Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

Everything relating to microscopy hardware: Objectives, eyepieces, lamps and more.
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denodan
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Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#1 Post by denodan » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:40 pm

https://www.amazon.com/44347-Tetraview- ... +d&sr=8-29


While I have a good Olympus CH-2. Was looking at the above, as a good compliment to my good microscope.

I notice it uses standard objectives, so at least can get others.

Have read some have had QC issues, but if I do, could just get it replaced on warranty and know it's been getting good reviews on Amazon in user comments.

I know the images may not be a great as my Olympus, and the trouble, unless you get a triple head, taking out one eyepiece all the time and replacing it with camera is a bad idea, as dust is our enemy and eventually will get dust inside microscope.

The beauty of the above, no messy cords, no PC needed, can take it on the field or anywhere as it will also run off batteries.

The great thing is no dust getting inside issues and will take pictures, etc, and often it's nice looking at a screen than through an eyepiece and quite enjoyable.

I think it's a compliment to a good microscope, and seen videos of objects on you tube and its usable.

This site seems to come down on digtial microscopes other than hooking up to a PC, which can at times be such a hassle and unless you can leave tour camera permanently on your microscope inviting dust.

A camera left in binocular microscopes means its unusable at the eyepiece unless you keep taking the camera out, which invites dust.

I can see why some go for tri heads, but so expensive.

So the above I feel may compliment to an optical microscope.

These will only become more common with digital techology.

This microscope is beyond a toy, and maybe somewhat between and still very useful and usable.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#2 Post by 75RR » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:17 pm

Not my idea of a good microscope but if you are determined to get one then you should at least shop around a little. Just in Amazon there are suppliers with better prices.

This one is $120 less than the one you linked to. https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-44347- ... 3-fkmrnull
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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#3 Post by denodan » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:58 pm

Yeah prices do vary

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#4 Post by apochronaut » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:22 pm

denodan wrote:https://www.amazon.com/44347-Tetraview- ... +d&sr=8-29


While I have a good Olympus CH-2. Was looking at the above, as a good compliment to my good microscope.

I notice it uses standard objectives, so at least can get others.

Have read some have had QC issues, but if I do, could just get it replaced on warranty and know it's been getting good reviews on Amazon in user comments.

I know the images may not be a great as my Olympus, and the trouble, unless you get a triple head, taking out one eyepiece all the time and replacing it with camera is a bad idea, as dust is our enemy and eventually will get dust inside microscope.

The beauty of the above, no messy cords, no PC needed, can take it on the field or anywhere as it will also run off batteries.

The great thing is no dust getting inside issues and will take pictures, etc, and often it's nice looking at a screen than through an eyepiece and quite enjoyable.

I think it's a compliment to a good microscope, and seen videos of objects on you tube and its usable.

This site seems to come down on digtial microscopes other than hooking up to a PC, which can at times be such a hassle and unless you can leave tour camera permanently on your microscope inviting dust.

A camera left in binocular microscopes means its unusable at the eyepiece unless you keep taking the camera out, which invites dust.

I can see why some go for tri heads, but so expensive.

So the above I feel may compliment to an optical microscope.

These will only become more common with digital techology.

This microscope is beyond a toy, and maybe somewhat between and still very useful and usable.
There are several qualitative aspects of such a microscope that you may be overlooking.

1) resolution. such a screen and optical system can't offer anywhere near the resolution of using even modest quality objectives and viewing them through eyepieces. The objectives are the bargain basement, cheap Chinese achromats and are only a shade above the level the capture resolution of that system in visual quality. Viewing through eyepieces, even using 100 year old objectives, produces resolution that is far beyond that level and with or without a trinocular head, one can attach even a point and shoot camera that is capable of capturing that fairly closely, for viewing in future on a high resolution display, if one wanted to. I understand that in the future inexpensive versions of this type of scope might be made with better resolution but at the current point in time, the resolution just has to be fairly low and to get up to an equivalent level of resolution that an optical system can provide would increase the cost considerably. To equal the resolution that even a modest optical microscope system can provide requires far more technilogy than that microscope can provide.

2) Durability. Yes, you can take it out in the field as a portable microscope but microscopy originally used daylight as an illumination source and to this day a high resolution small microscope can use daylight in the field. One really does not need the active input of electricity to have a quality portable microscope. Daylight is still there and it is passive and free. Such a microscope will still be available to hand down to children and grandchildren. My guess would be that one bad knock in the field or moisture invasion would disable your digital scope.....permanently.

