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Stereo Microscope


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2 hours ago, AndyHull said:

This is slightly off topic, but YT just recommended this video to me.

The microscope in question is slightly out of most of our price ranges, but the results are absolutely amazing, and the watches being examined are pretty stunning too.

Ha brilliant.  Rolex and Seiko get your bloody act together haha.  Fantastic vid mate.👍 .Another good reason for me to continue collecting vintage watches of no more than a couple  of hundred quid lol

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

I want to purchase a stereo microscope with a boom but have been baffled by the array of options. For example I can’t tell if the low end Ameroscope that is heavily advertised on Amazon accommodate the “Barlow” lens(sp?) Also have the folks who’ve purchased the lower end AmerScope been satisfied? I’ve read mixed reviews. 

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Posted (edited)

I went with one of these

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124373214244?hash=item1cf538a424:g:RBoAAOSwOQpfmcWS

Excellent quality with pin sharp optics comes with a ringlight and camera adaptor should you want to add one (I did) Its simulfocus as well so you don't loose one eyepeice if you add a cemera unlike some.

I covered the base of mine with a green watchmakers mat cut to size.

I went with this Barlow lens,

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324850989758?hash=item4ba2a0babe:g:rK4AAOSw9fxheFBV

Same scope but with a boom arm 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/114450744089?hash=item1aa5cbc319:g:gfQAAOSwFE5fmcG0

Obviously I am in the UK but I am sure you could get these over your side of the pond and probably at a better price as well.

Edited by Paul80
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Crazy number of options. I'm looking at the AmScope SM-4B series. Will try to widdle it down to a version that has fewer bells/whistles since this is a hobby not professional use. So don't need tri version with simal focus, etc. Most important thing for me is stabilty of the stand (boom) and the ability to have enough distance between optics and workspace below (which means Barlow attachments I'm gathering).

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Just a side note: I‘ve been using this vintage Zeiss setup for decades. With a 8x20 pocket binocular it gives a crystal clear x16 magnification. I got it as a gift in the early ‘80s. 🙂

D54D4831-032A-46DF-8105-B426528FF2ED.thumb.jpeg.e44a1fa29ca7170ed73fefdacd665052.jpeg

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I've also been on the brink of picking up a stereo microscope but I was worried about my current desk height and seating arrangement not working. Rather than dropping the money on a scope I picked up a new visor. My old OptiVisor had seen better days and wasn't always enough magnification. I wear glasses and I also have degraded vision in my left eye due to a stroke. This new visor allows you to (optionally) have two lenses in place (that combine for greater magnification) both of which can flip up out of the way as well as an 8x spot lens over the right eye (the eye of mine that works). The whole thing flips up and it has a set of 3 LED's in front. It just arrived yesterday and I haven't actually used it yet. I think it is going to work well for me. It comes with five lenses: 1x, 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x and 3.5x. A case for the lenses and a charging cable for the lights. I'll report back at some point after having used it on a watch.

new visor.jpg

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I took the plunge and bought the following kit off Amazon: AmScope SM-4BZ-FRL Professional Binocular Stereo Zoom Microscope, WH10x Eyepieces, 3.5X-90X Magnification, 0.7X-4.5X Zoom Objective, 8W Fluorescent Ring Light, Double-Arm Boom Stand, 110V-120V, Includes 0.5x and 2.0x Barlow Lenses

will report back once it arrives and I set it up.

paid $430 USD for some reason (not complaining) since I pulled the trigger Amazon has repriced it at $639

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7 hours ago, Levine98 said:

I took the plunge and bought the following kit off Amazon: AmScope SM-4BZ-FRL Professional Binocular Stereo Zoom Microscope, WH10x Eyepieces, 3.5X-90X Magnification, 0.7X-4.5X Zoom Objective, 8W Fluorescent Ring Light, Double-Arm Boom Stand, 110V-120V, Includes 0.5x and 2.0x Barlow Lenses

will report back once it arrives and I set it up.

paid $430 USD for some reason (not complaining) since I pulled the trigger Amazon has repriced it at $639

Haha. Supply and demand mate, your purchase has just made it more popular 😀 

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9 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

are you pleased with it tom , how much field of view do you have?

Hi NEW, very pleased, at lowest magnification the whole of a 6497 movement is in view easily. Full magnification allows for good inspection of jewels etc.

