Author Topic: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?  (Read 911 times)

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Offline VK3DRB

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Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« on: July 10, 2019, 06:10:12 am »
Hi Folks,

I have a Vision Mantis with X2, X4 and X6 lenses. Great for PCB work. Someone I know who does a lot of rework has offered to buy it complete for $AUD 1300. I reckon $1400 is closer to the mark.
However I am in two minds whether to sell it. It is darn good, but you cannot take images from it and it takes up a lot of space.

I see four options:

1. Keep the Mantis
2. Buy an autofocus Eakins camera system, and have about $700 or so left over to buy a programmable load and some other useful test equipment.
3. Buy an Andonstar ADSM302, and have about $1K left over to buy a programmable load and some other useful test equipment 
4. Buy some other camera which is better than all of the above for PCB rework that is around $1K that is not featured on the EEVBLOG.

I have looked at the EEVBLOG video #1125.

What is important is ergonomics and fatigue reduction, usability, and clarity (down to 0201 resistors). I do a lot of R & D and some prototyping, but not as much rework and prototyping as the guy who wants to buy the Mantis.

Any opinions from the General Chat crowd?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 06:31:11 am by VK3DRB »
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 07:00:41 am »
If you're not getting the price you want don't sell it. "What is important is ergonomics and fatigue reduction, usability, and clarity (down to 0201 resistors)"

Keep the Mantis. Don't overthink it.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 08:13:09 am »
I you own a good optical system like the Mantis, I would suggest NOT changing it for a purely camera-based system. These can be pretty handy too but they are no substitute for an optical microscope... you will regret it.

To take pictures and for inspection purposes, I would buy an extra camera-based microscope and keep the Mantis. For that, you certainly don't need to shell out that much cash. If you keep the Mantis for your daily tasks, an autofocus camera is not even required IMO unless you do a lot of inspection.

Regarding space - yes the Mantis takes up space, but you can still move it around a bit. Many camera-based systems, even if they are not as bulky, will actually take up more space on your bench (except maybe the Andonstar but I really don't recommend it.)
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 09:02:56 am »
Quote
If you own a good optical system like the Mantis, I would suggest NOT changing it for a purely camera-based system. These can be pretty handy too but they are no substitute for an optical microscope... you will regret it.

Agreed.
The Mantis irreplaceable.
If you need an additional digital microscope, get one.
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 11:30:36 am »
Based on this, I will keep the Mantis and let my friend know. Thanks.

By the way, I found (finally) some good globes for the Mantis... MR11 LED 4.5W, 12V, 3000K colour temp. These were not available a year or two back. Pin compatible and they work well. Of course not as near as hot as the halogen lamps. I might now disconnect the naturally noisy fan so it runs quiet.

Here they are; about $4 each...

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sunix-4-10pcs-4-5W-MR11-LED-Light-Bulb-Dimmable-Spotlight-Lamp-Cool-Warm-White/183232678389?var=690512433287&epid=19018011291&hash=item2aa984c9f5:g:e7EAAOSwuVZbRHZ-&frcectupt=true
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2019, 11:36:54 am »
Mantis is unbeatable for long-term use. Pretty much all video based systems will have some latency, which is a pain when working under them. They also don't have the Mantis'  ability to move your head around to get slightly different viewpoints.
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Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 12:47:34 pm »
Yeah I got to admit the Mantis does have that unique pseudo 3D feature where you move your head and not the board and you see more. You don't get that with a simple camera system - you'd have to move the board. I guess its the patented optics that gives the Mantis the edge.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 01:16:19 pm »
Yeah I got to admit the Mantis does have that unique pseudo 3D feature where you move your head and not the board and you see more. You don't get that with a simple camera system - you'd have to move the board. I guess its the patented optics that gives the Mantis the edge.

Any good quality optical stereo microscope is going to beat a camera based system.
The advantage of the Mantis is the longer lenticular distance that matches normal bench use, so your eyes aren't always adjusting and getting tired. Plus is has the steroscopic effect through a larger and easier to use hood.
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 07:05:43 am »
I think the way it is set up works well too, ergonomically. In comparison, I find using a binocular microscope for electronics work quite annoying.

My eyes don't adjust to anything because I have presbyopia, as do most people over 40. But my brain does some adjusting. An ophthalmologist removed my cataracts and installed lenses with different focal lengths to each other. The left eye has infinite focal length. The right eye has arms-distance focal length. My brain selects the sharpest image for decoding by biasing the input image between one eye and the other depending upon how far away the object of interest is. It took my brain about 3 months to accustom to it, but works exceedingly well. Rarely do I need glasses, except when looking at tiny PCB component identifiers up close for example. But generally with the Mantis I don't need glasses, but for super clarity, I use glasses which have two different lenses to compensate for the different lenses in the eyes. I don't think I can adjust the optics in the Mantis to act as the glasses. It works well enough now. From what I hear, the optics inside the Mantis are non user adjustable and they should not be touched.

I remember getting my eye operation whilst I was awake. During the operation, the ophthalmologist (a photography and electronics hobbyist as well), was chatting to me about the Xbox 360 CPU designed by IBM. It was a pleasant experience and I could actually see the lens open up once it has exited the cannula during the operation. No pain at all... until the anaesthetic wore off and I got the bill :palm:.
 

Offline ealex

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Re: Vision Mantis, Eakins or Andonstar. Which is best?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 11:05:57 am »
I have an ADSM302 - if you need something for professional work, get a binocular microscope.
It gets tiring after a while / you need to re-learn working with it

the camera is ok but you can't lock the exposure and white balance:
this is a short clip with a notebook motherboard (not apple, but the same stupid LCD connector design) :
 


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