Microscope Compilation - First Round
Below are a set of microscopes that have been recommended by members of the listserv
Any additions or corrections are welcome! I have removed everyone's name who contributed since I didn't explicitly mention that I would repost their material. Seemed the safe thing to do...but I appreciate the help.
Its interesting to see that no 2 people used the same scope.
We could use some more input here so fire away.
Zeiss Stemi 2000 Body 7:1 zoom with a camera port - $3,300
I looked at second hand microscopes (Nikon, Meiji, Weld), but finally bought a new one that I really, really like.
I bought a Zeiss Stemi 2000 Body 7:1 zoom with a camera port (still don't have a camera- you could add a section on digital cameras in the Handy Bee Manual). The scope was expensive! The body, eyepieces, stand, camera mount option, and plastic cover came to $3,300.00. It would have cost ~ $500.00 less without the cam-port. This microscope is a good fit for someone with seriously narrow eyes, and that was not easy to find. The stand it came with is large and difficult to travel with so I bought a used stand that is much smaller. I also bought a small suitcase for traveling that I fitted with foam to house the microscope and stand. Works like a charm.
When looking for a used microscope I tried J.R. Instruments and had a horrible experience that cost me a lot of money. My credit card company took it to court, etc. Do not recommend J. R. Instruments. They are great to talk to on the phone but that's where it stops.
Leica EZ 4 - $1150
Sam, My microscope is a Leica EZ 4 from New York Microscope Co. in Roslyn, New York. It cost about 1150 with postage and 20x eyepieces. It's a zoom and my only problem is the light isn't as good as I like. It's holding up well and I've been using it since Feb 2010. It can also be purchased with a built in camera for about $300 more.
Omano Stereoscope OM9949 - <$1,000
A couple of years ago I purchased the Omano Stereoscope OM9949 for under $1000. It’s a binocular scope with a 10W halogen lamp (overhead illumination but it can also illuminate from below). It is a zoom ranging from .65x to 4.5x and I have 10x, 20x and 25x eyepieces. They work well but of course once you get to the 25x your view is considerably narrowed and the illumination suffers so that I usually have to use an additional light source. You can purchase many accessories and easily spend over $1000 depending on those extras, but the base scope with the 10x eyepieces is currently selling for $799. They have great customer service, too, so if you are not sure exactly what accessories you might need, they can walk you through it and answer all of your questions.
Bausch and Lomb Stereo Zoom 5 - $150
I purchased two Bausch and Lomb StereoZoom 5 microscopes both were under $150. One I took apart, soaked the gears with brake clean, regreased, cleaned the lens, etc. It was not that difficult but I did take lots of pictures to aide reassembly.
Note that these are the classic student scopes and come in a variety of styles and models.
Leica 2000 - $850
I'm an under $1000 kind of guy, and I'm quite partial to the Leica 2000 zoom, which normally sells for about $850.
Microscopenet has them on sale right now for $400, which is really cheap. I don't know how long their sale will
last, so it might not be relevant to the bee manual, but even at $850 they are a good scope, IMHO.
In the BIML lab I have an Olympus SZ60 zoom at my desk as well as the following first tier scopes
Thomas Scientific - No model number
All very usable and good quality optics but note that the Wilds have a tendency to have their prisms come unglued and the mechanics of the zoom to wear out. Wilds are often listed as subcategories of Heerbrugg and Leica. Also note that they are uncommon / no longer manufactured scopes in the scheme of things and it can be hard to get parts for repair.
We also have series of Bausch and Lomb student scopes and Spencers for teaching purposes... I would personally avoid the Spencers. The B and L's are OK, but the zoom is located at the top of the head and I find that inconvenient. They often have the problem of the internal grease needing to be replaced.
Sam Droege sdroege@...
w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
The Identification of Grasses
A grass can be "glumey" in more ways than one,
When its classification remains to be done;
You pull off the parts, and soon feel your age
Chasing them over the microscope stage!
You peer through the lenses at all of the bracts
And hope your decisions agree with the facts;
While you oculist chortles with avid delight
As you strain both your eyes in the dim table light.
You are left on the horns of quite a dilemma
When you count the nerves on the back of the lemma;
Then you really get snoopy and turn each on turtle
To see if the flower is sterile or fertile.
And then the compression, no problem is meaner -
Is it flat like your wallet or round like a wiener?
"How simple," you think, "for a mind that is keen"-
But what do you do when it's half-way between?
You probe and you guess how the florets will shatter,
For you know later on it is certain to matter;
You long for the calmness of labor that's manual
When the question arises-"perennial" or "annual"?
And that terrible texture, the meanest of all,
Is one of the pitfalls in which you can fall;
"Cartilaginous" maybe-or is it "chartaceous"?
Has even the experts exclaiming "Good gracious!"
Then you wail as you wade through the long tribal key,
"Oh, why must his awful thing happen to me?"
"Grasses are easy," our teacher declares,
As he mops off a brow that is crowned with gray hairs!