Latest Addition Olympus SZH

What equipment do you use? Post pictures and descriptions of your microscope(s) here!
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einman
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Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#1 Post by einman » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:58 pm

So I have been hoping to find the Olympus SZH ILLD brightfield/Darkfield base as well as the SZH-STAD2 adapter and BH2-SIC stage. I have also been looking for a 1.5X objective.

When I saw this scope with everything I was looking for including a 2.5x NFK photo eyepiece mounted with a U-MPVTC c-mount adapter also on my list, I thought wow!!! It also came with a coaxial illuminator. Although I will be selling that ss I have no use for it. I had to have this. After some negotiating it is now mine. It arrived today.
Everything functions smoothly. To find so many optional accessories on one scope was just a delight!! I now have the 0.75x ( which I will most likely sell), 1.0x, and 1.5x objectives. I have a multimount adapter so I can have 2 objectives mounted simultaneously. This is my second Olympus SZH stand. Hmmm...I will probably sell one, as it defeats my current goal of making room in my lab.

Here are some quick photos:

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Crater Eddie
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#2 Post by Crater Eddie » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:01 pm

Sweeeeeeet!
CE
Olympus BH-2 / BHTU
LOMO BIOLAM L-2-2
LOMO POLAM L-213 / BIOLAM L-211 hybrid
LOMO Multiscope (Biolam)
Cameras: Canon T3i, Olympus E-P1 MFT, Amscope 3mp USB

einman
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#3 Post by einman » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:18 pm

Crater Eddie wrote:Sweeeeeeet!
CE

Yes it is! Need a stereoscope to go with that Olympus BH2? We can make it 2 sweet deals!

einman
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#4 Post by einman » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:02 am

Here it is with a few more additions. I have added a second photo tube, the objective adapter so it now has two rotating objectives and an adapter that allows for petri dish manipulation using the slide holder.
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SunshineLW
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#5 Post by SunshineLW » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:33 pm

Awesome setup! I'm drooling

einman
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#6 Post by einman » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Yes it is! I have an example of each of the research stereoscopes from that era 1980-1990 more or less including the B&L SZ7 (~1976) and the AO 580. They are very impressive especially given the age, with resolution equal to better than many of the higher end scopes available today and certainly a much better buy than the new scopes given the price differential.

I just managed to score a Leica M80 which has the same resolution as the Leica MZ12 although less costly. I am anxiously awaiting its arrival so I can compare it to the much older scopes.

Generally the newer scopes tend to have various features that improve ergonomics or make them more modular, while the resolution is still in the same ballpark as the older scopes, unless you start to move up the ladder to the research scopes of today, listing in excess of $10,000 used.

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75RR
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#7 Post by 75RR » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:18 am

Beautiful stereoscope. In fact they both are. Well done.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

Olivine
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#8 Post by Olivine » Tue May 25, 2021 11:25 pm

I think I have the same Olympus SZH as Einman. Mine has SZH-ILLD on it. I'm in the process of setting it up and need some help.

I don't have a manual for it, so one would help so I know what bulbs and parts I could get. The unit appears to have some drawers in the optical path, with screw handles. I'm not sure what they are for, and assume they may be for filters, polarisers? and don't know if I need anything like that. The materials I would be looking at are as a general purpose for low power imaging; specimens include rocks and minerals, and anything that needs some imaging with a stereomic. I think this mic is a biological one, where petri dishes can be viewed on the stage. But can it also be used for other specimens like solids and liquids, leaves, rocks, circuit boards, anything needing a close view? It has both illumination from below, and from above.

It has an old style bayonet SLR type mount on the camera port at the top. Not sure which SLR it was originally set up for. I have a Canon 1100 DSLR which I could use if I had the right adapter, which might be the cheaper route than below. I don't know if the bayonet part can be removed for a Canon one (though I've not tried to see if my Canon fits, which I should do). However, I tend to use the DSLR for astrophotography so don't want to keep taking it off/on the microscope. I have a CCD type camera which might work? [Pixelink PL-A662 (colour), 1.3 Mp (1/2" Kodak KAC-1310 1.3 Mp CMOS), res 1280x1024 active pixels, 6x6 micron square. Array dimensions 7.68 x 6.14 mm]. I'm confused as to how to connect Pixelink camera which has a female C mount thread, but no adapters. I assume I have to remove the cream coloured SLR tube a (few inches long) and add something else.

