Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

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nboyer
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Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#1 Post by nboyer » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:12 am

Hello Folks. I am looking for a second scope, mostly for marine organisms. Anyone own this microscope and can comment (negative or positive) on whether buying this 80's vintage microscope is a good idea? Are obtaining replacement halogen bulbs problematic? Anything specific I should focus in on when buying a used one? This is the one I am looking at (https://www.microscopyu.com/museum/diap ... microscope). Your valuable input, as always, much appreciated. Cheers! -Norm
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KurtM
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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#2 Post by KurtM » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:39 am

That's a Diaphot TMD in the "Nikon U" link, as opposed to a Diaphot 200 or Diaphot 300. I know next to nothing about the latter two, but have owned a TMD since last summer, mine equipped for phase contrast and DIC. From the very first I have had zero interest in using any of my many other microscopes unless I want to go above 40x, then I have a Zeiss WL/100W stand with phase and DIC. The TMD has a habit of just doing everything I ask of it without the least fiddle or fuss whatever, just a superlative microscope as far as I'm concerned, couldn't be happier with it. Bulbs are no problem (the first thing I do with any new scope is order replacement bulbs). There's pertinent literature to be found on the www. Email me if further questions or whatever, I'll talk about the TMD all day long...

Disclaimer: I'm no expert, only a hobbyist.
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Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

nboyer
Posts: 52
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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#3 Post by nboyer » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:50 pm

Hello Kurt, I appreciate your response on the Diaphot. I tried to PM you, but for whatever reason it just stayed in my outbox, no way of actually sending it. Maybe since I'm a new member, there are some restrictions? I’m looking at this one (https://www.ebay.com/itm/163535126091?u ... noapp=true). Looks like it is configured for phase contrast. Any opinions on this one, such as price and condition? Much appreciated. -Norm
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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#4 Post by KurtM » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:21 am

I received your PM. I understand new members are unable to send or receive PM's, but yours made it here so beats me. At any rate, I often fail to notice a PM waiting for me since this forum gives no notification other than the tiny notice up at top left. Anywayyy...

The TMD (easier to type than 'Diaphot', and distinguishes it from 200 and 300 Diaphots) you show looks to be in very good shape, although it's easy to make things look better (or worse) than they really are on the internet, so tough to say. Also, I see no mention of objectives, and of course that's a pretty big deal.

FYI: Used market TMDs have two common malfunctions: frozen Bertrand lens, and nonfunctioning light meter (at user's front right of base). My nonworking meter makes no difference to me, although I was worried it'd bug me at first. My Bertrand lens was frozen, but proved an easy fix. These may be bargaining points.

Something else you need to be aware of: TMDs with ELWD phase contrast condensers (as in your ad) provide no iris diaphragm for the open position(!). I don't know if same is true of the LWD phase contrast condenser or not. A friend in England found and fitted an iris to his ELWD phase TMD, which at least demonstrates it's possible.

EDIT: The TMD in your ad doesn't have the filters between the lamp and right-angle mirror housing above the condenser, which is also seen a lot on eBay.

It's always helpful to know a budget. I know of a TMD fully equipped for DIC/phase from a reliable seller in the $5K area, for instance (which is bargain basement for DIC).
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

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75RR
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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#5 Post by 75RR » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:27 am

I received your PM. I understand new members are unable to send or receive PM's, but yours made it here so beats me. At any rate, I often fail to notice a PM waiting for me since this forum gives no notification other than the tiny notice up at top left. Anywayyy...
User Control PanelBoard PreferencesEdit Notifications
Tick email box under ‘Someone sends you a private message

MicrobeHunter will then send you an email letting you know that you have received a PM.
To see the PM you then have to visit the site and sign in.
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nboyer
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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#6 Post by nboyer » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:57 pm

Thanks, Kurt, your input is very helpful. It does come with 3 objectives, the seller did confirm. My budget for a second scope is around $1K. I'm just an amateur, hard to justify $5K, the wife would likely try to collect on life insurance at that point :P . DIC would certainly be nice and comes at a price, I don't think I would ever get to the point of needing DIC or fluorescence at my level but surely would be great to have. Give what you see in the ad, do you believe the price is fair considering the items you pointed out does work? Cheers! -Norm
KurtM wrote:I received your PM. I understand new members are unable to send or receive PM's, but yours made it here so beats me. At any rate, I often fail to notice a PM waiting for me since this forum gives no notification other than the tiny notice up at top left. Anywayyy...

The TMD (easier to type than 'Diaphot', and distinguishes it from 200 and 300 Diaphots) you show looks to be in very good shape, although it's easy to make things look better (or worse) than they really are on the internet, so tough to say. Also, I see no mention of objectives, and of course that's a pretty big deal.

FYI: Used market TMDs have two common malfunctions: frozen Bertrand lens, and nonfunctioning light meter (at user's front right of base). My nonworking meter makes no difference to me, although I was worried it'd bug me at first. My Bertrand lens was frozen, but proved an easy fix. These may be bargaining points.

Something else you need to be aware of: TMDs with ELWD phase contrast condensers (as in your ad) provide no iris diaphragm for the open position(!). I don't know if same is true of the LWD phase contrast condenser or not. A friend in England found and fitted an iris to his ELWD phase TMD, which at least demonstrates it's possible.

EDIT: The TMD in your ad doesn't have the filters between the lamp and right-angle mirror housing above the condenser, which is also seen a lot on eBay.

