Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

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Oscar55
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Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#1 Post by Oscar55 » Mon Nov 21, 2022 12:43 pm

Hi Everyone,

I am planning to buy my first microscope. After reading for a while here I found the Standard 14 to be a good choice for my basic needs. I found a seller, located near to me, selling the microscope from the pics below. It seems that it was just a cheap flea market find for him and he is now traying to resell it fast. He is not familiar with the microscope and could not gave me any further details about its past. The microscope does not look in its best shape. I will be able to visit the seller and test the scope next week. It will be great if you can share your thoughts. I understand that such purchase hides risks, especially for a newbie like me, but the price is good (a bit above 250 EUR).

My biggest concern are the eyepieces. These are PZO 5x. The objectives are Carl Zeiss West Germany as follows: 3.2 , 10/0.22, 40/0.65, 100/1.25 oel. Any thoughts on these are also appreciated.

Here are the pics:
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Dennis
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#2 Post by Dennis » Mon Nov 21, 2022 1:10 pm

Oscar55,

The seller is not trying to sell it fast at that price!
I would look around on Ebay.

I like the 3.5X (I think it was) and the 10X and 40X.
A 20X is great to have vs. a 100X Oil which for my needs is something not practical for water life microbes.
I do not know your usage needs.

Hobbyst46
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#3 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon Nov 21, 2022 2:00 pm

To test the microscope, you would need at least a slide of a thin flat and contrasty specimen. The best would be a stage micrometer; otherwise, a blood smear slide, or a well prepared slide of stained animal cells, or an onion skin.
The mentioned objectives are the simplest and lowest grade of the Zeiss objective selection. They are not plan and will produce some chromatic aberrations; to minimize those, you would need a pair of appropriate Zeiss eyepieces. Preferably, 10X wide field high eyepoint KPL. Otherwise, a pair of Olympus WF10X eyepieces will be acceptable. WF eyepieces enable strain free observation. The eyepieces shown in the photos are unlikely to be convenient in use.
Note that both Zeiss objectives and Zeiss eyepieces from that era are often delaminated. Must be carefully checked by holding against a bright light source but preferably with a stereo microscope, where you can focus on the glass elements, one by one. Sometimes delamination in an objective can be discovered by looking through the eyetube without eyepiece.
The Zeiss standard allows Kohler illumination, which significantly improves the image on that microscope with its original incandescent lamp.
The 3.2X objective is not great.

A plus on the shown microscope is the Seidentopf head.

Carefully check the mechanics: focusing (both coarse and fine), stage movement, condenser up and down and centration, field aperture, interpupillary adjustment, must all operate smoothly. If focusing is not absolutely smooth, I would not take the microscope - not for that price, anyway.
If you intend to do photomicrography (not occasionally), a trinocular microscope would be much better than a binocular. Yet trinocular heads for that microscope are not easy to find and usually cost more than the microscope itself.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Oscar55
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#4 Post by Oscar55 » Mon Nov 21, 2022 5:27 pm

Thank you for your great input, guys!

Hobbyst46,

your comment above is exactly what I was looking for. Having in mind what you describe I will skip this one for sure. I will keep searching for a good offer and more important keep reading what to look for.

Thanks,
Oscar

PeteM
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#5 Post by PeteM » Mon Nov 21, 2022 5:39 pm

If you post your location, European members may be better able to put you in touch with trusted sources.

I agree that 250+ Euro is not a great deal. You'll need new eyepieces, the illumination system isn't very bright, and the objectives are somewhat low end achromats. The Zeiss Standard is, however, well built and can provide good images if the optics are free of delamination.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#6 Post by Sure Squintsalot » Mon Nov 21, 2022 10:23 pm

Yes, 250 euro is NOT a great deal.

However, 40 euro for Nikon 10x WFN eyepieces will solve a lot of problems, and another 30 euro for a DIY LED retrofit and you could be in business in no time, if the seller can let that microscope go for 100 euro or less.

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imkap
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#7 Post by imkap » Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:05 am

I have some spare Zeiss eyepieces, which are in usable condition, but delaminated. I'd be willing to part with them cheaply, they would be a good start until you find the real thing for a good price.

When buying a used microscope it is best to get it as complete as possible, it is more expensive to buy parts one by one, especially if you want them quickly...

As for the microscope prices, they tend to be all over the place :) this one might be good for 100-150€, don't put too much trust in ebay prices, as there is a lot of stuff there not selling for a long time.