1. The long SLR camera tube on top with the bayonet camera adapter contains a lens inside. Do I need to remove that and it become redundant, and to replace with a new adapter than contains a lens? I saw on a web site https://www.gtvision.co.uk/Olympus-Micr ... -35mm-Port which a table recommends for a 1/2" sensor, a C mount adapter of 0.45, 0.5 or 0.6x. I don't know if this would be the correct unit to get, and if so, which 0.45, 0.5 or 0.6x? I was concerned that the lens inside the SLR tube might still be useful and all I might need is an adapter for physical connection. Or do I need to disgard that lens and the SLR tube?

Could the adapter that I may need be on Ebay? I don't know the proper name or what to search for. The item described in the website above, may or may not be what I need, about £171 (reduced from £416) + VAT and postage.

I was looking at some old Sony cameras I have which used to be on microscopes. They have a small C mount adapter and I thought it would have been of use to this job. But I don't think it will be of use. I include pics of that.

I've taken some photos to illustrate the text.

Thank you for any help
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Olivine
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#9 Post by Olivine » Tue May 25, 2021 11:28 pm

And the remaining photos
Note the C mount lens adapter shown is from an old Sony camera, which is possibly no good for this application.
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Scarodactyl
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#10 Post by Scarodactyl » Wed May 26, 2021 12:07 am

The adapter you have there is the famous Photomicro-L, coupled with a nfk 2.5x photo eyepiece. The bayonet on top is for an Olympus OM camera, but a simple OM to EF adapter will work perfectly with your canon.
The 2.5x eyepiece puts out an image well sized for a full frame camera, but the crop on a crop sensor isn't too terribly bad.
As to using other adapters, there is a little bit of ambiguity here. The NFK eyepiece you have there (which is the official solution from Olympus) is designed to specifically match the objectives on a bh2 compound microscope. The optics of an SZH don't have the same characteristics as the BH2 objectives, and it's unclear if they decided the NFK eyepieces were close enough, or if they did something in the photo adapter to make the NFK eyepieces particularly compatible. Point is, I haven't seen this actually tested, so your results may vary if you use a third party adapter.
However, if you want to use a small sensor camera like a 1/2", there isn't a good official solution from Olympus. So you're stuck with third party anyway if you go that route.
I'd suggest just using your DSLR, or maybe buying another one to live on it if using your current one is inconvenient.

The bulbs used in this system are standard halogens and you can still get ones of equal specs inexpensively. I don't remember the exact voltage, pin spacing and wattage but a little googling will turn up that information.

Olivine
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#11 Post by Olivine » Wed May 26, 2021 12:44 am

Thanks for the speedy Scarodactyl.

I don't know the history of the microscope, so don't know if they NFK 2.5x photo eyepiece came as standard when the previous owner bought it new, or if they added it at a later date. Good to know the current fitting fits an Olympus OM camera, and that I just need an extra OM to EF adapter - I will look for one, which I assume will just be a few pounds like my astrophotography adapters are. I suppose for the cost of that other expensive adapter (that contains a lens) I found on the website, I possibly could get another DSLR to live on the microscope. It's just that the Pixelink software and live image on a monitor would look good. Do you know if it's possible to output the live view of the Canon DSLR to a monitor? Actually, you've given me a thought. I use Astrophotography Tools for astrophotography, which controls the Canon, and I get images on screen. I think the EOS s/w does something similar, although not used it. That's another avenue to explore (but I'd then have a spare Pixelink that wants to be used).

I'll try to look around for the parts needed for the Pixelink camera. It would be good to use that camera for something. Other readers might yet post of a cheaper alternative to that £171+VAT item (which would make the 2.5x NFK redundant). I think what I had in mind was, just a metal housing that could connect the Pixelink camera to the scope with the 2.5x NFK still sitting in place.

Thanks again

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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#12 Post by szh-user » Wed May 26, 2021 7:24 pm

Hi there, I hope you don't mind me hijacking the thread for this post, but I'd like to suggest to get rid of any intermediate optics (these NFKs are so 1980s :D ) and try out a direct adaptation. Its simply done by unscrewing and removing the upper tube-like part of the phototube. Then you can cut some styrene plastic sheet to the necessary dimensions (or use a 3d printed part as the white panel seen here), to take in a M42-to-{Insert your Camera mount here} Focusing Helicoid Adapter (cheap via ebay). Delivers really stunning and completely parfocal image quality - give it a try, you'll love it ;) [EDIT]: It's also much lighter, lower and thus less prone to produce jittery videos in case of shakes and movement-induced vibrations (a small and cheap MFT DSLM like Olympus OM-D E-M10 will also come in handy here).
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Olivine
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#13 Post by Olivine » Wed May 26, 2021 10:43 pm

Hi SZH User

I don't mind you posting. I don't think I follow what you are changing. The photos seem to suggest you are also changing the bottom part of the microscope as well as describing in the text, changing the top (removing the 2.5x photo lens, and replacing with something else). Is it possible you could draw a quick labelled layout and scan and post?

Thank you

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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#14 Post by szh-user » Thu May 27, 2021 4:12 pm

Hi there, I tried to document this way better. The microscope is an SZX12 in my case but this is not a problem as it is fully compatible with the SZH accessoires (hence this mod works identical with the SZH). The phototube (=PT) is the highlighted module, you can just remove it from the optical pathway by releasing the binotube (with the eyepieces inside) and then the PT itself. On its underside its secured with screws, remove the screws that hold the upper tube part in place (there's also a thin metal frame with two tiny screws...) - i.e. the photo eyepiece and this tube are not needed (see szh8.jpg). The helicoid adapter on your camera has no "active" optics in it, it simple provides a variable distance to focus the image from the lower part of the phototube directly onto the CMOS of the camera (i.e. the colorful image sensor seen in szh9.jpg). As szh6.jpg shows you can simply insert the adapted camera into the styrene sheet on the phototube. Perfect camera sensor size would be APS-C afaik, in this case the image you see in your (widefield as it appears, what is the field number, 24?) eyepieces is almost perfectly shaped and sized as the image that is projected onto the sensor. MFT will also be completely filled and even better shaped (4:3 vs APS-C / FF 3:2). As for full-frame (=FF) you will get round vignetting on the borders. Regarding size and stability a recent MFT camera will even allow for live 4K recording and / or video stacking (if you transform the videofile into separate JPGs and pump these e.g. into Helicon Focus). Yours is a fine setup by the way, if clean and well adjusted, a very good rig :)
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Scarodactyl
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#15 Post by Scarodactyl » Thu May 27, 2021 8:34 pm

That's really neat! I haven't ever taken one apart, good to know it's easy to get them off.
If direct projection gives a good image corner to corner it really does imply Olympus decided the nfks were just 'good enough' rather than ideal, which is what I'd suspected. I guess I need to pick up another szh some day to actually test it.

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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#16 Post by ImperatorRex » Fri May 28, 2021 3:51 pm

szh-user wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 4:12 pm
....Perfect camera sensor size would be APS-C afaik, in this case the image you see in your (widefield as it appears, what is the field number, 24?) eyepieces is almost perfectly shaped and sized as the image that is projected onto the sensor.
Hi SZH User,
I exactely had the same idea...and was doing investigations on the PT phototube, dismantling etc and finding where the intermediate image will be. Also found that the APS-C would fit well for the image.
Finally the project was not possible since the Canon EOS 650 DSLR camera was not fitting between space of the stativ round bar and the PT tube head.

In case somebody is interested in some photos of the insides of the PT photo tube and the disassembly:
https://mikroskopie-forum.at/forum/inde ... #post22138
https://mikroskopie-forum.at/forum/inde ... #post23218

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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#17 Post by Olivine » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:39 am

Hi SZH User et al

Thanks for the reply. I have made a bit progress in parallel by trying a new adapter I bought for £35 from Kood, which means it still uses the famous Photomicro-L, coupled with a nfk 2.5x photo eyepiece as described by Scarodactyl. The photos show the arrangement. It actually worked, so I was very pleased. I will keep the steps you posted in case I decide it could improve what I'm getting with the adapter and Pixelink camera. The Pixelink camera works with the rpvided software in the tower PC on Windows XP.

A few observations though.

1. The illumination from the bottom produces a bright image that makes the sample on the glass plate on the base, appear in silhouette. But I would think that is normal from illumination from below.
2. But using the illumination from above the sample, even at the lowest mag of 7.5x, the image is incredibly dim and can hardly see it to focus. I managed focus using the illumination from below, so I knew I was there, then switched to illumination from above. The bulb in the top is illuminated so light comes from it. But holding my hand where the sample is, my hand hardly illuminates. I can see a faint circular patch of light onto white paper held in the sample area. It's not white, but a faint dim cream colour, even at highest knob setting). I've never seen such a dim image in previous microscopes and wonder what could be causing it. My thoughts were
a) Are there optics that could be out of alignment and the scope isn't using the maximum available light from the bulb?
b) Could the bulb have reduced in voltage and not emitting it's normal intensity? i.e. the filament is not incandescent but just weakly glowing? (you can see white light in the bulb housing vent though).
c) Could the bulb have blackened with years of use prior to ~2010 and no use since? I am searching for a manual to be able to remove the bulb and inspect it. So far, I have only found a manual for the base part of the scope (SZH-ILLK,SZH-ILLB,SZH-ILLD Instruktion from http://wie-tec.de/mediafiles/Sonstiges/ ... uktion.pdf). I could answer that if I knew how to remove the bulb, hence manual.
3. The image through the binoculars and image on screen are not parfocal, but out. I want to get parfocal so I can flick between manual viewing/sample manipulation through binoculars, and frame an image on screen before taking a focused picture). I suspect the non parfocal might be due to the distance of the photo eyepiece top and the Pixelink sensor plane possibly doesn't match. Judging by the very slight adjustment on the focuser knob, I'd say the distance might only be out by 1 or 2 mm. I measured distance 2.5x photo eyepiece flat top to Pixelink sensor plane as (134 - 20) + 10 = 144 mm +/- 1 mm).

134 mm (+/- 1 mm) (length of Photomicro-L + Kood adapter length)
20 mm
Pixelink camera depth from front surface to sensor 9-10 mm.

How can I achieve parfocal? I assume I might need a spacer ring of 1-2 mm? between the Kood adapter and the Pixelink camera, unless I need to reduce the distance?

The image of the scope shows the bottom light on, illuminating an opaque rock sample on the glass stage, showing silhouette image on screen. But I haven't taken an image with the upper light on because the screen would hardly show anything, it's too dark.

Overall, good progress so far.
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szh-user
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Re: Latest Addition Olympus SZH

#18 Post by szh-user » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:57 pm

Hi there,

1. Yeah, that's to be expected, its interesting to check out a slide with some pond life in dark field :)

2. The NFK 2.5x was intended to be used with 35mm camera film i.e. it's the same size as current full format image sensors (e.g. EOS R, the rare NFK 1.67x would be roughly APS-C sensor size by the way). That means to my understanding, that with the current setup the actual image from the NFK could cover +/- the area depicted with a red outline but in your case only the center part of it is used by the tiny sensor area (the rest of light - and its brightness, as well as all the image details - are "wasted" or "cropped" away, check out e.g. https://www.isolapse.com/what-is-crop-f ... ners-guide). What you see on the screen is probably only a small, seemingly magnified and noisy center segment of what you could see if you used a 35mm image sensor camera (also: http://www.alanwood.net/olympus/photo-eyepieces.html). Small image sensors really have to struggle under bad lighting conditions (night shots of cell phone cameras being a good example).

2. a) Its possible, that the optics have developed a grey to yellowish dust haze after many years, you can see it by taking at least the modules apart and holding the beam path against a light source in the background ("inside" info here: https://blog.noq2.net/olympus-szh-an-inside-look.html). Zeiss has a nice guide for cleaning the optics: https://www.zeiss.com/content/dam/Micro ... -zeiss.pdf
But as above most of the light remains unused due to the small area the sensor can cover.

2. b) Are you referring to the bulb in the coaxial lighting tube (= CLT) or dark field base? Both are really terrible light sources compared with today's options. You could upgrade to a power LED solution (https://xiphmont.dreamwidth.org/95208.html). As long as you use the CLT: This one will also add an additional magnification factor and subtract some of the overall brightness - it really only makes sense if you are studying reflecting surface materials. Otherwise, I would remove it from the setup and use two Ikea Jansjö like spot lights or some cheap 144-LED ring light from ebay for incident illumination.

2. c) That's highly unlikely - although spiders and moths can have found a (surprisingly somehow) not-so-bright future inside the lamp's housing. It's most probably just the severe image sensor crop (a power LED mod might be the way to go, though, one can buy professional or go for much cheaper do-it-yourself solutions). The optics are pretty capable with a good adaptation and decent lighting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMNHuab9hKE (great videos by the way)

3. Yeah, parfocality can be a question of fractions of a mm, you can zoom in to the max, focus, than zoom out to the max and vary the distance between sensor and NFK until sharp - zooming in again should stay continuously sharp then. As written above I would really reconsider using the Pixelink solution as it deprives you of so much of what could be possible :)
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