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Photos of your vintage/classic Microscope

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#26 Microscopy

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 05:33 AM

Thank you.
This is another stand I own: a 1950's-1960's (?) microscope, made by Hensoldt in Germany. As you can see in the picture, it has the "large illumination device"  designed by Ernst Abbé and an extendable optical tube.
After all those years of use (and neglect), all mechanics are still working silky smooth.
The fine focussing mechanism is peculiar, as it has infinite travel, contrary to all other microscopes of that era.
The Hensoldt engineers found an ingenious solution for the problem of the limited travel of the fine focussing mechanism: they used an excentric circular disk, moved by a wormwheel.
It has one important consequence: depending on the position of the circular disk vis-a-vis the tube, the fine focussing knobs move the tube upwards/downwards. Kind of difficult to explain for me, as I'm not a native English speaker.
But anyway: a simple, yet elegant solution for the problem of limited fine focussing travel in microscopes. As Goethe once wrote: "In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister".
This microscope wasn't cheap. As I really would like to have it, I bid far more than I was used to. I finally bought it for some 200 Euro's, which I consider very expensive.
It was equipped with 10, 20, 40, 100 achromats.10 and 20 okay, 40 with a problem (very nice and detailed views but lacking contrast) and 100 unusable due to seeped-in oil.
One of the projects...


Hensoldt.jpg

P9112307_01.jpg



#27 Microscopy

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 05:41 AM

Some junk, cheaply collected at flea markets, garage sales etc...

Reichert Illuminator Lux FNI:

PC162559.jpg

Zeiss "Leuchte 15" for older (black) Zeiss microscopes such as Standard Junior KF:

PC222605.jpg

Microscopy-related:

an old linear slide stainer, bought for peanuts as old junk, put back into working order and donated to an underfunded university botanical lab. It's still in active duty:

PB060427.jpg


Edited by Microscopy, 06 February 2018 - 05:55 AM.

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#28 Microscopy

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 05:49 AM

PB060435.jpg

 

A legendary base sledge microtome: the Jung Tetrander II. I bought this one for pocket money and renovated it. It's vintage 1920-something and it still works as new.

At the time, German histo-technicians joked it was named "tetrander" as it took four strong man to carry it. Actually it was named "Tetrander" as it was designed by four famous scientists, including the legendary Paul Mayer:

P3090517-crop2.jpg


Edited by Microscopy, 06 February 2018 - 06:04 AM.


#29 Microscopy

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 06:26 AM

Some of the microscopes I buy to give as birthday present for science interested kids.

These are well known classics. Very competent microscopes, (at least here) easily availlable second-hand, in decent condition and at modest prices (prices ranging between 40 and 100 Euro's): the Leitz SM and the Olympus CHC, monocular version:

P3240029.jpg

chc.jpg


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#30 Microscopy

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:48 AM

Another Zeiss I own: a Standard 14, equipped for phase:


P5160547.jpg

Overhauling another classic: an Olympus GB, 1960 something:

P514054546-2.jpg


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#31 bumm

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 11:12 PM

When I was a kid, I had a wonderful Bausch & Lomb microscope much like Frank's in the first post of this thread that my father had bought second hand when he was in college...  Beautiful brass tube, with the horizontal fine focus knob.  Mine was probably slightly later, since it had a black base.  Somehow, it unfortunately got disappeared after I left home in '74.  I wish I still had it.  I spent many hours investigating stuff I brought home from a horrible, weed and mosquito infested storm runoff area us local kids called the swamp.  Various algae was OK, bugs were ugly, but the tiny microscopic animal life was magical...  Vorticella, paramecium, volvox, stentor...  

     Maybe 35 years ago, I picked up the little drum microscope below at a farm auction. I was standing far off looking at some other stuff, and I heard the auctioneer having trouble getting a starting bid.  He was holding up something shiny and brass, so I raised my hand.  After making my way over to the table, I asked what I just bought for seven dollars.  I know nothing about it, the only marking is "made in france."  The only time I ever used it was about 30 years ago to show my then young daughter that salt looked like little blocks.

