Searching \ for '[OT]: Microscopes' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: www.piclist.com/techref/index.htm?key=microscopes
Search entire site for: 'Microscopes'.

Exact match. Not showing close matches.
PICList Thread
'[OT]: Microscopes'
2010\04\14@221934 by Justin Richards

face picon face
My daughter (10) has asked for a microscope for her birthday.

She is willing to cough up some of her savings and all her birthday present
money.

I always wanted a good microscope when I was young and still quite keen so I
am happy to donate some extra funds if I am allowed to play with it too.

I have convinced my self that it is a worth while purchase considering it is
educational, it is a present, I get to play and the other kids may be
inspired.

My daughter has not really provided a spec apart from she wants a
microscope.  For me I would like to clearly see a dust mite.

These mites are approx 0.4 mm in length so I figure a 1000x  microscope
would produce an image that is 400 mm.  I know I will not get an image 400
mm wide but I expect to be able to see the beasties.

There is a huge range of scopes out there and various reviews point to
trusting the brands.  The brands seem a little price prohibitive and I find
it difficult to understand the description of some these.  In particular the
description of some of the Nikon microscopes dont make much sense to me so I
figure these are obviously not for me.

The Olympus scopes appear more practical for our purposes.

I have been researching metallurgical scopes.  It appears to me that these
scope would not require the use of slides as light is not required to shine
thru the sample.  I dont like the idea of making slides.   So my preference
would be  to simply throw a sample under the scope and begin observing.

Do they work like this or is that just too easy.

I have been unable to determine if slides can still be used in these types
of scopes.

Here is one that I am fond of.  It is unbranded ...

http://www.microscopenet.com/trinocular-metallurgical-microscope-40x1600x-with-camera-p-170.html

I am tending to a branded scope for future re-sale, however you seem to get
reasonable bang for buck with scopes like the one in the link above so I am
having difficulties making a decision.

I live In Perth Western Australia and my options to try before I by seem
limited so I was hoping the piclist may be able to help with some
suggestions.

Cheers Justin

2010\04\14@224602 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
On 4/14/2010 7:19 PM, Justin Richards wrote:
> My daughter (10) has asked for a microscope for her birthday.
>
> She is willing to cough up some of her savings and all her birthday present
> money.

Congratulations!  That's for raising a young girl who wants a microscope
for her birthday.  By all means, get her one.  Set her on the road of
exploration.

As a plus, you will find it handy to inspect your smt soldering...

2010\04\15@013309 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> My daughter has not really provided a spec apart from she wants a
> microscope.  For me I would like to clearly see a dust mite.

I'm not sure they are fit for looking at dust mites, but I would try to
steer her towards a binocular (stereo) microscope, which are in the 10
.. 100 x range. Those can be used to get an enlarged view of things that
are already (or almost) visible with the naked eye (ladybugs,
snowflakes, salt crystals, etc) which (in my exeprience) is more
interesting in the long run. And usefull for SMD inspection too ;)

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2010\04\15@022322 by J FLETCHER

flavicon
face
Justin,

I'm a radio amateur and an amateur microscopist. I've been going to amateur radio rallies (hamfests) in the UK for over thirty years but last month went to the microscopist's equivalent of a rally for the first time, at the invitation of my retired boss. There was a choice of secondhand microscopes of good quality for UK 30.00, and a stereo microscope (minus eyepieces) for 15.00. Another stall was selling eyepieces for 0.50 each and they had some in pairs. The people there were all experienced microscopists and not high-pressure salesmen.

My advice would be to try to find a micrsocopists' group somewhere in your area and approach them. 1000x magnification is not a practical amount unless you're talking about bacteriological microscopes with oil-immersion objectives, not a practical proposition for living things.

Hope this helps!

