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What Do I Have? -- Olympus Microscope

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#1 ftwskies

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 08:41 PM

My family and I were just gifted this Olympus microscope by a friend.  I'm mostly a telescope guy and don't know much about microscopes (other than having used one a few times back in school).  I do know that vintage Japanese optics are typically pretty good.  What is Olympus reputation?  I assume this is the same company that makes cameras...  Does anyone know what specific model I have here, how old it might be, or anything else about it?

 

gallery_240021_7037_75207.jpg

 

gallery_240021_7037_24552.jpg

 

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#2 Sky Muse

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 08:56 PM

All four, or five, of the powers of those objectives on the rotating turret will be multiplied by 10 times with those eyepieces.

 

10 x 10x objective = 100x

10 x 40x objective = 400x

 

...and so on, up to 1000x, I would imagine.

 

Congratulations!  It's a very fine instrument.  The model # should be listed somewhere, perhaps on the bottom?


Edited by Sky Muse, 20 January 2017 - 06:23 PM.

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#3 Don Taylor

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:06 PM

A very high quality (older) research microscope - as used in biological research, universities, and medicine.    Olympus has a very high reputation for this type of scope. Yes, the same Olympus that make cameras.  http://www.olympus-lifescience.com/en/

 

This type of scope is for high magnification viewing of specimens illuminated by light passing through the sample.  

 

Magnification is selected by rotating the turret to select one of the objectives. One can also exchange the eyepieces for different magnifications.  The overall magnification is determined by multiplying the eyepiece power (10x in this case) by the objective power (typically 4x, 10x, 40x even 100x.  Using the 100x objective (if it has one) requires a drop of special "immersion oil" to be placed between the objective and specimen (protected by a thin glass "cover slip")


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#4 ftwskies

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:15 AM

Thanks for the replies, everybody.

 

I found some resources online and was able to sleuth out that (I think) I have a KHS-Bi model.  Still looking for online download of manuals, etc.  Interestingly, even Olympus' own online microscope museum doesn't cover the KHS line, but they do talk about the similarly-styled E-series.  For now the E- and F-series manual should help us get started, since most of the controls will likely be roughly the same.

 

What about care and maintenance of a microscope like this?  It seems to be in good working order but needs some cleaning.  I'm comfortable dusting / wiping off the chassis and cleaning the eyepieces, but is it common / recommended to attempt cleaning the objectives?  If so, should they be removed from the turret to do so?

 

Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything rash -- I'm in the middle of a classic scope restoration project for now, so my free time to tinker with this micro is limited at the moment -- but I'd love to hear from more experienced microscopists about safely cleaning this beautiful instrument.



#5 ftwskies

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:06 AM

Based on some quick web-sleuthing it appears to me that I have an Olympus Tokyo KHS-Bi model microscope.  I found a manual and IPB online here:

http://www.alanwood....nstructions.pdf

http://www.alanwood....rts-diagram.pdf

 

Based on what I see in the docs, it looks like the K was the basic model of the series; KH means it has an electric light instead of just a mirror.  KHS means it had a dimmer knob vs a simple on-off switch for the light.  The "Bi" means it came with a binocular head -- you could get a mono version instead.  I noticed the EPs had "Bi" printed on them as well.

 

Now I just need to see if I can date it.  It's styled very similarly to the E-series which Olympus introduced in 1958.  I believe the number embossed on the binocular head is a serial number.  Wonder if I can crack that system...  :sleuth:


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#6 Sky Muse

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 06:20 PM

That's actually the KHS-Bi/mono, and originally came with a monocular-head in addition.

 

The objectives of your sample look to be achromatic, and are capable of oil-immersion.  I wouldn't pursue that aspect however.

 

What is the colour of the band of the objective just out of sight within your image, there on the rotating turret?



#7 ftwskies

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 02:04 PM

Not sure how I missed this before...

 

gallery_240021_7037_46411.jpg

 

So the chassis is clearly marked "KHC", not "KHS".  (Note the s/n on the nameplate is different from the one on the bino head.)  Not sure whether KHS got its own nameplate or not, though, since the only difference between them (based on the parts illustrations) is the inclusion of different heads.  To make matters more confusing, the parts breakdown shows the base with the dimmer knob as "KH-2".  I'm pretty sure this didn't come with both heads originally, so I guess that means it's sort of a "KHC-2", if you will - a KHC (just the bino head, not the mono head) with the dimmer knob.

