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Plan objectives for AmScope T490B?

 
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CLSI



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:31 pm    Post subject: Plan objectives for AmScope T490B? Reply with quote

Like many others here, I'm looking to make the move from macro photography to photomicroscopy, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the microscope options. I've pretty much settled on getting some variation of the AmScope T490B as a relatively cheap way to get started, with the goal of eventually learning enough that I can some day make a better-informed purchase of a higher quality used microscope.

I have a Canon 7D, and I'm planning to attempt an afocal setup (from what I can tell, AmScope's Canon DSLR adapter, CA-CAN-SLR, is pretty much worthless). Of the thousand (or so) questions I've got, the one I think I'm least likely to find already answered in the forums is whether it would be worthwhile springing an extra $50 for AmScope's plan achromatic objectives (rather than just achromatic). I expect I'll be doing a lot of focus stacking, and a comment I came across in one of the forums seemed to suggest that plan objectives were less important for focus stacking. Is that correct? I admit, it's hard to imagine that $50 spread across four objectives can make much difference in image quality, but maybe it's worth it.

Another issue is that the setup with plan objectives (T490B-PL) doesn't come with an LED option. A second question, then, would be whether I'd wind up boiling my pond critters with the 6v/20w halogen bulb in the plan scope.

I'd welcome insight into either of these questions, and if you have thoughts about other microscopes in the $300 to $400 range that might better serve my purpose, please don't hesitate to tell me about them.
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

As a complete beginner on a modest budget, you have several options:

(1) buy a very cheap second-hand microscope from one of the smaller companies (Lomo, PZO, AO) and learn microscopy with it; later move on without much of a financial loss

(2) buy a cheap new microscope; the quality is very variable; might work quite well but the re-sale value is low, usually a completely write-off, any extra money you sink into this is lost in the end

(3) buy a second-hand basic stand from one of the large manufacturers with modular microscope systems (Zeiss, Leitz, Olympus, Nikon) and upgrade the stand later with the techniques that you're interested in

Personally, I would go for Option 3 but I also understand that it's not easy finding a good deal on Ebay as a complete beginner. If you know anybody who can help you and check through a microscope when it arrives, this is the best option. Otherwise I would go for Option 1.

My personal recommendations for the sub-$500 range would be:

Zeiss Standard WL (with 80/20 trinocular head)
Zeiss Standard RA or Standard 18 (with 80/20 trinocular head)
Leitz Dialux 20 or 22
Leitz Ortholux II

Regards, Ichty
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CLSI



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Ichthy. I like your ideas in theory, particularly option 3, but after poking around a bit, I don't feel qualified to attempt even option 1 on my own. I'll keep my eyes open and won't rush into option 2 (which, if I understand it, is pretty much what I outlined in my original post) just yet, but if I do resort to it, I can see how extra money sunk into something like plan objectives would be "lost in the end."
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