AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

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James1
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AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#1 Post by James1 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:58 am

Hi,

I've been reading through the forum and appreciate all the great info.

I'm looking at purchasing an AO scope and have narrowed it down to an AO one-hundred or an AO one-ten.

There seem to be an abundance of one-tens available in the used market, and relatively few one-hundreds.

I've looked through the manuals on the x-mission site but still can't really see what the difference is between these scopes.

Is one better than the other? And if so, in what way(s)?

If it matters, my use will be primarily looking at stained cytology samples, scanning at 40 to 100x, but primarily viewing at 1000x. I'd also like to rig up a digital camera for image capture at some point.

Thanks for any insight anyone might have on these scopes.

James

PeteM
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#2 Post by PeteM » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:46 am

The AO/Reichert 100 and 110 are very similar and decent scopes.

That said, I'd suggest looking for the newer Reichert 410 "Microstar IV" version of this scope. It's more widely available and often quite affordably. A recent newcomer to this forum got one with a trinocular head and a few minor issues for under $200. Maybe $250 when he's done to have an excellent scope. Something equivalent in Nikon or Olympus might be $500 (maybe more with a trinocular head), though more upgradeable with other $$$ future options.

The 410 has a more reliable and somewhat brighter illumination system than the 100/110. It has a wide field head design that is less prone to having the internal optics detach. I've had several 100-era heads with problems, none in a couple dozen 410 series heads.

The objectives it normally comes with will be equivalent, maybe slightly better given they are newer. If you ever want to convert to LED illumination, it will be easier. It has a wider stance and might be a bit more stable for mounting a camera. The base internals are easy to access and work on if needed. About the only thing in favor of the 100/110 (and it's really quite similar in respect of the focus system, controls placement, stage, condensers, and infinity optics) is that some may like the older style mechanical build quality and slightly smaller footprint a bit better.

Personally, I think the newer 410 is the better scope, all things considered, even if priced up to $100 or so higher. Given that so many are available used, you might find one cheaper than a 110. That said, if you've fallen in love with the looks of the 100/110 and find a good one (check the head and illumination system) it's a good scope.

You've noted you'll be jumping from 40 & 100x directly to 1000x. I wouldn't sell 400x short - and checking the 40x (400x) objective is a quick way to ascertain the overall condition of a scope is buying locally. There are also 50x and 100x oil immersion objectives with irises - and a darkfield condenser - that you might find useful at some point.

James1
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Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:50 am

Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#3 Post by James1 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:22 pm

Thanks for that info!

It's funny you say that, because I do like the looks of the 100/110 better than the 410, but ultimately the function of the scope is what's important.

I've just looked through the 410s available right now and noticed a few have black along the top of the body, where the majority have blue. Is there a difference in these? I remember someone mentioning that some early versions of one the models had issues (can't remember if it was in reference to the 410 though or not) and didn't know if this was a distinguishing factor?

I've found a 410 that looks to be in good shape and has a trinocular head but the top is black, and not blue like most I see.

Thanks again for your help.

Also, what adapter is needed to connect a digital camera to a 410 trinocular head?

PeteM
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Location: N. California

Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#4 Post by PeteM » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:09 pm

Pretty much the same scope. Only differences I've noticed are the color, the name on the scope (Reichert,Reichert-Jung, Cambridge, and Leica) and the lamp fitting. The lamp fitting that's maybe the cheapest is also the easiest to retrofit to LED.

Problems I've found (and you can check) have been need of lubrication, a plastic focus cam cracked from dropping the scope (if the nose suddenly drops when focusing, that may be it), an iris diaphragm that's need freeing up, and various parts like the stage worn from rough use. The plastic cam problem is the hardest to deal with, so you can return a scope that has it and also ask that the nose be blocked during shipping. However, the stage can often be adjusted so the focus range is OK.

James1
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Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:50 am

Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#5 Post by James1 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:53 pm

Thanks!