     The other one is a Bausch and Lomb job with a 1915 patent date, although it could have been made much later.  I figure it's a student microscope.  I paid a little under 40 bucks for it at a flea market.  The only time I ever used it was to prove to my wife that the white patches on our lawn were some kind of fungus.  It works well though.

     If anyone knows anything about either one of these, I'd appreciate your chiming in.  What brought me into this section of the forum is that I've been toying with the idea of once again chasing down some more of that microscopic pond life.  I've cleaned up the old Bausch & Lomb, and sent in for a well slide and a microscope light.  And maybe finding a tardigrade is on my bucket list...

                                       Marty

 

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#32 Mike E.

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 01:42 PM

I just purchased this vintage Nikon SMZ-2 model zoom stereo microscope, which is in great condition. With the uncooperative observing weather, I thought an indoor optical hobby might be a good option for the nights where being out with a telescope would be unrewarding.

 

I'm looking forward to adventuring into the micro world, the last time I looked through a microscope was back in 1971 during a high school science class.

 

Edit: Add Photo.

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Edited by Mike E., 23 April 2018 - 01:47 PM.

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#33 mnpd

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 06:42 PM

Surprised to find this forum on Cloudynights.  I've restored and collected microscopes for years and have probably a couple of dozen finished models on the shelves.  I've got several of the "black beauties" by American Optical/Spencer; a couple of them were new-old stock, meaning that they were in their original new sales configuration and never used!

 

Professional microscopes cost professional prices, until the digital revolution.  Suddenly (like cameras) there were oodles of optical microscopes on the used market for bargain prices.  eBay is known for premium prices when there is competitive bidding, but there are far more optical microscopes for sale than their are buyers.  One "new" microscope (AO black) I got for $29.  It was unsold stock from a microscope dealer which went out of business in 1949.  Still had the label on it!

 

Today, you can buy a used, working, lab-grade microscope for about the same price (or less) than a kid's new plastic kit. 

 

Nice micros, by the way.


Edited by mnpd, 28 April 2018 - 06:44 PM.

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#34 bumm

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 10:30 PM

Although it will always be astronomy "that matters" for me, I've been enjoying a recent resurgence of my old interest in microscopy.  I recently read Slack's 1861 "Marvels of Pond Life," (a delightfully written book that reminded me enough of Thoreau's "Walden," that I re-read that, too,) and I've been bringing home jars of water from surrounding lakes and ponds and becoming reacquainted with the various protozoa, rotifers, etc. 

     I got to feeling nostalgic about my old microscope I mentioned in post #31, and got tired of screwing and unscrewing objectives into the Bausch & Lomb student microscope shown above.  In a fit of enthusiasm and weakness, I found an old Spencer similar to my old long lost 1898 Bausch & Lomb on eBay, and made an offer.  This is more like 1910, with a 1906 patent, but close enough.  It arrived the other day, and I was relieved to find all it needed was a good cleaning, a bit of lubrication, and a bit of Kroil and controlled violence to free up the frozen knob on the condenser.  I also had to open the objectives to get them clean inside, but this went well.

     I'm not quite done yet, but it's looking good and performing well.  The stubby LOW power objective I've got on it doesn't look too classy, but it makes a good "finder scope" for picking a target out of a teaming well slide.  Having a good time with my gorgeous new Spencer.  smile.gif

                                                                   Marty

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#35 stevie

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 05:51 AM

Not mine , but i did some work on them .

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#36 Microscopy

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 04:14 PM

Those Biolam's are great microscopes, considering how inexpensive they are second-hand. These are often up for sale here for some 30 - 50 Euro's (monocular version). Biolam is the only microscope I ever bought new. Long time ago: somewhere in the 1970's...



#37 stevie

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 07:50 AM

This is another one i got to work on .

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#38 Microscopy

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 10:53 AM

Great: a Zenit MBU-4. I had one of those as well, at the time.