John

--- On Thu, 15/4/10, Justin Richards <spam_OUTjustin.richardsTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\04\15@023226 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Few month ago I have bought a dirt cheap USB microscope to make some
experiments with it:

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=266073

To be honest I have not expect too much from it, and is very very far from
the quality of what you, Justin show us. However, it turned out it was just
perfect as an SMD microscope. So I have just put this microscope into a more
convenient stand and I can use my computer screen to see what am I doing
while working under the scope. For this money I thought is brilliant :-)

Tamas

<www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=266073>
On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 6:32 AM, Wouter van Ooijen <.....wouterKILLspamspam.....voti.nl> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\04\15@025320 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Apr 14, 2010, at 7:19 PM, Justin Richards wrote:

> My daughter (10) has asked for a microscope for her birthday.

Good for her!

> I always wanted a good microscope when I was young and still quite  
> keen so I
> am happy to donate some extra funds if I am allowed to play with it  
> too.

I have mixed feelings about "good" equipment for this sort of  
purpose.  On the one hand, you don't want to have an unusable toy.  On  
the other hand, you MUST have something that your daughter can use on  
her own, that is not to complicated to set up or use, and not so  
fragile and expensive that it has to be treated like a family treasure.

> For me I would like to clearly see a dust mite.
>
> These mites are approx 0.4 mm in length so I figure a 1000x  
> microscope
> would produce an image that is 400 mm.

I suggest you look online at some photos of dust mites and see what  
magnification they used.  It looks to me like about 350x would be  
plenty.  This is within the range of 'cheap' microscopes.  In fact,  
much beyond this and you start needing oil immersion objective lenses  
(see above about complexity.)  (however, I think that dustmites are  
likely to be annoyingly 3-d to see very well with most normal  
microscopes.  Depth of focus is usually pretty small.)


{Quote hidden}

I can't speak for metallurgical scopes.  I would say however that you  
MUST get a microscope that permits the use of slides and viewing by  
"transmission" rather than reflection.  Because that is the way most  
microscopes are used, and what you need to match the pictures you'll  
find in biology books and such.  Making slides can be fun, and it's  
definitely "part of the hobby."  Getting enough light into the lenses  
gets to be a major problem at high magnifications, which is one reason  
that transmission is used more often.  It's easy to shine a bright  
light through your specimen from the bottom, and much harder to do so  
from the top when the lens itself is only a small fraction of an inch  
away and directly "in the way"...

> Here is one that I am fond of.  It is unbranded ...
> http://www.microscopenet.com/trinocular-metallurgical-microscope-40x1600x-with-camera-p-170.html

I think that that is well beyond a "good microscope" and well into the  
"professional and probably special purpose" range.  Did you  
specifically want a digital camera on it?  I would suggest you look at  
the selection at a place like Edmund Scientific ( http://scientificsonline.com/category.asp_Q_c_E_421190
 ) for a good idea of what is available.  I'd pretty much trust  
anything from there that cost over $30.  Something sold as a "student"  
or "educator" scope is probably the next step up.

A couple years ago, I bought my kids one of the "Digital Blue" (Intel)  
QX3 USB-connected microscopes.  It  has 10x, 60x, and 200x  
magnifications, illuminates from either top or bottom, and has a  
relatively low resolution USB camera, plus software for viewing/etc.  
I was relatively happy with it (for ~$100), but have some comments:

1) 200x isn't quite enough magnification for something things.  (OTOH,  
I have fond memories of the toy-class microscope I had when I was a  
kid, that topped out at around 350x.  IIRC)
2) Light isn't bright enough (and it should have used LEDs!)
3) having to connect to a computer (it has no actual eyepiece) was ...  
counterproductive.
4) focusing (plastic gears) sorta stiff and jerky.
5) focus not maintained from one magnification to the next.
6) some sort of mechanical stage would be really useful.
7) (repeat 6 over and over again.  It is REALLY useful to have a stage  
that holds your slide and/or object securely in place, and can move it  
SLIGHTLY to center the part of interest for going to the next  
magnification.)
8) it doesn't look like a real microscope.

