Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Choosing a microscope for setting/engraving

I am completely new to microscopes, any tips as to what spec to look for?

I’m a bit confused how to read magnification factors, if a scope is x4 and you fit it with a x10 eye piece dose that make it a x40 scope?
I imaging for engraving you want a wide field of view? how wide? and for setting x30-x40?

And how about fitting a camera on a scope, can this feature be had on a budget? any DIY mods?

I’ve been looking around and a few options I’ve come up with so far are…

Bausch & Lomb SZ4 StereoZoom 4 with boom stand. I like the price of thees 500-600 from the US, apparently they were bought out by Leica which must be good?

MEIJI EMZ-10 pushing my budget a bit but probably worth it.

Carl Zeiss OPMI-1 over budget by a considerable margin but possibly if I watch Ebay I can get a rough one for a decent price.

And a local trade supplier who has Chinese ones for €600 which I doubt are much good but i’d appreciate hearing any experiences with them.

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a microscope for your jewelry projects? We recommend:

Check out Several reputable jewelers have purchased from them to figure out if they needed a scope and how they used it. I just got a note from them that they have a big sale on over this weekend. they are not Leicas or Zeiss, but do a reasonably good job.

I’ve had the Meiji with the GRS acrobat stand for many years. I really couldn’t work without it. It sounds obvious but, if you can see your work better than your customer then it will always look good to them. A couple of practical considerations. At first it will feel weird to have your head up, eyes ahead, with your hands down on the work. It takes some getting used to. You can’t easily blow off filings and such because your face is far from the work. Takes getting used to. You’ll need a drop down plate for your benchmate bench pin and most people move to a microblock ball on a GRS removable shelf. The reason is twofold, you need to lower your work to avoid having to raise your chair way up to use the scope. The microblock on the shelf is chosen over the benchmate because you are able to better keep your work in the scopes field of view as you rotate it and change positions. Using the scope seems very unnatural at first and requires you to adapt but it’s well worth it.

I have a GRS Versa at work which I love and works very well. I also have an Amscope at home which I also love and works very well. I also purchased an Amscope for the front of the store with a camera attached to it. Both Amscopes cost less than $700 (I don’t remember the exact price). Amscope has an Amazon store which is what I bought from and I got Prime shipping as a result. I will note that the scope that has the camera is not trinocular which is why it was so inexpensive. In order to use the camera you pull a lever which “shuts off” the left eyepiece. You can still use the right eyepiece, but it’s not practical to use the camera while working under it if that’s your plan.

Obviously, the quality of the Amscope vs. the GRS isn’t really worth talking about. I’m talking build quality, not optics. I still have the same field of view, but the Amscope is bulkier, the controls aren’t as smooth and the light ring…sucks. If it’s not your money, go with the GRS. There’s a YouTuber I watch that makes point that no one ever got fired for buying name brand. GRS is a heck of a company and they make amazing products, but when it came to spending my pennies I gambled on the Amscope knowing I could return it if it turned out to be crap. That was 5 years ago.

That’s my 2 cents worth.

Thanks for all the input. I wonder has anyone compared an old BAUSCH & LOMB StereoZoom 4 to a new amscope? they are both similarly priced, in fact the stereo zoom is cheaper,

Just bought a the stereo zoom for €300, I’ll post my thought on it after using it for a while.

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a microscope for your jewelry projects? We recommend: