B&L Balplan

Everything relating to microscopy hardware: Objectives, eyepieces, lamps and more.
Post Reply
Message
Author
microb
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

B&L Balplan

#1 Post by microb » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:12 am

Testing a Balplan. Would like to know the form factors and filters sold for the condenser for the blue arrow and the red arrow. Is there a DIC condenser prism?

I have a DIC prism adapter that I assume goes above the objectives and requires the epi option.

What objectives should I look for if I do get the epi option?

For the base light source, am I missing parts? The metal there just doesn't match the rest of the set up making it look like something is missing.

Thanks.
Attachments
IMG_4275_1K.JPG
IMG_4275_1K.JPG (79.12 KiB) Viewed 2761 times
IMG_4277_1K_arrows.jpg
IMG_4277_1K_arrows.jpg (92.11 KiB) Viewed 2761 times
IMG_4271_1K.JPG
IMG_4271_1K.JPG (77.84 KiB) Viewed 2761 times
Last edited by microb on Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#2 Post by apochronaut » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:08 pm

Another Balplan saved! Those metals look much better in that format than as beer cans and gate valves ! Dumpster divers can only do so much !
There never was a transmitted DIC system for one of those. There is an epi illuminator unit that fits between the head and the Vertical DIC. It also can include pol. There was a 100 watt tungsten halogen illuminator that was recommended for the DIC . The standard epi illuminator was 20watts I think. It is the same as used on the Microzoom.

The filter slot just takes standard glass filters.

I know what you mean about the fascia for the base controls. It looks a bit like a mating finish rather than a surface finish but that's the way they come.....at least any of the 5 or 6 I've been around. The Palisades around the illuminator window look like they are there to receive stacked filters. That's the high intensity model. There was another simpler illuminator on presumably a cheaper model called the optilume and it did not have those Palisades, nor a field diaphragm. There was also another one also high intensity which was raised higher , unique to the bacteriology model. The fascia was black on that one.

The objective complement for the Balplan was a fairly simple one. 31-12-20, 2.5x BF planachromat which is the same one used for transmitted. Probably 31-10-58 (?) If it existed as a Flat Field achromat would work too .
31-13-61 5X .10 BF/DF, 31-13-62 10X .20 BF/DF , 31-13-63 20X .40 BF/DF, 31-13-64 40X .65 BF/DF and 31-12-26 100X 1.25 BF, all planachromat.

microb
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#3 Post by microb » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:55 pm

Does the trinocular camera path have optics? Or is it just a straight throw tube?

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#4 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:27 am

The factory camera shutter has a camera relay lens. They also made a photo tube similar to the one AO made for the 34mm parfocal system. It hss a 23mm top bore to take a relay eyepiece. The Balplan telan lens is not evident from looking at the head from the outside . It is buried inside and travels, due to B & L using a Jentsch type head. From the common telescope lens above the nosepiece to the telan lens, it is sn infinity corrected system.

User avatar
wporter
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: United States

Re: B&K Balplan

#5 Post by wporter » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:04 pm

Here are some pix of the Balplan epi illuminator and DIC attachment. Also shown is the camera adapter (with a cable release hanging off it; the shutter inside hasn't been removed, so needs to be opened manually when a digital camera is used on top of the adapter.
balplan1-1024x1024.jpg
balplan1-1024x1024.jpg (173.16 KiB) Viewed 2673 times
balplan2-1024x1024.jpg
balplan2-1024x1024.jpg (159.09 KiB) Viewed 2673 times
balplan5-1024x1024.jpg
balplan5-1024x1024.jpg (188.98 KiB) Viewed 2672 times

Do you have a copy of the "Balplan Incident Light Microscope Instruction Manual"? Absolutely essential for learning the Balplan DIC system.
Last edited by wporter on Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Scarodactyl
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: B&K Balplan

#6 Post by Scarodactyl » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:14 pm

If you don't mind an offtopic question, how did you hook a modern camera up to that shutter mount? I have one on an sz7 but couldn't figure it out.

User avatar
wporter
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: United States

Re: B&K Balplan

#7 Post by wporter » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:27 pm

I don't. In fact, I don't recommend using that photo adapter for anything. In my limited experience, the adapter picks out a very tiny bit of the center of the field to project onto the camera, and it is very blurry. Possibly it is the wrong adapter or I'm using it wrong. It was in the photo merely because it was left over from some trials. For the few photos I've taken with the Balplan, I had much better results just positioning the lensless camera on top of the naked trino head port, or using an eyepiece tube adapter for the M4/3 camera with no eyepiece nor camera lens. Very crisp images, not as good as visual, but darn good. Of course, nothing (especially with the B&L adapter in question) was parfocal, nor equal to the visual field, but this was much better with the eyepiece adapter or on the trino head.