With more expensive scopes you probably get things like increased  
depth of field, greater brightness,  wider field of view with better  
edge-to-edge "flatness" of field of view, more eye relief (so you can  
look though it while wearing glasses/etc)  I don't know that I'd  
consider them important in a first scope.  I'm pretty sure I'd rather  
have a $200 microscope, and a $200 telescope, and a $200 camera, and a  
$100 skateboard, and an Arduino, and a ICD3, etc than a $1000  
microscope...

(that's the end of the brain-dump on microscopes. :-)

BillW



2010\04\15@032819 by Justin Richards

face picon face
>
>
> I'm not sure they are fit for looking at dust mites, but I would try to
> steer her towards a binocular (stereo) microscope, which are in the 10
> .. 100 x range. Those can be used to get an enlarged view of things that
> are already (or almost) visible with the naked eye (ladybugs,
> snowflakes, salt crystals, etc) which (in my exeprience) is more
> interesting in the long run. And usefull for SMD inspection too ;)
>
> Binocular, I agree is a must.

She may be happy with enlarged view of  visible things but I lost interest
quickly so assumed she would also.

2010\04\15@033043 by Justin Richards

face picon face
Rally's of this nature would be ideal but it seems that Perth with its
relatively small population is a bit limited.

I will investigate this option, especially as there would be a good chance
to try before I buy and discuss its use with a previous user/owner.

On 15 April 2010 14:20, J FLETCHER <EraseMEjfletcher427spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTbtinternet.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2010\04\15@034630 by Justin Richards

face picon face
When my daughter first mentioned a desire for a microscope I tried to
encourage her to look at a usb scope as I thought they would be nice and
flexible.

She seemed very disappointed with the suggestion and it looked like she was
just waiting until I dropped the idea.

I still not sure what to make of that.

On 15 April 2010 14:32, Tamas Rudnai <RemoveMEtamas.rudnaiTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2010\04\15@035617 by Roger, in Bangkok

face
flavicon
face
Looking at a computer image can't compare with the impact a kid gets while
looking through lenses, directly at an enlarged object/critter :-)

RiB

On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 14:46, Justin Richards <TakeThisOuTjustin.richardsEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2010\04\15@040613 by Justin Richards

face picon face
>
>
> I have mixed feelings about "good" equipment for this sort of
> purpose.  On the one hand, you don't want to have an unusable toy.  On
>
> Yes, I too have mixed feelings.  I justified it to myself by assuming if I
got something reasonable then it would always be relatively easy to sell.
Also I am keen to use a scope and be happy to help but I see your point, if
it is too fiddly or delicate  then it is a waste.



>
> I suggest you look online at some photos of dust mites and see what
> magnification they used.  It looks to me like about 350x would be
> plenty.  This is within the range of 'cheap' microscopes.  In fact,
> much beyond this and you start needing oil immersion objective lenses
> (see above about complexity.)  (however, I think that dustmites are
> likely to be annoyingly 3-d to see very well with most normal
> microscopes.  Depth of focus is usually pretty small.)
>
>
I have tried this but many images give no clue as to what the magnification
is.  I googled images for dust mites 1000x and got many images but none that
I could confirm magnification.


{Quote hidden}

I think you are correct, I may be going over the top.  This was one of the
main reasons I wanted to get input from the list.

{Quote hidden}

The images you provided from this scope are exactly what I needed.  Some
real images produced from a candidate scope so i can see exactly what I can
expect.

The magnifications appear to be in the ball park for what we should be
looking for.  If she (me) then shows a real passion then we can always
upgrade later.

{Quote hidden}

2010\04\15@041036 by Justin Richards

face picon face
On 15 April 2010 15:55, Roger, in Bangkok <EraseMEmerciesspamcscoms.com> wrote:

> Looking at a computer image can't compare with the impact a kid gets while
> looking through lenses, directly at an enlarged object/critter :-)
>
>
> I had considered the opposite to be true. I always found it painful peeping
thru any of the cheapy scopes I have used and thought that looking at a
screen would be far less demanding and allow the observer to concentrate on
the specimen rather than concentrating on the process of observing.