3) Functionality. Looks small and clumsy to use. undoubtedly it is going to be fairly imprecise with quite tight ergonomics with a lot of plastic components. While not exactly a toy as you note, it is definitely hobby grade.

4)The thing is, it is really easy to digitize a small quality microscope with a simple higher resolution camera anyway, and have something with innate quality that has durability. Viewing on a small monitor has a degree of efficiency but the eyepiece view provides a full field of view and a small digital camera can be set up to do so as well, if you have flat field or plan objectives. You can buy whole sets of these on ebay now for peanuts. A small, cheap digital built in capture system like this microscope has, must crop the field in order to avoid lateral aberrations and distortions of the cheap optical system, so in order to see the same field as you would optically with good objectives, you have to reduce the magnification and N.A. of the system. So a 100mm screen at 400X is seeing only about 1/2 what the eyepieces would see, or about 250-300 microns. Blowing that up to 100mm is going way beyond the optical capability of the system. It is interesting that they have limited it to 400X. One would presume that they are pushing the envelope at that. Probably, in order to get reasonable resolution and avoid empty magnification, you would need to limit it to 200X or less. At 200X you would see most of the field that the eyepieces would see at 400X and the field would be almost flat. Resolution would still suffer , though.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#5 Post by denodan » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:42 pm

You failed to mention, yes may not be the best objectives, but being standard objective sizes, you could easily replace them with even better objectives, so increase and have better resolution.

Like I said, have an Olympus CH-2 and could and do have a microscope camera.

The reason I dont use it, is:

1 taking out an eyepiece often to place the camera invites dust into the microscope.

2. Having a camera always placed in an eyepiece all the time makes it useless for visual work also, unless you have a tri head

3 using a computer, while fine is bulky and extra cabling needed, so nice to be free of the PC.

Being into astronomy and doing almost live ccd analog video camera viewing makes you appreciate not needing a computer to see far beyond what they eye can see, so appreciate not needing the extra hassle of needing a PC.

Telescope set up far quicker, less mucking around and faster setup.

Sure a PC can add extra features and detail.

But that microscope, the objectives being standard and can be changed is not an issue.

Sure my Olympus will do a far better job, but want a system of bo PC hassles and plugs, but something I can take on the field and a complete system that is up and running as soon as it's out of the box.

I was even told my Oylumpus is far better than even Amscope which seem to be popular but inferior optics

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#6 Post by apochronaut » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:08 am

The only improvement that little frame could support would be a switch to plan objectives. There is no real condenser, so you you can't up the N.A. of the objectives; maybe at 10X and below, and then you are into some serious coin. If you got lucky, you could get a suitable set of plans for 100.00 but that would take some finding. Add the shipping and you are now into a 500.00 microscope for that Celestron, which is way over the top. I've bought serious microscopes with phase contrast and a trinocular head for 1/3 of that. It is unlikely that the switch to plan objectives would entail much improvement because the electronics pretty much fix it's capability. It is designed to crop out a good portion of the field anyway, to avoid the aberrations of the achromats, so you wouldn't be able to take advantage of the plan feature effectively. The rest of the trinkitness of the instrument still holds, irregardless of whether you invested in flattening the field.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#7 Post by denodan » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:23 am

https://youtu.be/UMpx2vHjcuQ

What's wrong with this, its through one of these microscopes?

People tend to judge and never used one. People tend to get so serious that unless all the boxes are ticked then judge them as junk.

Has anyone ever tried one? Or just using your own judgements as your standards are so high, anything less is junk.

That's the beauty of astronomy, got a 20inch telescope, or a small 2 inch telescope. There is no judgements and see all telescopes as useful, but seems in the microscope world on here is not the case. Guess in Astronomy people are more forgiving and open minded.

The only time when they get critical is the cheap department store telescopes. Got cheap eyepieces, or expensive, don't judge you or your equipment.



A microscope does not meet a certian standard, they are junk.

Like I have said, not a serious microscope user.

Seems on here, there is no middle ground and thinking twice, is it worth being here with the attitudes here.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#8 Post by PeteM » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:02 am

Actually, I have used scopes like the Celelstron you first posted -- some donated to our "Micronaut" program and others acquired (and useful) at very low used prices.

There are also very fine digital microscopes, costing thousands to tens of thousands. They're fine, often superior for their intended purpose. Don't believe anyone is knocking those.

