My very first compound microscope!

What equipment do you use? Post pictures and descriptions of your microscope(s) here!
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krame
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My very first compound microscope!

#1 Post by krame » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:58 am

Image

This is a Reichert MicroStar IV 410, purchased from Ebay yesterday and arrived today!

I checked it out as much as I could, given my nonexistent knowledge, and everything appears to be in working order, including the blue and ND filter.

I have some generic slides from Amazon coming tomorrow and blank slides the day after. It's absolutely freezing out right now, but I'm going to grab some moss and let it warm up in some water and hopefully start my journey into the microscopic world!

Greg Howald
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#2 Post by Greg Howald » Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:07 am

A very nice looking scope. Be very careful now. Don't buy a second scope. They wait till nightfall when you go to sleep and breed like rabbits!
Greg

Plasmid
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#3 Post by Plasmid » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:38 am

Greg Howald wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:07 am
A very nice looking scope. Be very careful now. Don't buy a second scope. They wait till nightfall when you go to sleep and breed like rabbits!
Greg
At a binary fission rate at that :lol: , next thing you know where there was one you'll have 10

Very nice first scope. Neoplan objectives can be found for a decent price on ebay, also the average Chinese made plan Infinity objectives from the likes of Amscope are pretty parfocal with the neoplans

dtsh
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#4 Post by dtsh » Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:21 am

Glad to see you have it.
The best test of the system is to use it. Check to make sure all the moving parts move smoothly without grinding, catching, or slipping and that it produces a clean crisp image when in focus. I presume you have a slide and a coverslip? If so, do the usual and find something, perhaps a swab of the inner cheek to look at some cells.

krame
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#5 Post by krame » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:43 pm

dtsh wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:21 am
The best test of the system is to use it.
I have some premade slides coming today and blanks tomorrow.
Greg Howald wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:07 am
Don't buy a second scope. They wait till nightfall when you go to sleep and breed like rabbits!
Uh oh.

Image

Sabatini
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#6 Post by Sabatini » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:48 pm

Congratulations!!!
Beautiful scope!

krame
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#7 Post by krame » Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:50 pm

Thanks!

Stomias
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#8 Post by Stomias » Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:53 pm

Glad you snagged a Microstar. Love mine....Use it every day! Mine came with 5 objectives. Really mainly use the 10 and 40. I have two other sets of eyepieces too (15x and 20x) which then gives ( 100x 400x 150x 600x 200x and 800x). Already accrued tons of accessories cause most are cheap. Will be great this summer at the lake. Good luck!

Red_Green
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#9 Post by Red_Green » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:58 pm

Congrats on the new scope and the microscopy hobby. Lots of fun times ahead and you get to see some awesome, bizarre and crazy things. It's a great hobby.

krame
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#10 Post by krame » Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:02 pm

I got some premade slides yesterday and it woooorks it woooorks! Slides are meh, but the scope works. I grabbed some moss and put it on top of the premade slides and got to see my first microorganisms!

Blank slides coming today!

I'm going to give it a go for a little, but I really think I could go for a 600x objective.
Stomias wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:53 pm
I have two other sets of eyepieces too (15x and 20x)
How does the 15x compare in visual quality to the standard 10x

apochronaut
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#11 Post by apochronaut » Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:41 pm

AO/Reichert never made a 60X objective for the series 400 microscopes. They clearly planned to, because they left a space for one in their numbering scheme but the program ran into a roadblock eventually.
I trialled a Chinese made 60X .80 planachro and the image quality isn't good enough. The contrast is poor and it wasn't well corrected to the periphery. It also suffered from terrible centering, a common plague of the internet hawked Chinese microscopes and their objectives.

There were 63X 1.0 N.A. planachro objectives for the Austrian Reichert microscopes in both glycerin and oil immersion. The glycerin immersion version does work o.k. dry and although not as good as it is immersed, it provides a better image than the Chinese planachro 60X. They are not common.

