https://www.bulbworks.com/advancedSearc ... o=31-74-28

This discussion may fragment a bit as there are a couple of good items here.

As I understand, Bristol/Bristoline was a brand name which ordered its inventory from a variety of manufacturers. I never had any direct relationship with them. I do know from personal experience that Swift was an importer and although they ordered their products to their specs, they did no manufacturing. Accu-Scope is a very similar situation. Some of their product line is somewhat proprietary and some of it is off-the-shelf from a variety of sources. Even B&L, starting in the late 70's began importing their educational and clinical lines from other manufacturers. The Galen (original model) was the discontinued Olympus KHC. The Galen II was a reliable model, but the Galen III was not. I don't know who made the HSM series, but the original iteration came from Japan. Eventually, B&L went away. I should add that B&L always built the stereo series. They ground the lenses in Buffalo and all the castings and machined parts came from other vendors.

The thing that is often overlooked is that none of the current microscope brands (excepting the major 4) are doing any manufacturing.

It's been fun.

lorez

apochronaut
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#15 Post by apochronaut » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:01 pm

That;s the one. 110/120 30 watt bi-pin bayonett, half silverd.

Oddly, James Swift and Sons Ltd., still exists on paper, owned by Prior Scientific Instruments Ltd. It has a full slate of company records filed every year but is basically a dormant company. Presumably, the name Swift is not registered outside the U.K. any more, leaving the door open for the importer in Texas to use it at will.
I am not sure who made the Japanese Swift microscopes. They are somewhat unique in design, especially the binocular head. I was led to believe at one time that there was a Swift factory in Japan . Current instruments come from China, just like those from any other importer.

B & L did import some of their budget priced microscopes, first from Olympus in Japan and then later from China. They did continue to produce their educational lines, stereo microscopes as noted and more importantly the Balplan in Rochester. When Cambridge Instruments assumed ownership of the Bausch & Lomb Optical Systems Division in the mid- 80's, they saw no point in competing with themselves, so they discontinued the 20 year old but still developing Balplan program in favour of the newly emerging American Optical series 400 program while continuing the production of the stereo microscopes in Rochester. Thus, when the newly monikered Leica merger took shape : the American Optical/Reichert plant in Buffalo was a high power microscope factory making diascopic,inverted and episcopic microscopes and the Bausch & Lomb factory in Rochester was a low magnification microscope factory, making stereozoom and industrial microscopes. However, the company did continue to import the budget line, for which they had a solld lab and educational market. So, you can find Chinese microscopes and parts such as objectives around , which formerly would have been marked Bausch & Lomb , with the brand Leica on them. They are all 160mm tube length D.I.N.

billbillt
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#16 Post by billbillt » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:56 pm

$30.40 for a bulb is insane.. This is a prime subject for LED conversion..

BillT

apochronaut
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Re: Any experience with OMAX?

#17 Post by apochronaut » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:08 pm

First of all, the genuine Ushio bulb can be had for 16.99, https://www.bulbamerica.com/products/us ... light-bulb. There is never any need to pay a premium price for microscope lamps.

Secondly, regarding an led conversion. I have done quite a few of these now; about 10 , and it is not always as easy as it sounds and the results are not always encouraging. Leds can seriously downgrade the illuminator performance of some illumination systems but upgrade others. It all depends on a number of factors and unfortunately, it isn't always easy to determine that in advance. Microscope illuminators can be anything from simple and straightforward, to confusing and complex. 6v. illuminators are the most frustrating to convert because there is often limited space and the inexpensive options with sufficient lumens are scant. 120v, is probably the easiest, except when you start dealing with variable leds, like the one on the Bristolscope. The bulb also has a built in reflector. That is a pretty small bulb, pumping out 30 watts of self reflected light.
A replacement led would have to cover a pretty broad area to replace that filament and reflector structure and project the light properly through the existing collector and collimating lens. It probably needs to be at least 5 watts, if it is a 180 degree led and more like 8 if a 360 degree. The latter would need a replacement reflector. I am likely downgrading the wattage required too. Leds are not as bright as claimed because of the nature of the light they produce and the way the light projects from the diode.

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