I haven't done much checking for CA or whatnot, yet. Time to get out the stage micrometer, I guess. (Pixel-peeping with documentary or multi-colored images, typical with epi DIC, is a useless endeavor, IMO)

edit:
I had much better results just positioning the lensless camera on top of the naked trino head port
Wrong! On a closer examination, I found the trino-head port method not very good. The best way for Balplan owners would be to use the eyepiece adapter method, lacking the parts and adapters necessary to use the trino-port correctly.
Last edited by wporter on Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

microb
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#8 Post by microb » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:45 pm

wporter wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:04 pm
Here are some pix of the Balplan epi illuminator and DIC attachment. Also shown is the camera adapter (with a cable release hanging off it; the shutter inside hasn't been removed, so needs to be opened manually when a digital camera is used on top of the adapter.balplan1-1024x1024.jpgbalplan2-1024x1024.jpgbalplan5-1024x1024.jpg


Do you have a copy of the "Balplan Incident Light Microscope Instruction Manual"? Absolutely essential for learning the Balplan DIC system.
Hi,

Are you using objectives marked 215mm when using the epi?

User avatar
wporter
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: United States

Re: B&K Balplan

#9 Post by wporter » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:32 pm

No. They are Planachromat, BF/DF Met.

I'll upload pix later of the epi lenses.

microb
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#10 Post by microb » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:48 pm

wporter wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:32 pm
No. They are Planachromat, BF/DF Met.

I'll upload pix later of the epi lenses.
Oh. Ok. Now I'm seeing some info now knowing that. Thanks.

User avatar
wporter
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: United States

Re: B&K Balplan

#11 Post by wporter » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:22 am

The BF/DF met objectives also require an epi nosepiece, which has an annulus area surrounding what Phil calls the "common telescope lens" just above the objective(s). The annulus area may be a lens rather than plain glass, it is hard to tell.

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#12 Post by apochronaut » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:40 pm

Curious about that. I see you have a 4 hole standard , non centering nosepiece?

Do you mean that plastic or fibreboard diaphragm fitted above the common lens or other?
I've got a 5 hole from a phase microscope and an epi 5 hole in hand and they look identical. The epi 5 hole has BF/DF objectives . Both have the reverse adapter, part # on it is 31-18-71 fitted. The diaphragm sits in it. The part # on the epi nosepiece is 6901, with a 7N below. The phase nosepiece has no part # but it looks identical to the epi version.

According to the part descriptions in a catalogue, that is the part # for the reversing adapter. The part # for the quintuple nosepiece is 31-18-68 and it is used for both transmitted and epi use but only for brightfield .

According to the Balplan Incident Light Microscope manual:
To do darkfield, only a triple complete nosepiece /objective set , part # 31-18-72-21 or 22 depending on the objective
mag. choices or a centering quadruple complete set part # 31-18-69-23 were used.

It is interesting to note that the nosepiece reverse adapter is 2 1/2cm. in depth, in order to allow for clearance under the
beam. It therefore adds 2 1/2 cm. to the optical tube length. It contains only an annular diaphragm, no optics.

User avatar
wporter
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: United States

Re: B&K Balplan

#13 Post by wporter » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:26 pm

Wow, confusion reigns. I'll let you sort it out. Here are pix of my normal 5-hole nosepiece, and the epi 4-hole, plus the objectives, and a thread view of one that's typical with the annular space around the core optics. I find it odd, too, that the manual for incident light makes no mention of this epi nosepiece.
IMG_20200701_074334-1024x1024.jpg
IMG_20200701_074334-1024x1024.jpg (162.5 KiB) Viewed 2545 times
IMG_20200701_074505-1024x1024.jpg
IMG_20200701_074505-1024x1024.jpg (106.93 KiB) Viewed 2545 times
IMG_20200701_074452-1024x1024.jpg
IMG_20200701_074452-1024x1024.jpg (115.1 KiB) Viewed 2545 times

User avatar
wporter
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: United States

Re: B&K Balplan

#14 Post by wporter » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:30 pm

More:
IMG_20200701_074559-1024x1024.jpg
IMG_20200701_074559-1024x1024.jpg (121.4 KiB) Viewed 2543 times
IMG_20200701_074548-1024x1024.jpg
IMG_20200701_074548-1024x1024.jpg (132.05 KiB) Viewed 2543 times
IMG_20200701_074615-1024x1024.jpg
IMG_20200701_074615-1024x1024.jpg (93.13 KiB) Viewed 2543 times
IMG_20200701_074710-1024x1024.jpg
IMG_20200701_074710-1024x1024.jpg (186.59 KiB) Viewed 2543 times
IMG_20200701_074738-1024x1024.jpg
IMG_20200701_074738-1024x1024.jpg (176.11 KiB) Viewed 2543 times

