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  #1  
Old 02-07-2012, 07:43 PM
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G.rohrbaugh G.rohrbaugh is offline
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Default Microscope question

Is there anyone using a Omano or Amscope? I now these are low budget scopes but as a beginner would like to know if there are good enough to start? Thanks for your comments.
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2012, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Don't know about those scopes, but you can p/u nice meiji EMZ scopes on eBay pretty reasonably. I've bought two of them this way I think I paid $400 for one and $600 for another. Sure beats the $1800 new pricing. Both were in used shape, but fully functional and the optics were good.
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2012, 08:38 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

The last time I posted this I got an email basically calling me a liar and telling me I had no idea how many of these scopes I had. Without naming any names so I don't get sued I will give you my opinion of ALL the import chinese crapscopes.

I had six when the engraving school here was new. 4 I bought new, one used and one was donated to the school here. Out of those six two are still working and one of those is on its way out. Keep in mind these scopes only get used when I have a class here. They did not get everyday use.

The mechanisms inside these scopes apparently doesn't like to stay calibrated for what ever reason. The quality of the scopes imported from china and probably those from the former soviet block just isn't there for daily use.

In my opinion, you would be MUCH better off buying a used scope of a good reputable brand and sending it to a microscope service place and have it cleaned and calibrated. My sister bought a used Olympus with a twin wand fiber optic light and the boom stand for $450, I have seen several good scopes on ebay for the $500 range. B&L stereozoom 4 is a good option as well as the Meiji already mentioned.

Leonardo posted an article on the Engravers Cafe form a scope service center dealing with what to look for when buying a used scope. I think Sam put that in his tips section over there but I'm not sure. I would recommend you look that up.

I know others have chinese scopes and are satisfied with them. However, my experience has convinced me that when it comes to optics you are taking a risk when not buying reputable name brands.

..and that is my PERSONAL OPINION based on my experience with import knock off scopes.

Ray
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

I used a Nikon for about 10 years and had a new Omano for back-up, Sold my Nikon and used my Omano back-up scope to cut about 100 to 125 coins which consisted of using it for 40 to 50 hours a week for about a year..Then I brought a Leica s4e and put the Omano back on the shelf, the s4e Leica is a workhorse of a scope, I didn,t know scopes could be as clear until I started using it...Now I have a Omano scope and a B&L 4 scope for back-up,[ not sure why I need two back-up scopes, it may have something to do with me being a tool nut]..The Omano paid for itself the first week of carving coins, but it,ll probably spent it,s remaining life on the shelf with the B&L 4 scope, the B&L 4 is a good scope, But not up to par to the Leica....[ps] anyone living near me can come to my place and try a Omano scope , B&L 4 scope and a Leica s4e scope plus a grs system and a Lindsay classic, plus Hand Push method..
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Mr. G;

I am a beginner as well and about a year ago I decided that my 70 year old eyes needed a microscope. I viewed e-Bay every day for six months and along came a Meiji EMZ-8TR on e-Bay with a minimum bid of $500.00. I sent a question to the person that had the microscope and learned that a lady who had a gem store bought it new a couple of years earlier from GRS and had not used it as she had got busy doing other things.

Long story short, I won the bid at $515.00, received the microscope--just like brand new with all sorts of gear and extra lens with it. I then made a boom stand, purchased a auxillary lens for $70.00 and I was in business.


I have seen similar bargains on microscope on e-Bay since then.

Don't give up, keep searching and you will find a good microscope with good optics.

Here is a photo of the Microscope--I have the tube for the camera attachment removed in this photo as I have mounted a small carpenters level on top where the tube screws into the top cover.

Best Regards;
Steve Howell
Attached Images
File Type: jpg engraving stand full view.jpg (63.9 KB, 0 views)
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:36 PM
Roger Henrichs Roger Henrichs is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

I'm with Ray.....Been there....done that....save your money and buy nothing less than a Meiji

Roger
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  #7  
Old 02-07-2012, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

i bought a used "scienscope" zoom stereo on ebay. ok, not world-class optics, but it has been a very reliable scope. no complaints with the one i bought. maybe i just got lucky, but i'd not hesitate to reccomend this brand to those forced to a budgetary limitation. not sure if it's usa made, or an import.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2012, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Thanks for all your help! I'll check out ebay for a good scope. I'm glad I asked about this because I sure don't want something that I'm not going to be happy with!
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2012, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: Microscope question