I don't know where in Europe are you, but ebay.de is a good source as the shipping from Germany is not very expensive.

My first microscope was a Zeiss standard GFL and I love it, although the one you look at is newer. I did pay 220€ for it but got a huge bundle of objectives and eyepieces. I had months of fun taking it apart and setting up :mrgreen:

Oscar55
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#8 Post by Oscar55 » Tue Nov 22, 2022 8:40 am

Thank you, guys!

I am from Bulgaria (Eastern Europe) but looking mainly at ebay.de. Locally you can find mainly Laboval's and overpriced LOMOs with basic set up. You are right that the prices at ebay got me some wrong impression. 250 EUR appear not to be a great deal for sure.

Sometimes I think that buying a new Amscope will be the better option, but I just feel it somehow wrong :mrgreen:

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#9 Post by imkap » Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:26 am

You can try lowering the price, it is an old Balkan custom. :D (I'm in Croatia) the microscope has no eyepieces and the objectives are the simplest. As there are no eyepieces probably the head has got some dust inside which may need cleaning. Bring a light with you and shine it in. Maybe there is some delamination (lens separation) on the objectives, you can check that by unscrewing them and looking at a bright light through them. Check if the light in the base works and are the lens on the condenser overly scratched... Look like you know what are you doing, offer the seller 75€ and see what happens. Don't go much higher than 100, maybe 120...

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#10 Post by Hobbyst46 » Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:51 pm

eBay enables looking at ACTUAL price - the final prices for SOLD items, rather than asking prices. Reach it via the advanced search options.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

MicroBob
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#11 Post by MicroBob » Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:10 pm

I don't think that one could buy a complete Standard 14 with bino tube for 100€. This is probably the most sought after microscope series at least on the german market and there are reasons for this. Here a lot of components are available that are scarce for other systems or not availble at all and the focus gear of this series is probably the most robust of all.
The actual value of a used microscope depends to a large extent on the condition: If it needs a service and you can't dismantle, clean and lube it and put it together it will not be a cheap buy.
The achromats on this microscope are about as good as other achromats and for many microscopes nothing else was ever available, so it will be usable.
If you would like to buy a Zeiss Standard in good checked condition you might look what Immel Optics has on offer. This would increase the price but reduce the risk.

Oscar55
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#12 Post by Oscar55 » Thu Nov 24, 2022 1:27 pm

Hi guys,

I was not able to visit the seller this week due to unexpected travel. I will try to do it late next week. I talked with him yesterday and he agreed 200 EUR. However, I believe he will go lower in person.

Meanwhile I found some local offers for oculars/objectives and wanted to hear your opinion on these. I was not able to find KPL 10x for a decent price, but I found several offers for Carl Zeiss Jena PK oculars. Unfortunately, there are no 10x available. There are PK 12.5 x 16 and PK 8x 11. As I understand the head of the scope has no added magnification so are the 12.5x 16 will be, OK?

Alternatively, I found a set of P10x 20.

For the objectives I found two Carl Zeiss Jena Planachromat objectives in good condition - 10x/0.25 160/- and 40x/0.65 160/0.17.

I saw that some objectives have M19 thread and some M20. Any idea which is the right one for the Standard 14?

Thanks,
Oscar

MicroBob
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#13 Post by MicroBob » Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:59 pm

Hi Oscar,
you have to keep Zeiss Jena apart from Zeiss Oberkochen/Göttingen. These were separate companies between about 1945 and 1990 and went different ways technically.

One of the inventions that came with the Zeiss Standard line (West Germany, Zeiss Oberkochen/Göttingen) was that the objectives used a common CVD correction factor, unknown before. This made it possible to use the same eyepieces for all objectives (okay all but one - the basic achromat 1:3,2 would profit from non-correcting eyepieces). So you have to use correction eyepieces like "C 10" or "KPL 10". The Zeiss Jena PK eyepieces are close, even more so when lifted by 3mm. What works well and is easier availabel in good condition are the Leitz Periplan 10x18 eyepieces - the "x18" is important here.
The PK 12,5x16 will work well, the P 10x20 not so much.
The Zeiss Standard line uses objectives with RMS thread.
Zeiss Jena used RMS until about the late 70s when the legendary CF 250 system came. The M19 usually are incident light objectives used in special mounts, not usable for you.
The objectives on this stand will be useable very well for most subjects. Over time you may develop an interest in more specialized objectives which will be available for your microscope. But this will depend on your use. Many more beginning microscopists fail because of wrong handling of the microscope or lack of preparation skills than because they only have basic achromat objecives....

