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Re: "Second tier" brands (was: Advice on buying a microscope)

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  • J. G. McHone
    In reference to how long a microscope might remain in good condition, ready for use, and desired by its owner; it seems to me that we are luckier than hobby or
    Message 1 of 56 , Apr 27 5:30 AM
      In reference to how long a microscope might remain in good condition,
      ready for use, and desired by its owner; it seems to me that we are
      luckier than hobby or vocation users of some other technical
      instruments. We don't have something "better" coming out every few
      months to covet or make what we have obsolete (unlike cameras, or
      computers, or cell phones etc -- I don't know about telescopes).

      A good microscope made in the latter part of the last century is about
      as satisfying and useful as a good new one, at least for simple
      observations. A couple of years ago I cleaned and adjusted a colleague's
      black Leitz Dialux that had been in regular academic use since 1970. It
      was still in near-perfect condition, and I am sure with care and minor
      maintenance it will last the owner's lifetime and be passed along to his
      children and grandchildren, and still provide them with fine microscopic
      viewing and easy operation. We laid in a supply of incandescent light
      bulbs, and when those are used up after many years, it could surely be
      converted to whatever lamp is current. With gentle use, most lenses will
      not delaminate, gears will not break, and relatively few surfaces will
      show wear (which is only a badge of honor anyway). And if someday you
      want a different Leitz lens or part, most likely you can find it and
      even afford it.

      Into the foreseeable future, the same will be true for any of the major
      brands that populated our schools and labs in past decades. A very fine
      used microscope can now be had for a tiny fraction of its new price, and
      at less cost than a lower quality new scope that will never be as
      satisfying to use or last as long. Even if an older scope needs to be
      cleaned up and some parts replaced, the huge assortment of major-brand
      used microscope accessories, parts, and pieces appears to only be
      getting greater, cheaper, and more accessible with time (and not just on
      eBay but also from dealers). I foresee no end to this in my lifetime,
      and I plan to be using my scopes another 40 years, at least! But -- I
      have an Olympus BH-2 and a Wild M5, both models high in quality, made in
      large numbers, and then surplussed by many (not all) of their original
      company owners. What might be the long term prospects for smaller volume
      brands?

      People new to microscopy often don't realize that this situation is
      quite different from many other hobbies that need technical instruments.
      So we will need to repeat the same advice, and what a great time it is
      to start or renew this avocation!


