Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

Do you have any microscopy questions, which you are afraid to ask? This is your place.
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Enzeperix
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2021 10:58 pm

Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#1 Post by Enzeperix » Thu May 13, 2021 11:25 pm

Hi. As I said i'm an absolute beginner and i just want to dip my toe into this fascinating science. I feel like it would be a great hobby.
So i found a Zeiss microscope on a local craigslist-like site. The seller is asking for 250$ for it and i don't know is worth the money. Please share your opinions on this. My budget is 300-400$.
I'm adding the link to the ad/listing so you could have a better understanding :
https://www.olx.ro/d/oferta/vand-micros ... eU4qD.html

There is also another one which caught my attention. This one is Bresser and the seller is asking 370$ for it.
https://www.olx.ro/d/oferta/microscop-b ... eGsbW.html

farnsy
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#2 Post by farnsy » Sun May 16, 2021 10:34 pm

Ziess is a top 4 manufacturer and makes fantastic microscopes. However, that model is old (made in west Germany). I'm not enough of a Zeiss expert to identify or value the model. Condition is important on old scopes like that. From the pictures the condition looks good, but one can't evaluate the optics from a picture. It's nice that it has 5 objectives. That means it probably has a 20X objective, which is a particularly useful magnification. You might find out if it has fluorite or apo objectives; that would make it much better.

The Bresser microscope looks like a standard entry-level microscope, like one you might get new from EuroMex, Omax, Swift, or Amscope today. I suspect it will work just fine, but $370 sounds like an awful lot for a used microscope at that level. A comparable AmScope would be like $210-$260 new in the US. Of course, prices differ across countries. I suggest you check a few retailers for entry level new scopes before buying this Bresser.

Neither of these microscopes has a trinocular head. That's no big deal if you just want to look at stuff, but for most of us at some point we start wanting to take pictures and videos. Trinocular heads are not that much extra these days. Amazon.ro has a Swift SW380T with a trinocular head and camera for 349 pounds, for example, or the same scope without a camera (but with a trinocular head) for 289.

BramHuntingNematodes
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#3 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Sun May 16, 2021 11:13 pm

The Zeiss Is a good price IF the lenses aren't delaminated. Some good fluorites on there.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

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ImperatorRex
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#4 Post by ImperatorRex » Mon May 17, 2021 6:02 pm

Hi Enzeperix,
if everything is working as it should it is a bargain...it is the Zeiss Standard WL, what is good since it is the modular research grade scope...removable noisepiece, removable stage, removable condernsor carrier and this kind of stuff. But there is one disadavantage with the WL...after decades of years the lubrication grease of fine/main coarse can get quite stiff and not moving correctly. So you would need to disassemble and relubricate the device, and for the WL series this is a bit of a challange to do (other Zeiss standards are a bit simpler designed, easier to disassemble an relubricate).
Picture "3" looks a bit like the stage table is not alligned well, but could be because the device is not fitted properly in place. There should not be a gap between stage carrier and condensor carrier, this could explain a kind of missallignment. But again...it is difficult to conclude from the photos.

Post Scriptum:
Photos do not show the illumination connected at the back side of the scope...could probabley be the 6V / 15W lamp.

Enzeperix
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#5 Post by Enzeperix » Tue May 18, 2021 3:02 pm

Thanks to everyone for their input!
I ordered the Zeiss for 220$ , transport included. Seller should send it tomorrow.
The guy is also selling a condenser and a ocular piece but he doesn't know if they are compatible with this microscope:
https://www.olx.ro/d/oferta/ocular-micr ... ePO86.html
https://www.olx.ro/d/oferta/zeiss-mikro ... ePNr8.html
After i receive it I will try to test it and mess around with it and i'll keep you posted.
@farnsy , I know a trinocular head is nice but i saw there are cameras which I can attach to one of the oculars, am i right ?
@BramHuntingNematodes, i see but how can i tell if the lenses still have good lamination ?
@ImperatorRex The illumination works as well as everything. The seller said the microscope belonged to a doctor who used it for 5-6 years with obsessive care. I will try to clean it and apply grease if needed. This should be a good learning experience :)

Enzeperix
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#6 Post by Enzeperix » Tue May 18, 2021 3:09 pm

I found another one but I can't contact the seller on the phone..
This one looks newer and more professional and comes with all the pieces in the pictures. I think there is also a light condenser in the pictures.
List price is 400$ but i think i can get it for 300$, maybe even less..
https://www.olx.ro/d/oferta/microscop-c ... derIndex=7

BramHuntingNematodes
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#7 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Tue May 18, 2021 4:26 pm

Yeah those turret condensers are really something anyway you can often tell if a lens is delaminated by looking through it. It should be crystal clear.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination


Enzeperix
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#9 Post by Enzeperix » Tue May 25, 2021 11:55 pm

So I cleaned the scope a bit using a cotton cloth and medicinal alcohol. I didn't cleaned all components just the oculars and the main body.
What advice do you guys have for cleaning the optical parts which require more attention and care ? What kind of cloth and cleaning substance should i use? Also i want to get some accessories like immersion oil and glass slides.
What type (dimmensions ) of glass slides should i get ? What immersion oil is better ?

BramHuntingNematodes
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#10 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Wed May 26, 2021 12:46 am

Unless there is some obvious filth obscuring your image, don't clean the optics.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

dtsh
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Re: Complete beginner looking to buy a microscope

#11 Post by dtsh » Wed May 26, 2021 12:59 am

Enzeperix wrote:
Tue May 25, 2021 11:55 pm
What advice do you guys have for cleaning the optical parts which require more attention and care ?
Use a cover, something that can breath but is lint-free.
Enzeperix wrote:
Tue May 25, 2021 11:55 pm
What kind of cloth and cleaning substance should i use?
I clean optical surfaces only when I must and try to keep them clean otherwise. Any time you touch the glass, there's a chance for damage and coatings are often quite soft and can get worn off.
When I clean I use distilled water and cotton swabs, if I'm cleaning larger non-optical areas I'll use cotton pads (makeup pads). When water just won't do, I'll step up to isopropanol/isopropyl alcohol, but distilled water should be enough for all but the worst.
Get some kimwipes or lens tissues as well. Kimwipes are cheap when bought in bulk, I buy by the case and share with friends.
Enzeperix wrote:
Tue May 25, 2021 11:55 pm
What immersion oil is better ?
I believe most of it is Cargille, often rebadged by various vendors. I don't use my immersion objectives that often, so a little goes a very long way.

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