I pulled the trigger and got this guy. Hopefully will be a good buy. $220 including shipping and looks to be all plan achro objectives, plus trinocular.

I think the color in the pics of the body may be misleading and the top may actually be blue in person, as the color in the pics of the close-ups of the objectives looks more like expected.

I was googling for how to convert to LED. Any links to set me in the right direction?

Also do I need an adapter to connect a camera, and if so, do you have a link to that too?

Thanks! Any help is much appreciated!
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apochronaut
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#6 Post by apochronaut » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:47 pm

I caught this a little late but for anyone else looking here's a general overview below of what to attend to in AO's scopes, which simplifies the selection. I think you made a good choice. The black scopes are usually earlier ones and then they showed up again later with LeicaMicrostarIV written on the side and Leica on the front. Yours may be an earlier one because unusually, the colour code band is also engraved, something they were just converting away from when the Microstar IV came out. The early paint was not very permanent. If yours is an early one, it may have been lightly used therefore.
You will probably want a 20X with the cat.# 1733 on it( green colour code) or a 25x .45 from Reichert Austria, like this one https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Reichert-Aus ... SwuN9cewfG. There is little to choose between the two but I prefer the 25X , for a few reasons. I would try to talk him down a bit because of the missing data. It is for the AO/Reichert D.I.N. infinity optical system but he doesn't exactly know that. 50 would be good. It should ship cheaply in a small packet.
Reichert U.S.A. 20s seem scarce these days...don't know why.



The AO infinity microscopes were made in 3 broad series. the 10/20 series( approx.1961-1980), the 100 series(approx. 1980-1985) and the 400 series(approx. 1986-2001). Within those 3 general series there were 2 offerings based on their illumination output. Each series had a base model which could be oriented towards educational, small lab or research lab utility depending on the accessories fitted to the basic stand. Each series also had a high illumination output version( 100 watt tungsten), which could more easily utilize specialized systems for research.
AO had a coding system, which designated certain features or accessories in the model #. That's why all kinds of model #'s show up for what are basically very similar microscopes. The codes could be a mechanical stage , trinocular head or a quadruple place nosepiece,or other feature for instance . As an example,( use the capitals to build the model code) a model U10MU-QW is a series 10 with an Understage simple illuminator, Monocular head, Ungraduated stage, a Quadruple nosepiece and Widefield eyepieces. A model XL10BU-QH is a series 10 with a 1.25 abbe condenser with auX. lens, an in base transformer driven iLLuminator, Binocular head, Ungraduated stage, Quadruple nosepiece and Huygens eyepieces. Sometimes the codes don't make a lot of sense but they were there as model builder guides and usually a tag was fastened to the microscope with the model # on it. Sometimes two seemingly similar microscopes would have different model #'s. When it comes to used microscopes, one or more accessories or parts could have easily been removed or swapped so the code might not fit anymore. The coding system also morphed and became somewhat less used over the years, so it is best to just consider the basic series #'s , which are matched to the illuminator output and look carefully at what is included with the scope.

A 10 has either a mirror, a simple switched 15 watt 110v. tungsten bulb illuminator( most of the former are student models), an 18 watt external transformer regulated tungsten illuminator if made before about 1973 or a 20 watt internal transformer regulated halogen illuminator, if made after. An 11 is a monocular version.

A 20 has a different base than the 10 but the above base part of the scope from the column up are the same. An external transformer controls the 100 watt halogen illuminator in it's rear mounted louvered housing. A 21 is a D.I.C. version of it.

A 110 has either a mirror or an in base 20 watt halogen illuminator with an in base transformer. Very early versions, up to about a year into production had some overheating problems, related primarily to the lamp socket. AO retrofitted probably most under a recall and subsequent production was a redesign. If a 110 has made it this far, it is a pretty safe bet that it is o.k.

A 120 is the same above the base as a 110. The 100 watt halogen illuminator in a louvered rear mounted housing is powered by a remote transformer.