      --- In Microscope@yahoogroups.com, Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Hello Gordon and group, it's incredible how much of 'technical
      intrumentation' gets eventually pushed into rarified strata of 'obsessed
      coniseurs'. Then again, these issues suggest wonderful summertime
      evening dinner party by a beautiful natural and clean body of water with
      unstressed shoreline habitat ( in the state parksystem of :'Bear
      Mountain NY state parkland', toilet tissue at the base of a lot of the
      trees off path)...an evening dinner party where we all can share thought
      on instruments/trends/ future depreciation as 'Wotan bulbs hit the
      $55.00 price range and we 'too late discover A LOT OF THE LED light unit
      conversions have been harmful to our eyes ( as an undergrad, I can't
      guess the huge amount of clock hours I spent with eye, or eyes, to the
      brightfield microscope. Before college days, I actually had markedly
      DIMMER VISION in the daylight , with the right/dominant eye I used with
      my monocular microscope)! Factoring in 'logistics of parts/repair'
      waters down
      > a lot of hobby to 'stark reality'. 1) We have VHS camcorder video of
      our dear child, now 18years of age...camera 'zines' state the mylar base
      of the wound film alters with time...digitalize it or loose it! We
      haven't. 2) I purchased a 'highend refractor telescope', sellor and I
      each drove about 400miles to meet/ me inspect and use some of the
      optics...this was a big money hobby purchase...( UPS = 'whoops'
      phonetically and with expensive optics, dreadfully!). Now how the heck
      do you 'get service on this system', I take it to cornfields 200+miles
      from where I live, to get 'dark night face skies', I pack in in the back
      seat (NEVER THE BOOT!) of the car for hours of bumpy roads...that's why
      I went 'refractor vrs 'reflector' astronomy optics! Still, one dreadful
      day I will have to service this system. 3)When my dad was still here to
      share , I told him I wanted to purchase a 'high end classic wrist
      watch', dad said:'charlie, how do you service it, you have to worry an
      > unethical hack will 'switch the movement inside the case'?! I never
      felt need for a wristwatch since then, and my cellphone gives excellent
      time these days! 4) for all my years of childhood microscopy which
      truelly was the 'escallator to a career' (1957, Sputnik launch helped a
      lot too, thanks, Kruschivee ?sp??), I NEVER HEARD THE WORD :
      'DELAMINATION' until I stumbled upon this forum by chance, fall'07. As
      it is stated in this forum...'some lens system suffer DELAMINATION',
      where does this 'depreciation' factor in as LED light unit conversions
      'fry some retinas'?!! 5) Gordon, it seems a case is being made to simply
      : 'ride the wave of chineese optics'/digital scope enhancement/ software
      'tweedling' of, of all things: 'STILL IMAGES'! My wonderful explorations
      of aquatic live interactions visually are a satisfying treat. 6) Are we
      rearrangeing deck chairs on 'the proverbial Titanic', to even go the
      route of 'classic pre-digital microscopes' purchase/upgrade? I
      > mean this in context of:'$700 gears/ 'internet E-bay vulture bidders'/
      my urban greater NYC METRO existence permitting 'hands on at
      auctions'...scope purchases, but the intent was 'club for
      middleschoolers as in :'Project Micro'...yeah...'right'!...with all
      adolescent time demands ( and my work schedule ), perhaps I'm collecting
      as an end initself...'which waters things down for me'! No one in this
      forum get 'pause' from my now 'moment of reality', after hearing about:
      '$700.00 gear parts'. happy springtime, charlie guevara,NJ,US
      >
      > "gordon.couger@..." gcouger@... wrote: Hi Charles,
      >
      > A lot depends on where you live. The same brands aren't available in
      the US that are in the UK and EU.
      >
      > I sing this same song over and over. Because to me those that use
      these scopes made by AO Spencer, Leitz and Zeiss from the 1950's through
      the 1970's seem to have less problems and the ones they have are easier
      and less expensive to fix when they do than those that have other
      scopes.
      >
      > I used to get involved in chasing down parts for people. Doing that I
      learned to hate plastic gears. A replacement gear for a Wild from the
      70's would have cost over $700 dollars. I think he put the parts on a
      $70 Leitz stand, At least some one makes makes metal gears for the Nikon
      from the 70's at a fair price that first brought the problem to light in
      a big way. Finding a part for AO Spencer, Zeiss and Leitz is usually
      easy. My experience finding them for Wild, Reichert, Vickers, and
      anything else has been bad and expensive. To be fair no on probably came
      to me until they had found the easy parts themselves.
      >
      > I base my choice and recommendations in scopes from the 70's and older
      on cost, performance and availability of scopes, accessories and parts.
      I also feel that interchangeability of parts and accessories over
      various models and years or production is important. In the USA that
      almost always means Carl Zeiss, Leitz and A O Spencer.
      >
      > I also consider resale value of what I buy. I don't think I will find
      any disagreement that Zeiss has he best resale value of them all. But in
      the USA Zeiss, Leitz and AO Spencer all hold their value better than
      less popular scopes from the 50' through the 70's.
      >
      > The UK has a much wider choice of brands at much lower prices or so I
      am told. Older Lomo's and Zeiss aus Jenna scopes from that time frame
      are almost non existent in the markets I see in the USA.
      >
      > Europe seems to have a much wider range of choices with Reichert,
      Lomo, Zeiss aus Jena and other makers that I know little about.
      >
      > Some Lomo optics are as good as anyone makes. They have some
      objectives that are unique as they are the only ones that make them.
      Their line of water and glycine immersion lenses are 2 among many. Their
