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Stereo microscope advice

 
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Unripe



Joined: 23 Sep 2018
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:53 am    Post subject: Stereo microscope advice Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

I'm in search of my first ever microscope and the more I read the more I get lost Sad so here I am looking for advice.

Here are my main objectives:

1. Budget of 1000 eur
2. No access to used local scope sales
3. Very minimal knowledge thus the anxiety in regards to buying something off ebay
4. Desire to photograph and film in 4k (mirrorrless camera)
5. Darkfield is a must
6. I will mainly work with live hydra, ostracods, small swimming crustaceans and various plankton.

So far I'm considering Motic stereo microscope (love the Leica S9 Embarassed but alas it's out of my budget) https://www.motic.com/As_Industrial_SM_SMZ171S/ I can buy it offline, get some additional accessories and warranty.


Is there anything else I should be considering?
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4498
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Unripe, welcome aboard!

If your main goal is photomicrography a stereomicroscope is not a good option.

Stereos are very nice instruments for low magnification visual work but because the limited Numerical Aperture and off axis optical paths (in most cases, excluding some very high end models) the image quality is pretty limited.

A compound microscope is much more adequate, both for DF illumination and resolution.
If you follow that way we can discuss it later.
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Pau
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Unripe



Joined: 23 Sep 2018
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Pau!

My main concern with compound microscopes is the fact that it's near impossible to keep small plankton alive between the slides. Hydra would surely be dead and immobilized? Unless I'm very wrong.

But nevertheless, would Motic be an ok choice for beginner? I'm under impression it's something between amscope/omax and top tier brands, with an ability to upgrade, but again, without any experience it's very confusing in this big scope world Smile
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Perl



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 211
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for Wild M3Z or M8
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4498
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unripe, please link to the instruments you're considering.
Motic is a well regarded chinese manufacturer, in fact they make the low end Zeiss instruments like the Primo series and also sell them under their own trade mark.
Buying online used instruments is of course more risky and complex but you can get a clearly better classic instrument for a lower price, this is what most amateur microscopists do.

If you search at the forum you will find lots of images of hydras, ostracods and similar beasts taken with compound microscopes. Maybe the issue you posted could refer to the critter immobilized or crashed by the coverslip pressure. To avoid it the trick is the use of spacers, fragments of coverslips or more specific devices like rings.
Of course the vital space will stay very limited but in most cases you really want it to have the specimen confined in a not much deep space and focus on it.
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Unripe



Joined: 23 Sep 2018
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Pau! I think you've actually changed my mind, I had no idea slides like these exist!

I'm looking at Motic BA210 with LED at the moment, it's available locally and has a warranty, and c mount as well. I'm really afraid I won't be able to tell if something is wrong after buying used online Sad

Is this a good scope to start with?
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4498
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unripe wrote:
I'm looking at Motic BA210 with LED at the moment,
...
Is this a good scope to start with?


I've taken a look at the manufacturer specifications and it seems a very adequate instrument for your goals and conditions. If you follow that way don't buy the "digital head" but the trinocular...cameras become obsolete much faster than microscopes and trinocular would allow you to mount different kinds of camera, and of course, don't forget to order the dark field slider
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Pau
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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 3827

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:49 am    Post subject: Well slides Reply with quote

You can also use well slides which have a shallow depression in the center. I always have some on hand. They usually sell in packs of 10 on ebay.

Mike
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Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
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