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Stereo Microscope


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Hi all, this thread has been a great source of info on microscopes and excellent for a complete newbie as myself.

Ive decided to go with a microscope straight away as one consistent comment I’ve seen online is people stating that they wish they had purchased one earlier.

The issue I have is which one.  I found what looks like a decent Eakins item for about $360.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33007792373.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.5ce238daQnygLt&mp=1

However there’s others that look exactly the same with the same in the package details such s the one below for a couple of hundred more.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003181895694.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.1b9638damFQUhn&mp=1

Given that both list cameras only as options I’m inclined to go with the cheaper item given that they seem to have the same specs.  Are these really the same or am I missing something.

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2 hours ago, CelticBrew said:

Hi all, this thread has been a great source of info on microscopes and excellent for a complete newbie as myself.

Ive decided to go with a microscope straight away as one consistent comment I’ve seen online is people stating that they wish they had purchased one earlier.

The issue I have is which one.  I found what looks like a decent Eakins item for about $360.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33007792373.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.5ce238daQnygLt&mp=1

However there’s others that look exactly the same with the same in the package details such s the one below for a couple of hundred more.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003181895694.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.1b9638damFQUhn&mp=1

Given that both list cameras only as options I’m inclined to go with the cheaper item given that they seem to have the same specs.  Are these really the same or am I missing something.

Pairing with a camera seems to be the difference and the black microscopes are a bit more expensive than the white ones.  I would recommend getting it without a camera.  Take your time and find a camera that you will be happy with.  The ones that come with the microscopes are hard to find much information on.

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That’s what I thought at first but a YouTuber did a review where the front page showed a camera but when it didn’t come he checked and the package list on the website listed the camera as an option.  Both of the microscopes I linked had the same.  
 

it seems a tad shady the way they are listed but the $360 item seems ok. I concur with the camera I’ll get the scope then work out the camera later. After a bit more research.

Thanks for the advice.

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10 hours ago, CelticBrew said:

That’s what I thought at first but a YouTuber did a review where the front page showed a camera but when it didn’t come he checked and the package list on the website listed the camera as an option.  Both of the microscopes I linked had the same.  
 

it seems a tad shady the way they are listed but the $360 item seems ok. I concur with the camera I’ll get the scope then work out the camera later. After a bit more research.

Thanks for the advice.

I think it is a problem with the website.  The first option should be without camera, but the photo you see has a camera.  If you select another option and then go back to the first, you will see the no camera photo.

1 hour ago, Razz said:

Check the shipping, looks to be over $200.

It seems they do that to keep your import duties lower, instead of bundling that in the price.

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12 hours ago, Razz said:

Looks okay and has all the assesories. Check the shipping, looks to be over $200.

Yes the shipping is ridiculous but it appears that they all have similar rates to Australia.  I'm guessing the weight and dimensions exceed some sort of limit for low cost freight to Au.

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3 hours ago, spectre6000 said:

These things are HEAVY. On the order of 65 pounds if memory serves. Comes in two large, well padded boxes.

Mine came in one quite heavy box.  I don't doubt that shipping is expensive on these microscopes.

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/30/2024 at 12:10 AM, spectre6000 said:

These things are HEAVY. On the order of 65 pounds if memory serves. Comes in two large, well padded boxes.

The Eakins has finally arrived in one very heavy box, now I need to sort out a suitable camera and dedicated desk as I currently on,y have my computer desk.  I’m thinking those electric sit stand desks might work as I can adjust the height as needed.

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Hello all,

So for my birthday, I asked my wife for a stereo-microscope (actually, I told her exactly which one I wanted).

I've read many times (and seen this video of Alex https://youtu.be/tAtATqwI5A4?si=NlU3TwHFBwpDKitw) that a good stereo microscope would be a "game changer".

I resisted for the longest time, and ended up buying a staking set, jewelling set, glass press... heck, even a Jacot tool.
But now I made the jump.

And OH MY GOODNESS, it is so much more amazing and "game changing" than I ever imagined. 

I go the Amscope SM-3TP (https://amscope.com/products/c-sm-3tp-hd), with light ring and 0.5 Barlow lens.
It delivers the perfect amount of magnification and working distance.

(Please note that the 3TP version allows you to use full stereo vision while using the camera port at the same time. The 3T version used by Alex (see video link about) will force you to either use stereo-vision for your eyes and NOT use the camera port at all, OR use the camera port but only have mono-vision on your eyes. The camera port and the left eyepiece share the same "tunnel" and there's a lever that you pull/push to decide which one is active. I definitely recommend paying 20 bucks more to get the 3TP.)