A 410 has a 24 watt in base halogen illuminator powered by an in base power supply.

A 420 has an essentially identical upper frame above the base as a 410 with one important difference. It has a 6 place nosepiece on a quick change dovetail. The rear mounted 100 watt illuminator is in a louvered housing and is powered by an internal transformer.

All others are just accessory permutations of the above and may or may not be accurate on the used market.

The 10/20 and 100/120 series microscopes used the same optical corrections and all objectives can be used on any of them. Earlier objectives had smaller image circles than later ones, so in general you can use all of the 34mm optics on the series 10/20 scopes but it is best to try to use the later manufactured ones on the 110/120 scopes with their slightly wider fields. Using a #1079 objective on a 110 for instance will incur a slightly greater degree of curvature of field and edge distortion than on a 10, or to put it another way; it's inherent curvature of field and distortion towards the edge of the field will be more evident. Not all of them are the same though and a # 1019 for instance does not perform as well on a series 100/120 as it's era equivalent 20X, # 1022.

The 45mm optics of the 400 series are in general a large improvement over the 34mm optics of the earlier infinity series. Not that AO's 34mm optics were in any way bad, they just became limited towards the end of their 30 year career. The 45mm group excel, partially due to them having been designed in an era with a wider array of glass formulas available and better tools with which to both anticipate scatter and flare and control it but the extra size of the barrels allows for more corrective elements to be used. There is also a much wider choice of optics available with a total number of objectives I know of at 37 and counting currently, with 16 phase options, although they are just magnification duplicates in some various levels of colour correction but; you can do planfluor and planapo dark phase , something not at all possible with the 34mm optical series. The 45mm D.I.N. optics cannot be used on the earlier series scopes and visa versa, unless you also swap in the correct series head, which contains the necessary telan lens.

PeteM
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#7 Post by PeteM » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:02 pm

James1 -- I think you''ll be very happy with that scope - and at a better-than-usual price with a trinocular head. Congrats. Just check it out once it arrives.

I'd stick with the halogen lamp for a while -- it's really quite good. Main reasons to add LED would be if the original power supply is bad (rare) or you really needed to use the scope in a place without AC power. You could start another thread if you really want to add LED.

James1
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#8 Post by James1 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:09 pm

Thank you both for the wealth of information. Very much appreciated!

I may have overlooked it in my searches, but could either of you point me in the direction of what specifically I will need to attach a camera to this scope?

I haven't bought the camera yet either, so if you have any recommendations in that area that would also be great. My goal would be to produce nice digital images, but also have liveview capability on my computer too.

James

apochronaut
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#9 Post by apochronaut » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:03 pm

The camera attachments for the 400 series were developed at a time when digital camera technology was not very developed. Nevertheless, the connections that were made then and subsequently can be adapted to digital. You probably can get adapters made by Diagnostic Instruments still. They also make Spot Imaging software and hardware. That is a good place to start.

I will p.m. you. You need to do some d.i.y.'ing to get one of those photo ready in lieeu of finding an existing set up.

wabutter
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#10 Post by wabutter » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:57 am

Good discussion from all. To answer the original question, the Series 100 and Series 110 were essentially the same microscope. The Series 100 was introduced after the 110 to be positioned at a lower price point. The difference we’re in the paint color and texture. The 110 had a glossy powder coated light grey finish while the 100 was a crinkle coat in very light beige color. Also the objectives offered were painted on descriptions while the 110 had etched and painted nomenclature. That resulted in different series of objectives with unique catalog numbers

apochronaut
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#11 Post by apochronaut » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:11 pm

It seems that the 100 was a transitional cheaper lab scope positioned for the budget minded, while they positioned the 410 , as the scope of choice. Kind of head to head with the Galen III and the Balplan, which would have been the chief competition of the time.