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#15 Post by apochronaut » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:08 pm

Well. They didn't not make mention of it either. They do point out that to use DF , you must have the correct nospiece, and only a 3 port or 4 port( centering) are correct. It probably has to do with that annular structure, which perhaps later on they installled in the plain 4 place too. I can't see why that lens couldn't be installed in a 5 port. Maybe they did eventually.
For what it is worth to add to the confusion, my 5 port incident nosepiece came with the diaphragm installed in the reversing attachment, not the nospiece, included the same 4 objectives as you have plus a specimen leveller in the 5th port. It was sold along with the illuminator from Microzoom, which I think was a second generation basic illuminator for the Balplan incident.

User avatar
wporter
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: United States

Re: B&K Balplan

#16 Post by wporter » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:43 pm

There is confusion on my part as to how or whether epi can work without this epi-style nosepiece, because like you say, the BF/DF objectives are apparently more ubiquitous than that nosepiece, which doesn't seem to be referenced anywhere. So I will run some tests today with those objectives on a normal nosepiece for comparison.

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#17 Post by apochronaut » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:51 pm

Well, I wasn't implying that you were confused, I am confused because going back to the B & L catalogues, they use the same part # for the transmitted triple , quadruple and quintuple nosepieces as the epi triple, quadruple and quintuple nosepieces. The nosepieces used for DF do appear to be different part #'s but only as triple and quadruple.

microb
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#18 Post by microb » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:37 pm

When we all figure this out, where can we post a summary page that people can look up and know what a valid assembly looks like?

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#19 Post by apochronaut » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:46 pm

microb wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:37 pm
When we all figure this out, where can we post a summary page that people can look up and know what a valid assembly looks like?
I have quite a few catalogues but not the capacity to scan them currently. That should change by fall.

Zuul
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 9:01 pm
Location: California

Re: B&K Balplan

#20 Post by Zuul » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:53 pm

apochronaut wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:46 pm
I have quite a few catalogues but not the capacity to scan them currently. That should change by fall.
Adobe has a shockingly good smartphone app that “scans” using the camera. It is cleverly named Adobe Scan. It allows you to crop and correct keystone distortion and even converts to text (OCR) when possible. The results are saved as conveniently small PDF file. It’s well worth the cost ... free.

User avatar
wporter
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: United States

Re: B&K Balplan

#21 Post by wporter » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:59 pm

OK, mystery solved.

1) The 'epi-nosepiece' I have, with the clear annular ring around the common telescope lens, is indeed for epi-darkfield; i.e., the ring is not for general epi-illumination, but rather only for darkfield illumination. The light does pass down through the BF/DF objectives in the space around the core optics for this DF illumination, so normal Balplan objectives wouldn't yield epi-DF, at least with this illuminator.

2) The BF/DF objectives on EITHER the normal nosepiece OR the odd (now known as a DF) nosepiece yielded identical epi-BF or epi-DIC views. That's good news if you don't care about DF. The DF views are spectacular, though.

3) With regular Balplan (0.18 coverglass, non BF/DF) objectives at 5x or 10x, epi-BF or epi-DIC views are not bad, close to those from BF/DF objectives; with 20x or 40x, they are out-of-focus slightly due to the lack of coverglass.

4) The manual lists the 4-objective darkfield nosepiece as being centerable; mine isn't.

5) The manual fails to mention that for DF with this illuminator, the field diaphragm slide needs to be out most of the way.

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#22 Post by apochronaut » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:14 pm

wporter wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:59 pm
OK, mystery solved.

1) The 'epi-nosepiece' I have, with the clear annular ring around the common telescope lens, is indeed for epi-darkfield; i.e., the ring is not for general epi-illumination, but rather only for darkfield illumination. The light does pass down through the BF/DF objectives in the space around the core optics for this DF illumination, so normal Balplan objectives wouldn't yield epi-DF, at least with this illuminator.

2) The BF/DF objectives on EITHER the normal nosepiece OR the odd (now known as a DF) nosepiece yielded identical epi-BF or epi-DIC views. That's good news if you don't care about DF. The DF views are spectacular, though.

3) With regular Balplan (0.18 coverglass, non BF/DF) objectives at 5x or 10x, epi-BF or epi-DIC views are not bad, close to those from BF/DF objectives; with 20x or 40x, they are out-of-focus slightly due to the lack of coverglass.

4) The manual lists the 4-objective darkfield nosepiece as being centerable; mine isn't.

