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Choosing a Microscope


Looking for feedback before I purchase a microscope(s?) for our
shop. I am possibly buying a Meiji w/ Acrobat for our shop w/ two
jewelers. We would also have to buy a new bench to mount this so we
can share. This is not ideal,I want us to each have one.

In researching, I found a company in California (
selling a chinese microscope where the optics are made by the folks
making Leica, Zeiss and so on.

This is on a boom stand instead of the articulating style of the
Acrobat. The attraction being the price.

The scope and stand are 1/4 the price. So I could buy two. I do not
currently,nor have I ever worked under a microscope, except in our
Laser welder every day.

I havent become used to any style.

Are the boom stand style awkward?

I am looking for feedback if anyone works with one other than a
Meiji and acrobat.

I know the Meiji and Acrobat are the cream of the crop,but that may
be outside our budget for the amount it will get used. I personally
will use it asmuch as needed.

Here is a link to see the Amscopes.

Thanks all! Be safe. Wear those respirators and glasses.

Brent-happy daddy of #2 baby(girl) on the way!

Hi Brent;

I don’t own a microscope, but at the latest of Bradney Simon’s Bench
Conferences, I had a chance to try both the Meiji and what I believe
was the Chinese version you are considering. The diffence in optics
was not anything my eye was experienced enough to distinguish, but I
did see a difference between the two in the ability to focus. The
Meiji stayed in focus the entire time that one re-adjusted the
magnification, which meant that you focused once, then could dial up
or down on the magnificaiton. The Chinese one required adjustment in
the focal distance to the object each time one changed the
magnification. I’ve decided that when the time comes to buy one, I’m
going with the Meiji.

David L. Huffman

Another option for having the Acrobat stand and a decent scope (at a
lower price) is to go with a two power scope. In my case I bought a
Chinese scope marketed under the LW Scientific brand. I suppose the
hardware is a little suspect but the optics are terrific. Mine is
set up with 10/20 power reduced by a halving lens to achieve the
working distance (Meiji needs this also). And as an added bonus the
Paragon from LW fits directly into the Acrobat mount.

I have a problem with zoom scopes in that no matter who’s they are I
get a headache in very short order. With a 10/20 or 10/30 scope I
can look through it all day (which I do everyday) with no eye strain
whatsoever. And besides that with wide field and close up options
(both in the same plane of focus) I don’t feel I’m being deprived in
my viewing choices.

I may be wrong on the this point but I believe the zooms are less
bright than the single power objective sets on the two power scopes.

Les Brown
L.F.Brown Goldwork

Any thoughts on a digital microscope? I saw some really nice ones
that were really inexpensive. They also offered screen capture and
are usb for PC or Mac.

Vera Battemarco
Couture Artisan Jewelry ™


I use the Amscope set-up and am very happy with it. I haven’t worked
with the Meiji, but for the price and not having anything to compare
against, I find the Amscope more than adequate for my needs. As you
say you could probably buy 3 for the price of 1 and there certainly
doesn’t seem to be any problem with the optics. Yes you may need to
refocus slightly on zoom, but you really don’t do that too often. As
for the Boom stand - again no problem, as you set it once and that is
pretty much it (It is highly adjustable - if you get the "3-D"
stand). Again I have not compared with the Acrobat stand,but I
imagine that the principle is the same (although I could be wrong)

I have in fact recommended it to our local teaching institution
(TAFE)- where the apprentices are required to train on a bi weekly

No affiliation to the company, just a happy customer/camper (who was
very impressed with the service received)

Sabushka Design

I am looking for feedback if anyone works with one other than a
Meiji and acrobat. 

I looked at the website. In my opinion they are too cheap.
Gemological microscope is made with specific set of parameters which
is expensive to implement.

Caveat Emptor

Leonid Surpin.

In researching, I found a company in California (
selling a chinese microscope where the optics are made by the
folks making Leica, Zeiss and so on. 

Has anyone on the forum had any experience with this company and
their products?

Hi Brent,

I fought the advice of others for a couple of years before getting a
microscope. Once I got one, I found it cumbersome and difficult to
use. I really questioned whether it was a good idea or not. After
about three of four weeks, I started getting used to it, and now I
couldn’t live without it. I also found that at first it slowed me
down considerably, but as I got accustomed to using it, it actually
improved my efficiency and speed. You won’t be sorry if you decide to
get one. Just stick with it for the first month or two.

As to the Meiji versus other brands, you get what you pay for. As
David Huffman observed, the Chinese model’s zoom function is annoying
at best, downright frustrating at it’s worst. Don’t dismiss this as a
small and insignificant difference. You will use the zoom function a
lot. There are also many other scopes available, in many different
price ranges, but dollar for dollar, the Meiji with the GRS Acrobat
arm and ring light is the way to go, imho.

I think I would probably mount the scope on one of the benches you
already have, and save the left over cash towards another scope. I
think you will find it to be extremely awkward to keep jumping up and
down from one bench to the other all the time, and waiting for the
other guy to finish with it. You also will have to outfit another
entire bench with tools, unless you intend to move your flexshaft and
all the rest every time you want to use it. If you intend to use it
only for inspection, just use the one in the laser.

Don’t mess around with the boom style mount. Save up and buy the
Acrobat. It is well worth the extra money. So is the ring light as
opposed to the cheaper boom style halogens. They get hot.

I use the scope for everything, and I mean everything. I have a
doubled up GRS adjustable height bracket that I use to drop my bench
pin, and soldering station with so I can solder or carve wax or use
my engraver’s block for engraving and stone setting under the scope.
If it looks good under the scope, it looks great to the naked eye.

Standard disclaimer. Anyone that thinks I’m in cahoots with GRS read
my post concerning the GraverMach versus Steve Lindsay’s AirGraver.
GRS would have fired me.


In my opinion they are too cheap. Gemological microscope is made
with specific set of parameters which is expensive to implement. 

Gemological microscopes are so called because they use a darkfield
well in the base for illuminating stones. Scopes used at the bench on
devices such as the GRS Acrobat articulated arm can be any binocular
zoom or two power scope that can be fixed in the mount.

Les Brown
L.F.Brown Goldwork

I have 2 Meiji zoom microscopes, one purchased at least 15 years ago
from GRS, one used on E-Bay about 3 years ago. I do find that I need
to adjust the focus when I zoom the microscopes, something that may
have changed in more recent models.

Bench height is important, I have two benches that are lower than my
normal bench height that they are mounted to. It is very important to
get the.5 diopter lens- it doubles the distance that the scope sits
above the focus and work area, allowing about 6" of space to use
tools. In my opinion this working distance makes a tremendous
difference. I often use the scope for setting, usually clamping the
piece in a die ball; you can really see the metal move under a the
tip of a hammer handpiece at 10-20 x magnification.

I have found that the fluorescent ring light alone does not provide
the right illumination for me. I long ago purchased the halogen
lights that GRS offers, and the ring light is a more recent addition.
The combination of both types of light coming from different
directions works well. I have not tried the new LED ring lights or
fiber optic lights, though the halogens are hot and can be in the way
at times.

Rick Hamilton

In researching, I found a company in California (
selling a chinese microscope where the optics are made by the
folks making Leica, Zeiss and so on. 

Just because it is made in the same factory does not mean that it is
made to the same specifications. The Chinese can make excellent
quality items when held to high standards by their customers but do
not seem to see quality as a goal for their goods when not forced to
meet stringent standards. Their quality control is notoriously bad.
Companies like Zeiss and Leica will test and reject substandard
optics, where do you think those rejects end up?

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts