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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Help with Microscope choice (anyone with knowledge, please chime in)

View Poll Results: Which scope, the new LOMO P-111 or the AO 150/160
LOMO P-111 - Go for new in box? 1 16.67%
AO 150/160 - Worth the used factor? 5 83.33%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-05-2010, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default Help with Microscope choice (anyone with knowledge, please chime in)

So I am about to pull the trigger on almost everything for my yeast ranch. One sticking point is the microscope.

I found that this scope:
http://www.eyewearplanet.com/lomp1modbrig.html



is pretty much the best rated beginner scope out there and costs $99 with no shipping cost.

.................................................. ................

I also found this CL listing:

Quote:
Student Microscope for sale. Only used for one semester. Settings: regular zoom, 10x, 45x, 100x/Immersion Oil. Bought this for $400, so great price for only $99! American Optical Brand. Includes carrying case.
and had the following correspondence with the seller:

Quote:
I am interested in the microscope you have listed on Craigslist. Could you provide me with the model number so I can look up some more specific information about it.

Thank you,

Justin
Quote:
Hi Justin,

Sure no problem. It is from the American Optical Corporation Series 150/160 microscope. Hope this helps. If you are interested, you are more than welcome to swing by and take a look at it.

Best Regards,
Harris
Quote:
When did you buy this microscope? The only documents I can find about it are from the 70's and one brief reference from the 80's under the name AO/Reichert. That doesn't necessarily bother me, I am just trying to get an idea about the scope.

Thanks,
Justin
Quote:
Well I bought it 1.5 years ago through my medical school bookstore. I have no idea about when it was manufactured or anything, but I can tell you that I used it for one entire semester and it worked perfectly for me with no problems. If you have any slides, you are more than welcome to bring them by and test out the microscope before committing. Either way, no problem.

Harris
.................................................. ................................

So basically they are the same price but the CL one looks nicer. The only reason I am hesitating is I can't find any info about the AO 150/160.

Which scope should I get? Why? Have you used either? What general knowledge can you give me about microscopes?

Thanks in advance!!!


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Old 01-05-2010, 02:15 PM   #2
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Found these;

http://www.xmission.com/~psneeley/Personal/Microscope.htm

Scroll to the bottom for links to AO150 and A0160 catalogs and manuals.

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Old 01-05-2010, 02:38 PM   #3
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I'm certainly no expert, but I do occasionally use a microscope for my work...

For long term use, having a binocular scope is really nice. Less eye strain. Also, it looks like it has a built in light source, which would save you having to angle a lamp at the silly mirror. Plus, a movable stage is nice, so you can just twist a knob to change the field of view, not fiddle with moving the slide. So, on those points, it looks like the student scope wins hands down.

The real issue is with the optics. A cheap scope is going to have cheap optics. But in an old student one, they might be scratched up. I am not familiar with the brands, so I don't know if either are considered particularly good or bad. I'd take a slide to the CL guy and look it over good. Take the lenses out and inspect them visually for scratches. Then offer him less! I don't like that he says "only used one semester" when he himself brought it used. Somewhat disingenuous.


ETA - looking on some Science/Medical auction sites, an AO 150 seems to run around $250 or more. So I'd definitely lean towards this one!

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Old 01-05-2010, 02:39 PM   #4
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Offer Dr Man $70.

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Old 01-05-2010, 02:52 PM   #5
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Yeah, those are the manuals I found too, and why I asked when he bought it. I can't find any info about them still being produced, or reviews, or anything.

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Old 01-05-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Yeah, those are the manuals I found too, and why I asked when he bought it. I can't find any info about them still being produced, or reviews, or anything.
The scopes aren't being made anymore but, AOC is still in business. So, maybe look them up and see what kind of part availability there is for the schoolhouse scope.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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stereoscope

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Old 01-05-2010, 05:38 PM   #8
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Go stereo. The built-in light makes a big difference. I had a microsope as a kid, and the 40X (X 10X) never worked very well, the mirror just couldn't direct enough light into the scope. Of course that was many moons ago and now we have some pretty powerfull flashlights. Another plus is the AOC scope has course and fine adjustment (focus) knobs, while it looks like the other only has the one

AOC scopes are used in many University teaching labs

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Old 01-15-2010, 07:27 PM   #9
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I assume you want a scope to use with a hemocytometer to count yeast cell concentration. If so, make sure to get the kind of hemocytometer that has the grid lines physically etched into the glass. With some of the more expensive professional hemocytometers, the grid lines can only be seen using phase contrast, a feature that the student scopes you are looking at almost certainly don't have. I wish I could have a home lab for more sciencey fun while brewing...

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Old 01-15-2010, 07:35 PM   #10
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Good tip Retro. Eventually I do want to get there.

I missed that scope on CL because last week was too busy to get to the guys house! Damn!

I think I will wait until another good deal comes up on one of those AO scopes. They seem to be good quality and can be found affoardably. No mechanical stage and no light sound like a pain to me.

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