Zeiss Universal project

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jb89
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Zeiss Universal project

#1 Post by jb89 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:17 am

Well I went and bought a Zeiss Universal after talking to wstenberg a bit and I'd like to document me building it as my microscope primarily for geology/thin section microscopy.

It's in overall great condition but no fine focus so I will probably need to order a replacement gear.

It came with a few minor accessories:
Transport/storage box
graticules(for dust counting)
Point counting X-Y stage w/ accessories and box
slides/cover slips
Epiplan HD reflected light objectives 4x, 8x, 16x, 40x

The first step now is fixing my fine focus.
I found this thread: viewtopic.php?t=7638 and have disassembled the controls (except for pulling the knobs) and have not found any damage yet.
I am hoping to pull the knobs this weekend and see what's going on.

These are two images from the scope, taken by holding my phone camera over the eyepiece.
One at 50x total mag and the other at 200x.
I don't have any polished sections at this time so I just took quick pictures of the stage micrometer
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jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#2 Post by jb89 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:30 am

Going to reserve this post for Q's and A's from the build process to that it's easy for people to find in the future.

Zeiss manuals: http://www.science-info.net/docs/zeiss/
I also have a few manuals that were not listed here that I would like to give to anyone that needs them or would like to host them.

Q: My fine focus doesn't work
A: Repair guide threads https://www.mikroskopie-forum.de/index.php?topic=9401.0 https://www.mikroskopie-forum.de/index. ... ic=33625.0

Q: What parts fit my Zeiss Universal?
A: Most parts from Photomicroscopes fit except for internal camera parts. Some parts from the Zeiss Standard also fit such as objectives, condensers, substage, etc.
Edit: 1961/62 had a different nosepiece mount that is completely incompatible with the later one. These old Phomis hat the camera release button in front of the field aperture at the front of the base. -MicroBob

Q: What is the Tube Length on the Zeiss Universal?
A: 160mm, same with the Photomicroscope and Standard.

Q:What does delamination mean and what does it look like?
A: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... delam.html

Q: I took my optovar off and can't get it aligned properly (or something else needs to be aligned)
A: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... ings3.html
Last edited by jb89 on Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

MicroBob
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#3 Post by MicroBob » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:35 am

Hi,
congratulations to this nice instrument! I'm sure that you will be very satisfied with it. For Phomi and Universal there are lots off add-ons available, often for quite moderate prices.

According compatability: The instruments from before 1961/62 had a different nosepiece mount that is completely incompatible with the later one. These old Phomis hat the camera release button in front of the field aperture at the front of the base.

Bob

jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#4 Post by jb89 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:04 am

Thanks for that info MicroBob!

Today I took my control knobs apart and no surprise but there are stripped teeth on the fine adjustment gearbox.
Bad Gears.png
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I am going do make the replacement gears in CAD and then see how much it would cost to have them made in steel.
I will also try 3D printing them(not a lot of hope for this) and checking around for cheap used replacements.

In the mean time I will also keep an eye out for deals on the parts I still need

MicroBob
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#5 Post by MicroBob » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:53 am

That is not a nice sight. Such a beautifully looking microscope and one important worn part inside. Can you post more pictures of the disassembled focus block and write about the steps you took to get there? The focus block of my 1960s Phomi 1 is doing fine but who knows?

According the repair: There are two gears on one shaft, the smaller one is damaged. It would be possible to to turn down the small gear to a diameter a bit above the diameter of the shaft. Then solder a new small gear onto this new step on the shaft. To identify the right replacement gear you would have to measure the gear module and count the number of teeth.
A fully 3D laser sintered part from steel would work too but is probably not inexpensive. Plastic 3D parts won't last a minute in this position. Are you able to design proper involute gears in CAD?

Gears in ordinary machine sizes are widely available. This one is quite small and you might have to look at model or clock making supplies.

Bob

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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#6 Post by jb89 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:16 am

I can do a write up fairly soon, there are some things that they didn't mention in the german language write ups and I didn't have the custom tools so I had to improvise a bit.

Turning the small gear down and soldering one with new teeth around it would probably be a quick and easy fix, I'll definitely consider that

A sintered gear would probably cost a small fortune, Standard 3D printing filaments like PLA would definitely not work but I'd be interested in seeing how a carbon fiber based nylon would work, if it did well it could be a lifesaver for tons of beautiful microscopes out there.

