Beginner's Options In Central Europe

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Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#1 Post by OneTrackMind » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:03 am

Hey guys and gals!

I'm pretty much completely new to all this;
I've been dreaming of getting a microscope for the past few years, but decided to stop dreaming.
Being a poor university student, in central Europe nevertheless, makes my options rather limited as far as I can tell.

I'd primarily be interested in imaging silicon (integrated circuits) once I get around to it, but I'd also like to use it to look at biological things.
Micro-biology is so much more interesting than macro-biology :D (someone might notice a trend at this point).
From what I've read I would need a metallurgical microscope for the former, and a uh...different kind for the latter?
Is it possible to get one that does both?

I've been looking at AmScope but they don't do Europe as far as I can see.
It seems they are manufactured in china, since the microscopes seem to be up on AliExpress.
I didn't see any specific prices provided. I guess I'd have to ask for a quote.
Specifically, I was looking at the 340B for 315$ on amazon and the 490T for 370$ (bundled with dark field stuff) - if I recall correctly - but for no specific reason.

I'd like to set the top of my budget at the equivalent of 400$,
however due to shipping costs and import/sales taxes, I find it likely that wont work. :(

If possible I'd like to get a trinocular model that can have all three optical paths going at the same time, and I would buy a camera for it at some point.

What can you fine folks recommend?

I am scientifically and quantitatively inclined ;) so being able to do measurements/experiments would be a plus.
Anything from biology to measuring optical aberration to doing chemistry on slides, etc.

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Re: Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#2 Post by 75RR » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:30 am

There have been plenty of discussions on this topic in the forum, a quick search should provide you with several suggestions.

The equivalent of Amscope in Europe is probably Bresser.
Amazon Germany has some. I am sure they are not the only ones that do.
Here is one that is slightly over your budget but it is a trinocular and does have Köhler: ... +Mikroskop
I'd primarily be interested in imaging silicon (integrated circuits)
in that case a visit to: ... hp?t=12147 should be productive.
Last edited by 75RR on Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#3 Post by Oliver » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:27 am

For observing integrated circuits (or electronics in general) there are special purpose stereo microscopes available. People who do fine soldering (SMD soldering) use them but others work as well.

There are several importers of microscopes in Europe. Many, if not all, microscopes are manufactured in Chana these days, even those of well known microscope companies. It depends on the quality, and not if the microscope was made in China. It seems confusing, because often the importers put their own logo on the microscope and sell it under their own brand, but without actucally having made the microscope. For this reason, ther are several smaller "brands" around, but actually they are completely made somewhere else.

You can try to contact school supplies companies, as some sell microscopes, some of surprisingly high quality (eg as teacher's microscopes with camera and all). Some school supplies companies are even selling true brand microscopes (i think we got our Leicas in school this way). Sometimes the school supplies companies do not have an online catalog and you need to order a printed one. I once have seen a catalog that sold hundreds of different prepared slides for educational use and a wide range of other microscopy related lab material and several microscopes.

I found the following (Austria):

Image Oliver Kim - - Microscopes: Olympus CH40 - Olympus CH-A - Breukhoven BMS student microscope - Euromex stereo - uSCOPE MXII

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Re: Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#4 Post by OneTrackMind » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:12 pm

Hello again!

I've become rather busy so this will have to wait a bit longer.
Another possible option that I've just found, is that for EU members may be a good option.
There are a lot of older looking (but still pretty good looking) Carl Zeiss Jena microscopes, though from what little looking I've done they seem to be on the somewhat more expensive side. This of course depends on what one considers expensive. :P

On a somewhat related note, it might be worth making a sticky topic cataloging microscope sellers (I don't mean just ebay) and places to look grouped geographically for reference? Or does something like this exist already?

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Re: Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#5 Post by zzffnn » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:27 pm

If you are mechanically / scientifically inclined and don't mind buying used, I would check with local universities' material management / surplus equipment departments.

$400 would get you a pretty good used scope that way.

I have around 3 universities in my city (Houston, Texas, USA) that sell off their surplus microscopes every 2 months or so. Scopes there are usually decent and in good shape, though rarely nothing high end (plan apos are not commonly seen).

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Re: Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#6 Post by apochronaut » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:30 pm

One of the chief problems for you will be the shipping. Often, you can find an older microscope that someone is willing to let go for very little but the shipping into your country, despite it possibly having a depressed economy, will be as much as to anywhere. Planes cost about as much to operate in Romania,for instance, as they do in Japan. Some use them more efficiently, though. Here are a couple of tips. You hit on one of them accidentally, when you mentioned
Firstly, Germany is the western European hub for microscopes, due to high population and , at least up until now, a successful economy. They turn equipment over faster, they are highly innovative, so more comes out on the 2nd and 3rd hand markets. There is another factor in Germany, that goes under the radar. One would think that because Germany's economy is so high and costs in general are so high, that shipping out of Germany would be high. Not, so. Deutschepost owns DHL. They use DHL planes, no doubt always full, to move packages and the base rate for large packages is very cheap. Last time I shipped a similar item from both Germany and Austria( complete sets of drums, so, not light) to Canada, within a short frame of time, the cost was more than double from Austria and it is triple from the U.K., for a similar weight. Owning the planes, allows them to be very efficient in their use, with little waste and few middlemen. People I have dealt with in the Netherlands, used to drive items to Germany, to ship them from there, it saved so much money.
The other area, to focus on would be some of the former soviet satellite countries , like Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, etc. There is a good supply of Lomo microscopes, from these areas, and the price/quality ratio is very high.
For your purpose, I would be looking for a stand that has both an incident and a transmitted light source. I have seen such stands sell for very little.
Last edited by apochronaut on Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#7 Post by zzffnn » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:09 pm

Jumping onto now

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Re: Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#8 Post by Yvan » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:44 am

Last edited by Yvan on Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beginner's Options In Central Europe

#9 Post by billbillt » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:06 pm

Nothing.. They are all good microscopes..


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