I upgraded mine with a 3 fold nosepiece from Euromex and a condensor holder assembly including the abbe condenser from a Biolam, a spare part bought cheap from EWA-TOE in Brussels. I had to drill two holes in the stand in which I tapped  an M3 screw tread to attach it. Allining and centering the condenser assembly turned out to be easy, using some regular houshold aluminum foil and the centering collar of the condenser holder.

I gave it away to some schoolkid, some 25-30 years ago. I can't even recall where it went to...

 

There's one thing from "my Zenit-LOMO days" I still have: the small BM 51-2 binocular loupe. It's a fantastic piece of kit. To cut costs I suppose, they used the body of one of their regular binoculars as a starting point. The instrument is really, really ugly, but it gives impressive wide field views at it's only magnification of 8.75 x. It's this thing (picture is not mine and I can't find the original source):

bm51-2.jpg

Its a great but cheap instrument for young kids showing an  interest in the wonders of the microscopic world. It can be used to make pictures. They're not top notch of course but good enough for youngsters. I made a few at the time, using a simple and cheap HP point and shoot camera, held above the eyepiece, combining the magnification of the microscope with the zoom function of the camera:

 

HPIM0401-2.jpg HPIM1690-2.jpg

Left: damage on pea seeds, caused by insects, right: leek rust.


Edited by Microscopy, 20 September 2018 - 11:24 AM.

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#39 Microscopy

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 08:45 AM

My latest aquisition: a Wild m20, equiped for phase contrast. This is the most expensive second-hand microscope I ever bought, except for my Zetopan...

The Wild m20 is sead to be one of the very best microscopes in his category ever made.
This one has 20, 40, 50 (oil) and 100 (oil, iris) Wild Fluotar phase objectives and a pair of Wild 10x wide field eyepieces.
It's in very good condition, given it's age. Most controls work silky smooth.
I wasn't able to test it yet as it's missing the bulb, but the optics used on another stand show impressive images.

 

vrijgesteld-Wild m20-verkleind.jpg


Edited by Microscopy, 17 October 2018 - 08:48 AM.

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#40 bumm

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 09:31 PM

A couple weeks ago, I snagged this old Spencer binocular microscope off eBay. Nobody else seemed to want it for 50 bucks, so I made an offer, and it was mine. As I waited for the UPS man, I researched it as much as I could online... The serial number put it at about 1923, and it showed up in a 1924 Spencer catalog available free as a pdf, which labeled it as a "Spencer Binocular Microscope No. 54. I couldn't find an instruction manual, but that catalog gave a very detailed description that was just about as good. According to the catalog, it's 32 mm objectives along with 10x oculars would give a magnification of 46x.
As I followed the tracking number, I also worried a bit about condition and alignment. This thing had two separate optical trains that had to collimate through porro prisms, it was 95 years old, and it had been on 6 different trucks in 5 days. When it arrived, though, things looked good. It cleaned up well, and even the optics weren't too dirty. It isn't as pretty as the older brass Spencer behind it, but it has a sort of "steampunk" look that appeals to me.
This thing obviously isn't a replacement for the more versatile monocular microscope behind it, but it puts on a whole different show. Very enjoyable watching deep 3 dimensional views of planaria waving through the field and hydra slowly swinging about, doing what hydras do. The most memorable view so far? The 3D dark field view of some boxy, loricated, rotifer with 4 "tails" barrelrolling along among the usual paramecium. (parameciums?) Anyway, I'm happy and it's fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Marty

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#41 Microscopy

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 09:29 AM

They always come in droves...

Only a few weeks after I found that Wild M 20 (see #39), I came across an ad for a Wild M12.
The seller was very honest about it: 'I suspect the focusing mechanism to be beyond repair". I bought it. It wasn't very expensive. I'll see what's wrong with it.
The illuminator is missing, but I suppose it can't be that much of a problem to adapt a small Zeiss illuminator 15 to the stand and I have a few of those.

