stereo microscope

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by sparkey0151, Mar 8, 2017.

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  1. sparkey0151

    sparkey0151 Registered User
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    Aug 9, 2016
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    Received my stereo microscope today, im very impressed with it, its got great clarity, and theirs plenty of room to work on movements underneath it, its much easier to use when you get used to it all in all im very happy with it , im glad i went for this one rather than a Chinese type as i dont think plastic type lenses are t as good as glass, and i would think you would pay a very high price for something as well made and of the same quality as this, looking at its plug reining and being from an electrical back ground i think it was made early 60s.
     
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  2. Monte87

    Monte87 Registered User

    Mar 7, 2020
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    I know this post is a bit old... But are you still happy with the microscope?
    Can you tell us what it is?

    - thanks
     
  3. S_Owsley

    S_Owsley Registered User
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    Jan 24, 2011
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    I used to be really into stereo photography. It reached it's zenith in the 1950's and into the early '60's. Though I'm sure stereo microscopes have been around for a while, it would make sense that anything from that era would be very high quality.
     
  4. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

    Mar 29, 2011
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    There are various of quality manufacturers around since the 1930s, but since the 1960s also ergonomics play a greater role. Older binocular microscopes had, like other microscopes of that period straight tubes, while later angled tubes where used, that allow for a more comfortable working position. There are also advances in making prisms of high quality, which made those angled tubes feasible.
     
  5. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Feb 5, 2007
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    25 years ago high quality high resolution stereo microscopes were beyond the reach of most watchmakers. New they were $1500 to $2000 just for the heads.

    The move to digital imaging by universities and high tech production facilities flooded the market with high-resolution scopes that were very well treated. Scopes such as AO/Rieichert 570, Nikon SMZ-1B, Leica/Bausch Stereo Zoom 7 (and even the 4) were all very good choices and inexpensive.

    Today it is very hard to locate any of these. But if you find one (and I know others have their favorites) and it is not abused or comes from a soldering station, you will be very happy. The scopes I mention are built like a tank and easy to lubricate.

    Here is a link to a page on microscopes I created for young watchmakers. Microscopes In Watchmaking

    There are some things you need to know about evaluating the optics (like the work should stay centered from max to min zoom), If you buy a scope from a reputable seller they will have been checked out and offered with a guarantee.

    But it makes a big difference when you can zoom into an escapement at 30X and not have your nose in the way. Plus you have better posture.
     
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  6. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    I have a relatively poor one but I know enough optics that I can get it to produce usable stereo images and it has been a massive help to me for turning small parts.

    I now can get my graver at the right cutting point regularly, see the chip and see what I am going when I file or burnish. I can tell immediately when I have lost the tip of my graver and I can check my graver before I try a cut.

    If you are very well trained, and have done this a lot perhaps you can do it with a loupe but at my age the stereo makes a huge difference and it does not have to be all that great a microscope.

    As Dewey wrote there are now a lot of old B&L AO stereo zoom microscopes out there. I saw a lot at flea markets. I bought one box with a boom one stand and four B&L heads and eyepieces for two for $40. I was going to use one to replace a B&L I had bought two years earlier for $35. That one only had one side working but I was able to glue the mirrors back in place and when I compared it to my later purchase I could see no difference.
     
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  7. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    Over here in Europe, they seem to be much more expensive ...
     
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  8. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    They are much more expensve through dealers here although I do not know how deaers here compare to outside the US.

    Part of this may be that there are a lot of Bausch & Lomb and American Optical stereo zooms over here. These are not at like classical Zeiss and Leitz microscopes.

    Also, I got mine at local flea markets and had to do work on two of them to get them work to my needs. I did a significant amount of academic and practical work in optics.
     
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  9. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    I suspect that is because Europeans are more appreciative of quality optics.

    But here in the US, the surplus of institutional optics has just about dried up. It took me a year to find a decent AO 580 for my wife. Returned 3 and paid almost $500 for the final one. But I needed to give her a scope that would give her 30X and a good field of view with a .5x barlow. Her vision is horrible.

    My daughter's father in law is a Dept Chair of Microbiology and he just shakes his head when he looks at our optics. He remembers precisely what they cost him 20 years ago.
     
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  10. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    I spotted my AO while driving past a yard sale. It was five bucks (no kidding) and marked from UC Berkeley. Later that week I turned up two extra pair of eyepieces at the dump/recycling center I worked at part time which completed the package. I seldom need it but it is indispensable when I do. The glass stage is about 4”x5” which helps steady my hands for the most delicate work.-Cort
     
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