Your best bet is to use the 40X with 15X eyepieces. The correct ones , cat. # 182 will give you an excellent well corrected image with the 40X and lower objectives. Next in line would be the cat.# 184, also not too bad and more likely to be found than the 182. The Bausch & Lomb cat. # 31-15-62 ( and only that Bausch & Lomb 15X), is also o.k. but suffers a bit from pincushion distortion , a tiny amount of peripheral ca and not the greatest eye relief.

Stomias
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#12 Post by Stomias » Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:15 pm

The B&L 15x gives a fine image. I am not that experienced yet but do have years of evaluating a full range of telescope eyepieces. Many of the premium telescopic eyepieces cost more than all my microscope's and their accessories combined! The B&L 20 breaks down a bit but works great on my stereo microscope. When I bought the top half of another AO Spencer 26 for the 3X objective it came with 4 more eyepieces that weren't even in the listing photo's, AND a telescope eyepiece and barlow! A pair of AO 10X WF #146's, a single AO 15X WF #147 and a another single 10X (Can't see any other markings but 10X but it is another 1" taller and the top half is much larger in diameter though it is a 23mm barrel at the bottom). Haven't even tried the bonus pieces yet. :) Was looking around at 5X pieces too but have slowed my roll buying stuff.......Oh, buy a couple of well slides... :) You can get double wells (recomended) They come in handy. Yesterday I put a piece of moss in one well and a a very small piece of wood from my aquarium in the other well. Much to see. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Microscope-Sli ... %3A2334524

hans
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#13 Post by hans » Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:47 pm

apochronaut wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:41 pm
I trialled a Chinese made 60X .80 planachro and the image quality isn't good enough. The contrast is poor and it wasn't well corrected to the periphery. It also suffered from terrible centering, a common plague of the internet hawked Chinese microscopes and their objectives.
Same with a 20X I tried a while ago, including the poor centering. Then after buying I think I remember read somewhere that Chinese infinity objectives are usually based on the Olympus system? That would explain the large amount of lateral CA it gave in the Microstar IV.

TonyT
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#14 Post by TonyT » Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:27 pm

Cavity slides are very useful. Do not buy the regular cavity slides, the cavity is too shallow, usually 0.5 mm. Almost useless. Spend a lot more money, well worth it, and buy deep concavity slides; these have a cavity depth of from 2.0-2.6mm. You probably need only 1 or 2 slides.
example:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Deep-Well-Doub ... SwsTxXi-HI
New Brunswick
Canada

Stomias
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#15 Post by Stomias » Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:20 pm

TonyT wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:27 pm
Cavity slides are very useful. Do not buy the regular cavity slides, the cavity is too shallow, usually 0.5 mm. Almost useless. Spend a lot more money, well worth it, and buy deep concavity slides; these have a cavity depth of from 2.0-2.6mm. You probably need only 1 or 2 slides.
example:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Deep-Well-Doub ... SwsTxXi-HI
Just ordered one. Thanks Tony. One thing I've noticed with the shallower slides, there is a lot of depth of field which is kind of a pain. Won't these deeper cavities exacerbate this?

apochronaut
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#16 Post by apochronaut » Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:24 pm

hans wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:47 pm
apochronaut wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:41 pm
I trialled a Chinese made 60X .80 planachro and the image quality isn't good enough. The contrast is poor and it wasn't well corrected to the periphery. It also suffered from terrible centering, a common plague of the internet hawked Chinese microscopes and their objectives.
Same with a 20X I tried a while ago, including the poor centering. Then after buying I think I remember read somewhere that Chinese infinity objectives are usually based on the Olympus system? That would explain the large amount of lateral CA it gave in the Microstar IV.
Some are, some aren't. You can usually tell by looking at them because they mimicked the Japanese barrel design somewhat. A great number are Nikon, both 45mm and 60mm, too,. The NIS 45 Chinese objectives are good and there are planfluors, which work better with the series 400. I have even come across some that seemed as though based on the old 34mm AO infinity system but were 45mm. I have a set of 5 planachros of those, including a 60X . I am thinking of putting them in a 20.

