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Newb here looking for some answers.

 
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airbrn1187



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject: Newb here looking for some answers. Reply with quote

Hello all. I have been lurking on this site for some time now. I am now in the market for a "real" scope and had a question or two.

1. Optics wise is there truly any difference between an Olympus BH2 and a Nikon Labophot 2 or is this like the Chevy/Ford or BMW/Jag debate?

2. Is a Canon 400d good enough starting out?

3. Last question. Seeing as how it is winter is there any tips or tricks for catching and viewing pond critters or are they even around in winter?


Thanks in advance for any and all responses, and to many years of learning in this new hooby.
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Tom Jones



Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 278
Location: Crestline, CA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the BH-2/Labophot 2 question, I'd have to say yes. Although I haven't put the two side by side, or done a photocomparison with the same specimens. Someone else here may have.

I own BH-2s and have used them for may years in a hospital lab. I'm currently using Labophot 2s in another hospital lab. I much prefer the BH-2s.

That said, even if they're optically equal, or the Nikon's a little bit better, there are other reasons to prefer the Olympus. I think the build quality of the BH-2 is better in general. They seem to hold up better over a long period of heavy use. Two of the three Nikons we use right now have collimation errors I've never seen in a BH-2. Not that aesthetics should matter much, but the plastic wrist pads on the Labophots wear through, too. A service tech we used at both hospitals once told me the Nikon oil lenses are prone to leaking oil into the objective housing if it isn't wiped off after each use. I haven't seen that myself, and we don't wipe ours off. He said he's never seen an Olympus lens with oil inside.

I'm not a fan of the Nikon lamphouse. It's easier to change a bulb with the BH-2, and I'm pretty sure it's easier to add a strobe tube that it would be with the Nikon.

I think a good indication of industry acceptance is the number of used microscopes and parts available. There are many more BH-2s available, so you have more choices of which scope to buy looking at the BH-2s vs. Labophots. That's a big reason to go with the BH-2 right there.

Dont' get me wrong. The Nikon is a nice enough scope and will work just fine. I just believe the BH-2 to be a much better deal in the long run. For the same money, personally, there's no chance I'd buy the Nikon over the Olympus. If they were sitting side by side at work, I'd use the BH-2s pretty much exclusively.

Tom
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2541
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see one advantage for the Nikon. If you use their CF objectives, especially the 4x and 10x, you can use both without a coverglass on a bellows setup.
I have a BH2 scope with Olympus objectives but have a Nikon 4x and a Nikon 10x that I use on bellows - double expense, although I do use the 4x on the Olympus.

Aquatics: as long as you have water you should be able to find lots of material on the bottom of a pond or stream. Simply collect the sediment from about the top 1 cm; also collect any plant material or even trash in the water column.
I can always find lots of material in my local waters even when I have to break the ice.

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The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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Alan Wood



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 274
Location: Near London, U.K.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Newb here looking for some answers. Reply with quote

airbrn1187 wrote:
2. Is a Canon 400d good enough starting out?


The 450D was the first of the 3-digit EOS cameras to have Live View and Silent Mode. You will get vibration problems with a 400D, although they can be reduced by long or very short exposures and by locking up the mirror.

I have a web page about fitting an EOS digital SLR to an Olympus BH-2:
http://www.alanwood.net/photography/olympus/digital-slr-bh2-microscope.html

I don't know what you need with a Nikon microscope.

Alan Wood
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Optics wise is there truly any difference between an Olympus BH2 and a Nikon Labophot 2
It all will depend on the optics you use on the stand. Both Nikon and Olympus made several "levels" of objectives for these microscopes, from basic inexpensive achromats, to the high priced Plan Apos. In my experience, with perhaps a very few exceptions, the performance was clearly better each step "up". (And comparable between equivalent "levels" of the different manufacturers offerings).

These are both 160mm finite tube length systems. So many different RMS threaded objectives could be used. However the reality is that you will be best off sticking to one "brand". The Olympus LB series objectives (for the BH2) used the eyepieces and photoeyepieces for final color correction. The Nikon "CF" objectives (used on the Labophots) did not use chromatically corrective eyepieces. (The effects of a "mismatch" is usually more noticeable in photographs than in viewing).
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airbrn1187



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow thank you all for such a quick and informative response. I can not wait to get started and try my hand at taking pictures. I am sure I will be asking many more questions once i get my microscope. Thanks
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