 

cheers

 

Tom

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I tried a handful of things to avoid the cost of the AmScope. Two different Optivisor knockoffs as the real McCoy. The lenses on the knockoffs both pointed straight ahead rather than converging at the focal point, so you had to close one eye to be able to focus on anything. Full refund, but they wouldn't take either back, and they're both still sitting in a stack on my office table... Then I think I got the name brand one, and while giving me binocular magnification (good), it still resulted in tool obstructions very close to the workpiece. Certain operations had me tapping the plastic to the right of the thing and making it difficult to get good angles with the tool and my vision simultaneously. That was my primary complaint with my clip-on loupe (not having experienced stereoscopic magnification, I couldn't complain about not having it). I also managed to snag a high end dentist's magnifying stereoscopic loupe from a pediatric dental surgeon neighbor. It was permanently attached to some prescription lenses that were lighter than my own, but still off. I could actually get decent magnification from them. Still not better overall than the clip-on loupe. Then the AmScope arrived. Game changed. It's worth the cost of entry. I've actually probably used it for more non-watchmaking things than watchmaking at this point; though that says more about my schedule at the moment than anything. Had I been thinking, I probably could have written it off on my taxes since one of those uses has been soldering for work.

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52 minutes ago, spectre6000 said:

not having experienced stereoscopic magnification

I guess one reason I'm leery of spending on the stereo scope is the damage I have to my left eye. If I close my right eye I can't see anything that my left eye is focused on since the retina was damaged by the stroke. I can see things around the "cloud" in the center. So, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be any "stereo" depth perception using a stereo microscope (for me anyway).

I never thought about the focal angle of these clip in visor lenses as being an issue. I'm still optimistic that it will be better than what I had previously and I might end up getting a scope anyway - we'll see.

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I mean... if stereoscopic vision isn't in the cards for you no matter what, the relative angle of the lenses on an optivisor or similar won't really matter. You might even be able to get away with a digital scope. All the benefits of magnification, easy image capture, and comfortable seating position without the drawback of the lack of depth perception (since it is not reconcilable). Plus, extra bonus: those dudes are cheap and plentiful.

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3 hours ago, spectre6000 said:

if stereoscopic vision isn't in the cards for you no matter what

It is not - unfortunately 😞

3 hours ago, spectre6000 said:

You might even be able to get away with a digital scope

Yesterday I ordered a Raynox "filter" that will add magnification to my macro lens. I've used those little USB digital scopes previously and they're cheap and powerful (but they need to be close). Maybe one of those would be a worthwhile addition.

As it turns out, I wasn't thrilled with the new visor. I still either haven't found the magical pairing of lens strengths or maybe I never will. It is however a lot nicer than my 40 year old OptiVisor.

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I just pulled the trigger on eBay on a trinocular AmScope 7x - 45x boom stand microscope. I ought to be able to drop one of my cameras easily into the third tube. I have the adapters to use my APS-C Sony on our telescopes but I might get the two adapters needed to use one of my MFT Panasonics (since they're smaller).

Stay tuned...

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1 hour ago, grsnovi said:

I just pulled the trigger on eBay on a trinocular AmScope 7x - 45x boom stand microscope. I ought to be able to drop one of my cameras easily into the third tube. I have the adapters to use my APS-C Sony on our telescopes but I might get the two adapters needed to use one of my MFT Panasonics (since they're smaller).

Stay tuned...

I hope you realise a trinocular microscope can use the camera port and only one eye piece at a time, which means you have no depth of field with just one eye piece. A simul-focal microscope can use both eye pieces and the camera port

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3 minutes ago, Jon said:

which means you have no depth of field

Hi Jon,

I have no depth of field anyway due to retina damage in my left eye from a stroke a year ago. I'm not worried about what I get as far as DoF from the scope as I won't typically have a camera on it anyway.

I wonder if all of my obsession over macro photography and microscopes is an attempt to compensate for the eye damage of a year ago?

- Gary

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5 hours ago, grsnovi said:

I just pulled the trigger on eBay on a trinocular AmScope 7x - 45x boom stand microscope. I ought to be able to drop one of my cameras easily into the third tube. I have the adapters to use my APS-C Sony on our telescopes but I might get the two adapters needed to use one of my MFT Panasonics (since they're smaller).

Stay tuned...

Nice! I have the SimulFocal version if that. Any idea what adapters you use on the 3rd port in order to fit normal video cameras, like your typical mirror less cameras? My mind spins when I look at all the attachments you can get for those.

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38 minutes ago, gbyleveldt said:

Any idea what adapters you use on the 3rd port

I don't really. I'm pretty sure I have what I need to attach my Sony a65 but I won't know for sure until the scope arrives.

When you say "normal video camera" do you mean something like a Handy Cam camcorder - all-in-one unit, no interchangeable lens? I know for the a65, my attachments allow the camera's sensor to use the microscopes lens, but with a camcorder that has an integral lens I haven't a clue.

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2 hours ago, grsnovi said:

I don't really. I'm pretty sure I have what I need to attach my Sony a65 but I won't know for sure until the scope arrives.

When you say "normal video camera" do you mean something like a Handy Cam camcorder - all-in-one unit, no interchangeable lens? I know for the a65, my attachments allow the camera's sensor to use the microscopes lens, but with a camcorder that has an integral lens I haven't a clue.

Sorry, I should’ve been more specific, I meant for a typical APSC camera like my Fuji XT4. So it has interchangeable lenses

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