The Wild M12 is the "little brother" of the M 20. I suppose it was designed as a (routine) (clinical) lab microscope. It's not as heavy as the M20 and the controls aren't that silky smooth, but nevertheless a very decent microscope, I suppose.
This one has regular Wild achromats 4/10/40/100, a regular abbé condenser, two 10x eyepieces (Huyghens, I suppose).

 


PB020825-Wild_m12-2.jpg


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#42 Microscopy

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 01:59 AM

Bought "a lot of science stuff" very cheap...

 

It turned out to be several banana boxes, filled with Biolam microscope stands (see picture) and lots and lots of monocular tubes, some photo tubes, mirrors, illuminators, objectives and eyepieces, condensers, attachable slide holders and so on.

 

I counted 16 stands. Based on a brief view on "that pile of old junk", I estimate that it will be possible to assemble at least some 8 - 10 complete microscopes.

I was able to negotiate a very low price, arguing that I wouldn't make any personal profit out of the deal, but instead the microscopes would be overhauled for free and would go to a high school.

 

The seller, who himself has kids in the high school age range, was very forthcoming.

 

The stands/microscopes are a less sophisticated version of the one in Stevies's picture (#35): they're monocular and they lack the large mechanical stage with the coaxial controls. 

 

The LOMO Biolam is build like a tank and it's not all that difficult to overhaul. Once the notorious Russian "tank grease" is replaced with propper lubricants, it can be a pretty good microscope from a mechanical POV, unless it's a lemon.

 

Optically it's pretty much the same picture. Some microscopists keep insisting that the 40/0.65 LOMO achromat is one of the best ever build. If it's a good one...

Most LOMO optics of that era are copies op pre WW II Zeiss optics.

 

I had a talk with a biology teacher (who is for real: we have biology teachers, who know a microscope only from an image in a textbook as well).

We pretty much agreed on the fact that the Biolam in it's (more or less) "standard configuration" (objectives achromat 8/0.20, 20/0.40, 40/0.65, 90/1.25, eyepieces 7H, 10H, 15C, abbé-condenser 1.25) would be more than sufficient to meet every criterium in the biology curriculum.

 

[OT]: any suggestions to make the objectives "theft proof"? I was thinking -as a first idea- of drilling small holes through the side of the nosepiece and the objective's thread, cutting thread and secure the objectives with thiny headless bolts with M1.4 - M2 thread (like this one: https://eshop.wurth.....sku/nl/NL/EUR/), but perhaps there are better methods. 

 

Securing eyepieces is not an option, unfortunatly, as removing the eyepiece is absolutely necessary to achieve correct setup of the illumination system.  

 

01-1.jpg



#43 Microscopy

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 05:31 AM

I collected the last box today.

Apart from the Biolams, there's also a nice Euromex LMS (in the picture left bottom corner) and a Meopta microscope.

 

sp.jpg


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#44 Microscopy

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 10:17 AM

Well, I learned something new, the last couple of days: schools aren't interested in microscopes for free. I contacted a few. Some didn't even bother to answer, other answered they "use more modern methods, such as Powerpoint presentations", LOL.

No problem for me: I'll overhaul the microscopes and sell them one by one, but I can't stop wondering on what's about all that grizzle on "underfunded schools" and "devoted teachers, unable to do their work, due to lack of funds"...


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#45 kksmith

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 04:10 AM

Well, I learned something new, the last couple of days: schools aren't interested in microscopes for free. I contacted a few. Some didn't even bother to answer, other answered they "use more modern methods, such as Powerpoint presentations", LOL.

No problem for me: I'll overhaul the microscopes and sell them one by one, but I can't stop wondering on what's about all that grizzle on "underfunded schools" and "devoted teachers, unable to do their work, due to lack of funds"...