 

To answer your question, Alan, the thing comes with the (standard, I guess) four objectives:  4X (red band), 10X (orange band), 40X (yellow band) and 100X (white band). 


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#8 Sky Muse

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 01:17 PM

Yes, I was going by the shape of the stage and the dimmer knob in assuming that it had originally come with a monocular head.  Perhaps parts were switched out on it in the past.  If so, it may have been used in a research setting.

 

The manual states that the 100x objective is banded in "light blue", which would be very close to appearing white.  

 

EDIT: In any event, the objectives could be the more desirable plan-achromats, rather than achromats, and a binocular head is certainly more desirable.  If you see the word "Plan" inscribed onto the objectives, win!

 

I have a Leica BF200, made in China, and with a monocular head.  I haven't used it much though.  It has the same objectives only in so far as the multipliers.

 

Enjoy!


Edited by Sky Muse, 09 February 2017 - 03:50 AM.


#9 ftwskies

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 02:20 PM

I think the scope was previously owned by Texas Christian University (TCU) here in town.  I'm guessing it was used in their labs and was surplussed.  The friend I got it from has connections at TCU, and I seem to recall seeing a TCU marking either on it or in with it when I got it.

 

We've had it out a few times just to familiarize ourselves with the operation.  There's definitely a learning curve, it's different than using a telescope.  At first I had trouble acquiring a good image in the binocular viewer, but I figured out I was getting my eye too close to the eyepieces.  Eventually I got the hang of it.  I'm still a little suspicious that it may need to be recollimated, which sounds a little scary to me.  Once my current project is complete maybe I'll look into how hard it is to do that myself (I collimate my telescope, how hard could it be? :lol) or how expensive it is to send it out to have it done.



#10 ASTERON

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 03:47 PM

Jim,

First congratulations- you have a fine microscope in your hands.

I would advise against cleaning any of the objectives, This is work reserved for professionals.  If you insist on cleaning them - do not use any solvents which may penetrate the objective and cause separation of optical elements in the compound lenses. You may use professional lens paper only and very scantily moisten it with distilled water but no other solvent ! Use of any other type of paper besides professional lens paper may scratch your objectives and may leave lint or other residue on the lens !

Most objectives of low or medium magnification ( 4X, 10X and 40X if they are achromats or planachromats) are dry objectives, meaning they are not supposed to touch the specimen or any liquid that the specimen is immersed

the 100X objective is an oil immersion objective and is supposed to be touching a drop of high refractive index immersion oil  which is put on the cover slide.  This is used only for very high magnification work such as viewing bacteria or blood cells etc. so at least initially, stick to low and medium magnification dry objectives, there is plenty you can do with them.

If you really want to get into microscopy, I recommend that you buy some prepared stained microscope slides on eBay. They are not expensive and you don't have to go through the ordeal of sectioning tissues and preparing and staining your own slides ( which is tedious work).

Good luck


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#11 Jon_Doh

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 08:00 AM

Jim, you have an excellent microscope.  There are four brands that are in the elite class and Olympus is one of them.  As for the learning curve do a search on YouTube and look at the videos on how to use a microscope.  One thing that might help you with getting a better image is to learn how to adjust the interpupilulor distance on the binoculars and then getting the correct diopter setting for each eyepiece.  There are videos that how to do this and it's easy.  Once you've done this go out and pick up some pond water (get it near plants and moss) and discover the other universe that lives in a drop of water.


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#12 Microscopy

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 08:15 AM

The Olympus K-series is a very interesting phenomenon, for several reasons. It's a good microscope allright, albeit depending on it's birthday. The earlier versions are troublesome, the later ones okay.

 

It's also one of those you won't find in the "official" historical Olympus microscope line-up. It's not the only one in that regard: Olympus has made quite some (semi-) toy microscopes as well, and you won't find those in the official records either.

 

The K-series came at a around the time when every microscope manufacurer faced the same set of problems:

 

1. shifting away from focussig trough movement of the tube and implementing focussing trough movement of the stage instead

trough

2. an intermediary step (historically) in which the coarse focussing moved the tube, the fine focussing the stage.  And

3.  "coaxial" coarse-fine focussing using planetary gears.

 

The inclinable  stand, with the horse-shoe shaded foot was only a memory at that time, but the focussing controls were still shaped after that concept..

 

The K-series was Olympus' lab. Once the research project led to result, they went further on. Some customers paid for it. Thats how things went. And go.

Olympus wasn't worser than others: they all did that kind of things.


Edited by Microscopy, 01 September 2017 - 08:18 AM.



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