I got an amscope a year ago. Been using it regularly and I have no complaints on the optics causing headace, nor anything not working properly. I realize one year isnt enough time to judge the durability of the scope, but I don't hesitate to recommend the scope to anyone on a tight budget.
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2012, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Thanks for your input!
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  #11  
Old 02-08-2012, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: Microscope question

i bought a year ago inebay a bausch & lomb stereozoom 4 with stand for 150$ and i'm happy with it i use it every day i haven't try never a superior scope but for me work very well
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2012, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

I've been meaning to update the references to the Omana on scope page. The business that sells those scope has changed hands and the new owner is not as friendly at taking care of scope problems and customers like the original owner was.

I am still sold on the old bushch and lomb stereo scopes. I used one for 20 years before going to the OPMI1 Zeiss scopes. That B&L I had was my fahter's and he purchased it new for a diamond scope for his jewelry store back in the 70s. The B&L scopes are usually plentiful ebay. Price ranging all over the place. That B&L I sold around 1999 when dad found two OPMI1 zeiss scopes. Around five years ago I did shop ebay and bought a B&L for Katherine Plumer to help her, and then this last fall I bought another just because I couldn't resist it. I could see in the auction it had the .5 reducing lens on it. Came with a boomstand, light, and the reducing lens for $300. I haven't done anything with this scope though, however over Christmas my machine tool teacher from college days came to visit and was interested in getting started engraving. I loaned the scope to him and he is getting along good with it. Anyway, in the long run this is what I'd do if I were starting out again. I'd watch ebay and find a B&L in good working condition and get started engraving. But I'd keep watching ebay for the ultimate goal of finding a zeiss opmi1. I think looking in the opmi1 scopes is so much brighter. With most of the other scopes you need extra light and they are like looking in a dark hole compared to the zeiss. There just isn't much light lose. It is like not looking through a scope at all.

At some point I believe Leica bought out Bushch & Lomb. I haven't had a chance to look into a Leica but the quality of Leica was always top, plus Bill Zach uses one and likes it.

Bushch & Lomb search:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...at=0&_from=R40

Here is a pic from Al Carter (my machine tool instructor from 1977) with the B&L loaner scope.
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2012, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

is the same that i have now, for me for his price is a great scope for learning
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  #14  
Old 02-08-2012, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

This looks like a great setup for the money:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-SMZ-10...#ht_2447wt_922
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  #15  
Old 02-08-2012, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

I think my dad had a Nikon and an Olympus scope for a time. They were good too. I do like the boom stand concept over the acrobat type. With the boom once you have the scope centered over the vise, you can just push/swing it out of the way when you don't need it.. and when the scope is needed again swing it back to position quick. I spin the vise once while looking in the scope to know where to stop swinging. The acrobat type you have two other movements/axises to get it back to where it was.
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  #16  
Old 02-08-2012, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Here is a B&L that is misspelled on ebay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BAUSH-LOMB-S...item3f13697096
It doesn't have a boom stand though, but if needed these scope heads come right out of the pod and fit in the pod of the B&L boom stand. So items could be purchased separately.

When shopping look for the reducing lens that is screwed in to the underside of the scope. It is aluminum color. In the picture above of Al's you can kind of see it there. When I bought that one on ebay the seller didn't know about it and didn't point it out in the auction but I could see it in his auction picture.

Otherwise you can shop for the reducing lens by itself. Here is one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BAUSCH-LOMB-...item1e6b00df0d
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2012, 04:19 PM
allarddesign allarddesign is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

I was just going to post the exact newbie question my self after looking at this amscope which is for dissecting, but someone had beat me to it I had figured I could make the boom arm myself for this one is selling for $138 on amazon, but thanks for all the advice from the veterans here!



the question I had about these economy scopes was the focal range because what a lot of people forget about is if the focal range is like 2" from what your working on, it isn't going to do you much good.
~John
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2012, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Hello Mr. lindsay,I went to the site you sudgested and found a zeise?,but it looks very different than the one you use.Plus it is only around $300.It looks old but in nice condition.While I'm here,can you please sudgest what power ratings work best for engraving.thanks for all you do.Pat(yup, still plinking at it)
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  #19  
Old 02-08-2012, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Hi Pat, Here is a ebay search for zeiss opmi1:
http://www.ebay.com/dsc/i.html?LH_Ti...kw=zeiss+opmi1


