I'm looking for an inexpensive stereo zoom microscope around 7x to 15 or
20x. My eyes aren't what they used to be. ;^)
A fixer upper would be a possibility if its complete. (I'm cheap and also
on a fixed budget).
What's cheap? There's always several on eBay, and some tool catalogs,
one in J&L industrial for $260(reduced from $468)no zoom. Zoom usually
raises the cost. I've seen a few imports without zoom for around $100.
Getting a cheap one without being able to look through it could be a
They are hard to find for under about $400. Airgas has
a no-name unit for $499 with universal stand. You'll
still need a ringlight.
I bought a used AO at the local university's surplus
store for $450 and was glad to pay it. I fabricated
a new table for it and found a ringlight on ebay for
BTW, if you look at a used unit and focus doesn't
track through the zoom range, there's a fairly easy
adjustment to fix it. I found the proceedure on the
web, but I can't remember the url.
I've sold a bunch of Bausch and Lomb Stereozoom units on eBay. They
typically bring $300 to $500 if clean and working, more if there's an
articulated mount. I was getting them at semiconductor processing
bankruptcies for $25 to $100. Keeping the last one for myself. The
industry seems to have moved on to more sophisticated (or perhaps just more
stylish) units like the Mantis.
Where are you located? I know someone in the Chicago area that used to have
several stereo microscopes for sale. I don't know if he has any left or if
he has any stereo zoom scopes. From what I saw of his inventory it might be
a good idea to check them out in person. They looked decent to me at a
glance but he buys at auction so one never knows what problems may await.
Email me if you want contact info.
i bot a surplus head, no table, stand or lamp, for 10.00 at work.
both ep's are good (30x?) and there are two (3?) objectives on a
turret. can't find it right now but i remember it being B&Lomb.
one day i will make a table for it, s/b a nice addition to my
Hmm ... inexpensive may be a problem. I depends on what you
call "inexpensive". IIRC, mine cost me about $200.00 -- pre eBay.
Somebody else wanted one, and found a surplus auction with about twenty
or so, and asked for people to join in with him so he could make a bid
which would be likely to win. I did, and he won, so I have mine. I
don't even remember which newsgroup -- it was one which I did not
regularly follow, but was very glad to have looked at that time.
The typical American Optical or B&L Stereo Zoom microscope head
has a magnification from 0.7X to 3.0X, with 10X eyepieces, so that would
make it 7X to 30X IIRC.
You may need to un-fix that budget, depending on how badly you
want one. :-)
There's a guy who shows up at the Dayton Hamvention every year
with a table full of these microscopes. Prices range from about $150
to $450. I bought a B&L stereo microscope head from him a few years
back for $150 (it had no stand, he wanted $300 for a stand). I made
Note that focusing on this particular microscope is done by moving
the whole head up and down on the stand. I had some brass rack
and a pair of pinions salvaged from something else which I used
to fabricate a focusing rack for the stand.
I'd love to have one of the new sort which has a focusing macro
objective lens (works like the lens on a 35mm camera) and a
suspension arm to float the head over whatever you're working
on. I played with one of those, and the tool lust was almost
unbearable. But the price was just too much (a bit over $1200).
So I make do with my homemade setup.