The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

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#1 2013-12-10 01:20:01

Registered user
Name: Tim Body
Registered: 2013-12-10
Posts: 2

Hello (and a question about microscopes)

Hi there,

Fresh from a diptera ID course with the Cheshire Active Naturalists I'm keen to kit myself out and get into fly ID. I was hoping for some advice on 2nd hand microscopes.

Am I likely to get anything worth using for under £70? I'm poor student!





#2 2013-12-10 14:05:51

Mark Winder
DF Members
Name: Mark Winder
From: Gower
Registered: 2008-03-10
Posts: 2

Re: Hello (and a question about microscopes)

As a first suggestion Brunel Microscopes have a used/ secondhand web page, they are very helpful give them a ring on 01249 462655 and look at http://www.usedmicroscopes.co.uk/ . I'm sure loads advice will be given but I'll stick my pennyworth in. Get a stereo microscope of a well known make. Lighting is important but this can be added cheaply using one of the Ikea type small led desk lights a built in light is not necessary. Get something you can upgrade/add bits.



#3 2013-12-10 16:08:46

DF Members
Name: Brian Harding
From: Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Registered: 2008-10-27
Posts: 326

Re: Hello (and a question about microscopes)

The advice to consult Brunel Microscopes is good.  I have always received good advice from them.
However, I would caution against buying a microscope that is too much of a compromise based on price.  If it is not good enough then you will be frustrated and will then have wasted your money if you then go on to buying the microscope that you should have bought in the first place.
Good optics do cost money. I think that you should reconsider your budget and try to find £250. Even for a used microscope that is still a low price.
Probably not the advice that you wanted. I will only add that any good microscope will serve you well for many years - they do not become outdated, and many people are still using their microscopes after decades.



#4 2013-12-10 18:37:15

Name: Malcolm Smart
From: Wolverhampton
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 395

Re: Hello (and a question about microscopes)

For what they're worth, I offer the following tips.

1) Buy a microscope with continuous zoom magnification. Those with a 3 switchable fixed magnification objective lenses are a pain to use and never seem to have just the magnification you need.
2) You will inevitably sooner or later want to take photos of what you see or to transfer the image(s) to a computer screen. Make sure that your microscope has a means of diverting its image to a camera of some sort (either an ordinary camera via an adaptor which attaches to or eyepiece or a specialist camera which replaces an eyepiece and sends an image direct to your computer. Better microscopes have a third eyepiece (sometimes called a phototube ) built in for this purpose or an adaptor which switches the image from eyepiece to camera tube.



#5 2013-12-10 19:49:08

Registered user
Name: Tim Body
Registered: 2013-12-10
Posts: 2

Re: Hello (and a question about microscopes)

Thanks guys. You're right brianh that wasn't what I wanted to hear but I'm sure you're right. I can imagine a rubbish microscope is worse than no microscope.

At the moment I do have access to decent microscopes at both my work placement and at voluntary placement, not to mention uni when I return next year so probably best for me to use other peoples until I can afford something worth using. It'll be nice when I finally have one at home though!

Thanks for help. Tom Mawdsley said this was a good place to seek out advice smile



#6 2014-01-14 15:35:10

Name: John Showers
From: Northants
Registered: 2008-02-28
Posts: 72

Re: Hello (and a question about microscopes)

For many families of diptera you can get a reasonably good start with a good quality hand lens and good light eg Tipulidae, Syrphidae and some larger Brachycera.



#7 2014-03-23 13:36:37

Registered user
Name: Cherry
From: tlanta, GA 30331,USA
Registered: 2014-03-23
Posts: 1

Re: Hello (and a question about microscopes)

thank you for your post
Used Microscopes is a Brunel Microscopes Ltd website dedicated to preowned microscopes, accessories and exdemonstration equipment.
The descriptions used are chosen to describe fairly the specification and general condition of each item. All used microscopes have been
checked and serviced by ourselves, and where possible defects have been repaired. It is inevitable that older instruments will show some
evidence of use or wear and this is accepted as normal. However, reference will be made to condition when it is not typical for the age of
the instrument.

Should you need advice about choosing a new microscope then please

visit this link here you can get all information about buying microscope.

http://www.brunelmicroscopes.co.uk/micr … facts.html



#8 2014-03-23 18:10:31

Name: Darwyn Sumner
Registered: 2008-02-20
Posts: 342

Re: Hello (and a question about microscopes)

Microscopical Societies will also be knowledgeable and might be of help:
Manchester Microscopical at http://www.manchestermicroscopical.org.uk/
Postal Microscopical Society http://www.postal-microscopical-society.org.uk/
Quekett at http://www.quekett.org/
All these hold events and produce newsletters.
Other Natural History Societies also have a microscope background and may be of help,  Northamptonshire at http://www.nnhs.info/nnhsmeetings2010.p … ;future=no hold regular microscopy events too and Oldham "Micro" at http://www.oldham-micro.org.uk/ , although having migrated more towards general Natural History when I was a member may still have some general tips.
These are all ancient and venerable societies.
Stay in touch with Museums and even hospital Pathology Labs, I've had success in both when they've upgraded (though I guess that's a rare event nowadays)

Darwyn Sumner
DF Bulletin Editor, Scheme Organiser: Stilt & Stalk Flies



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