I think that one really needs to experience a stereo microscope like this to fully appreciate how incredible it is. Pictures (which are two-dimensional) will never do it justice.

To see three-dimensionally is SOOOOO useful. I've never oiled a pallet stone with such perfect accuracy and ease. And I can see in perfect clarity how the drop of oil spreads over the next 3-5 escape wheel teeth. Until I apply another perfect drop in the perfect spot.

And INSPECTION: my goodness. You'll find the tiniest speck of dust or debris with ease. 

Honestly, I'm over the moon with this new acquisition. After using it for 3 days, I can't even imaging how I lived without it.

 

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33 minutes ago, Knebo said:

And OH MY GOODNESS, it is so much more amazing and "game changing" than I ever imagined.

IMHO, no truly serious work can be done before you get a stereo microscope for the simple reason that you can't really see what you're doing and the result of it. Congrats! 👍

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On 3/1/2024 at 11:57 PM, CelticBrew said:

The Eakins has finally arrived in one very heavy box, now I need to sort out a suitable camera and dedicated desk as I currently on,y have my computer desk.  I’m thinking those electric sit stand desks might work as I can adjust the height as needed.

I have a height adjustable desk and it's fantastic. Gives you so much flexibility to switch between microscope and non-microscope work. Also when working with the microscope only, you'll change the working height (your eye-level) frequently. Your back/neck will thank you very much for an adjustable desk!

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A microscope takes the horological experience to a different level. Parts that you thought were clean are not, parts that you see no fault are faulty. I am greedy I have one over my lathe + two on my desktop one powerful Olympus which gives in incredible clarity and a AmScope which gives a high working space..

Also a digital scope purchased for me by my other half, its clarity is poor but does give the ability to copy what’s in view. 

Edited by clockboy
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1 hour ago, clockboy said:

Parts that you thought were clean are not, parts that you see no fault are faulty

Haha, I second that one!!! It's incredible. 

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Now brace yourself for when you realize it has uses beyond watchmaking! Recently in another sphere of lunacy, I've been digging into leathers from different species to try to figure out how to tell the difference (specifically between horse and cow leathers). Also very useful for making/repairing electronics. Also, I modified a watch oiler (the biggest one in the set that never seemed to get any use) to fix skips in vinyl records. Also, I found micrometeorites in the driveway with my daughter (lots more coming on that front no doubt). Like you, I was very much on the fence about buying a microscope, and I have ended up using it for so many things beyond what I thought I would.

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  • 1 month later...
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I've been using my scope for non-watchmaking things lately, so this may be of limited application... I found that the lack of magnification on the camera compared to what I'm seeing in the eyepieces was problematic. Combined with the reduced field of vision, it's a bit of a conundrum. I ended up getting a phone mount with 3 axes of adjustability, and have been taking photos that way when I want to see more than the camera can see. I haven't had a chance to look into the existence of magnification for the camera port to match the eyepieces, but then you'd certainly run into the field of vision limitation again... That seems to be more a limitation of the camera/scope as a whole than any particular model, but throwing that out there as something I've run into lately. 

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  • 3 months later...

After reading through this thread and some others, I purchased a setup to replace the small fixed-magnification dissecting scope that I had been using. I bought a black "3.5X 7X 45X 90X Simul-Focus Parfocal Trinocular Stereo Microscope Head" from AliExpress for $143 shipped to the U.S. - this is just the microscope, eyepieces and a 0.5X Barlow. I then scanned Ebay for awhile until I found a good deal on a used heavy-duty pin-mount stand that set me back another $145 but was cheaper than a new one from Amscope. This design allows perpendicular angled-view mounting and slide-out storage to the side which works with my fold-down work surface. I already had a circa-2016 3.2 megapixel microscope camera which is now mounted with a 0.35X focusable C-mount adapter. As discussed here, this gives a good working distance while the field of view for the camera and the eyepieces matches very well. So, thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences good and bad and helping the rest of us more easily navigate the process!


Pictures (taken without the camera or lighting set up) shows it stowed and then extended. I needed a bit of ballast on the base of the stand, so my case opener has a new place to live!

store.thumb.jpg.5bcb971d26e4d6a38ea04d96c91e74e7.jpg

use.thumb.jpg.7c1d2c0870dc6c1c0e896882a498fbd0.jpg

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