amscope 4x aliexpress alternatives?

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dsvilko
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:42 am
Location: Croatia

amscope 4x aliexpress alternatives?

Post by dsvilko »

Hi!
After years of doing macro photography with different combinations of (stacked) 50mm lenses and extension tubes, I am ready to make a switch to a microscope objective. The problem is that I am on extremely low budget. I know that amscope 4x Plan 160mm is highly regarded, specially for the price. It's really cheap but as I am from Europe, that $20 lens would end up costing me closer to $80, with shipping and import tax. As I believe amscope just imports the objectives from China, is the same objective available on aliexpress, that has much more reasonable shipping and higher probability of avoiding the import tax (currently, for anything over $25)? Has anyone made a comparison or bought a visually identical objective from aliexpress?

The other idea I had was to use the same objective coupled with a Raspberry Pi HQ camera (7.9mm sensor diagonal, 12MP). I am increasingly uncomfortable with shooting so many photos for stacking with a mechanical shutter. Not to mention that I could move from flash to continuous lighting as there would be no shutter vibrations. I am currently mostly interested in photographing 0.5-2cm large flat stone slices (meteorites) in as high resolution as I can get. I planed to mount the Pi camera to my 3D printer and that way get both z-movement for focus stacking and xy-movement for panorama stacking. In theory, I could automate both. Do you think that could work? Has it already been tried?

JKT
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Re: amscope 4x aliexpress alternatives?

Post by JKT »

The part with the 3D printer seems theoretically possible, but how would you control the printer movement? The normal software likely would not work for this.

The problem with the miniature sensor is the pixel size. It is 1.55 um. I don't have NA for the Amtech at hand, but for LOMO 3.7x NA 0.11 you would get effective horizontal resolution of roughly 1100 px and object size of 1.7x1.3mm. It would take plenty of tiles to cover your entire target.

You could try to decrease the magnification with shorter extension and that would help ... to some extent. With finite objectives you'd likely run into image quality or space problems at one point.

If you had the LOMO, you could also try using it as infinite with some 60mm objective as tube lens. The sharp image circle should cover that miniature sensor. Still, it would only double the tile size AND the LOMO prices are rather high now. I have no idea how Amscope would respond to infinite use, but the odds are not good.

dsvilko
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:42 am
Location: Croatia

Re: amscope 4x aliexpress alternatives?

Post by dsvilko »

Thanks! I understand that it's a lot to ask of a budget objective but I'm fine with less than stellar per-pixel sharpness as I plan to tile the photos to get higher resolution. Controlling the printer should not be difficult. I allready have a Raspberry Pi acting as a print server. It's just the matter of sending the right Gcode commands to move the printer.

seta666
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Re: amscope 4x aliexpress alternatives?

Post by seta666 »

dsvilko wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 9:16 am
Thanks! I understand that it's a lot to ask of a budget objective but I'm fine with less than stellar per-pixel sharpness as I plan to tile the photos to get higher resolution. Controlling the printer should not be difficult. I allready have a Raspberry Pi acting as a print server. It's just the matter of sending the right Gcode commands to move the printer.
With an NA of just 0.1 which is something like f5 you could be better off with a 50/2.8 enlarger lens, these can be had quite cheap and most perform pretty well at +/- 5X. Even an unknown JML optical 50/2.8 performed better than the MP-E at 5X.
I also bought several unbranded industrial (scanner?) lenses that worked very well from as low as 2X for +/-10$, but ended up selling all of them; I just kept a JML 21 3.5

I did get a Amscope 4/0.1 from aliexpress and truth said I am not impressed with it, I thought it might be a bad copy but after close examining the image it did behave as expected. Image circle was bigger than on the CFN 4/0.13 but still I prefer the nikon over the AS. Now I use it as a finder for my microscope when I want to fish stuff in the water; having said that for the price paid is a great lens.

If you are going to invest in microscope lenses you should think which route you want to take in the long term Eg. Finite vs infinite.

A cheap microscope objective route could be Amscope 4/0.10, nikon BD 10/0.25 and nikon BD 20/0.40; you could cover 4 to 20X for under 200$. Same with mitutoyos 5X, 10X, 20X would put you close to 1500-2000$ including tube lenses.

JKT
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Re: amscope 4x aliexpress alternatives?

Post by JKT »

I know you wrote "as high resolution as I can get", but is that really true? Adding magnification and number of tiles will increase resolution, but it will also increase the number of images fast if you want to image the whole object with that resolution. It seems to me it would be better to set some target number of resolution on object side and then see what it would take. If that is too much, then drop the requirement if you can and check again.

Another question is whether you want extreme accuracy only locally or over the whole object.

Macron
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:02 pm
Location: dallas tx

Re: amscope 4x aliexpress alternatives?

Post by Macron »

get the The DCR-150 and DCR-250 in this set are labeled +1.5X and +2.5X lenses
i have two DCR-250
and one DCR-150 you can stack them and reverse the lens to come with all kinds of magnification,
if you reverse the lens you get more magnification.
if you cant afford all 3 then buy 1 of each DCR-150 + DCR-250
they work on most any lens and if not you can buy adapters to make it fit.
i may use 1 raynox on a large object (wasp) working distance maybe 6 to 7 inches
2 raynox on a medium object (fly) working distance maybe 3 to 4 inches
3 raynox on a tiny object (ant) working distance maybe 1/2 to 1 inches
https://www.closeuphotography.com/raynox
Image
Image
Image
Image
Lens Make - FUJIFILM
Lens Model - XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR

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