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High quality rig for Nikon D850 under 5k?
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Pau
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesse wrote:
I think this e600 is probably overpriced, but it does have Plan APO DIC objectives: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Eclipse-E600-Trinocular-Microscope-Plan-Apo-Ergo-Head-4x-10x-20x-40x-60x/332733800044

Are these decent objectives for my purposes? I added them up and it came to about $3643 in used APO glass.

How difficult would it be add DIC to something like this later? My understanding is that there is a universal condenser available for these units. I think prisms would be needed too?

The microscope is fabulous but it isn't DIC ready: The objectives labelled DIC are for sure adequate but you'd need to change the nosepiece to fit the prisms and of course to buy the condenser with the adequate prisms and one objective dedicated prism for each objective, a De Sénarmont polarizer and an analyzer. This could easily duplicate the price.
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Jesse



Joined: 11 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

houstontx wrote:
Reminder about my leica DMR with phase, transmitted DIC & Fluorescence, this has every technique in one package for $4k shipped!


Replied via private message. I'm neither sure how to attach a Nikon DSLR to this scope, nor sure if Leica "semi-apochromat" objectives are what I want at this point, but I'm considering it.
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Jesse



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

enricosavazzi wrote:

In my opinion, the main long-term problem with Universal and other Zeiss scopes of the same period is the delamination of the optics.


I've been paying attention as I search and learn, so I've noticed this trend in the listings as well. It helps to hear a first hand account of how rapidly the optics decline though. Puts the whole thing into perspective.

I guess Zeiss Universal is out of the considering. Thanks.
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Jesse



Joined: 11 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau wrote:
Jesse wrote:
I think this e600 is probably overpriced, but it does have Plan APO DIC objectives: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Eclipse-E600-Trinocular-Microscope-Plan-Apo-Ergo-Head-4x-10x-20x-40x-60x/332733800044

The microscope is fabulous but it isn't DIC ready: The objectives labelled DIC are for sure adequate but you'd need to change the nosepiece to fit the prisms and of course to buy the condenser with the adequate prisms and one objective dedicated prism for each objective, a De Sénarmont polarizer and an analyzer. This could easily duplicate the price.


Will I be happy with objectives of lesser quality for my purposes? That's the big question. Because if the answer is no, then budget is no longer a hard number. It becomes a question of how to acquire the hardware I need over time and whether or not I'm paying too much for any given purchase.

Am I correct that this scope is overpriced? Could I buy a cheaper scope without objectives and buy these individual objectives piece by piece and have a better final price? How often does an APO equipped scope like this come up on ebay? ( all serious questions I don't have the answer to yet )

More importantly... do I need APO objectives to get the quality I desire from my DSLR? Because if I don't, then it seems 5k is a reasonable price for a DIC equipped 80s microphot FX. But... if I do, then it seems I need to adjust my budget to conform to reality.

I haven't even seen a nano crystal coated objective in the wild yet, but I know they exist because I read the Nikon objectives page. All of my current photography lenses have that generation of coating. This makes me think 90s model APO DIC objectives are the equivalent of 90s and early 2000s Nikon lenses before nano crystal coat was common. I try pretty hard to avoid those pre-nano lenses photographically because I prefer the contrast of the nano coated lenses. Makes me wonder what I'll be happy with in the world of microscope objectives.
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Pau
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesse wrote:

Will I be happy with objectives of lesser quality for my purposes? That's the big question. Because if the answer is no, then budget is no longer a hard number. It becomes a question of how to acquire the hardware I need over time and whether or not I'm paying too much for any given purchase.

Happiness is subjective: no advice possible. Most micrographers here do use much more modest/older optics and some of them take international award winning images. Modern plan apos are arguably the best ones but at a price. You can expect better correction although in general no more resolution as in Microscopy we are most the time diffraction limited and resolution is given by the system NA.
Jesse wrote:
Am I correct that this scope is overpriced? Could I buy a cheaper scope without objectives and buy these individual objectives piece by piece and have a better final price?

When we refer to scarce used equipment it's difficult to have good reference prices. For me it's high but if compared with new equivalents likely it's a good deal
Jesse wrote:
How often does an APO equipped scope like this come up on ebay? ( all serious questions I don't have the answer to yet )

I only recall two of them fully equipped with Plan apos and DIC over several years, both sold by forum members around 10k, great bargains. I don't look often for them as I can't afford this price range.
I'm almost happy with an old hybrid system built during several years, nothing comparable with what you are looking for
Jesse wrote:
More importantly... do I need APO objectives to get the quality I desire from my DSLR? Because if I don't, then it seems 5k is a reasonable price for a DIC equipped 80s microphot FX. But... if I do, then it seems I need to adjust my budget to conform to reality.

You can get excellent quality with Plan Fluorites o more modest Plan Apos, even in many cases with Plan achromats. You can be well served with something like the Microphot if you don't worry about not owning the ultimate equipment, although I still think that it's overpriced at 5k

Jesse wrote:
I haven't even seen a nano crystal coated objective in the wild yet, but I know they exist because I read the Nikon objectives page. All of my current photography lenses have that generation of coating. This makes me think 90s model APO DIC objectives are the equivalent of 90s and early 2000s Nikon lenses before nano crystal coat was common. I try pretty hard to avoid those pre-nano lenses photographically because I prefer the contrast of the nano coated lenses. Makes me wonder what I'll be happy with in the world of microscope objectives.

Nano crystal is not magic, just a good modern coating. People is living without it for more than a century. If you want Nikon Plan Apo lambda with nano be prepared to spend several thousands for each objective.

