B&L StereoZoom

What equipment do you use? Post pictures and descriptions of your microscope(s) here!
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GaryB
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B&L StereoZoom

#1 Post by GaryB » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:42 am

I was recently perusing fleabay looking for nondescript bargains and came across a listing for "old microscope" with a starting bid of $14.80 and $7.31 shipping, so I bid on it expecting to be outbid in no time but I thought, what the heck, you never know... unbelievably, nobody else bid on it.

My new toy! :mrgreen:
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I have no idea if it works properly or not. I hope so, but for that price I don't really mind either way. I can always use the parts on other projects. The description said Very old microscope from a medical equipment manufacturing plant. Very heavy!
Anyway, it'll take a little while to arrive and should be fun to play with when it gets here. If it works, are there any recommended accessories I should get for it or things I may need to adjust?

MichaelG.
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#2 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:55 am

Well done GaryB !!

The world seems to have gone mad [to your benefit]
Even if the optics turned out to be faulty, that would be a bargain price for a very adaptable stand.
... Compare it with the contraptions being sold for use with the little 'video microscope' cameras.


Hopefully, however, everything will be good.

MichaelG.
Too many 'projects'

GaryB
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#3 Post by GaryB » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:49 pm

Thanks, Michael.

Yeah, the stand was actually the thing that piqued my interest. The scope will be a nice bonus if it works, but yes, that price was just crazy. If she had known what it was and listed it differently I doubt I'd have gotten it. I like to do random searches and sift through the results to see if anything good shows up, sometimes you get lucky.

apochronaut
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#4 Post by apochronaut » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:38 pm

I like your collection of antique lab glassware.

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zzffnn
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#5 Post by zzffnn » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:32 am

Congrats, Gary.

Magnification zoom range will suggest which model it is. For example SZ7 is 1x-7x and uses different accessories than SZ1 to SZ6.

You may want to check collimation, but don't obsess with getting it perfect.

2x and 0.5x ancillary objective from Amscope may be Blutak'ed to SZ scopes (as AmScope objectives are wider than original objectives). They are of reasonable quality (especially the 0.5x one) and can be bought for really cheap. Buying original SZ parts, even if your scope have all necessary parts/connections to accept them, may cost much more than the scope cost.

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#6 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:19 am

I've always loved that scope - I have two Stereozooms, both model SZ4. I use one in my machine shop and its in the old blue-grey paint mounted on a matching boom stand. You could put a body under that thing and, frankly, the most use it ever gets is to see what I'm doing during "surgery", ie pulling metal splinters out of my hands and fingers. My other one is the same finish as yours and it's mounted on the B&L transilluminating base. I use it as my initial pond scum scanning scope in the lab.

I'm convinced that those stereozooms are so well made that they would easily sell if still manufactured - timeless and proven compact design. Of course I feel the same way about the Zeiss "Standard" series compound microscopes (if Zeiss had re-engineered them for infinity optics), I think they'd sell like crazy still.
JeffO, aka "Ortho amore"
Leitz Ortholux I
Leitz Orthoplan
Leitz Macro-Dia Device
Zeiss GFL
Zeiss Standard
Zeiss Photomicroscope III
Zeiss OPMI 6S
B&L Stereozoom and Balplan

charlie g
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#7 Post by charlie g » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:05 pm

Congrats, Gary B...on this fantastic Bausch&Lomb stero stand with that studt base, and two sets of focus 'racks'! I have same setup purchased 'cheap' ($60, from a closing electronic brick&mortar store years ago) in NYC! Mine has white lettering: " 0.7-3X" on the optical 'basket' which mounts/dismounts easy from that heavy and study focus mount. I have ( etched specs with red paint: "20X WF B&L " ) 20X stereo scope oculars on my stand, lots of lower power B&L oculars in my optics box.

Your stand obviously ( to my eyes) is a more recent model than mine. Any painted spec on your stand? What spec oculars does your prize have? These are wonderful stereo scopes. I enjoy taking mine on holiday trips for evening microscopy of fresh sample specimens from far from home vacation outings. I find this a terrific stereo scope...again, congrats on your acquisition. Charlie Guevara, finger lakes/US

GaryB
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#8 Post by GaryB » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:41 am

Thanks, all :D

I don't have it in my hands yet, it'll be sometime next week as the seller is away from home. This one is 0.7 - 3.0x I have no idea what power the oculars are as I can't see any markings on the barrels from the posted photos. Does that make it a V.4? Looks like it was last calibrated in '02 so hopefully it's been treated gently for most of the time since it was 'decommissioned'.

