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 Post subject: First microscope
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:20 am 
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Hello everyone!
I'm very passionate about microworld. I'm just beginning my hobby without any prior experience and on the market for my first microscope. However, the more i read, the more i feel lost :|
I need your help to make my dream become a reality! :)

Here are my main objectives:

1. Max budget of 500€
2. I have good mirrorless nikon camera and would love to mount it, make and share videos in addition to pictures. I'd love to take high res videos of eating daphnias in dark field, for example. So i guess depth of field matters a lot.
3. Ideally ships from inside the EU.

Is there anything that would fit this?
Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:54 am 
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Hi Topinamburr, welcome. Your question is one that gets asked on a fairly regular basis and the answers remain much the same.

I recommend looking through previous beginners posts that pose variations on your question.

Here are a couple to get you started.

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=6082
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5422
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=635

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Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:21 pm 
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75RR wrote:
Hi Topinamburr


Thank you very much! I will continue going through similar posts.
The only used one on the market in my country is this carl zeiss https://m.skelbiu.lt/skelbimai/mikrosko ... #photoArea

And even the seller doesn't know the model number
, does it look like something worth investing in?


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:38 pm 
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That is an incident/reflected light microscope which has rather specialized illumination. Not what you want even assuming that it is in good working order.

If you are going to go for a used microscope you ideally need to buy one from someone that will let you try it out before you buy.

That means someone very local. You might want to visit the science department at your local school or college and ask where you might purchase one.

Some of the staff may well be amateur microscopists themselves.

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Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:27 pm 
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Thank you very much! Off i go for more research :)


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:02 am 
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In your market this might be a good choice:
https://m.skelbiu.lt/skelbimai/rusiskas-mikroskopas-lomo-31643603.html
These are simple but capable instuments and plenty on the market.

Used microscopes mostly have some issues with gummed up grease, adjustment and broken or missing bits. So you would have to find a way to handle this.
New affordable microscopes are usually of lower build quality and it's difficult to get accessories for them.
A real cardioid darkfield condenser would be easiest to get for Zeiss Jena or Lomo. For many microscopes this is a rare find.


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:42 am 
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Good suggestion from MicroBob.

Here is an article on the Lomo Biolam that is very positive about them.
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... iolam.html

Had a look around myself, here is another Biolam (new in box) from the same site: https://m.skelbiu.lt/skelbimai/biolam-c ... 84330.html
It would make for a very good Starter microscope. Price is reasonable as well.

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Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:07 pm 
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I use a Biolam as a portable scope. It is indeed quite modular (with easy-to-find parts). But its fine focus travel is quite short and has no graduated marks. I personally much prefer coaxial focus (with fine and coarse focus together).

Olympus CH is considered to be a budget scope with good focus mechanisms. But dedicated darkfield condenser for CH is not as easy to find. You may be able to DIY adapt 3rd party condensers though.


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:41 pm 
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Thank you so much! I've contacted the seller, we'll see how it goes. I'm still in the midst of researching and i have a question :)

What kind of equipment in the future would i need to make this kind of video https://youtu.be/SS_HYY97ehw or this type of photo http://www.olympusbioscapes.com/gallery ... pe-verrees I understand the photo is done with phase microscopy, could anything like this be feasible to achieve in under 500€ budget?


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:11 pm 
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Topinamburr wrote:
Thank you so much! I've contacted the seller, we'll see how it goes. I'm still in the midst of researching and i have a question :)

What kind of equipment in the future would i need to make this kind of video https://youtu.be/SS_HYY97ehw or this type of photo http://www.olympusbioscapes.com/gallery ... pe-verrees I understand the photo is done with phase microscopy, could anything like this be feasible to achieve in under 500€ budget?
These two are darkfield images, not phase contrast, at a relatively low magnification.
To produce such items, one does not need a highly sophisticated equipment - only experience in microscopy and photomicrography.
I think that you can achieve it under 500Euros, if you buy used, since you already own a camera.
Your initial target, I think, is an optically expandable, mechanically reliable scope, with smooth focusing, a trinocular head, and Plan achro objectives (at least) in good condition.
From the experience of other beginners as described on this forum, it would really be better if you can try the microscope before you buy it (or verify you can return it in the case of disappointment). The next best option would be to buy from an experienced forum member.