There are different versions of these opmi1 scopes. The kind I like look like this:



I have an older zeiss opmi1 that looks similar to this one in the below link. It is no good. It is an older design and the optics aren't as bright.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Zeiss-OPMI-1...item5d2cc426ce

This one looks like it may be a good one.. although it is in Russia.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Microscope-C...item27c280ad24

When shopping for these just plan on making some mistakes that later you could list back on ebay. There are a variety of Zeiss oculars, camera ports, beam splitters that fit these scopes. It is even possible to have three people looking in the same scope at the same time with three oculars and three sets of eye pieces. Zeiss made objective lens at various working distances.. from a few inches to few feet. I just now checked and the objective lens I have on the scope at the bench is a 250mm lens and gives 10" of working distance.
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2012, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Thanks for all the information guys. Your a lot of help!
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  #21  
Old 02-20-2012, 06:15 PM
Sobolmj Sobolmj is offline
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Default Looking for feedback on microscopes

I am just getting started on the engraving path. I am at the point of gathering tools and want some feedback on microscopes. I think I have narrowed it down to a Amscope SM-4TZZ-144A 3.5X-180X TRINOCULAR BOOM STEREO MICROSCOPE + 144 LED . Any thoughts?

Mike
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  #22  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Looking for feedback on microscopes

I have the Meiji EMZ (7x to 45x zoom) and the Meiji EMT 10x or 30x stepped.
My older and cheaper 10x 30 x has noticeably better optics than the zoom model. However the 10x is too strong to be the preference for most work which I do at 7x on the zoom model. The scopes both have a working distance of about 3 1/2 inches. One can attach a .50x loop to the scopes which cuts the power in half and doubles the working distance which some people like for hammer and chisel. I find the .50 loop to totally mess up the optics and are unpleasant to work under. I never use mine but rather just tilt the work and attack it diagonally if I need extra overhead room. I did a lot of research when buying mine and the Am scopes got mixed reviews with some saying they can be foggy.
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  #23  
Old 02-20-2012, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Looking for feedback on microscopes

What brought me to this model was the range 3.5-180 and the 8" working dististance. Not knowing what I need it seemed to offer quite a range.
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2012, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Looking for feedback on microscopes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobolmj View Post
I am just getting started on the engraving path. I am at the point of gathering tools and want some feedback on microscopes. I think I have narrowed it down to a Amscope SM-4TZZ-144A 3.5X-180X TRINOCULAR BOOM STEREO MICROSCOPE + 144 LED . Any thoughts?

Mike
Hi Mike, I merged your scope question thread with this scope thread from a few days ago, since they are similar. Check the past pages/posts in this thread for info that may be helpful.
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  #25  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:33 PM
Sobolmj Sobolmj is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

thanks for attaching the history. The scope I am looking at has an eight inch working distance. From what I can gather that should be fine. The 3.5x power sounds ok but will I need the 180X end of the range. What is the max power I can expect to be working with while engraving?
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  #26  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:23 PM
12345higgy 12345higgy is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

hi there everyone I'm a newbie and have not brought any tools yet but can anyone tell me what model Meiji to buy and what mag lenses to go with it please.
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  #27  
Old 02-25-2012, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

I have had two of the Amscopes. I wasn't disappointed in either case. My newest one is the Model SM4b80s. I bought it after my first one was sold to another student attending an engraving class I attended in 2009. The 1st one was Model SW-3B13X-FRL. I am a hobby engraver (at least until retirement in 2018) I sold my first scope and recovered my investment. Basically used the scope for free. Both scopes has a 5 year warrenty, I never used on the 1st one. The 2nd one is till covered by the warrenty for 4 more years, The 2nd scope is at least as good my 1st. I did like the sturdy base of 1st better. But the clearity of both scopes was good at least to my 56 year old eyes.

I wouldn't think twice about buying a third scope if needed. Even after buying the 3rd scope my out of pocket would be less than the higher quality scopes used by professional engravers.

Just my way of thinking..
John.

