I'm thinking about buying a microscope. I have several old microscopes in various states of disrepair, which I got for nothing. But I've wanted a reflected light microscope for a while. I've seen a Watson "Standard Metallurgical" reflected light microscope for sale pretty cheap. I already have a bunch of Watson spares, so it looks like a tempting buy.
However, I don't know much about microscopes, and various issues are confusing me. So I'm hoping people here might be able to help.
- I have lots of Watson lenses with an RMS thread. These came from a school and were used on transmitted light microscopes. As far as I know, the lenses I've got and the microscope I've seen for sale both use lenses designed for a fixed tube length, not infinity-corrected lenses. So can I use my spare Watson lenses on a reflected light microscope, or do I need special lenses designed for use with reflected light?
- Presumably there's no way of using infinity-corrected lenses with a microscope intended to have a fixed tube length? I've read that the infinity-corrected microscopes have an extra lens in the tube somewhere.
- The microscope I'm thinking of buying doesn't have a nosepiece which carries multiple lenses. However, I have several spare Watson nosepieces, and shorter drawtubes to accompany them. I tried them out this afternoon. Now my understanding is that when you use the nosepiece, you should be able to fcous using a low power objective lens, then switch to a high power objective and find that everything is still in focus. It doesn't seem to work, even with lenses from the same manufacturer. I always have to correct the focusing after switching lenses. Is my understanding wrong, or does the microscope I'm using need adjusting somehow?
- I want a low power combination of lenses. Watson don't seem to have manufactured an objective below x2.5 and an eyepiece below x5. I'd like to go lower than this. Olympus manufactured a x1.3, but it's intended for a microscope with a 200 mm tube length. The Watson microscopes can be extended to 200 mm tube length, but it clearly isn't their normal setting. What would happen if I tried to use an Olympus lens with a shorter tube length? Would I just get a different magnification and focusing distance, or would everything get royally screwed up? I think the Watson microscopes have a default tube length of 160 mm, but it appears to be adjustable from 155 to 220 mm with the nosepiece fitted.
Does anyone have any advice or thoughts? Is this a good idea? Suggestions would be appreciated.