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Economy binocular boom microscope


#1

Is there anyone out there using a sub-$500 binocular boom microscope
for stone setting. Any thoughts or recommendations on the matter?
Testimonials welcome. I wouldn’t mind making my own boom out of
steel pipe if I knew the microscope model was easy to mount.

Thank you
Todd Goodwin


#2

Don’t Skimp on the Scope…

Simply put, get a high quality microscope, your eyes and your work
will benefit. You can save money by making a rigid mounting for it,
and replacing the mount later when you can afford it. Cheaply made
tools are seldom a bargain.

Well made tools are a joy to use.


#3
Is there anyone out there using a sub-$500 binocular boom
microscope for stone setting. Any thoughts or recommendations on
the matter? Testimonials welcome. I wouldn't mind making my own
boom out of steel pipe if I knew the microscope model was easy to
mount. 

Why are you in this business? Buy the proper tools and use the tax
laws and profits to pay for them.

Paf Dvorak


#4

Hi Todd,

2 possibilities:

  1. You can build your own microscope structure, and obtain the
    necessary optics at Edmund Scientific.

  2. You can bypass glass optics completely. See if you can focus a
    several megapixel webcam through a Fresnel magnifier onto your
    objective, then translate the image a very high resolution on your
    monitor.

Good luck.
Andrew Jonathan Fine


#5

Edmund Scientific has digital microscopes with screen displays (no
hunching over to use the eyepieces) for $250- $300.

Lorraine


#6

Hey Todd,

Here is the 'scope I bought. Check it out on Amazon (that is my
5-star review): AmScope SM-7B-FRL, $650, free s/h. A barlow lens
($50) will cut your max mag in half and double your working distance
to ~8".

You can get the same 'scope with a boom mount for under $500 (check
amscope dot com). I recommend the articulating stand, but if you
decide the boom mount will work for your application it will be a
big savings. Don’t forget the ring light.

Any questions don’t hesitate.
Pete


#7

Todd,

don’t “rig” one. invest in a decent microscope if you do the
majority of your work in setting or faceting or reselling top grade
material or photographing it for other jewellers / artisans /
metalsmiths. american scientific has a great scope - well actually
quite a few great to excellent scopes with detachable screens, zoom
lenses, immersion and colour correction filters, adapters and stands
for a boom mount, and one with a stand for an additional (immersion
lens or what have you) that articulates on 3 axis (which is usually
fine for most people) so it could be USB’d into a 3D printer or CAd
system if you needed that capability ! They are discounted heavily:
that is,:$200.00- what i consider a great discount on a great scope
(1 mark under excellent in my grading system!) their top most, last
time I checked with a great screen (3.5") and 4/40,10/100, and
40/400x with digital zoom up to 1600x. European and American
connections for a standard AC adapter (US power style brick with a
Euro adapter) that assists adjusting the intensity of the
illumination ( provided by over and under LED), a few microscope
related gadgets and a (fairly) flimsy colour wheel, that does come in
handy for identification though, plus a really nice carry case and a
2 year warranty. most of the microscopes i looked at have had a 1
year warranty at best. It also interfaces with 1 or a class full by
USB if you were to teach setting. so for my money 209 is a very nice
deal on a versatile microscope that you could add a boom to if you
really thought it necessary given what’s already there…

Another thing I found really economical (100 dollars US!!!),
particularly cool (and splurged on for student use, I admit) is a
hand held (though it can be mounted as needed) digital zoom scope
with camera (stills or video) for stone setting, id-ing (it accepts
filters or polarized films) and cataloguing/photography. the
description says the "Camera is 3 megapixels, up to 12 with
interpolation, 3.7X and 54X optically, 4X digital zoom for 216X,
128MB internal memory, SD card slot (up to 8G), adjustable 0/3/6 LED
illumination. Has adjustable exposure, resolution and color
settings. USB 2.0 cable and carrying case included. You add (2) "AA"
batteries.

They sell a 59 dollar (or less) Zoom lens kit for binocular LCD
microscopes but the software has to be run in compatibility mode
with WIN XP. but it’s feature rich…

depends on what you want to do with it now and in the future and if
warranties are important to you at all. and in at least 2 cases, if
you would travel to europe and bring it with you!..rer