The cheaper digital microscopes don't get a fond reception by more experienced microscopists here for good reason. Some outlined above and elsewhere. It's fine if you want one or have already bought one -- surely beats no microscope.

There are also a few in the middle - cameras built into satisfactory microscopes but at as high a cost as a decent trinocular microscope and a separate camera -- which will have greater quality to begin and more options to avoid obsolescence in the future.

Here are some things I think a decent quality microscope should have (and how the half dozen digital microscopes that have passed through my hands stack up):

1) A robust and precise stand, capable of enduring for several years, with proper optical alignment, and a precise fine focus mechanism for focus stacking. None of the cheaper digital microscopes I've seen have those qualities.

2) Good (and upgradeable to better) optics. Proper illumination, an Abbe to achromat condenser, and plan achromat or better objectives and something like an 18-22mm field of view. Since the digital scopes tend to be made at a low price and are mainly sold to parents by marketing-oriented companies like Celestron, they tend to skimp on all that.

3) An ability to capture a quality digital image. Easy with most any scope via USB, HDMI, cell phone, tablet, or camera accessories. Very easy with a digital scope but typically of limited camera resolution, display resolution, and camera quality. Digital cameras seem to keep getting better at a near-Moore's-Law rate, but a digital scope is frozen in time to whatever quality was available at the time.
Last edited by PeteM on Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#9 Post by PeteM » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:04 am

Duplicate - net hiccup.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#10 Post by denodan » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:15 am

Apartly the Celestron I mentioned has a solid base and stand, no more plastic than many sold by Amscope and others today and has changeable objectives.

I would class this as beyond a toy, but in the hobbyists class.

As far as Amscope goes, not to find of them either as my Olympus CH-2 has better quailty optics, and more solid.

Yet lots seem to go for inferior Amscope microscopes.

There is a place here that maintains and fixes microscopes, and reconditions them and was saying the Olympus I have is far better then the Amscope and cheaper Chinese microscopes, which people seem to be going for.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#11 Post by PeteM » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:18 am

Might add if you want something simple and self-contained to complement your Olympus -- and easy to take into the field - get an add-on lens kit for a decent cell phone camera.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#12 Post by denodan » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:44 am

Good idea

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#13 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:35 am

denodan wrote:https://youtu.be/UMpx2vHjcuQ

What's wrong with this, its through one of these microscopes?
Frankly ... almost everything
Compare it with this, and you will see what I mean:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7452

BUT if it's sufficient to satisfy your needs, then that's fine.

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Too many 'projects'

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#14 Post by denodan » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:54 am

It has a simple condensor N.A. 065 and rotating disk with different size holes.

The images are better than many maybe claiming here, and don't see a hugh differince between my Olympus and this, sure not quite as good, but still very usable.

Mounting is not a flimsy as people here cliam, its soild and no more plastic than the Amscopes people are using here.

Think there is some prejudice going on here as no one here has seen one in action, or I real life so judging on looks.

Magnification maybe useful up to 400× but dought will not be so good at 1600x as any digital zoom will degrade image.

A 60× objective may make it useful at 600x

I think with a condensor with N.A. 065 did I not read somewhere good for 400x.

I do think they are pushing magnification a bit much and relying on digtal zoom to reach 1600x and we all know digital zoom is poor but think not using zoom, this microscope is very serviceable. And with a 60x objective 600x will be achievable as it wont need digital zoom.

I know it will have limits, but keep it real by using no zoom will work well.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#15 Post by MicroBob » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:30 am

denodan wrote:The images are better than many maybe claiming here, and don't see a hugh differince between my Olympus and this, sure not quite as good, but still very usable.
Can we see some images made with this instrument? Image quality is a very subjective thing and I would be interested to see how good these instruments have got on the meantime.

The closest contender will be a basic old moncular lab microscope with a smartphone atattchment.

Bob

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#16 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:07 am

Bob,

denodan linked a video

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#18 Post by 75RR » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:22 am

Very poor images. Then again the setup could be off.

Note: I expect the bright sunlight to make the screen unviewable outdoors.
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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#19 Post by denodan » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:29 am

https://youtu.be/Nkcd9xg2b6Q

The only issue is video res wont be high, but has a 5 megapixel still camera, so taking stills on sd card and viewing through your TV, or putting ad card in PC would give a true image test.

The screen and video quailty alone and LCD would limit how clear things are also and digtial zoom would also degrade images

Those videos would not be a good test, but still images is where it would shine.

Yes outside the screen would be hard to see without some type of shield

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#20 Post by 75RR » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:43 am

We seem to be going around in circles here.

