Re: Photomicroscope

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From:Kappeler Andreas <>
To:Histonet <>
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Hi Russ

It depends on how much space there is under the (early) Christmas tree ...
We have a Leica DM-RB for microphotography that was upgraded gradually over
the past 5 years - and I wouldn't easily trade it. We use it for both bright
field and fluorescence microscopy. Objectives are available from 1.6x to
100x, incl. 63x dry (as far as I know). You can upgrade for dark field,
phase contrast, Nomarski - whatever. Where I'm not sure about is the
rotating analyser (polariser: yes). No need to mention that all these pretty
toys are not exactly 'cheap' (in both meanings of the word). About a year
ago we added a digital camera, although not the one from Leica, but a
modified consumer camera from Olympus (DP10; 1.3 Mpx). Works nicely, but as
with all this electronic stuff - the moment it leaves the shop it's terribly
outdated. A colleague of mine recently bought a Nikon Coolpix 990 (3.1 MPx)
for a Zeiss scope (you need an adapter, Nikon Europe part No. is MXA 29004 -
ask Nikon's microscopy department, not the digital guys!) and gets wonderful
results. It's more the happy snapper type of a camera - but it doesn't cost
a fortune and offers quite a few interesting features, incl. white balance,
the possibility to connect it to a tv monitor (for focusing), but you don't
have an on-line pic on your computer screen. Using an USB interface its
memory card can be addressed as an additional drive, which makes downloading
pictures pretty fast. However, all these (modified) consumer cameras are not
really good for fluorescence. It works with our DP10, but you have to
electronically modify the pictures - and you get quite some background
noise. If fluorescence is important, have a demo with the Zeiss AxioCam -
you will like it (just make sure you're boss really wants to make you a big
Christmas gift). The chip is Peltier-cooled which makes the camera suitable
for fluorescence (good sensitivity), you have an on-line pic and quite a
couple of other nice features (though no really good database system - but
that's a different story anyway, and you can get reasonably good software
for that for $ 100.00 over the net, if you don't want to spend another¨$
5,000-10,000). TV cameras are fine for some purposes, but those that are
really good for fluorescence cost a fortune (too) - and are often not that
good for bright field. We have gone away from this type of cameras for
photography. Hope this helps.

Andi Kappeler
Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Switzerland

Original message:
> I am in the market for a new photomicroscope.
> Spec. in brief.
> Brightfield with range of objectives fro x1 (or thereabouts) to x63 dry
> (or thereabouts).
> Fluorescence.
> Simple polarisation i.e. rotating polariser, rotating analyser, limited
> rotating stage (i.e. not 360 degrees) lambda plate etc.
> phase contrast (at x20 and x40ish only)
> photomicrography.
> The latter is causing the greatest debate.
> Should we go for digital (e.g. the Zeiss dedicated one, or cheaper
> happy snapper) or for an upmarket  3 chip tv camera?
> The latter is real time, which makes much easier focusing (in our
> limited trial usage) and which has well developed technology, or the
> greater flexibility of relatively new, versatile digital which will
> undoubtedly cost a heck of a lot more and probably be dated by
> this time next year?
> We have looked at (in alphabetical order) Leica, Nikon, Olympus
> and Zeiss.
> I would be very grateful for (public and/or private) views,
> experiences and opinions.
> Thanks in advance,
> Russ ( for whom Christmas may have come early)
> Russ Allison,
> Dental School
> Cardiff
> Wales

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