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Hello Everyone, I am going to share the details of my adventure with a trinocular stereo microscope and a digital camera attached to it. I bought a second hand AmScope SM-1T (1st purchase) and I

Hi Lee, That looks like a nice piece of kit, albeit somewhat over specified. I have been using a Wild Heergrugg M5 now for about 4 years courtesy of an amazing car boot sale find and I wouldn't be

Cant get enough of my scope. its transformed my life!

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I use a standard but modified pine desk which is painted white and covered in white vinyl, an adjustable stool which gives me just the right height. The movement or movement holder would be about 22cm from the front edge of the desk which is lipped at the front to catch  (most) airborne springs and screws. I can work for hours without back or eye strain but whatever arrangement you have I think regular breaks are important

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After VAT, shipping, and the Pound to USD exchange rate it became cost prohibitive.

I ordered an Amscope SE-400-Z instead. 10X and 20X pairs with X1 objective. I also won’t have to buy a voltage converter.

I hope it works just as well as the Brunel BM-1.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • 1 month later...

I use an Carl Zeiss Stemi DV4 Stereo Microscope to inspect the jewels with, before I used it as one is supposed to but nowadays I have become a bit lazy and put a cheap USB camera on the ocular. Took me 22 minutes to make it with a 3D printer.
One can get quite a nice picture on a computer screen with a setup like that and even take one odd picture on for example a cap jewel.


Stemi DV4.jpg

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5 hours ago, mlfloyd1 said:

Elevation speaking, when working on watches should the microscope be used on top of the watch bench or on top of a standard desk?

I would guess that depends on how long you work by the microscope. At a labaratory one mostly costum fit the microscope to fit your hight and so on. I use a standard desk but have an adjustable chair instead.

Some of our yonger personel even likes to stand on a ergonomic rubber matt instead of sitting.
Here is some instructions from Leica about the matter.


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Reading this thread has me really wanting a stereo microscope.  I'm just a watch hobbyist, but I also do quite a bit of work on smallish firearm assemblies.  I've been looking at scopes like some of the 10-20x ones on Ebay for over a year now.  There is one that gives an 8" working area, which seems like it would be adequate.  Some times, even when using a loop I will bump my screwdriver hand with the loop. A little separation seems like it would be a nice thing.

From this thread, it sounds like the 10x power is the most utilized?

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  • 1 year later...
On 1/22/2015 at 5:42 AM, Marc said:

I don't usually use my microscope in general disassembly or reassembly; for that I use a clip on magnifier attached to my glasses that has a lens for each eye so I retain stereo vision.

The microscope comes into its own for inspection, oiling, and hairspring work, where the higher magnification really makes a difference. It's also great for detailed cleaning and restoration on dials partly because of the magnification but also peering down a microscope cuts out all of the peripheral distractions so your total focus is on the job in hand.


I do use a conventional loupe as well but that tends to be for inspection only as I find working without the ability to properly judge distance is less than ideal. Also, I work at desk height rather than bench height (something that I have to sort out as it's not so good for my back) which means that I am above the work, where the screw drivers need to be, so higher magnification loupes (with correspondingly closer working distances) are less than practical. As and when I eventually get a bench sorted out loupes may become a more viable proposition. What I have in mind is to have the working surface more or less at shoulder height when I am sitting upright. This would place the work in front of my eyes not below so there would be no competition for space with tools.

I'm glad that I continued reading this thread. I almost bought a stereo microscope for general disassembly And reassembly work. So then can you give me more information on your clip on magnifiers? I now use a loupe but would rater have stereo and a bigger field of view. Thanks for saving me some big bucks.. 

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@martygene at the time I made that post I was using a 3x clip on magnifier by Eschenbach same as this . Not the cheapest available at about £45 to £55 but very good. They have become a little scuffed since then but do still get used occasionally.


The biggest issue I have with them is that my spectacle lenses partially counter the magnification.

I have since acquired a vintage Binomag head set.



These can be picked up off eBay for between £15 - £25, the lenses are glass so don't scratch too easily, and are very comfortable to use. These are also about 3X mag but because I can use them without my specs I get the full benefit.