You can contact with a Nikon (and Olympus, Leica, Zeiss..) vendor and ask for the price of a full equipped new system with DIC and Plan Apos. You will get references of the prices.
Only well founded labs and some rich people can afford them.
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Jesse



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau wrote:

Jesse wrote:
More importantly... do I need APO objectives to get the quality I desire from my DSLR? Because if I don't, then it seems 5k is a reasonable price for a DIC equipped 80s microphot FX. But... if I do, then it seems I need to adjust my budget to conform to reality.

You can get excellent quality with Plan Fluorites o more modest Plan Apos, even in many cases with Plan achromats. You can be well served with something like the Microphot if you don't worry about not owning the ultimate equipment, although I still think that it's overpriced at 5k


I really appreciate this feedback. Are there comparison images taken with DIC Plan vs DIC Plan Fluorite vs DIC Plan Apo? I need more data to make this decision beyond flipping a coin and guessing.
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JohnyM



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IF (and that is a BIG IF) you want / need DIC microscope, just buy one when it pops up. Few weeks ago Nikon's 160 CFN DIC components from one vendor sold for ~2000 USD total.
Why? Because that was complete set.

You can wait for several years, and buy those components for fraction of that price, but be prepared to start and finish each day on ebay and be ready to spend several hundreds $ anytime.

Completing DIC set on Ebay can take YEARS to hunt. Doesnt matter which brand. And... i know few hobbysts that gave up and purchased missing components from manufacturer directly for full, substantial price.

Dont worry about anything else. You can always buy objectives and other components with little effort.



IMO if you want to go with highest quality (always my aim) go for any INFINITE microscope OR finite CFN aka N CF Nikon.

Modern infinites are pretty equal, with slight edge to Nikon, if you like to tinker with your scope (Nikon being 200mm tube is eaziest to custom-work with. Zeiss with aspherical 160mm tube is impossible to customize anything by yourself). Rather expensive.

Finite microscopes are quite difficuilt to setup. Optically Nikons have no competitions due to their in-objective corrections. All other brands either produce inferior objectives or require projective eyepieces that introduce loss of sharpness. Much less pricey than infinites.

So with finite, i can see 2 paths:
Dedicated Nikon DIC on any Nikon microscope - hard to find, not cheap.
PZO DIC with Nikon CFN objectives - cheap, eazy to find, not very ergonomic.


Now this is not for OP, but other members that might disagree with my suggestion above:
Im not saying that you cant produce excellent images with BH-2. Im just saying it's much eazier on Optiphot 2 which require no eyepiece.
Olympus BH-2 require 2,5x projective eyepiece which is sustantially enlarging already soft image. You could try to hunt 1,67x NFK eyepiece which sells for ~500-1000 USD... and Nikon still have an edge here.
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Jesse



Joined: 11 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After much consideration (and against the recommendation of my significant other, like all of my major equipment purchases over the past 8 years - haha) I decided to blunder ahead and buy the e600 Plan APO rig: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Eclipse-E600-Trinocular-Microscope-Plan-Apo-Ergo-Head-4x-10x-20x-40x-60x/332733800044

The deciding factor for me was when I finally found some comparison images between plan fluor and plan apo optics here on this forum: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19564

Significantly less chromatic aberration in the APO optics, which will be very nice for filming and photography, IMO. Hopefully I won't miss DIC or phase contrast too much, but I'm hopeful that I can piece together a fully functional DIC system in the future if I decide I really want/need it (after I have the rig paid off - haha). Also, hopefully I can work around the reduced working distance that seems to come with APO optics.

I ended up making an offer that was countered reasonably, so I ended up buying the rig for $6500 + shipping. Hopefully that will prove to be a reasonable price. Hindsight will tell, I'm sure.

Thanks for all of the advice offered here. It really helped me work through the massive amount of information available so that I could come to an educated decision. I really appreciate the help.
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Chris S.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesse,

I'm confused by the prices you cite: The item you purchased appears to have sold for about $4500, while you mention a buying price of $6500. Is there possibility of confusion in this regard?

This said, I'll posit that you picked a very solid vendor. EBay vendor "curt3456" is a member of our forum. As such, he has my respect. His posts have been consistently constructive. I've purchased a number of items from Curt; in each case, I've found his communication accurate and his prices reasonable. I've several times considered suggesting that you communicate your needs to Curt, and ask him to recommend to you an instrument he eventually brings for sale that he feels would meet them.

As Curt is a dealer, he must, of course, make a profit in his transactions. So when purchasing from Curt, you may not obtain the very lowest conceivable price. This said, my sense is that Curt earns any markup he obtains by applying his expertise to matching users with equipment that will meet their needs.

In other words, "Well done"--for you and Curt both.

Cheers,

--Chris S.
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Pau
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris, the vendor is "posmologic", is him the same "curt3456"?. I don't see $4500 anywhere.
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Jesse



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau is correct. The vendor was posmologic, who may also be a member of this forum for all I know. I did interact with curt a few times as I asked various questions about his products. I was particularly interested in the DIC microphot he had for sale. Curt was very helpful each time and even offered to throw in a few bits of hardware for free to make the job easier for me. Ultimately, I decided the APO infinite scope would probably be a better choice for my purposes.
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Chris S.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, gents. When I clicked on Jesse's link, eBay didn't actually take me to the item he purchased, but shunted me off to Curt's listing. I didn't take note of the words: "The listing you're looking for has ended. . . . We found something similar." Aaargh!

Perhaps I was also primed to believe Jesse had bought this item of Curt's because he had mentioned it earlier in the thread.

I stand corrected.

--Chris S.
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Pau
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, yes, Ebay site has changed its behaviour when you follow a link to a completed listing. I don't like it.
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