Bob

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imkap
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#14 Post by imkap » Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:42 pm

PZO eyepieces should be ok for a start and later buy something MicroBob mentioned when available at a sane price. I'd stick with Zeiss West or maybe Leitz periplan if found cheaper/sooner. Didn't have much luck combining Jena and West.

I find Zeiss microscopes beautiful, I think you'll enjoy your purchase...
Best of luck with the seller.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#15 Post by Oscar55 » Fri Nov 25, 2022 2:58 pm

Thank you, guys. Your input is greatly appreciated. I am looking at a set of Leitz Periplan 10x18 (pic below). Is the left one looks to you delaminated? That colourish look is presenting on several images.
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MicroBob
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#16 Post by MicroBob » Fri Nov 25, 2022 5:55 pm

Leitz optics don't tend to delaminate apart from one objective. Typically delaminations show a more defined border - but difficult to tell from photos

Oscar55
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#17 Post by Oscar55 » Fri Nov 25, 2022 7:14 pm

Thanks Bob. I asked seller for more pictures. If they look fine i might consider them.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#18 Post by imkap » Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:29 pm

I had a Leitz objective which worked very nicely with my Zeiss eyepieces. Maybe in time you'll want to use a Leitz Wetzlar objective too, I found mine so cheaply that I didn't check the condition at all and it turned out to be great. Eventually sold it on eBay as I had too much stuff around.

The word is that Zeiss is most prone to delamination, so Leitz might be more future proof. I just left my Zeiss microscope in our island house and I'm wondering what will I find next time when we go there. On the other hand sometimes delamination doesn't affect the image much, especially for visual observation. Other times it does :mrgreen:

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#19 Post by EYE C U » Sat Nov 26, 2022 12:55 am

NOT FOND OF THOSE HEADS. I PREFER THE OLDER SLIDING BINOCS.

THE SCOPES ARE GREAT THOUGH.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#20 Post by MicroBob » Sat Nov 26, 2022 7:05 am

Basic Zeiss West optics don't tend to delaminate much, it is more the better corrected objectives that have this problem. On the other hand side for most other systems there never was a Planapo 63 /1,4..

Leitz earlier used 37mm objectives, then 45mm objectives. The 45mm objectives 170 and 160mm can be mixed well with Zeiss Jena and Zeiss West 45mm. One has to take care not to use a Periplan like 10x with no field number on a 160mm tube. They have the intermediate image 18mm down the tube.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#21 Post by Scarodactyl » Sat Nov 26, 2022 7:31 am

MicroBob wrote:
Sat Nov 26, 2022 7:05 am
Basic Zeiss West optics don't tend to delaminate much, it is more the better corrected objectives that have this problem.
I dunno, it seems pretty common in other elements like eyepieces, internal optics in the heads, the doublet objectives on the tessovar, dic prisms, some of the stemi's body lenses...maybe I've had bad luck but I've come around to just avoiding Zeiss from this era even though they're great optically when they work. Too frustrating.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#22 Post by imkap » Sat Nov 26, 2022 9:02 am

I had maybe 20 pieces of objectives and EPs from Zeiss. Delaminated were plan 2.5 and planapo 63 1.4. 2 KPL 8x, 3 out of 4 KPL W10x eyepieces, and all of these are usable, some without any noticeable image degradation.The only pair with really obvious image degradation were CPL W10x (plastic type).

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#23 Post by MicroBob » Sat Nov 26, 2022 9:22 am

As far as I know the delamination tendency was caused by the way the uv-glue was stored and handled, so there would be reason for different levels of delaminating tendency in different products and from different production times, maybe even markets. I myself have found im the stuff I got my hands on delamination to be a more frequent problem in Neofluars and Planapos, the new 160mm DIC and the better corrected eyepieces, but this seems to vary.
The impression will also be influenced by the source of the optics. I can imagine that advanced optics in delaminated state get into circulation more regularly.
A lot of people seem to have nice sets of delamination free advanced Zeiss West optics though, so there is no guaranteed delamination! :lol:
Experienced Zeiss West owners tend to limit temperature fluctuation, especially towards the lower temperatures.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#24 Post by Oscar55 » Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:14 am

Hi guys, here I am with a newbie question again. This time regarding the power supply and transformer required.

Here is a pic of the power cable of the scope. What do I will need further? A separate transformer? It is probably missing so is it better to turn it to LED? What are the easiest options?
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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#25 Post by MicroBob » Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:17 pm

I would suggest a lab power supply with adjustable voltage AND current. It can power the bulb as well an an LED in case you do this upgrade later.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#26 Post by imkap » Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:23 pm

I think this bulb is 6V 15W, you can connect it to a 6V adapter somehow for a start, just see that it can take enough current. If you don't have 6V, it might work on 5V but be weaker which actually might be good for brightfield microscopy if you don't have a dimmer...
MicroBob wrote:
Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:17 pm
I would suggest a lab power supply with adjustable voltage AND current. It can power the bulb as well an an LED in case you do this upgrade later.
I'm not sure as I've never used it one, how do you limit the max voltage or current? It seems quite unhandy if one needs to look at the screen while turning the light up and down. You'd probably burn the bulb if you send too much?

Or if you like DIY, you can make something yourself, I did this: https://www.microbehunter.com/microscop ... 12&t=14944

Laptops use adapters with 19V 3A (or more), so they are pretty powerful and you can probably find one for free, from an old laptop. Reduce the voltage with a trim pot on a step down converter (7-8€ locally and 2-3€ directly from China) and solder one pot for dimming, find an enclosure, maybe at a flea market or you have some old device you don't need. I think a LED with one chip is better than the one with an array like I got, but I never got to buy it as I bought a new microscope with a working original light in the meantime. Though I'm curious to try it, I probably will next summer. This can power whatever, you just need to see what is the rated max current for all the parts...

When I find one, I'll probably install a halogen lamphouse on my GFL, as I prefer the halogen over LED. That may or may not be better, but still I'd like to try it...

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#27 Post by FredH » Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:41 pm

I have a Standard 14 with a 6V 15 W light which looks the same as that shown in your photos. In my experience 6V gives more light than you will need for normal brightfield illumination. I use a 0 - 7.5 V microscope light power supply rated at 30 VA, made for a different brand of microscope, with an adapter I made to fit the Zeiss pin spacing. I think I typically set it to 5 V or less.

I notice if you search ebay.de for "Mikroskop transformator" you will see several Zeiss units available, some for not too much money (but since I don't speak German, I can't read the description). If your bulb is 6V 15 W you will want a source that can provide a selection of voltages with the maximum 6V or slightly higher, and a rating of at least 15 VA.

You should probably check that your light bulb is not burnt out before you invest in a power supply, especially if you think you might switch to an LED source later.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#28 Post by MicroBob » Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:17 am

imkap wrote:
Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:23 pm
MicroBob wrote:
Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:17 pm
I would suggest a lab power supply with adjustable voltage AND current. It can power the bulb as well an an LED in case you do this upgrade later.
I'm not sure as I've never used it one, how do you limit the max voltage or current? It seems quite unhandy if one needs to look at the screen while turning the light up and down. You'd probably burn the bulb if you send too much?
For a bulb there will be a certain current at 6V. By setting this current as the upper limit one can freely adjust the voltage. As sson as the max. current is reached the lab power supply will not further increase the actual voltage any further. For LED handlind is different.

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#29 Post by imkap » Tue Nov 29, 2022 7:04 am

Thanks

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Re: Carl Zeiss Standard 14 advice

#30 Post by Hobbyst46 » Tue Nov 29, 2022 7:43 am

That original Zeiss lamp in the photo is incandescent. IMHO these 6V15W lamps provide brightness that is acceptable for brightfield, but only barely so for darkfield or phase contrast. And naturally they emit a lot of heat, not all of which is absorbed and dissipated by the metallic microscope base. I also vaguely remember that the recommendation was to run those bulbs on a lower voltage than 6V, to keep their lifespan longer.

Moreover, those 6V15W were initially designed for the GFL and similar scopes, that have a relatively short base, so the distance between the lamp and the collector lens is short. The distance is longer on the Standard 14, whose base is longer. That implies an even lower brightness on the Standard 14. Or so at least I believe.

A halogen will no doubt provide much brighter light, along with more intense heat. In fact, Zeiss made an external 60W halogen illuminator for the Standard microscope. That lamp housing is external and allows for cooling by ambient air outside the base.

An appropriately constructed LED illuminator, such that the LED die sits at exactly the same location of the incandescent filament, so that Kohler illumination can be adjusted, will likely be the best. Just my thought.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

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