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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:20 am 
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Topinamburr wrote:
What kind of equipment in the future would i need to make this kind of video https://youtu.be/SS_HYY97ehw or this type of photo http://www.olympusbioscapes.com/gallery ... pe-verrees I understand the photo is done with phase microscopy, could anything like this be feasible to achieve in under 500€ budget?


To get results like this you have to spend a lot of time in learning and trying. Many microscopists have accumulated quite sophisticated equipment from the used market until they reach this level of performance. At this point they could acheive neary the same with the microscope they have started with! :lol:

The video is taken in a thicker layer of water and the animals behave in a natural way. I guess that it was made with a modern high resolution stereo microscope for 30000 € or so. BUT it is possible to make such a video with a Biolam, it just takes even more experience, time and luck. To get videos and images of this quality you don't just point your expensive equipment at it and press the idiot-button. :D The experts that acheive these results use techniques like pipetting the objects onto new slides and controlling the water layer meticulously. I don't have the patience and time to try this.

These placton animals are very three-dimensional, so it is difficult to get much of them in focus at the same time. So there is no need for high n.a. objectives and from my point of view it doesn't make much difference for placton whether the objectives are plan or not.
Plancton is very interesting to watch but difficult to photograph.
I would suggest to start with microscopy and leave the microphotography aside for the beginning. Microphotography is a topic on its own.

If you would like to watch placton (much recommended) you need a plancton net or a fine sieve of 50µ or so.


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:29 pm 
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Appreciated! Of course, i do understand the amount of time and experince needed for capturing at this level.

And it turns out the video was made by a fellow forum member :) so amazing! viewtopic.php?t=4827


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:38 pm 
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Topinamburr wrote:
Appreciated! Of course, i do understand the amount of time and experince needed for capturing at this level.

And it turns out the video was made by a fellow forum member :) so amazing! viewtopic.php?t=4827
With a stereo microscope. But it is so special due to the skill of the microscopist and photographer, not so much the equipment.

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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:14 pm 
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Topinamburr wrote:
What kind of equipment in the future would i need to make this kind of video https://youtu.be/SS_HYY97ehw or .........


That nice video was made mainly by skills, not equipment.

With a decent ($150) stereo (dissenting) scope at around 20x total magnification, some DIY side lights (4 LED light torch shining from side of petri dish) and a black background sufficiently far away from petri dish, you may be able to get close to that quality.

Those water flea photos were made by compound microscope. Again, you may be able to close to that quality with DIY side lighting similarly. But it would be harder with compound microscope and higher resolution.


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:05 pm 
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What are your thoughts on this microscope https://www.kruess.com/en/produkte/micr ... 000-serie/ for plankton observation?


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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:47 am 
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Most modern branded microscopes are in fact supplied by independent distributors pretending to be manufacturers.
If you buy enough microscopes the factories in China are happy to mix and match and also put any name you want on it.
You would be surprised how little those microscopes are worth wholesale.

https://www.amazon.com/7X-45X-Dual-Trin ... DBR1J2KBHH

https://www.amazon.com/AmScope-10x-20x- ... tereoscope

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 Post subject: Re: First microscope
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:13 am 
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Topinamburr wrote:
What are your thoughts on this microscope https://www.kruess.com/en/produkte/micr ... 000-serie/ for plankton observation?


This will be an upper quality chinese instrument, probably not much different from a chinese made Leica or Zeiss of this class. Kruess is a laboratory supplier and as long as they don't call something "basic..." or "student..." or "school..." it will fulfill at least moderate professional demands.
Identical looking microscopes from other sources can be something completely different inside (different factory, lens coatings, design details, production quality, assembly, quality control). :shock:

The usual selling price in their normal business with bigger customers will be quite a bit lower than list price, so let them make you a good offer and show them that you have alternatives.

Btw: Kruess is located 8km from where I live as well as from where I work. The world is small.

Bob


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