Last edited by riversedgehobbyengraver; 02-25-2012 at 07:47 PM. Reason: capitalization
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  #28  
Old 02-25-2012, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Hello Steve or any of the senior engravers. RE Microscopes there are 3 Zeiss scopes on EBay at the moment in the $3000- $3700 range. Are any of these suitable for engraving?
Thanks
pitjurra from Australia
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  #29  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Hello.... first time on this forum, so forgive my computer skills.
Started engraving in the 70's. Started out hammer and chisel and push.
lately started using engraving machines, and have a B/L SZ5 scope.
Can any one tell what eye pieces etc. I need. This scope has 10X now.
Thanks
Steve
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  #30  
Old 01-16-2013, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Microscope question

Hi Steveto the forum.
the 10X are the oculars , look at the zoon ring on your scope should be some #,s on it , so take that number and multiply by 10. if you need more working distance between the scope and the work that would be the objective lens. A point 5 (.5) will double the working distance and cut the magnification by 1/2
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  #31  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:41 PM
stephensonforge stephensonforge is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

Thank you Dave...... I will keep you posted.
I've never engraved under a scope before, but my eyes are getting older and have to do something.
Thanks for your help'
Steve
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  #32  
Old 01-17-2013, 11:27 AM
Ya-Nvr-No Ya-Nvr-No is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

Found a great deal on ebay

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...E:B:SS:US:1123
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  #33  
Old 01-24-2013, 07:14 PM
stephensonforge stephensonforge is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

Dave ....... I found a Barlow .5 lens, 55mm or what? It's a B/L SZ 5. Thanks
Steve
Found it's a 38mm thread. never mind
Thanks , Steve
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  #34  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:10 PM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

Ya-Nvr-No,

I have had students purchase what they thought were genuine Japanese Meiji scopes over the years - only to find they were really Chinese counterfeits...

Someone brought one to my shop, and they are really good copies.

Except for the most important part, the optics inside.

The item you posted is coming from China...

I am not saying that the one on Ebay is not Japanese, just that anyone seriously interested should know that there are clones out there.

You have no way to test drive it, or prove it is Japanese until you have it in front of you.

While most tools can be fought, cheated or altered into working - optics can't.


Brian
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  #35  
Old 04-15-2016, 09:05 AM
J. Edward Reyer J. Edward Reyer is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

Found a Zeiss OPMI 9 for sale on Craigslist. Steve uses a OPMI 1 Does anyone know the difference. The OPMI 1s seem to be pricey. (For me anyway) The OPMI 9 has a wall mounting bracket also. It is $1,500. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.
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  #36  
Old 04-15-2016, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Microscope question

How about this one - type on Ebay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/7X-45X-Trino...3D172165623223
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  #37  
Old 04-15-2016, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Microscope question

We must be looking at different OPMI 1 scopes. These are $1000 to $10,000

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...1&_sacat=11815

There is also this one from Leitz - a bit pricey though ($2800) This one would be good for Steve in his shop.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1925-ANTIQUE...cAAOSwwpdW63t-

Then there is this page that is all about Microscopes (well antique and regular kind anyway)

http://www.microscopemaster.com/antique-microscope.html
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  #38  
Old 04-15-2016, 01:34 PM
J. Edward Reyer J. Edward Reyer is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

The antique is cool. I called one of the dealers. While all the models start with OPMI-1, the succeeding numbers/letters indicate whether it looks straight ahead as in eye, ear exam etc. and others look 90 degrees downward as in a surgical procedure use. I know the surgical unit is what we look for but do not know the added nomenclature to identify it from the straight (180) view. Prices from 700 to 12,000 is confusing too. I looked at one in Fayetteville, AR and just before purchasing discovered two of the most expensive and critical parts were missing and one ocular eyepiece did not go with that equipment. (Actually someone pointed it out. I don't know a microscope from a kaleidoscope. Never owned either). Thank you for the information. Looking at it again.
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  #39  
Old 07-11-2016, 04:12 AM
MattyB MattyB is offline
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Default Re: Microscope question

I just bought a Meiji EMT 10x or 20x stepped, the working distance is about 5 inches but the magnification is too much I feel ..it's like bloody close and then stupid close!
Matt,

On that thought does anyone know if the Barlow 0.5x lens will fit Meiji scopes?

To answer my own question no it wont! I have the EMT-1 and these wont accept auxiliary lenses so I'll be looking at 5x eyepieces instead and forgoe the increase in working distance.
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