I can do the gears in CAD without a problem and I will send my CAD files off to get quotes, if the gears can be affordably produced in I'd definitely want to keep spares around.

wstenberg
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#7 Post by wstenberg » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:04 pm

The entire focusing block can be replaced. The prices on Ebay are usually too high, but you can get a reasonable one if you are patient, make some offers. Might be worth $100 or a little less. Perhaps this is easier than making new gears, depending on your gearmaking skills. It's the same focusing block from the Zeiss Standard WL (Either Black or Grey will fit), so I you see one of those cheap, pick it up just for the block.

I might have some of the POL objectives, I'll have to go check my inventory of spares.
William
Dallas, Texas

Zeiss Standard WL with POL
Zeiss Axiomat
Zeiss Universal
Zeiss Stereomikroskop

Scarodactyl
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#8 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:00 pm

wstenberg wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:04 pm
The entire focusing block can be replaced. The prices on Ebay are usually too high, but you can get a reasonable one if you are patient, make some offers. Might be worth $100 or a little less. Perhaps this is easier than making new gears, depending on your gearmaking skills. It's the same focusing block from the Zeiss Standard WL (Either Black or Grey will fit), so I you see one of those cheap, pick it up just for the block.
Pipe down there, voice of financial reason, I want to hear how making the gear goes.

jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#9 Post by jb89 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:58 am

I was able to get a cheap used gear/control set but I am still interested in making some gears.
For peace of mind I would prefer steel gears but brass is definitely an easier choice, there are also a few different methods to make the gears. I have a book on this that I will need to pull out of storage but I don't have access to machine tools anymore so I think a write up on this could be very handy for lots of people here.


I've been spending all of my time and money on getting the scope set up for my research but hopefully in the near future I can break down making a new gear.

MicroBob
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#10 Post by MicroBob » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:49 am

Your gear making report will be highly appreciated! This is probably the only part of the Phomis and Universals that occasionally wears and I'm not aware of an existing repair report for this part.
Nice to hear that you found a spare part os quickly and continue to use the microscope right on.

Bob

jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#11 Post by jb89 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:13 pm

I read in a German language forum(translated) that the suspected cause of this failure is not bracing the stage during shipping which makes sense due ti the one gear being sheared off on mine.

I just went to swap my optovar with a mag changing optovar, I'm having issues getting it centered and wanted to see if anyone had a technique for this or a manual describing the process

I'm hoping to get the gear neasured and modeled by tomorrow night

Edit: made the gear in CAD, I just want to double check it and then I will make sure the people that have asked for it get a copy and I will see what it will cost to get these made in small batches
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jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#12 Post by jb89 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:52 am

Running a bit behind on modeling the gear in CAD but the microscope is almost finished.

I just need to figure out an adapter for my camera and align everything and I should be good to go for more features than I had ever dreamed of having in a microscope!

I have a canon rebel t3i with the normal zeiss photo tube and 8x kpl eyepiece in the tube. I think I will need a 10x eyepiece to be in focus at the same time as my regular eyepieces?

I have an adapter with a removable BR-2 fitting on it, I think I would want an EF fitting to replace this? If anyone happens to know or can send a link to one for sale please let me know, thanks!

I'll have to look into it, haven't forgotten about the gear file I've promised!

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75RR
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#13 Post by 75RR » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:42 am

I have a canon rebel t3i with the normal zeiss photo tube and 8x kpl eyepiece in the tube. I think I will need a 10x eyepiece to be in focus at the same time as my regular eyepieces?
Here is a link to some excellent articles on the matter: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=882
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#14 Post by jb89 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:50 pm

75RR wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:42 am
I have a canon rebel t3i with the normal zeiss photo tube and 8x kpl eyepiece in the tube. I think I will need a 10x eyepiece to be in focus at the same time as my regular eyepieces?
Here is a link to some excellent articles on the matter: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=882
Thanks, I had not seen those.

