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new to microscopy ... AmScope B120C

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#1 Tom Stock

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:20 PM

Still hunting for a nice solid vintage microscope, but in the meantime I have this AmScope B120C.

 

It works very well. Quality is not terrible for what it cost.  Lots of plastic knobs but optics appear to be ok.

 

WOOL

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#2 Tom Stock

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:21 PM

Onion Skin 

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#3 Tom Stock

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:22 PM

Cheek cells ripped from my mouth lol

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#4 Tom Stock

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:22 PM

Same cheek cells, stained with iodine. Hey it worked. cool.

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#5 Tom Stock

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:23 PM

Blood

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#6 Tom Stock

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:23 PM

Blood 

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#7 petert913

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:05 PM

I won't ask where the blood sample came from...... shocked.gif


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#8 Tom Stock

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:21 PM

I have a centrifuge on the way so I can examine urine. Almost purchased a cheap $45 chinese centrifuge but read that they are loud and generate enough heat to destroy the sample.  I found a Vanguard V6500 (surplus from quest labs) on ebay for $29!   These things are like $500 new.. but you can find them on ebay between $30-$60.


Edited by Tom Stock, 26 August 2019 - 03:21 PM.


#9 bluesteel

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 12:03 AM

I won't ask where the blood sample came from...... shocked.gif

Anything for science! grin.gif

 

I have a centrifuge on the way so I can examine urine. Almost purchased a cheap $45 chinese centrifuge but read that they are loud and generate enough heat to destroy the sample.  I found a Vanguard V6500 (surplus from quest labs) on ebay for $29!   These things are like $500 new.. but you can find them on ebay between $30-$60.

Looks like you're having fun with that new optical enhancer! smile.gif   Just remember to balance the load with two samples. shocked.gif

Blood is pretty neat seperated if you feel like donating in the name of science again.



#10 bumm

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 08:01 AM

I'd like to examine some blood.  Maybe you could send me some, Tom.

                                                                                         Marty



#11 Tom Stock

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 12:23 PM

Separated blood is going to require a larger sample than I am willing to extract in my bathroom in the name of hobby. 

 

Maybe next time I go donate blood I'll ask for "a little extra".

 

But, rest assured, I am very active. I will carry an empty tube with me just in case I manage to sever an artery in my next motocross race.

 

I'll get the sample before I bleed out. I've pre-labeled it "for Cloudy Nights Microscopy Forum" in preparation.

 

Option 2, I could place a wanted ad in the classifieds.


Edited by Tom Stock, 16 September 2019 - 12:23 PM.

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#12 Microscopy

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 07:03 AM

A simple manual centrifuge is more than enough for most amateur microscopy work. I used a small hand centrifuge for years, this one: https://www.milian.c...duitId=0O-90-09.



#13 Tom Stock

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 10:44 AM

A simple manual centrifuge is more than enough for most amateur microscopy work. I used a small hand centrifuge for years, this one: https://www.milian.c...duitId=0O-90-09.

That's handy in the field.  I picked up a commercial centrifuge for $35 free shipping. 

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#14 Tom Stock

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 10:52 AM

Comparing the AmScope to my vintage Spencer, I would say the AmScope wins. 

 

It's not heavily built, but it is quite solid.  It operates much smoother, knobs are in more ergonomic positions and easier to use, and the images are sharp and much brighter with better contrast.

 

I use both regularly but definitely prefer the AmScope. 

 

But, I do have a love for machinery built to last a lifetime.


Edited by Tom Stock, 27 September 2019 - 10:52 AM.


#15 Tom Stock

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:34 AM

I'd like to examine some blood.  Maybe you could send me some, Tom.

                                                                                         Marty

Mission accomplished. Still want some? : D

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#16 skitron

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:22 AM

I have a B120C and upgraded the objectives to AMScope PLAN Achromats. It was a substantial improvement in the enjoyment factor having a flat field across the view. The center field compared to the standard Achro objectives is similar out to about 40%, but the PLAN delivers all the way to the edge except for maybe the last 5% or so, where it starts to show a slight degradation. After doing an A/B I'll never go back to standard. That said, I've seen articles on how to leverage the curved field of the standards as a poor man's phase contrast setup, have yet to try it, but at least the old ones have a potential use.

 

I also bought an older Nikon CFN Plan (40x) to compare since they are considered the best non-APO non-infinity available for uncorrected eyepieces such as used in the B120C (and virtually every other non-infinity scope these days). It was at the very best, marginally better than the AMScope PLAN Achro...slightly better "bokeh" (to steal a term from photography) that maybe allows one to eek out ever so slightly more detail in the non-critical-focused regions, but ever so slightly less contrast and color saturation. A real exercise in further splitting already split hairs to be honest. I ended up just using a full set of the AM Scope PLAN Achro since they are essentially par-focal as a set and the single 40X Nikon has to be refocused a good amount when used with the others. The only real improvement pathway is to go with the older Nikon PLAN APOs, but that is serious $.

 

While moving to PLAN was a big improvement in the enjoyment factor, the real fun began when I got an oil coupled dark field condenser. Observing live human blood samples with it is just spectacular. Just do a fresh drop on a slide and drop a cover slip on it and you're good to go for 15 minutes or so. You can find videos on YouTube for blood in dark field to get an idea what to expect. Another spectacular dark-field subject is to get stagnant pond or birdbath water complete with moss. Viewing rotifers in dark field (along with everything else in there) is truly amazing.

 

One thing I leaned is that reducing objective power and increasing eyepiece power results in proportionally greater depth of field, something very useful for viewing the live water creatures in dark field. Another thing is to get high quality polished recess slides to contain the water. The cheap ones reveal a tremendous amount of machine marks in the cavity when viewed in dark field.

 

I also experimented and discovered that using an oil condenser coupled with distilled H2O instead of oil can be used on lower magnifications fairly well. Typically you have to switch to an air condenser for lower powers. It does vignette in terms of brightness across the field, but for just buying a single dark field condenser where most time will be spent at higher magnifications, oil is a good choice with this piece of info.

 

Also, the coupling oil is just cedar oil for both dark field oil and most oil couple objectives (such as the AM Scope 100X). You can buy a 1/2 oz for about $12 plus shipping from AM Scope, or get a pint at Home Depot for about $20 and refill your bottle and then use the bulk of it to rub on outdoor wooden things to drive off mosquitoes.


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#17 Hugh Peck

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 12:13 PM

Also have the B120C and upgraded the 10x objective to a Plan. Also upgraded the 10x eyepieces and that provided a major improvement. (B&L [Meiji] WF HE) Much clearer and brighter. The 25x eyepieces are useless, IMO. Got some cheaper 15x but not much better than the ones it came with. Overall all it's much like the "675x" 60mm telescopes. But for $151 shipped it wasn't a bad deal and is pretty nice up to 400x.




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