It's always helpful to know a budget. I know of a TMD fully equipped for DIC/phase from a reliable seller in the $5K area, for instance (which is bargain basement for DIC).
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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#7 Post by KurtM » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:36 pm

75RR wrote:User Control PanelBoard PreferencesEdit Notifications
Been there, done that...
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#8 Post by KurtM » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:04 pm

Norm, I'm with you and all, but what you're asking puts me in a tight spot, as there are lots and lots of variables which could make my answer a bad one.

In other words ... You're on your own, buddy.

Now, with that said, it looks pretty good to me. If it's in as good condition as the photos indicate, that'd be awful nice - many used scopes are badly abused, suffer much corrosion, and/or filthy, often from sitting in non-climate controlled surplus equipment warehouses. The stage appears pristine - although again that's just from a photo - and the rings are present so that's good. The little tag hanging from the cord appears original, may suggest a protected environment, although it's hardly solid evidence. Many eBay scopes are more or less incomplete, as this one is, but you are aware of what's missing (objectives, filters). Finally, the price isn't bad (note shipping), all things considered. I'd make an offer since they give the option.

Cost of scopes is an interesting thing. Yes, only a hobby, but how far would $5K take you in motorcycles, or boating, or any number of other common hobbies? Not trying to sway you ... I'm just sayin'. :)
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

nboyer
Posts: 52
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Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#9 Post by nboyer » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:08 pm

Thanks Kurt, I do understand where you're coming from, certainly, I have to be accountable for my own decisions. My experience thus far is limited, just trying to get more data points from more experienced members. While my first scope (Olympus CX22 LED) is a nice one, I wonder if I may have rushed in getting it. I understand now, that were it capable of phase contrast and had stronger illumination, I would be more okay with it. I just don't want to make another misstep, so being more cautious this time around.

This guy is local to me, that's one of the reasons why I focused in on this particular one. Yes, I hear you, as a boater I can associate with your logic. Thanks again for your commentary and experience, I certainly will bear them in mind. Cheers. -Norm
KurtM wrote:Norm, I'm with you and all, but what you're asking puts me in a tight spot, as there are lots and lots of variables which could make my answer a bad one.

In other words ... You're on your own, buddy.

Now, with that said, it looks pretty good to me. If it's in as good condition as the photos indicate, that'd be awful nice - many used scopes are badly abused, suffer much corrosion, and/or filthy, often from sitting in non-climate controlled surplus equipment warehouses. The stage appears pristine - although again that's just from a photo - and the rings are present so that's good. The little tag hanging from the cord appears original, may suggest a protected environment, although it's hardly solid evidence. Many eBay scopes are more or less incomplete, as this one is, but you are aware of what's missing (objectives, filters). Finally, the price isn't bad (note shipping), all things considered. I'd make an offer since they give the option.

Cost of scopes is an interesting thing. Yes, only a hobby, but how far would $5K take you in motorcycles, or boating, or any number of other common hobbies? Not trying to sway you ... I'm just sayin'. :)
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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#10 Post by KurtM » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:57 am

If the guy is local to you, that must mean you can inspect the scope firsthand prior to plunking down the $$$...? If so, that changes everything. I was going to add that you might ask the seller to operate all sliders to see if any are stiff or otherwise nonfunctional - there are three on the right hand side of the scope as seen from the operator position. If you can inspect it yourself, test these, rotate the turret under the eyepieces, and check the Bertrand lens while at it. Rotate all knobs: coarse and fine focus, condenser rack, and stage control drop-wand in both directions. Check the field iris diaphragm, the lever located just above the condenser, facing the user. Check the variable light switch/dial to ensure it operates smoothly across its range without flickering or other funny business.

Be prepared to be taken aback by the size and weight of this scope, it's a fairly impressive beast.

The lamp is 50W.
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

nboyer
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:33 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#11 Post by nboyer » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:36 pm

Thank you for the insight on what to test for, Kurt. Now that you've mentioned it, all the photo's I've been of the Diaphot was of the unit itself, really no reference point as to how big it is. I just downloaded the Instructions manual for the TMD and nowhere did I see it mention the dimensions and weight. I'm not looking to get a monster of a scope, I really do not have the desk space for it. Roughly, how high and wide this this thing and how much does it weigh? Cheers! -Norm
KurtM wrote:If the guy is local to you, that must mean you can inspect the scope firsthand prior to plunking down the $$$...? If so, that changes everything. I was going to add that you might ask the seller to operate all sliders to see if any are stiff or otherwise nonfunctional - there are three on the right hand side of the scope as seen from the operator position. If you can inspect it yourself, test these, rotate the turret under the eyepieces, and check the Bertrand lens while at it. Rotate all knobs: coarse and fine focus, condenser rack, and stage control drop-wand in both directions. Check the field iris diaphragm, the lever located just above the condenser, facing the user. Check the variable light switch/dial to ensure it operates smoothly across its range without flickering or other funny business.

Be prepared to be taken aback by the size and weight of this scope, it's a fairly impressive beast.

The lamp is 50W.
Olympus CX22 LED
Zeiss Axiovert 25

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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#12 Post by KurtM » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:38 pm

Footprint is 11" x 14", height 26", weighs about 40 lbs or so.
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

nboyer
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Re: Opinions Wanted: Nikon Diaphot

#13 Post by nboyer » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:06 pm

Thanks Kurt! -Norm
Olympus CX22 LED
Zeiss Axiovert 25

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