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Leitz Ortholux?

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#1 Scrumpymanjack

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 01:11 AM

whenever I have a question about optics, Cloudynights keeps coming back into my life - a testament to the knowledge of its members. So a huge thank you to all! 

 

I have the chance to buy a Leitz Ortholux from the early 60s. It appears to be in excellect cosmetic condition, though unable to check optics personally. It also comes with a wide range of lenses etc. and the original box and user manual. In fact, everything seems to be there - maybe even the original sales receipt. 

 

I have two questions: first, how much should I expect to pay for this item? It is a private transaction and the person selling doesn't have a clue what to charge. They also "don't do" the internet thing etc. etc. All to say, I am after a bargain but I also want to pay the seller a fair price while giving myself a good price, if that makes sense. 

 

My second question is, would this be wasted on me as a first vintage microscope? I'm new to microscopes but I love optics in general, have a small collection of vintage binoculars and have always wanted to own a quality vintage microscope. However, I am not a scientist and would only be using this to enjoy aesthetically as well as to have some fun with my kids and to help show them how fantastic and cool science can be. But is this particular microscope difficult to use/over the top in terms of my intended use for it? 

 

Thanks again to all of your for such a great forum - and for coming to my aid yet again. 



#2 j.gardavsky

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 12:14 PM

Here are some offers on the eBay, to give you an idea about their prices on the German markets

 

https://www.pinteres...tner/mikroskop/

 

The price depends heavily on the included objectives and eyepieces. Optimally, the objectives should be Plan APOs (Pl APO), or at lest the Plan Fluorides (Pl Fl), and the eyepieces should be Leitz Periplan GF.

Assuming, the mechanics is correctly working, a problem might be availability of the bulbs for the illumination. the illumination unit requires also filters, with Leitz these have been the so called lollypop filters.

Finding accessories for some advanced microscopy methods might be a problem, or when sold extra, they cost a premium.

 

I am using the cheaper Leitz Dialux 20, but only for the incident light microscopy of the samples with fossils,

https://www.cloudyni...d-leitz-dialux/

 

The Leitz Dalux 20 cost me about $200, the replaced APO objectives around $500.

 

Let us know, how you will decide,

JG



#3 Scrumpymanjack

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 03:42 PM

Thank you, JG. I am very grateful for your knowledge and comments. Do you need illumination to use this microscope? ie. can you use it using natural light only (even though it may not be optimal to do so)? I am not sure if this comes with the illumination unit. 

 

I will check on the objectives and eye pieces but I believe they are what you say they should be. 

 

Thanks again. I will keep you posted on the outcome - and send pictures if I am able to buy it. 



#4 j.gardavsky

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 04:59 PM

Thank you, JG. I am very grateful for your knowledge and comments. Do you need illumination to use this microscope? ie. can you use it using natural light only (even though it may not be optimal to do so)? I am not sure if this comes with the illumination unit. 

 

I will check on the objectives and eye pieces but I believe they are what you say they should be. 

 

Thanks again. I will keep you posted on the outcome - and send pictures if I am able to buy it. 

The microscopy samples are typically mounted on a glass plate with a thin glass cover, and illuminated with a lamp from bottom.

So, this would be important to check.

 

On the other hand, the modern professional grade microscopes are not cheap, and one planar APO microscope objective from Leica may cost around $2,000 and you typically have 4 such objectives on the turret, next to one cheap low magnification achro.

 

Helpful would be to post here a few pics of the Ortholux for consideration, and before you will buy it, to try it out.

 

Best,

JG



#5 Scrumpymanjack

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 04:05 AM

Hi. 

 

Apologies for the delay in responding to you. I just thought I would conclude the story out of thoroughness. The person who owned the Ortholux ultimately decided to sell it here at auction here in the UK. I was not aware of this decision and so did not have a chance to bid (all very frustrating). The microscope fetched £190, which I feel is probably a total bargain for whoever managed to buy it. Oh well, I'm sure they appreciate it and are using it and enjoying it to the full! 



#6 j.gardavsky

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Posted 23 May 2021 - 04:56 AM

Hi. 

 

Apologies for the delay in responding to you. I just thought I would conclude the story out of thoroughness. The person who owned the Ortholux ultimately decided to sell it here at auction here in the UK. I was not aware of this decision and so did not have a chance to bid (all very frustrating). The microscope fetched £190, which I feel is probably a total bargain for whoever managed to buy it. Oh well, I'm sure they appreciate it and are using it and enjoying it to the full! 

The Leitz microscopes in good condition, and accessorized for serious microscopy jobs, can be frequently found on the eBay in Germany.

 

Just search and try again,

JG



#7 Brianm14

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Posted 28 June 2021 - 09:34 PM

Hi,

 

There are many good choices for vintage microscopes.  Leitz, Nikon, Olympus, several UK brands, etc. are readily available.  (Zeiss models can be problematical due to a period of problems with delamination of the lenses.). You may find you need to buy a basic, sound scope plus another “parts” scope.  That doesn't necessarily mean a lot of money

 

You want to buy scopes which are in good mechanical condition, with suitable optics,  i’d encourage you to think about viewing microscopic organisms found in ponds, and not get involved in trying to see bacteria using an oil immersion lens.  You will find many hours of pleasant entertainment awaits you.

 

Puck up one of the basic guides to microscopy available new or used on Amazon.  A good guide will teach you the basic techniques needed to get the best from a microscope.

 

illumination is an issue.  Bulbs are harder and harder to come by, and often expensive.  Fortunately, you can often fit LED lighting, available from aftermarket suppliers.

If you want to pursue this, I heartily suggest you consider joining a group of professional and amateur microscopists, such as the Quekett.  Google them.  You’ll find a truly warm welcome and have access to a lot of vital information and top expertise.  You can participate online or also in person.

 

Good luck -microscopy is a rewarding and addictive vication/avocation.

 

Brian

 

Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society (FRMS)




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