That's the old school spirit!! Replace field skills with search engine skills. The only hands-on anymore is with keyboards. I guess looking through oculars at the unseen collected in a backyard has become passe. My oldest daughter did a summer internship,during highschool, at a local place called The McLaughlin Research Institute. They do research on Alzheimer's which my father has. It was all lab work, harvesting braincells from mice, staining, preparing slides, and counting vacuoles in the tissue samples through some very high grade research microscopes. She quickly learned she preferred field research to lab research. But...she knows how to use a microtome, stain, and prepare slides for research work. Which came in handy during college.

 

Ken


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#46 Motodelta

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:25 AM

23D7C504-4C62-4148-9889-341ECE5FCF3E.jpeg

 

 

One of my Zeiss Axiomat POL microscopes from the 1970’s. 

Currently being used for meteorite thin sections.

 


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#47 NGC704

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 11:04 AM

Well now, there's an impressive microscope right there!

 

PS: I wish you'd consider a new thread for photomicrographs of your meteor thin sections...


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#48 Microscopy

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 02:32 PM

Kind of an update on #42 - #44...

 

The Euromex microscope mentioned in #43, stamped "Euromex LMS", but actually a Chinese Guangzhou L-201, was equipped with Euromex achromats 4, 10, 40 and a LOMO eyepiece 15x. It had an abbe condenser, N.A. 1.25 in a focusable and centerable condenser holder. The microscope was in very good condition, with all controls working smooth, but it needed some cleaning and the mirror was missing. I found a fitting mirror in my junk box and I replaced the LOMO 15x eyepiece with an Olympus 10x Huyghian.

Evaluation after cleaning, using a diatom test plate, showed clear views with good contrast and fine details resolved better than expected. Evaluation using a very thin object (stained blood smear) showed acceptable curvature of field.

I donated it to an elementary school in the neighborhood, for use in the sixth grade class, kids age 11 - 12, who are managing the small school's vegetable garden. They will use it to study general microscopic life and "ecological relationships in the school environment", under guidance of their teacher, an avid amateur biologist.

 

A few weeks after I wrote # 44, I received an email from a high school science teacher.

She wrote: "our first graders (first year of high school here, kids age 12-13) only have one hour of science (biology) per week.
Our school buildings are old and worn out, the school underfunded. We don't even have a school lab, nor do we have microscopes.
For that one hour a week, we go to a nearby highschool, where we can use their lab and microscopes.
That's far from an ideal situation: going over there and return to our school takes about 20 minutes. Seting up the microscopes, putting them back afterwards and cleaning up some 5 minutes. That's nearly half an hour, leaving 25 minutes only (a teaching hour is 50 min.) to have our kids getting used using a microscope AND teaching the biology curriculum. That's impossible!
".

 

A week after I received the mail, I had a meeting with the science teachers of that school. We agreed on the fact that the microscopes I could (possibly) provide would be helpfull. Not perfect, but nevertheless very helpfull.

I agreed to deliver 5 microscopes by the beginning of next school year (starting september 2019), with the possibility to deliver 5 or 6 more in the course of the school year 2019 - 2020.


Edited by Microscopy, 23 June 2019 - 02:36 PM.

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#49 Microscopy

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 03:32 AM

Bought an Olympus BH2/BHT today.

It's a basic version of the BH2 carrying Olympus LB Dplan achromats 4, 10, 40, 100 in a removable 5 fold nosepiece, a regular abbe-condenser, a regular binocular eyetube.

Among the Olympus BH-2 ecosystem, the BHT has kind of an intermediate position between the BHTU on the lower side and the BHS as "the ultimate microscope".

 

The BHT has the removable nosepiece which the BHTU hasn't (as it was develloped as a clinical lab microscope), but it lacks the powerfull 12V/100W external  illuminator the BHS has. Instead, it's equipped with a build-in 12V/20W illuminator.

 

Some pictures follow, this is one the seller send:

bh2.JPG



#50 NGC704

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 09:36 AM

I like your parlance "...Olympus BH-2 ecosystem..." lol

 

Congrats on new acquisition, and thanks for knowledgeable remarks; keeping the Olympus bits well sorted isn't always the easiest thing. I've long thought OLY optics are the sweetest, and lust for a BHS with DIC.




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