The consensus is that this is not a good microscope.

However, nobody is stopping you from buying one.
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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#21 Post by mrsonchus » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:21 am

Agree with you there 75', just to add my 2-penny worth to this thread....

The folk here are not biased or 'down on' this 'scope, but they are very, very experienced, knowledgeable and helpful. You simply will not get the opinion that this is a good 'scope here, as it isn't. Of course it's suitable at a 'certain level', but not in any way at the level at which you seem to think it may be used.

Unfortunately denodan you will not get the answer you appear to want, that this is a good microscope - for the high price certainly not. The knowledge upon which folk here are basing their opinions, in order to help you remember, is from their vast collective experience and expertise. To imply otherwise is I think rather insulting to all here. Your critical remarks of this forum are impolite to say the least, and after 11 posts here, hardly based upon experience, other than that of not getting the answer/s that you wanted.

Go ahead and buy this 'scope if you like it, after all the purpose of having a 'scope or anything else is to enjoy it, rather than worry about it's position in some perceived or imagined hierarchy of quality or reputation. Nobody here is going to think ill of you I can assure you, and all of us would be interested to share microscopy with you, regardless of whatever 'scope your posts include material from.

No prejudice or 'snobbery' exists here, just a collection of like-minded folk of all levels enjoying their hobby and exchanging ideas, opinions etc. Stay with this forum, buy the 'scope if you like it, and enjoy this forum!
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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#22 Post by apochronaut » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:44 am

My opinions of the microscope are based on years of experience with microscopes and a fairly good understanding of optics and optical principles plus the well worn fact that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The microscope you featured, is what it is and it just doesn't pass muster, as a good optical instrument. I don't need to have used one. I can probably name the factory that the objectives are made in and if I took one apart, I could tell you who's design they swiped and how bad the copy is. The images you posted are mediocre at best. It isn't impossible to make a digitized microscope that produces good images. I use one every day. It is a research grade trinocular instrument with a 20.4 mp camera with an articulating screen about the same size as the screen on the celestron. I hardly ever use the screen for viewing. I can tether the image to a larger screen. I hardly ever do that. The view through the eyepieces is so much better and what's more; real and useful. Probably, if I could invest 5 or10,000 into the instrument and get it up to 4K capability I might use the screen more but then, since I already have a view that is better than 4K through the eyepieces, why would I bother?
I am not prejudiced against new technology, just prejudiced against new technology that promises the earth and sky but only gives you the dirt under your feet part.

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#23 Post by jimur » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:52 am

You have sparked my curiosity denodan. Would you recommend a bird jones telescope? The microscope you asked opinions for is in a sense microscope world's equivalent of such a telescope. It has a less than desirable bang for the buck value. You have received honest and knowledgeable replies to your questions. What you do with that input certainly remains your choice. Though I remain a true rookie to microscopy I would encourage you to continue using this site after purchasing what ever equipment of your choice.
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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#24 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:29 pm

denodan wrote:https://www.amazon.com/44347-Tetraview- ... n+d&sr=8-2
Have read some have had QC issues, but if I do, could just get it replaced on warranty and know it's been getting good reviews on Amazon in user comments.
This site seems to come down on digtial microscopes
Not really. In the past two years, digital microscopes were seldom even mentioned here, and not one has been the main topic of any post (please correct me if I'm wrong).
I know the images may not be a great as my Olympus,
Having seen the videos and images taken by the Pentaview in the links you posted, to me they are below amateur standard. Not that I am doing much better, but I do not charge $259... :lol:
as dust is our enemy and eventually will get dust inside microscope.
Dust is seldom a serious problem in low-magnification brightfield. But see below.

Since you question the objectivity of some of the opinions above, I read the customer reviews on the Amazon page. Of the 116 reviews, 22% gave it 2/5 stars or less, meaning that they regret the purchase. The complaints were about flaws in design, poor performance, quality control, dust within the lenses and customer service. And these represent short-term experience... to me, that is not a deal.
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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#25 Post by denodan » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:44 pm

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Thanks guys, had been looking and with exchange rates and import taxes to expensive for what it is, and to get it here is certianly not worth the cost.

Will stick to my Olympus, which has better optics than Amscope and many of the Chinese brands.

I may pull out the camera again at sometime.

Took these ages ago and were my first pictures

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Re: Digital microscopes. This site seems to look down on them

#26 Post by denodan » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:55 pm

And this. Was another photo first
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