Maybe my daughter is aware of this and explains her reluctance to go down
this path of usb style.

2010\04\15@043930 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Apr 15, 2010, at 1:06 AM, Justin Richards wrote:

>> I suggest you look online at some photos of dust mites and see what
>> magnification they used.

> I have tried this but many images give no clue as to what the  
> magnification
> is.  I googled images for dust mites 1000x and got many images but  
> none that
> I could confirm magnification.

2000x: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/house_dust_mite_fig1.htm

350x: http://tcorlen.blogspot.com/2007/08/frightening-insects.html

(depends on what you mean by "confirm")

BillW

2010\04\15@051121 by Justin Richards

face picon face
Thats what i wanted.

I found many images but the pages did not report magnifcation.

Thanks for the links.

350x looks plenty. I wonder what type of scope took these pictures.

Cheers Justin

On 15 April 2010 16:39, William "Chops" Westfield <RemoveMEwestfwEraseMEspamEraseMEmac.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\04\15@093811 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi Justin,

Just a warning that all of those images were produced, I believe, by
scanning electron microscopes. You cannot expect that clarity and
depth of field with an optical microscope.

I think the color in the second set of images is false-color added for contrast.

Sean


On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 5:11 AM, Justin Richards
<RemoveMEjustin.richardsspam_OUTspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> -

2010\04\15@115240 by YES NOPE9

flavicon
face
This is not what you asked for........

For $13 USD you can get your feet wet with a
RadioShack MicroScope.


$12.09
Illuminated Microscope

Model: MM-100  |  Catalog #: 63-1313

A powerful 60-100x magnification microscope with an extremely  
lightweight and portable design.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2179604


The advantage is that little $$$ is risked.  If the interest ebbs, no  
major problem.  I have been able to marry this unit to a webcam so  
that I can also look at images on my laptop.  If you go that route, I  
will be glad to help you do it.

Gus

2010\04\15@151006 by Richard Pytelewski

flavicon
face
I got into this thread late but I bought  microscope 2 years ago and did a
lot of reading.  You get what you pay for, as long as you go  in with your
eyes open...  And there are a wide choice in microscope uses and
capabilities so defining your needs would be a good first step.

Used microscopes are a pretty good deal and depending on the type of
magnification you want (x50 - 100 is a LOT of magnification), you can get in
for $50+  (OK maybe $100+) but the field of in-focus elements is more or
less what differentiates "good" to "not so good" optics.  Variable
magnification is a terrific option.

Look for some name brand or its' #2 listed brand.  

You may want to look at these sites for ideas (not suggesting these to buy):

http://www.national-ate.com/microscopes.htm

and

http://www.greatscopes.com/microscope.htm

and

reviews.ebay.com/Buying-Microscopes_W0QQugidZ10000000000766695?ssPage
Name=BUYGD:CAT:-1:LISTINGS:1

Something like this one might be OK (I checked for some on E-Bay for you):

cgi.ebay.com/American-Optical-Fifty-Microscope_W0QQitemZ200459464289Q
QcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2eac50ae61

American Optical is a known Company so it is probably  a decent scope
($50.-)

I actually found the one I bought on E-Bay and it was a great deal so if you
want to invest a little time that route may work for you. Hope this helps.

Rich



{Original Message removed}

2010\04\16@031706 by cdb

flavicon
face
Justin,

There is a microscope supplier in Melbourne who sells mainly into
schools. The company don't advertise this side of their business but
might be worth finding out who might be their retail agent (

I worked as a Service/Support  technician for a lab/histopathology
diagnostics equipment agent. We seriously thought about using this
range instead of selling the introductory level Leica products. Would
not be good for fluorescence work - but then you're not intending to
get a bucketful of Zebra fish and splice drugs into them and
photograph reactions or are you? :)

The 'scopes are made in China rather than Germany one reason for the
cheap price.  I think the Aus agent was http://www.andmercury.com.au the
website will only show electronic scales. It might also be worth
asking your local secondary school - as this company was selling them
by the bucket load to schools in Melbourne and Queensland.