TonyT
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#17 Post by TonyT » Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:32 pm

Cavity slides are meant for just sorting specimens at low magnification. If you don't want the greater depth available in the 'deep well' simply use less water !

Perhaps the best use for such slides is getting a specimen ready for making a permanent mount, i.e., dissecting (if needed), cleaning, staining, dehydrating. Then move the specimen to a regular flat slide to make a permanent or temporary mount. I do all my insect preparation work in such a slide.
New Brunswick
Canada

krame
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#18 Post by krame » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:45 am

Such a wealth of information here, thank you all so much! I'm glad to hear that there is an eyepiece option to bump the mag just a bit more!

Again, could not have made it this far without you all!

krame
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#19 Post by krame » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:51 am

apochronaut wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:41 pm
Your best bet is to use the 40X with 15X eyepieces. The correct ones , cat. # 182 will give you an excellent well corrected image with the 40X and lower objectives.
Am I looking for AO or Reichert branded eyepieces, or both?

Plasmid
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#20 Post by Plasmid » Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:49 am

This link will clarify things a bit... The 182's are hard to find, I've been searching for months now.
https://user.xmission.com/~psneeley/Per ... pieces.htm
Last edited by Plasmid on Fri Mar 05, 2021 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

dtsh
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#21 Post by dtsh » Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:59 am

krame wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:51 am
apochronaut wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:41 pm
Your best bet is to use the 40X with 15X eyepieces. The correct ones , cat. # 182 will give you an excellent well corrected image with the 40X and lower objectives.
Am I looking for AO or Reichert branded eyepieces, or both?
Technically the 182 eyepieces, which are the 15x eyepiece engineered for it would probably be Reichert, but they could be under AO, Cambridge, Reichert, or Leica. As far as I can tell anyone who has a pair isn't coughing them up and I haven't seen a pair on eBay yet. The 184 15x eyepieces, for the 10/20/100/110/120 would likely be listed under AO, though some of those series I believe were sold under the other brand names too, though I have never seen any labelled as other than AO myself.

I can't tell you about the B&L, I'm mostly ignorant there.

krame
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#22 Post by krame » Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:05 am

Noted

apochronaut
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#23 Post by apochronaut » Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:49 pm

When looking for any parts or accessories for any AO manufactured microscope made after about 1982, so that includes series 100, series 150, series 200, series 400, Cycloptics, Stereozooms and ATC 2000 it doesn't hurt to search AO, Reichert,Cambridge,Leica and Bausch & Lomb. The B & L manufacturing was relocated to the Buffalo plant at some time and some items that are actually AO or Reichert parts can be designated as B & L parts and visa versa.
This may have been a case of dealer confusion in some cases because former AO dealers became also B & L dealers and the other way around.
Parts such as eyepieces: Reichert in particular are often not marked with a brand at all. It is the cat. # that stayed consistent. Parts made under the Leica years often have the old cat. # buried in a typically 6 digit Leica #. 311581 for instance is the old cat.# 181. that at some point likely became B & L # 31-15-81, which I have never seen catalogued for any B & L microscope.
It is hard to know what went on. Leica definitely got into a using it up mindset as they cleared out stock and prepared to vacate premises.
One eyepiece exists with 5 brands on it!

BramHuntingNematodes
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#24 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:11 am

I finally bought a 410 for my son's schooling as my Dynazoom is usually in some complicated setup and nobody better touch my Dynoptic. It's the blue-top, square hatch kind came with a 10, 40 and 100 NeoPlan. I hear the plan achros take a slight edge over the Neos around the periphery but they looked really good anyways! Smashing looks, almost as good as my Dynazoom with the Balplan planachros. I love the Dynazoom and definitely prefer it, but after all the work I put into it I would never recommend it over the 410 to someone asking for a variety of reasons. The Dyna seems like it plain well ahs a lot more pieces to keep track of, it's quite a bit bigger and heavier, and it's often more expensive anyway. This 410 cost me $85 and it appears complete and in good fettle (the blue filter arm is broken, but even an oaf like me can fix that). It's really a better deal by such a large margin it doesn't make a lot of sense. Anyway, maybe they are less common now than they once were?

