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Shortest 400x microscope/magnifier?
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 1044
Location: Malvern, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: Shortest 400x microscope/magnifier? Reply with quote

What's the shortest 400x "microscope" you could construct from off-the-shelf optical parts without using mirrors to fold the light path (i.e. just one straight tube - as narrow as is possible and practical)? For transmitted (brightfield) illumination at N.A. 0.65 or better. Sub-millimetre working distance fine.

Thanks.
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, does 400x refer to viewing through an eyepiece, or projection on sensor? If the latter, what size sensor?

--Chris S.
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eyepiece. For visual use only, but a "comfortable" field of view as per a normal scope.
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Chris S.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the additional detail.

One more question: No cover glass?

--Chris S.
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
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Location: Malvern, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With cover glass. For quick but detailed survey of wet mounts in the field, but with emphasis on very small size and weight. Likely using a "proper" objective (perhaps).

Edit: actually, it just occurred to me that a collapsible tube (like the old fashioned telescopes) using a normal objective and eyepiece could fit the bill.

But a fixed piece of tube would be more robust, so still interested if "shortened optics" are possible.
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
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Location: Malvern, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further to my previous comments, someone on a FB micro group posted links to vintage "minor field microscopes" on Ebay. While I don't think these have the magnification I want, they are certainly the right size and form. So there may be a solution there - more searching required.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/vintage-Leitz-Wetslar-1920s-minor-field-folding-microscope-w-leather-case/312049286241

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Hensoldt-Wetzlar-Model-DRP-A-Pocket-Field-Expedition-Microscope-Good/253380268577
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume you know of these:
http://www.brunelmicroscopes.co.uk/handheld.html
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
I assume you know of these:
http://www.brunelmicroscopes.co.uk/handheld.html

Yes, I believe they're clones of the Swift FM-31, which I have. It's a wonderful little scope, but not quite "little enough" sometimes (i.e. when carrying camera gear too). My switch to "mirrorless" photography enticed me into carrying the absolute minimum of late - so just exploring field scope options, including the possibility of cobbling together something *really* small.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regular optics, NA 0.65 (which demands a condenser) and no folding light path:

the smallest / lightest you can easily buy is Tiyoda MKH.
It is about 3lbs without case.

If you allow folding light path and mini objectives, then the Chinese army TWX-1 is supposed to be the best. It can get to real NA 1.25. There are also Nikon H, McArthur, Swift and clones. Some have no condenser and won't get to NA 0.65. They usually don't operate that comfortably, compared to the Tiyoda though.

You cannot shrink the size or weight that much, when you demand NA 0.65. That in turns demands decent fine focus gear and condenser, which add significant bulk and weight.

Edit: there are scopes lighter and slightly smaller than your Swfit, but they don't go much over NA 0.25 and use mini objectives and folded light path.

Edit 2: Beatsy, if you manage to make /find something else, please let me know. I thought of making a DIY Frankenstein scope, but it would end up at around 4lbs fully loaded and no smaller than the Tiyoda.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the longest lens you carry? Screw an infinite on and use expanded LV!
Perhaps you could make a slide holder which clips onto an objective.
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beatsy wrote:
Further to my previous comments, someone on a FB micro group posted links to vintage "minor field microscopes"


Hi,

The Hensoldt TAMIs can reach up to NA 1.3 in the largest model http://www.microscope-antiques.com/tamis.html

They look very quaint http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artaug00/mach30g.html but they seem to be expensive.

If you were to compromise on the magnification/NA, you could consider the ROW Kleinmikroskop B that weighs just 200g http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artnov00/rowscope.html It is VERY cheap, starting from around £20 on German sites. Maybe you could swap the 13x objective with a short barrel 40/0.65 using a custom adapter? http://www.mikroskopie-forum.de/index.php?topic=24898.msg186019#msg186019

Regards, Ichty
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ichthyophthirius wrote:


If you were to compromise on the magnification/NA, you could consider the ROW Kleinmikroskop B that weighs just 200g http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artnov00/rowscope.html It is VERY cheap, starting from around £20 on German sites. Maybe you could swap the 13x objective with a short barrel 40/0.65 using a custom adapter? http://www.mikroskopie-forum.de/index.php?topic=24898.msg186019#msg186019

Regards, Ichty


It may be possible to fit a DIY NA 0.65 condenser + LED light source in the ROW scope, by removing its mirror. Assuming it fine focus is good enough (many are not good enough for 40x NA 0.65).
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:
Assuming it fine focus is good enough (many are not good enough for 40x NA 0.65).


Good point. 40/0.65 is probaby too ambitious without a proper fine focus.
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes - I have (inadvertently) over egged the required N.A. I could definitely compromise on that.

Also, I should add that I have a Swift FM-31 which is great, I'm very pleased with the image quality and will happily take it out if I want to do any extended viewing "in the field". I was just looking for a smaller option for the times I'm hiking or cycling with a primarily photographic intent (non micro), but might get opportunity for some sample-taking too.

Thanks to feedback here and elsewhere, it appears I got a little too deep into the "make something" mode before looking at all available options. Something like a Hensoldt Protami or similar might just do the job - if I am patient enough to wait for one to turn up.

I'm finding the thread very interesting all the same. Thanks for the responses everyone.
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you carry small binoculars when hiking?
Inspired in a device made by Zeiss that converts binoculars in a stereomicroscope I quickly tested the idea hand holding a 10X infinite corrected objective just on the front lens of one of the binoculars light paths. It seems to work pretty well at the center, the image borders are not good but could be useful for your application making some custom designed adapters and a focusing device.

Likely it would not work well at 40X but could be at 20X.

To avoid condensers I have two ideas: A LED illuminating a diffuser placed just under the slide (again a Zeiss invention, the Lucigen "condenser") or a LED illuminating the slide laterally to get darkfield

Just quick suggestions needing to be proven
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Last edited by Pau on Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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