5) The manual fails to mention that for DF with this illuminator, the field diaphragm slide needs to be out most of the way.
very odd that they did not make a DF quintuple nosepiece. probably the logic was based on the fact that they only made 4 DF objectives but the nosepiece was for BF too? Thanks, Bill. Always good to get 3 dimensional information.

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#23 Post by apochronaut » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:18 pm

Zuul wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:53 pm
apochronaut wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:46 pm
I have quite a few catalogues but not the capacity to scan them currently. That should change by fall.
Adobe has a shockingly good smartphone app that “scans” using the camera. It is cleverly named Adobe Scan. It allows you to crop and correct keystone distortion and even converts to text (OCR) when possible. The results are saved as conveniently small PDF file. It’s well worth the cost ... free.
I will look into it. I do have a scanner. I just don't have the time or inclination to organiize the office system for a while. I also only own a dumbphone.. thanks.

Scarodactyl
Posts: 1046
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: B&K Balplan

#24 Post by Scarodactyl » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:39 pm

Come to think of it it's really curious the microzoom didn't have an epi df option. Between that and DIC it's weird that the balplan's industrial big brother missed out on two such nice and seemingly relevant features. Maybe it had a pretty narrow set of requirements as a baseline wafer inspector, or maybe it was too expensive to pack that all in towards the end of the company's existence while Mitutoyo was presumably eating their lunch.
It might be interesting to see how much you could get the two to cross-pollinate.

microb
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

Re: B&L Balplan

#25 Post by microb » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:23 am

So I would like to swap out the 5 turret for the 4, but there is a bad grub screw.

What's the best way to remove it? Should I Dremmel in the center and then chip it out?
Attachments
IMG_4294_1K.JPG
IMG_4294_1K.JPG (62.46 KiB) Viewed 2479 times
IMG_4295_1K.JPG
IMG_4295_1K.JPG (88.34 KiB) Viewed 2479 times
IMG_4296_1K.JPG
IMG_4296_1K.JPG (54.74 KiB) Viewed 2479 times

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&L Balplan

#26 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:51 am

Your quintuple has the nosepiece reversing collar and your quadruple does not. You can swap them already by using the quadruple in the forward position.. Are you that attached to the reverse nosepiece?
Last edited by apochronaut on Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

microb
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

Re: B&L Balplan

#27 Post by microb » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:53 am

apochronaut wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:51 am
Your quintuple has the nosepiece reversing collar and your quadruple does not. You can swap them already by using the quadruple in the forward position.. Are you thst attsched to the reverse nosepiece?
I didn't think of that. Maybe I can just leave that set screw in there.

Thanks,
Ted

apochronaut
Posts: 3656
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: B&K Balplan

#28 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:55 am

Scarodactyl wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:39 pm
Come to think of it it's really curious the microzoom didn't have an epi df option. Between that and DIC it's weird that the balplan's industrial big brother missed out on two such nice and seemingly relevant features. Maybe it had a pretty narrow set of requirements as a baseline wafer inspector, or maybe it was too expensive to pack that all in towards the end of the company's existence while Mitutoyo was presumably eating their lunch.
It might be interesting to see how much you could get the two to cross-pollinate.
I think it was a lot of things. It's easy to forget how expensive production costs were in North America in the 1980's compared to the rest of the world. Many countries were very protectionist too; the U.S., not so much . Bausch & Lomb was fully capable of turning the Microzoom into a planapo beast but they would have priced themselves out of the market. They found a comfortable niche for a while with 3 innovative microscope lines but they were but a small part of a much larger company that had it's eyes on profits for shareholders and they were riding the crest of the soft contact lens mania. Opthalmics is big business and in a very big small part of it: they wete the undisputed re di tutto. The scientific products division was a drain and that which was profitable continued but further development was stalled. When It went to Cambridge Instruments that was the end of any major advancements. You can see it with the Balplan. They only continued with 3 Flat Field Apochromats until the 80's. Only those that could be used with a 1.25 N.A. aspheric condenser were kept going and only that long., The others dropped and no Balplan higher N.A. achromat condenser ever existed, although way back at the beginning of the Balplan program, I'll bet one was envisioned. . Granted, they had very, very good plan achromats from 1975 on: probably better than anyone's of the day but the Balplan was finely built and would only continue to be expensive. Probably, the epi DF and DIC Balplan just slipped in under the wire and had a bit of a following, a Microzoom version, probably a little too late. There may originally have bern plans though , or even some prototype work.

I came across someone who had had AO Hoffman prototype systems, only a few. AO, likewise shows gaps, where intended development was stalled due to budget restraints by the parent. Both B & L and AO were actually quite small companies but did remarkable work ; very innovative.

Post Reply