If you could go back to those objectives. The unique catalogue #'s of the painted objectives are 1117, 1121, 1128 and 1129, correct? They did not change the catalogue # of 1022, to 1122, or did they discontinue 1022, entirely? I can't say that I have ever seen a 1022 that was painted. Perhaps they had enough inventory of engraved barrels to carry forward. I notice that they blacked out the AO on some barrels with a little block of paint , when they changed the name to Reichert.

Are you saying that 1117, 1121 and 1129 are just painted versions of 1017, 1021 and 1029? I don't ever recall seeing a 1028. It might be a revised 1023? They don't seem much different, just a less costly physical design but the 1128 and 1129 are a step back from 1309 and 1311, which also appeared with cheaper to make barrels.

wabutter
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#12 Post by wabutter » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:11 am

The Series 100 was in fact a response to the lower price strategy that Olympus was using to gain Market share in the clinical lab segment. AO didn’t want to devalue the Series 110 so the 100 was introduced. Obviously cost cutting was implemented, as well, to offer a scope that had $1995 list price w/ 4 plan objectives and a binoc tube.
I don’t remember the specific differences on the objective design, but if I remember correctly, the Series 100 supported an 18mm flat field, while the Series 110 supported a 20mm to more effectively compete with the Olympus BH2. I suspect there were differences in the objectives as well as the Tube lens.
The Microstar IV (410) was introduced in 1985 just before Cambridge Instruments purchased AO from Warner Lambert. The Series 100 did not play apart in positioning the Microstar IV. Keep in mind the Series 100 kept the 34mm parfocalizing distance with the Series 110.

apochronaut
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Re: AO one-hundred vs one-ten?

#13 Post by apochronaut » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:11 pm

Yes. They used the 176A eyepieces , which are 18mm and had originally appeared in the series10 catalogues for use with the #1076-1079 achromat objective series. Seems like an odd design choice in retrospect. Why not use the 20mm # 180 eyepieces and set the microscope apart from Olympus, rather than tagging along with them? How much cheaper could the 176A eyepieces have been? They have the same number of lens elements as the 180s, barrels are the same???
I know you are probably not a big fan of the B & L line of microscopes but the Balplan was also a heavy competitor for both AO and Olympus. In the 70's and into the 80's , it commanded the dark field market. The excellent planachromat optics( superior to contemporary AO) were about D.I.N. size and there were flat field apochromats available. It had a 100 watt version , two different trinoculars with differing viewer angles and was sturdy and user friendly. It had vertical fluorescence, and Epi illumination possible on the one stand. Very modular. About the only drawback to it was that it only had a 5 place nosepiece, whereas Olympus could have a 6, with the BH2. The Balplan, which was an early 70's design began to fall behind Olympus by the early 80's and AO was way behind, even with the introduction of the 110/120. Despite performance levels that were good, the short objective barrels began to look quaint beside a CH2, with 6, D.I.N. objectives. Putting out an 18mm microscope with painted eyepiece tubes for 1995.00, only provided competition with Olympus' cheaper stuff and the B & L Galen II( which was a Kyowa and had an 18mm f.o.v.). AO only managed to release 2 planapos and a 63X S Pl achro by 1985, about the time they were putting the 110/120 to bed and pushing the series 400 forward. Interestingly, they secured a 34mm parfocal patent 20X .65 planapo and a 100X 1.30 planapo objectives but don't seem to have ever made them. It seems that they saw the writing on the wall for the 34mm parfocal objective design and downgraded it to supplying the market for the lower end microscopes and student scopes.
Obviously, the 410/420 was a response to what may have been more of an image problem,than a real problem. The 110 and 120 are really capable microscopes, when equipped with the more serious optics and accessories but the 400 series, with optionally a 6 place nosepiece, and 45mm D.I.N. infinity corrected objectives that are superior to the 160mm Olympus stuff and the Balplan planachromats are still close to state of the art as a lab microscope; even small research stand, when fitted with planfluors or planapos. The series 100's were never going to go there but the Balplan can still, if one can manage to source the hard to find flat field apochromats.

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