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Stereoscope suggestion

 
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1475
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:03 pm    Post subject: Stereoscope suggestion Reply with quote

I've had a Meiji EMZ-13TR for about 13 years that I like very much and totally satisfied with. I wanted to buy something for my granddaughter who has shown an interest in minerals, crystals, sand etc. The other day she spent a few hours viewing my mineral collection (not thin slices) with my Meiji EMZ-13TR. She is only 13 but a responsible 13 year old. When kids show an interest in something like this, I jump in trying to help out if possible. I haven't a clue what to look for and the reason for the posting. Naturally I want the best bang for the money spent. I've never looked through any other stereoscope other than the EMZ. As for the 'price range' probably in the $500 or so price range. I have no problem buying used. All of my microscopes are used and rebuilt my myself.

Update: As far as specifics/requirements something similar to the Meiji EMZ-zoom, I suppose a trinocular isn't necessary, illumination would be nice as well as a stand.



-JW:


Last edited by Smokedaddy on Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:27 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Scarodactyl



Joined: 14 Apr 2018
Posts: 208

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meiji is a storied brand in stereos, both for optics and sturdy construction, and tends to command very high resale value. It usually wouldn't be my choice for somethign in this price range, not other brands are a bit more undervalued. There are lots of great options in the 500 dollar range, depending on desired features.
Just as a quick short list of scopes I've personally tried that can often be had in this price range:
B&L Stereozoom series (7 is the best, but any of them should be good--the 7 has crept up in price on eBay but is still a great deal for how powerful it is).
AO StereoStar (569/570/580)
A Nikon SMZ of some sort (I've had a couple SMZ-1bs and SMZ-10s, very nice scopes, and the smz-2b/2t have great reputations too)
Wild M3/M5/m7 (note that M5s and M3, M3b and M3c scopes don't zoom but have a few fixed mag settings, the M3z does zoom).

Every now and then a higher-tier scope\ shows up in this price range too, but any of these should be plenty--in fact, these are all professional-grade scopes rather than beginner or educational. You can get a great beginner scope for even less, something like an Olympus VMT/VMZ or one of the better Chinese scopes if you find a good one used.

If you have some specific requirements (trinocular, specific zoom range, etc) that could help narrow it down.
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1475
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scarodactyl wrote:
If you have some specific requirements (trinocular, specific zoom range, etc) that could help narrow it down.


Update: As far as specifics/requirements something similar to the Meiji EMZ-zoom, I suppose a trinocular isn't necessary, illumination would be nice as well as a stand. I've purchased a lot of microscope items via eBay's 'make offer' for a lot less than advertised.

-JW:
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Scarodactyl



Joined: 14 Apr 2018
Posts: 208

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With that in mind I would go for a stereozoom 7 to get that same 1-7x zoom range. Very nice scope if you get one in good condition. Bases with internal lighting are rare but often ones with a mirror for transmitted light are available. For reflected light a ring light (which will need a special adapter, since the sz7 doesn't easily accept a ring light otherwise, but these are available) or external lamps/gooseneck illuminators will work fine.
Sz7s have a trinocular addon, it is cheaper and easier to buy one with it already installed. Make sure you can easily return one, many for sale have various ugly issues (misalignment or mold usually). In your budget range I think the chabces of gettibg a good one are higher, I have mostly scraped the bottom of the barrel.
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.... what 'brand' are we talking about here?
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Scarodactyl



Joined: 14 Apr 2018
Posts: 208

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I should have specified. It was actually marketed under three brands, Bausch and Lomb, Cambridge and Leica. All are the same but Bausch and Lomb is the most common (Cambridge didn't exist long and Leica soon replaced it with the GZ7.)

As a side-note, this is a rare example of the comparable ao 580 with a photo port. This would also be a good option. Magnification only goes up to 60x rather than 70x but that's not so different.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F264358525684
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1475
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again ...
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Scarodactyl



Joined: 14 Apr 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This should be a lot of fun for you both. I hope you'll share what you decide to settle on.
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