I think the 8x might work if I adjust my photo tube, I'll still need to find a bayonet fitting for my camera but I'll have to look into it when I have some free time

Edit: just adjusting the photo tube didn't allow me to get focus with the 8x or 10x objective, I will need to read those threads more carefully

Hobbyst46
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#15 Post by Hobbyst46 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:21 pm

I am using the KPL 8X as photo eyepiece. Its eyepoint is relatively low, 9mm from the top lens. Yet I manage to get a parfocal focused image with a camera lenes ("afocal"). Also without a camera lens, but the aberrations get worse. But I am guessing it differs from setup to setup.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

microb
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#16 Post by microb » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:19 pm

Does the small gear separate from the larger one? What is the original made from? It's brass right?

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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#17 Post by jb89 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:46 am

Hobbyst46 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:21 pm
I am using the KPL 8X as photo eyepiece. Its eyepoint is relatively low, 9mm from the top lens. Yet I manage to get a parfocal focused image with a camera lenes ("afocal"). Also without a camera lens, but the aberrations get worse. But I am guessing it differs from setup to setup.
Thanks, I'll keep trying and reading stuff, I'm sure there's a lot more to it than I expected.
microb wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:19 pm
Does the small gear separate from the larger one? What is the original made from? It's brass right?
The small gear does not separate from the large gear, they are brass and pressure fit on the steel shaft.
I think there is a lot of leeway when replicating them, you could easily change the wideness of the gears(they don't use much of the actually tooth area) to use whatever is easier and then just put them on a shaft and pin them together

jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#18 Post by jb89 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:55 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:21 pm
I am using the KPL 8X as photo eyepiece. Its eyepoint is relatively low, 9mm from the top lens. Yet I manage to get a parfocal focused image with a camera lenes ("afocal"). Also without a camera lens, but the aberrations get worse. But I am guessing it differs from setup to setup.
I decided to go this route, I 3D printed a camera mount that just lets me slide my Canon T3i with a 50mm lens in it directly on to the top of my camera tube.

It's not perfect but it works for now, there were fingerprints on the tube objective and some camera setting issues when I took that picture but it's looking better now!
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MicroBob
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#19 Post by MicroBob » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:23 pm

Nice camera adaptation, and it seems to work very well!
Perhaps the 50mm objective doesn't make use of the full image area. For full frame sensors they are about right, for APS-C a bit long.
With a litlle editing the image looks about as good as it gets - what is it?

Bob
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jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#20 Post by jb89 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:03 pm

MicroBob wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:23 pm
Nice camera adaptation, and it seems to work very well!
Perhaps the 50mm objective doesn't make use of the full image area. For full frame sensors they are about right, for APS-C a bit long.
With a litlle editing the image looks about as good as it gets - what is it?

Bob

The 50mm lens (with +1 close-up filter to allow me to focus) doesn't allow full coverage but it's all I have for now, in the future if I get a new lens I can just print a new adapter though! Do you know what lens I would be looking for to get better coverage of the image area?

It's a cheap AmScope slide labelled "Nymphaea, Of aquistio Stem, c.s." I think it's a water lily stem but I'm certainly not an expert
I've got it at 200x total magnification in darkfield

That looks great, what did you have to do to it in post-processing?

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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#21 Post by MicroBob » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:14 pm

Many people were very successful with a 40mm Pentax pancake objective on an APS-C camera. The flat buid of the objective allows to bring the exit pupil of the (high eyepoint) eyepiece in the same place as the entry pupil of the camera objectiv. When you stop down the camera objective the image gets darker but no vignetting occurs. I wouldn't try to use a simple +1 lens, they usually are optically not good. But in the end practice counts and your image is good. Maybe you could bring the ISO setting down to avoid noise.

I'm no image editing expert but these were the steps i did in GIMP:

1. The image was compressed to medium values - this made it look hazy. I spread it to cover the whole range from dark to light.
2. Unsharp masking. This should always be done at the final image size, as the last step. It doesn't add resolution but it increases apparent sharpness.

BTW: With which name can we address you?

Bob
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jb89
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#22 Post by jb89 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:09 am

Bob,

I will have to look into a 40mm lens soon, the 50mm with the +1 lens is definitely temporary

Lowering my ISO did give me a bit of a better image as well

I tried the steps you showed and I was able to get good results as well, thank you!

My name is Josh

Microworldofgems
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Re: Zeiss Universal project

#23 Post by Microworldofgems » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:55 pm

Very nice scope Josh, I was looking at this same unit on eBay, but went with a different unit. (Universal 1) I’m glad it found a good home.

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