      stands aren't up to the same quality and durability of Zeiss & Leitz.
      But no one else made their stands like that either.
      >
      > My favorite scope to use is a Nachet 300 with DIC. I can't find
      anything at all about it. I hope to fit the DIC parts on a Zeiss stand
      so I can have the rotating stage, wave plates, rotating Polarizer and
      Analyzer. Finding those parts for the Nachet is a hopeless quest that
      take the rest of my life and still not be found. All I need to finish
      the conversion to Zeiss is to make a modified condenser carrier to get
      the condenser high enough and make or modify a Pol insert to mount the
      DIC analyzer above the objective.
      >
      > I don't know if its second tier scopes or not. But replacing the
      Nachet objectives with Leitz Pol objectives makes a substantial
      improvement even though the Leitz objectives are made for use with/out
      cover slips and I almost always use coverslips looking at live things
      with the Nachet. Nachet may have better objectives but I have not been
      able to get a bit of documentation on the scope in the 10 or so years I
      have had it. I have not seen another Nachet 300 with DIC any where and I
      haven seen a Nachet 300 in the USA at all. Needless to say I gave next
      to nothing for it and neither I nor the seller knew what it was. I was
      hoping it was regular phase scope. I was pleasantly surprised.
      >
      > There are great values out there in other brands of scopes. Make sure
      they are in working condition or you know where to get or make the parts
      you need if its not.
      >
      > Best Wishes,
      > Gordon
      >
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Charles Guevara icecilliate123@...
      > To: Microscope@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Friday, April 25, 2008 9:24:00 PM
      > Subject: Re: [Microscope] "Second tier" brands (was: Advice on buying
      a microscope)
      >
      > Hello and 'all the best', DON! Rather than 'put words in others minds
      in THIS FORUM', perhaps YOU could specifically : 1) say you visited
      ?'germpores'?? website/blogg on: 'purchaseing a microscope'., 2) haveing
      read that banal and flat assertion that 'Reichert microscopes are second
      tier', in that excellent written advisory on purchaseing a microscope,
      you could specifically offer opinion on my (charlie guevara) specific
      assertion that this is an incorrect classification/wrong-headed scheme
      of an otherwise useful resource.?!! I would never assume YOU are WEDDED
      TO A SPECIFIC MICROSCOPE, DON! But I request you 'in forum' offer direct
      and tangible thoughts , rather than posting nonsense about who (you
      think!??) is 'personally involved in a specific microscope'! Again I am
      suggesting it is not correct to mix the recent trends of 'branding'/
      'suggesting value'/ accepting that: 'nameing-rights ' are valid in our
      incredibly challenged 'race to the
      > bottom' globalized
      > human community. Please 'get beyond putting words/motivations in folk
      you DO NOT KNOW', simply go to web-site/blogg :"Green Microscope", and
      read the 10minute masthead article on 'rise and fall of one great
      microscope', then vist ?'germpores'?? excellent website article
      on:'purchaseing a microscope', then specifically share in forum tangible
      thoughts on my posting? all the best, Don, charlie guevara,NJ.US
      >
      > DonH djhmis@... wrote:
      > --- germpore pgwerner@... wrote:
      >
      > > Another thing with that is that if you go back a few
      > > years, the
      > > quality of the "Big 4" was not always the same. If
      >
      > Hi,
      >
      > I think it's much ado about nothing, really. A friend
      > of mine, a long time and very experienced microscope
      > machinist, has long said that Reicherts don't quite
      > have the quality and versatility of the Zeiss and
      > Leitz scopes of the same era.
      >
      > Such distinctions can be quite arbitrary, and there
      > are two factors that help: what era are we talking
      > about, and what are the criteria for division into
      > "tiers."
      >
      > I think someone was obviously a Reichert fan. But
      > people are better off not tying their self-esteem to
      > their scopes. I use whatever gets the job done;
      > sometimes I need my Ortholux, sometimes my Dialux,
      > sometimes my Meiji RZ, and yes, sometimes my generic
      > import that I haven't taken to the range and shot yet.
      >
      > When we talk about scopes to buy, I think we should
      > take the responsibility of trying to help the new
      > buyer match their needs to a scope that fits rather
      > than talk about what tier some scope is in, without
      > explaining what divides the tiers or what the
      > advantages and disadvantages are of owning one of the
      > big classics.
      >
      > Best,
      > Don
      >
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    • Gordon Couger
      Thanks Greg, Look atL http://www.couger.com/microscope/links/gcnewbuy.html and http://www.science-info.net/pages/JGMcHone/UsedMicroscopesfortheAmateur.html To
      Message 56 of 56 , Apr 28 12:43 PM
        Thanks Greg,

        Look atL
        http://www.couger.com/microscope/links/gcnewbuy.html and
        http://www.science-info.net/pages/JGMcHone/UsedMicroscopesfortheAmateur.html

        To see if that suits you. I need to reorganize the mess of web pages I have they are
        scattered over too many place and pages.

        Thanks
        Gordon

        --- In Microscope@yahoogroups.com, "J. G. McHone" <greg@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Gordon, you are welcome to it although your posts are the ones of high
        > value. We might duplicate some of the same messages, but back in my days
        > as an instructor I was in the habit of repeating information at least 3
        > times, or more, to be sure a significant percentage was absorbed by
        > students. When they gave me their pained look and "we already know
        > this," then I could move onward with some confidence of progress! Greg
        >

        > >
        >
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