Working distance for both the Binomags and the Eschenbachs is about 100mm (4") and width of field about 8cm (a little less with the Eschenbachs).

I now also work at a bench the top of which is at upper chest height when I'm seated so posture issues are a thing of the past too.

My microscopes sit on a desk next to the bench so they are also at a much more useable height.


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  • 3 months later...

Hi there

this is my first post here other than on the introductory board.

I have a Swift 10" working distance binocular microscope. I don't know how I managed without it previously. A while back I bought a camera module which fits in place of one eyepiece. Utterly useless. It gave enormous magnification, quite inappropriate for the tasks in hand, combined with appalling resolution (only using a small part of the sensor I assume) and jittery refresh. It would be very useful to have a camera module that replicates the FOV of the microscope itself. I would have thought that someone would have produced one of these given the widespread use of these Swift devices - even if it required the inclusion of some relay optics in the camera module.

Anyone found such a device?


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/27/2014 at 10:36 AM, Odyseus said:

If you look on my blog, you see some photo's taken with USB microscope eyepiece CAM !!

I have a Brunel MX3 20x stereo microscope which I used to use, but since then the USB microscopes have appeared which I think I bought for about £17 and which I find far easier to use and with better magnification and so small it is much easier to position,, so the Brunel is now pretty much redundant. :(

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  • 1 month later...

I purchased a used Leica GZ4 that arrived with the zoom shaft bent. I was refunded by the seller for the purchase paid less shipping which was fine with me as my cost now became $19. I took it apart and straightened the shaft. The 'scope does not parfocal but that is ok for my needs. For that matter I don't know if that model is supposed to parfocal.

It came with a Leica .5X barlow lens which increases the working height to around 25 to 30 cm.

I also bought a like new Leica 10450174 focus mount for $50 shipped and a used, like new, Old School Industries model OS1010H-16BB for $198 http://www.osi-incorp.com/product/os1010h-16bb/

The scopes power initially was  7 to 30X but the .5X barlow brings the range down to a more resonable 3.5 to15X with the ability to remove it for additional magnification if needed.




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  • 5 weeks later...

I've come across these stereo microscopes on Aliexpress : https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/32752270442.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.117a69066Oumsg&algo_pvid=a247116e-6dee-45e2-b33f-670f899494bf&algo_expid=a247116e-6dee-45e2-b33f-670f899494bf-0&btsid=0b0a187b15991436420684975e4323&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

Allows a big working surface area. Won't rival AMScope I'm sure but looks like a decent budget option. What do you all think ?




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15 minutes ago, Lacazema said:

I've come across these stereo microscopes on Aliexpress

Allows a big working surface area. Won't rival AMScope I'm sure but looks like a decent budget option. What do you all think ?

There's at least one review of an AliX scope in the preceeding pages. 

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17 hours ago, jdm said:

There's at least one review of an AliX scope in the preceeding pages. 

Thanks JDM, ideed I've found 2 reviews on some aliexpress stereo microscopes in the preceeding pages. Seemed to be good quality and bang for buck. If I decide on one I'll make sure to review here for future reference.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Everyone,

I am going to share the details of my adventure with a trinocular stereo microscope and a digital camera attached to it. I bought a second hand AmScope SM-1T (1st purchase) and I had no experience with stereo microscopes before.

What I am going to write might be evident for some, but probably will help someone out with limited experience with trinocular stereo microscopes, I might be even wrong with some of the things I am writing/thinking, please feel free to correct me as the last thing what I would like to do is to mislead somebody else. You might have a different type of stereo microscope and you might have a different type of digital camera so you might be in a different situation I have been.

A stereo microscope is incredibly useful and is a completely new world for the watchmaker in my opinion. You can see things you were not able to see before, worn pivot holes, pivots, cracks in jewels, bent hairsprings, and dirt everywhere, etc. :) I wanted higher working distance though and I also wanted to take pictures and record videos about watch movements and one of my initial goal was also to be able to take a picture about the whole movement. To achieve this I bought a number of things one buy one waiting weeks between the different items as I was not sure what to buy exactly.

