I wonder what people do with their microscopes. Today I went to see an Optiphot with two (10x, 20x) plan objectives and two (40x 100x) apos for 850 euro (here). I interpreted that as a near full upgrade of my present achromats and being left over with enough spare parts to assemble a trinoc labophot for sale. So nett for me, half that price.
Ay, you get what you pay for. I didn't buy it. The 10x plan was well scratched, the 20x excellent. The shell of the 40x Apo looked like cleaned with sandpaper, with parrallel scratches deep into the bare metal, no paint left. Strangely the glass was not as badly scratched. The 100x looked better, but with what seemed like a dent in the glass.
Hoping against better hope I tried to see through the microscope. For my mitty 10x has a serious dent in the front glass, but in effect it doesn't seem to work out that detrimental. But the condenser was so much crooked that it couldn't be used. Only when holding the flip-top lens half way, a fragment of the field aperture could be seen.
Now the latter I can understand. One bad day, the condenser drops on the floor and someone steps on it. The microscope is broken and sold. But why did someone invest thousands in apochromats and then use it with a cheap .90NA achromat condenser? What do people do with their expensive equipment that it looks like held against the grind stone?
And it is not even that uncommon. Last year I bought a pandora's box ful of nikon parts, among them a few M-plan objectives. If I hadn't known they had been used in a bitumen lab, would have looking at those poor bastards: as if pulled out from the tarmac. (I was about to offer them here for free, but then I tried pure white gasoline to clean them and they came out sparkling).
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