With apologies to everyone for the fact that I still haven't
finished my manuscript (tentatively titled Optical Aids for Jewelers)
and I've been off line retrieving my wife from an automobile accident
down in Colorado; a few comments.
To avoid a difficult learning curve you want to be looking at what
you're working on, not a remote viewing screen. For most of us it is
also necessary to have full stereo to achieve normal depth
perception. Video-microscopy with high resolution, head mounted,
stereo displays will eventually be a great solution, but the hardware
is not yet available at a reasonable price. Consequently a stereo
optical microscope is the best current solution.
The mounting system of the 'scope is hugely important, height,
angulation, working distances, etc., as well as seat and bench
height. All of these "little factors" determine comfort and the
avoidance of strain.
Most 'scopes can be modified (at no cost) to enhance the depth of
field. Under the ocular (eye piece) lenses there is an optical plane
where you can place a piece of black paper with a small hole in it's
center. It takes two pieces, each with a hole, and you'll have to
experiment a little to find the best size hole and the exact
location-but you can considerably increase the DOF. This is a trade
off with image brightness but can be balanced with brighter external
lighting, especially with LEDs to minimize heat.
Surgical microscopes of the sort I spent my professional life with
cost $50-60,000 these days-BUT there are a ton of old stereo
microscopes on eBay, some pricey and some very reasonable. I'll be
happy to discuss details with any of you.
Dr. Mac (206 954-4166)