The AmScope SM-1T I own:


The only thing I was sure about was the illumination so I bought a led light ring (2nd purchase): "220V 60000LM Adjustable Microscope LED Ring Light Illuminator Lamp For STEREO Microscope Excellent Circle Light EU plug" The first one did not work for long, its circuit board died after a week or so. I got a replacement however I am still using the original led light ring without its original circuit feeded directly by my bench power supply with 12V. I did not know that time that there are adapter rings for ring lights so I drilled 3 little holes into the head of the microscope. Now this sounds silly and indeed it is, but it became handy later as I can use these three little holes to attach my ring light to the microscope head without loosing much of the working distance if I want to. I bought an adapter anyway (3rd purchase): "M48X0.75 48 mm Thread Aluminum Objective Adapter Ring Stereo Microscope to Attached LED or Fluorescence Ring Light"




The adapter ring:


The next thing what I bought was a 0.5x barlow lens (4th purchase) for the AmScope as I knew it would increase the working distance and the field of view and additionally would decrease the magnification. I went again for aliexpress and my number one priority was to get one as cheap as possible. Now this might be one of my biggest mistake here. I cannot compare the one I bought to any other 0.5x barlow lens, but I am not happy with this one: "0.5x WD160 Working Distance 160 mm Barlow Auxiliary Reduction Objective Lens with Mounting Thread 48 mm for Stereo Microscope" I cannot get a sharp image with this one so ended up not using it at all. You can attach your ring light directly to this one. This article talks about the barlow lens and suggests to buy a quality product from a trustworthy manufacturer: https://www.microscopemaster.com/barlow-lens.html

0.5x barlow lens for the AmScope:


Blurry images when fully zoomed in:



Fully zoomed out, too much light and not very sharp:5xbarlow_5xbarlow_full_out.thumb.JPG.a782911d0c9461376d07521e155cce80.JPG

Then I bought a digital camera (5th purchase) for the trinocular port namely: "2020 Full HD 1080P 60FPS 2K 3800W 38MP HDMI USB Industrial Electronic Digital Video Microscope Camera For Phone CPU PCB Repair"  but it was not compatible with the adapter the AmScope came with as it was designed for AmScope own digital camera, i did not know that at this stage though so I bought (6th purchase) a "CMOS CCD USB HDMI Industrial Video Camera Adapter Electronic Eyepiece Microscope 23.2mm to C Mount For Biological Microscope" because i hoped that it would help me to attach the digital camera to the AmScope adapter and I would be able to focus it. It turned out that this was not the case. I could not get any useful image, not even close.

The digital microscope camera:









AmScope adapter for their own digital camera what I could not use:


And the adapter which fits into the AmScope adapter above but it did not help:


Meanwhile I bought (7th purchase) a "0.7X WD120 Trinocular Microscope Stereo Microscope Auxiliary Objective Lens Barlow Lens" barlow lens for the AmScope. The other issue with the 0.5x barlow lens for AmScope was that the working distance went to the sky and I could not comfortably sit in my chair as I could not reach the eyepieces easily. I was hoping that the 0.7x barlow lens would sort that out, but it did not turn out the way I hoped for, I am going to write about the working distances later. However I am satisfied with the 0.7x barlow lens, I can get sharp images. You have to use a ring light adapter with this one as you cannot directly attach your ring light to it.


I am happy with this/ fully zoomed in:


Still happy, fully zoomed out:


Then I was advised to buy a 0.5x or 0.35x c mount adapter for the digital camera so I bought (8th purchase) "0.5X C mount Lens Adapter Focus Adjustable Camera Installation C mount Adapter" first, and yes it worked finally! The digital camera came with a ring and that ring must be used otherwise you cannot sync the focus between the digital camera and the microscope.

0.5x adapter for the digital camera:


And the ring what must be used:


As I was not happy with the 0.5x barlow lens for the AmScope but I still wanted to take pictures about the whole movement I thought i would buy (9th and final purchase) a 0.35x c mount adapter for the digital camera what would bring me a wider field of view so I bought a "0.35X C mount Lens Adapter Focus Adjustable Camera Installation C mount Adapter" too. And indeed it was the case, but it seems that the body of the microscope comes into the picture, what you can see in the upper right corner of the following picture so I ended up not using it.



