My last rescue: a questionable brand in a questionable state

Everything relating to microscopy hardware: Objectives, eyepieces, lamps and more.
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smollerthings
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:10 pm

My last rescue: a questionable brand in a questionable state

#1 Post by smollerthings » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:16 am

My favorite kind :) We will see if the phase contrast works at all. Suspense!


MicroBob
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Location: Northern Germany

Re: My last rescue: a questionable brand in a questionable state

#2 Post by MicroBob » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:07 pm

I wouldn't call Karl Kaps questionable. These are finely made german microscopes, made for intensive professional use like Will/Hund, Steindorf, CBS Beck and a few others. The difference to Zeiss and Leitz is that they were built for routine use, not for research, so that advanced options are not part of the smaller systems. The Karl Kaps microscope will be designed optically like a Leitz instrument of the era, so if you fancy an apochromat objective, buy a Leitz one.

smollerthings
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:10 pm

Re: My last rescue: a questionable brand in a questionable state

#3 Post by smollerthings » Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:17 pm

Yes, I misused "questionable". I meant "unknown to me". I have been cleaning it and the whole microscope reeks of quality. It was apparently made in Weitzlar as well, so I guess they had access to the same pool of know how/talents.
Last edited by smollerthings on Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

apochronaut
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Re: My last rescue: a questionable brand in a questionable state

#4 Post by apochronaut » Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:05 pm

All microscope manufacturers have access to about 95% of the pool of know how/talents. Each company however, has to make the decision to target their market, based on their internal resources. Higher end research technology requires a budget to achieve , a budget that is larger in some cases than a competitor's entire assets. There were dozens of Karl Kaps like companies over the years and they didn't quit because they made lousy microscopes. They quit because they made good to excellent microscopes and couldn't continue to put out that level of quality and be price competetive. It is hard to maintain a skilled labour force and compete against cheap product made in sweatshops with 1/4 the labour costs and limited labour laws. Economic history shows us that usually small companies are the first to fall to a mass invasion of cheap foreign imports, unless they can secure a unique niche. I knew an executive at Zeiss Canada once and when I asked him in the mid-90's why he thought AO had been absorbed and no longer survived he quickly said. "They made excellent microscopes but they were just too small a company". They became not so small by being part of a merger that made them bigger" Look at the 90's era Leica microscopes and you see AO stamped all over them. Not all smaller microscope companies can benefit from such a merger, though.

Alexander
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:10 pm

Re: My last rescue: a questionable brand in a questionable state

#5 Post by Alexander » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:00 pm

The company Karl Kaps Wetzlar still exists and still makes microscopes, but very special ones.

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