Like Brian, Kevin and Tim, I couldn’t live without my scope. I have
two, one with a video camera and the second is a regular EMZ, both on
an Acrobat arms. I can’t recommend it more highly. I use mine for
everything - setting, soldering, wax carving, engraving, etc.
I did find a bit of a learning curve to it though. For about two
weeks I really wondered whether I had made a mistake in buying it.
Because it doesn’t move around the work, you have to learn how to
move the work under it. I didn’t realize how much I moved my head
around the work until I couldn’t do it anymore. Once I got used to
using it and discovered the value of the video camera in customer
service, repair sales and as a teaching tool, I found it to be an
incredibly useful addition to my shop. You are right in your
assumption that if it looks good under the scope, it’ll look great to
the unaided eye. The reverse is true also, if it looks marginal to
the eye, it’ll look horrible under the scope. Like I said, it’s a
great repair sales tool with the video. The only caveat is that if
you show it a take-in, you better be able to show it at pick-up.
Pitted solder joints look like craters.
The Zeiss optics are better, but it is a far more costly scope. The
Meiji is a great value and the Acrobat arm is worth every dime. Make
sure you get the rubber eye cups (don’t let anyone near them if they
have a charcoal block in their hands), headrest, ring light and
objective lens of your choice. The objective lens determines your
working distance. The sales rep where you buy it should be able to
explain the different lenses and working distances. I know the folks
at GRS can at any rate. (No affiliation, GRS is just a good company)
You will love your scope. It will make your work that much better.