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The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

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

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#1 2008-08-07 20:16:28

James Brooks
Registered user
Name: James Brooks
From: Oxfordshire
Registered: 2008-08-07
Posts: 2

Microscopes (stereo and compound) for studying Diptera

I would be interested to see what advice users of this Forum can supply about desirable specifications for stereo and compound microscopes for the study of Diptera. My interests range from the 'big hairy flies' to midges. I understand that phase-contrast (compound) microscopy is useful for identification of (some characters of), e.g., chironomid larvae. I also understand that dual-arm fibre-optic systems are useful with stereo microscopes. What about filters for the latter? What do Forum members use for ocular lenses, and for plan objectives/extension lenses? I've assumed a zoom stereo microscope, but know that others are happy with turret systems. Any other advice as I look at microscope catalogues and, later, look at microscopes would be very much appreciated.
Thanks,
James

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#2 2008-08-08 01:51:13

Andy chick
DF Members
Name: Andy Chick
From: Nottingham
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 99
Website

Re: Microscopes (stereo and compound) for studying Diptera

hi, for stereo i use a zoom scope with a mag range of x7-x80 (widefield oculars)
with no inbuild lights i use LED goosenecks,

for a coumpond i use a mag range of x40-x400

both cover enough range for the work i do

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#3 2008-08-08 14:26:43

Rainieria
Committee
Name: Darwyn Sumner
Registered: 2008-02-20
Posts: 390
Website

Re: Microscopes (stereo and compound) for studying Diptera

Look through copies of the Bulletin. There are a handful of articles about microscopy which I've published over the years.


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

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#4 2008-08-08 15:33:43

Mark
DF Members
Name: Mark Mitchell
From: Hampshire
Registered: 2008-06-17
Posts: 273

Re: Microscopes (stereo and compound) for studying Diptera

I am really happy with my Meiji EMT-2 stereo microscope that I purchased about 25 years ago. This gives me 10x, 30x with 10x eyepieces, and 20x, 60x with 20x eyepieces. I find the paired objectives of 1x & 3x is a very useful range, I feel that the 1x & 2x (EMT-1) combination would be to close, and the 1x & 4x (EMT-4) would be to great for malacology/entomology. The working height is excellent. I would have preferred the zoom version (EMZ) but was outside my budget at the time. I have the PB stand, this has both incident (useful) and transmitted (not so useful) lighting. They now do a PBH Stand which has brighter, dimerable 10w lighting. The 7w light of the PB stand is fine with the 10x eyepieces, but not so good with 20x eyepieces. I have a 1.5x auxiliary lens which has sometimes proved handy, but again really needs better lighting. Other useful accessories are the black and white stage plate, and a wooden storage/travel case. I have square grid graticule fitted to one 10x eyepiece and a micrometer graticule fitted to the other. I only have useable sight in one eye and this works fine for me, other people seem to find this irritating.

I really need some better illumination for the above for use with 20x eyepieces. fibre-optic goosenecks would be great, but well outside what I justify paying. LED goosenecks seem a better option. Any advice would be welcome here too.

I am also considering a .5x auxiliary lens, to give me 5x with the 10x eyepieces, this I am hoping will be better while pinning insects?

I also have a second hand Russian (Zenit?) compound microscope that gives me from 50x to 1000x. It far out performs the 20 it cost 20 years ago. This more than adequate for the little use it gets. Something better would be great, but I personally couldn't justify the considerable cost difference of a superior instrument. I would guess that the second hand Olympus student compound microscopes that are often on Ebay for under 100 would be up to the job?

Last edited by Mark (2008-08-08 19:44:35)

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#5 2008-08-08 21:41:21

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 703
Website

Re: Microscopes (stereo and compound) for studying Diptera

I would thoroughly recommend trying some out, before purchasing, at somewhere like Brunel Microscopes or one of the brand distributors like GX microsocopes. Take a bunch of specimens with you and try stuff out. It's a big outlay and you should take time over any decision.

I have not used a GX micrscope but I have heard good reports about them - they are considerably cheaper than Meiji and other brands.

Magnification-wise I use a stereo zoom (which if you can run to the cost is a considerable ease of working improvement over non-zoom) with a ramge of 10x to 64x mag, which does for most things. But for really small stuff like Platypezidae and some Lonchaeidae I sometimes could do with another step up. However I get by with this range pretty well.


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

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#6 2008-08-10 23:46:46

Rainieria
Committee
Name: Darwyn Sumner
Registered: 2008-02-20
Posts: 390
Website

Re: Microscopes (stereo and compound) for studying Diptera

The AES Exhibition on 18th October will be a good place to go and look at a few microscopes.


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

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#7 2008-08-19 14:27:27

James Brooks
Registered user
Name: James Brooks
From: Oxfordshire
Registered: 2008-08-07
Posts: 2

Re: Microscopes (stereo and compound) for studying Diptera

Thank you everyone for your comments. Agreed about usefulness of handling the microscopes before purchase.

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