I have a 4x Leica C PLAN along with a 25mm to RMS adapter had for very little that I expect may work OK on the 410 (also looking out for a 20x plan achro). The objectives for the FF Dynazoom are by comparison p. exclusive and difficult to come by. Often more expensive also. The 410s halogen bulb, too, works better than those funny little tungsten bulbs so many B&Ls used. This is not a concern with the Balplan, though.

Last thing, searching around I have seen some complaints about the focus system on the 410. Some really were broken, with a cracked cam or worn spring washers. On the other hand, I thought mine might be broken as well until I read the manual and followed the directions for the Autofocus system. After that it was fine-- the slipping I had noticed earlier was not a flaw but how the system is intended to work.

Also, it should be a good scope for a kid! With the autofocus engaged it is difficult to crash the objectives and there's only one set of focus knobs to worry about. The head adjusts so quickly we all can take a look in turn easily. I set the condenser in the right place, and it looks like that doesn't need adjusting. Of course, I am a doofus that needs to overcomplicate things so I balanced a Zeiss dry darkfield condenser on the forks, and it worked a charm too.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

dtsh
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#25 Post by dtsh » Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:18 pm

BramHuntingNematodes wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:11 am
Also, it should be a good scope for a kid! With the autofocus engaged it is difficult to crash the objectives and there's only one set of focus knobs to worry about. The head adjusts so quickly we all can take a look in turn easily. I set the condenser in the right place, and it looks like that doesn't need adjusting. Of course, I am a doofus that needs to overcomplicate things so I balanced a Zeiss dry darkfield condenser on the forks, and it worked a charm too.
The limitied capability to convert good slides and objectives into poor ones through crushing the two together is something I really appreciate from the AO infinity scopes. Use a slide that's a tad thicker than normal and you're still pretty safe as the objective will come to rest on the slide, but shouldn't exert much force even if one foolishly continues to adjust the focus down.

brandon lamp
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#26 Post by brandon lamp » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:15 pm

You've got a nice scope.

hans
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#27 Post by hans » Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:19 pm

BramHuntingNematodes wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:11 am
I have a 4x Leica C PLAN along with a 25mm to RMS adapter had for very little that I expect may work OK on the 410...
Curious to hear how it works. I read a bunch of the old threads a while ago about the Reichert Buffalo/Austria and Leica Delta/HC/HCX but don't remember finding anything saying whether the same 0.6% lateral CA spec from the 400 series was carried over into any of the Leica stuff. Just bought a Leica 1750 10X phase objective from an ATC2000 yesterday, not even sure which system ATC2000 is, but figured it was worth a shot for $20.
BramHuntingNematodes wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:11 am
...(also looking out for a 20x plan achro).
The bidding war when one shows up is going to be fun...

BramHuntingNematodes
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#28 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:33 pm

Might go for an older AO-- thing about the autofocus though is that the lenses must be parfocal, rather than just should be parfocal.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

AntoniScott
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#29 Post by AntoniScott » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:21 pm

Looks like a nice microscope with all the necessary functions. I don't know anything about the quality of the optics but you can always get some good objectives on Ebay. Let's face it, it's the optics that make for a good scope.

lorez2
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Re: My very first compound microscope!

#30 Post by lorez2 » Sun May 09, 2021 10:27 pm

Very interesting discussion revolving around a microscope that does not get enough attention in the hobby market. With only few exceptions they are trouble free. Back in the day they were the work horses of the hospital laboratory. I have several if...

lorez
Nikon 80i

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