Check the upper right corner:


When you use the microscope your field of view is a circle, but when you use your digital camera your field of view is a rectangle.

So i give you and idea about the dimensions and the working distances now.

Digital Camera with 0.5x adapter for all cases.

Field of view with 0.5x barlow lens for the stereo microscope:
Zoom full in 7.5 mm x 4 mm
Zoom full out 5.3 cm x 2.9 cm

Field of view with 0.7x barlow lens for the stereo microscope:
Zoom full in 4.5 mm x 2.5 mm
Zoom full out 2.9 cm x 1.6 cm

Field of view without barlow lens for the stereo microscope:
Zoom full in 4.5 mm x 2.5 mm
Zoom full out 2.9 cm x 1.6 cm

Stereo microscope field of view and working distance.
No barlow lens.
Zoom full in diameter: 4.5 mm
Zoom full out diameter: 30 mm
Working distance: 8 cm (from the workpiece and the bottom of the ring light which is attached to the 3 drilled holes)

0.7x barlow lens.
Zoom full in diameter: 5.5 mm
Zoom full out diameter: 40 mm
Working distance: 11.6 cm (from the workpiece and the bottom of the ring light which is attached to the 3 drilled holes, ring light adapter is not attached to the barlow lens as it would further reduce the working distance.)

0.5x barlow lens.
Zoom full in diameter: 10.5 mm
Zoom full out diameter: 70 mm
Working distance: 20.5 cm (from the workpiece and the bottom of the ring light which is attached to the 3 drilled holes)

Conclusion: I ended up using the 0.7x barlow lens for the microscope, and the 0.5x adapter for the digital camera which is a must have. The ring came with the camera is also a must so you would be able to sync the digital camera with the microscope so they would be both in focus at the same time. I had to ditch the 0.35x mount adapter for the digital camera because the body of the microscope came into the picture and I had to ditch the 0.5x barlow lens for the stereo microscope as it did not give me sharp images. Even if I would have a good quality 0.5x barlow lens which would give me sharp images I still would need to sort out the seating position by purchasing an adjustable chair (mine is adjustable too but it did not go high enough to reach the eyepieces) however it would give you an amazing working distance of about 20 cm bearing in mind that it halves the original magnification. My original wish to be able to take a picture about the whole movement probably was not something reasonable. First of all a microscope as its name suggests is about to focus on tiny things not on things like a whole movement, my phone takes better quality pictures than this microscope if we talk about the whole movement. Additionally I could not take a good quality picture (apart from the blurriness) about the whole movement when the 0.5x barlow lens were on the stereo microscope (and they had to be on to be able to get the whole movement in the field of view), because there was too much light and regardless of the settings of the digital microscope i could not sort it out. An additional thought, as I mentioned earlier I hoped that the 0.7x barlow lens would sort out the "too high" working distance and instead of 20cm it would be around 15 cm, but it came to 11.6 cm which is doing the match is about right as the original working distance without any barlow lens is 8 cm, the 0.5x gives me 20.5 cm, but if it doubles the working distance it should really be about 16 cm. The 10.5 cm what I have with the 0.7x barlow lens is just about enough, it would be better if it would be a bit bigger.

Probably a new chair and quality 0.5x barlow lens for the stereo microscope would be ideal for repairing, but none of the setup would be ideal for taking pictures about whole movements.

AmScope video about the Barlow lens: https://youtu.be/ozPae_nnbH4

My setup:


This video is captured by the digital camera itself, its size was just too big ~ 160M so I could not upload to wrt, however I wanted to show you its original quality so decided to upload it to my google drive, to my surprise when you click on the link the video quality is much worse than the original I uploaded, i dont know why is that happening, probably google tries to save the bits going trough the network: digital camera recording

This is what I see from my chair: 

One more thing to add, the digital camera started to play up after a while, its main menu came up and it switched itself off. Contacted the seller and they gave me a new firmware. I flashed the camera and there is no issue since.

This is my longest post so far, I am happy I am at it's end. :Laugh:

Edited by luiazazrambo
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