I'll give it a good spit-shine when it gets here and see how or if it works. I do love the swivel stand, I'll be able to use it horizontally or vertically which could prove useful. I think an auxiliary lens would be a nice addition, it'll give me a good bit of overlap with the 4x and 9x microscope objective if it comes with 20x oculars. I've never owned a stereoscope before so it'll be a lot of fun if it works.

G

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coominya
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#9 Post by coominya » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:10 am

Nice find. I don't have a stereo zoom yet and look forward to adding one down the track.

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lorez
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#10 Post by lorez » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:37 am

This one is 0.7 - 3.0x I have no idea what power the oculars are as I can't see any markings on the barrels from the posted photos. Does that make it a V.4?
The stereo microscopes of that era were identified by their body design (magnification range) and stand type. Your body. also called a pod, has a magnification range from 0.7 - 3.0x so is called a VB73. If that pod were mounted on the simplest table top stand, the A Stand, the microscope would be called AVB-73. Judging from the length of the eyepiece casing I would bet my pile of pennies that your eyepieces are 10X which were the most common used. The 15X and 20X have shouter casings

GaryB
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#11 Post by GaryB » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:56 am

Good to know, thanks.
I had a look at other on ebay and guessed by the design and width of the eyelens that it was most likely a 10x, the 15 and 20's have smaller lenses.

Scarodactyl
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#12 Post by Scarodactyl » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:14 pm

Probably a 3, 4 or 5. Definitely newer than a 1 or 2 tend to look, lacking the weird shaping of an sz6 or supersnoot of the sz7. I love my sz7, I suspect you will enjoy this one if the fungus hasn't gotten to it.

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#13 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:21 am

Here's my B&L SZ4 that I mentioned in my prior comment. This style of boom stand are readily available on Fleabay for not much and, even though I've upgraded to the Zeiss OPMI, I still use this one just as much out in the machine shop.
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JeffO, aka "Ortho amore"
Leitz Ortholux I
Leitz Orthoplan
Leitz Macro-Dia Device
Zeiss GFL
Zeiss Standard
Zeiss Photomicroscope III
Zeiss OPMI 6S
B&L Stereozoom and Balplan

GaryB
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:33 am

Re: B&L StereoZoom

#14 Post by GaryB » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:32 am

Yay, new toy arrived this am... covered in ickyness but no fungus! :D
I think it was used as a combination of solder and food station. Luckily it cleaned up ok and the stand repairs were relatively minor. The objectives were crusted over and the eyepiece lenses are a little scratched up and were filthy inside and out so they got a good cleaning after taking them apart. I'm very happy with the image quality compared to how things looked when it first arrived, I'd say it's probably not too far off it's performance when new. Maybe a bit lower contrast due to the eyepieces, I'm not going to complain though, it works great now. The zoom functions smoothly as does the eyepiece diopter adjustment.

Overall I think my $15 was an extremely well spent. It looks a little bit ratty in places, however, the stand now functions properly and the scope still has perfect alignment. I'll have to rig it with lights above and below now, because, why not!

MichaelG.
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Re: B&L StereoZoom

#15 Post by MichaelG. » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:25 am

That's great news, Gary

MichaelG.
.
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If you want a 'quick fix' for the lighting, try these:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-LED-Nigh ... 2900726945
They are useable on the stereo for either incident or transmitted lighting
good colour rendering; usefully bright soft light; easy to use; and bargain priced !

They'e cheap enough anyway, but ranpo-technology sells a few on auction, and provides excellent postal service.
< disclaimer: I'm just a satisfied customer >
Last edited by MichaelG. on Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Too many 'projects'

GaryB
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:33 am

Re: B&L StereoZoom

#16 Post by GaryB » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:05 am

Thanks, Michael.

It's pretty exciting as I've never touched a stereo scope before and the 3d depth is very nice, it's certainly shown that my soldering leaves a lot to be desired. The only bad thing is that I now have 5 microscopes here and my wife is giving me that look that says 'any more and there's going to be trouble' :lol:

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