One thing to practice with in using a microscope properly is setting
the Par-Focal correctly - even many lab technicians don't do this, nor
did I until I found out how useful it is.

Colin
--
cdb, EraseMEcolinspamspamspamBeGonebtech-online.co.uk on 16/04/2010

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359






2010\04\16@050447 by Justin Richards

face picon face
> get a bucketful of Zebra fish and splice drugs into them and
> photograph reactions or are you? :)
>
>
That sounds like a lot of fun.  I will run this past my daughter and see
what we can come above with.  Now, where to get good quality buckets ...


> The 'scopes are made in China rather than Germany one reason for the
> cheap price.  I think the Aus agent was http://www.andmercury.com.au the
> website will only show electronic scales. It might also be worth
> asking your local secondary school - as this company was selling them
> by the bucket load to schools in Melbourne and Queensland.
>

Secondary schools looks like a good option.  They may even be kind enough to
let us in for a test drive.

One thing to practice with in using a microscope properly is setting
> the Par-Focal correctly - even many lab technicians don't do this, nor
> did I until I found out how useful it is.
>
>
I have been doing lots of reading about microscopes in the last few days and
this is the first time I have seen a reference to a Par_focal setting.  I
will check it out along with the Aus agent you have hinted at.


Thanks

Cheers Justin






{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\04\16@051749 by cdb

flavicon
face


:: this is the first time I have seen a reference to a Par_focal
:: setting

It's nothing exciting, but once set correctly, you can zoom the microscope throughout it's magnification range without having to adjust either the eyepieces or the sample.

Olympus have/had a very good tutorial on confocal microscopes (not what you'd need)

It only takes a minute to set up par-focal.

Colin

--
cdb, colinSTOPspamspamspam_OUTbtech-online.co.uk on 16/04/2010

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359




2010\04\16@052746 by cdb

flavicon
face
Some useful links. Note you won't be using a Koehler light source, but this might be of interest.

http://www.micrographia.com/tutoria/micbasic/micbpt01/micb0100.htm

http://micropix.home.comcast.net/~micropix/microsetup/

Parfocaling

http://www.absoluteclarity.com/proper_user_set.htm



--
cdb, spamBeGonecolinSTOPspamspamEraseMEbtech-online.co.uk on 16/04/2010

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359



2010\04\16@104742 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Apr 16, 2010, at 2:17 AM, cdb wrote:

> :: this is the first time I have seen a reference to a Par_focal

"Parfocal: A microscope that is “parfocal” is one which, if it is in  
focus with one objective, when the objective is rotated, will remain  
in focus."

I didn't realize that this was something that was adjustable on some  
scopes.  Since it's one of my complaints against the QX3, I'll have to  
investigate!

BillW




2010\04\18@090515 by Steve Nordhauser

picon face
Gus says:

This is not what you asked for........

For $13 USD you can get your feet wet with a
RadioShack MicroScope.

...........
My inclination is to buy a good quality used item, once you determine
what you want.  Ideally, you should buy it from someone who can
demonstrate it to you, seems knowledgeable and helpful.  Walk away from
any deal you don't feel good about.  When you buy used you get better
quality for your money, can get most of your money back by selling it
and your daughter won't find herself limited by the tool.  That can be a
source of frustration that ends a new interest quickly.

Some other sources are high school and college labs, veterinary offices,
medical offices (they mostly rely on outside labs).  You can ask if they
are ready to retire any fully functional microscopes.  There are also
companies that sell refurbished microscopes.  As someone else pointed
out, finding another hobbyist is useful for both help and finding an
appropriate microscope.

Trinolcular would be nice but adds a lot to the price without any
immediate benefit.  You can fit a camera to it in the future.  Stereo
with a movable stage and controllable illumination should be a minimum.
-Steve

More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 2010 , 2011 only
- Today
- New search...