Author Topic: Is this the microscope I want?  (Read 1020 times)

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Offline jnz

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Is this the microscope I want?
« on: June 29, 2022, 09:28:50 pm »
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2255799973374314.html?spm=a2g0o.store_pc_groupList.8148356.26.13aa3b65U0013z&pdp_npi=2%40dis%21USD%21US%20%24722.99%21US%20%24571.16%21%21%21%21%21%402100bde716565290939163231e8fc5%2110000000508899344%21sh

What I think I want:

- Stereo microscope for actual work (no idea what lens I want for 0402 work)
- auto focus camera for inspection
- large work area / depth
- The rubberized base seems nice
- protection filter, I expect fumes
- light, although ring lights have issues, I may dual purpose a webcam led panel for extra light
- Budget up to $600 complete

BUT...

I know I don't want:

- to buy from aliexpress, no return option. I'd rather buy from Amazon, Ebay, or some other US based store.
- to pay $160-200 on shipping!

1. Can I buy a similar or better microscope and add the camera later? Links? Specs to look for? Models? Recommendations?

2. I looks to me like camera autofocus is going through the microscope lens - that it seems this would have to work with the scope focus. Will this adjust itself well through the whole focus range or will the camera fight the scope focus in a ton and only work at a couple of sweet spots?

I'm trying to put an order in somewhere asap, so any help would be appreciated.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2022, 09:58:41 pm »
If you want to add the camera you can get a trinocular microscope (which is what you linked).

Amscope is available in the US, many threads on here
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/microscope-amscope-for-soldering/
 

Offline jnz

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2022, 10:02:31 pm »
I'm clueless as to which one I should be looking for. I see a lot of lens values and options, but not sure what is good for fine PCB work.
 

Online jfiresto

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2022, 06:36:25 am »
I bet this long blog post will be pretty helpful. Just a few points that I would add.

Quote
... A good quality microscope will have modular eyepieces that can be swapped for higher or lower magnification....
For most microscopes, 10X eyepieces are best and 15X can sometimes be useful. Lower and higher power usually does not win you anything, although there are niche applications and certain microscopes where it does.

Quote
... The eyepieces also should come with rubber eyecups that some people find helpful to rest their eyes on....
That usually means they are "high eyepoint" oculars which come with eyecups: to block room glare, if you don't wear glasses, or to protect your glasses from scratching, if you do. It is the "high eyepoint" you are after, almost always with little eyeglass symbols printed on the oculars.

Quote
... If you would like to add a camera to your microscope, look for a microscope head that is simul-focal...
that is, the photo port has a 50:50 beam splitter. Microscope-specific cameras tend to have a poor price/performance ratio. I and others have found it is worth the trouble to adapt a mirrorless system camera body or an HD RPi camera module to the microscope.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2022, 06:38:26 am by jfiresto »
-John
 

Offline voltsandjolts

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Offline eugene

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2022, 02:43:10 pm »
For soldering and other PCB work, I prefer a microscope with a boom stand like this: https://amscope.com/collections/stereo-microscope/products/sm-3b The base is heavy and the boom is long so you can work directly on the benchtop. You can then put down a rubber mat or whatever surface you want. You can even spin things around putting the base farther away from you maximizing the free bench space you have to work with.

There's no need for autofocus on the camera. In fact, I would probably be annoyed by it.

Ring lights work great in this situation. More expensive ones are nicer. You can even get some that can adjust the angle of incidence by making the light brighter on one side than the other. I've used them and they're nice, but not all that helpful when working on PCB's. A more basic one will work too. Add auxiliary lighting as needed
90% of quoted statistics are fictional
 

Offline jnz

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2022, 06:17:30 pm »
For soldering and other PCB work, I prefer a microscope with a boom stand like this: https://amscope.com/collections/stereo-microscope/products/sm-3b The base is heavy and the boom is long so you can work directly on the benchtop. You can then put down a rubber mat or whatever surface you want. You can even spin things around putting the base farther away from you maximizing the free bench space you have to work with.

There's no need for autofocus on the camera. In fact, I would probably be annoyed by it.


I'll get that or the dual boom. But I still like that big aluminum base with the silicone work pad.

On autofocus being annyoing. I don't think so. After watching the autofocus videos, it seems really nice to be able to inspect the part at different angles instantly. I don't need a camera as much as I need a microscope, but it would be nice, and autofocus doubly so.

I'm just not sure how well it would work through the scope lenses. Adding a Sony 3xx autofocus camera and having it "just work" seems awesome and that seems to be all the one in my first link is doing. But you know, China claims and all that. I guess worst case, if they need to be two separate devices, that's fine. I can just eventually try it through the microscope, and if it doesn't work, buy a lens and another mount.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2022, 08:32:45 pm by jnz »
 

Offline illiac4

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2022, 03:59:57 am »
I have bought mine from https://www.banggood.com/Wholesale-Optical-Instruments-c-11804.html
https://www.banggood.com/3_5X-7X-45X-90X-Double-Boom-Stand-Zoom-Simul-Focal-Trinocular-Stereo-Microscope+34MP-Camera-Microscope-For-Industrial-PCB-Repair-p-1533615.html?cur_warehouse=CZ&rmmds=search

No taxes, free shipping... I have bought one with the articulating arm but it looks like it is not currently at the stock. I have paid 400€ incl. camera and shipping.
This sony autofocus camera is more expensive but I do not need autofocus because it is annoying when soldering.
You can also find online 10% discount code so it will be even cheaper.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2022, 04:06:40 am by illiac4 »
 

Offline Ungolian

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2022, 04:43:10 am »
You can have some lighting issues between the microscope and camera.  A ring light is really close to the lens, reflects directly back up, and the image can be ok in the eyepiece, but bad on the camera.  Polarizing filters help, or if you're really adventurous, you can do what SteveyG did (the tl;dr of that is fewer, higher wattage lights, mounted further off axis, at more acute angles).  A ring light will be fine to start with, but you're most likely going to look for a different lighting solution in the future.   

 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2022, 06:06:39 pm »
Ring lights are cheap and convenient, but certainly not the best solution out there.
Spotlight illumination is often much better and the flexible goosenecks allow using the best orientation for the task at hand. But those tend to be pretty expensive.
 

Offline jnz

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2022, 09:29:57 pm »
Copy on lights. I decided for the China garbage $45 ring light (amscope) and if I need better I'll upgrade it.

I just don't do enough soldering to go balls out on this stuff. I do enough with small parts, but I'm a programmer first.

I put together an Amscope kit and the Aliexpress camera.

Amscope and eakins orders attached for reference to anyone else looking.

Eakins Sony IMX307 Autofocus, uses a C-mount to Amscope CX adapter (.45x, although 1.0x might work, the Chinese sell theirs with a .5x)
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2255800839128060.html?spm=a2g0o.order_detail.0.0.60bdf19c8DF3GG

The microscope I picked up is the latest model SM745NTP-B.
https://amscope.com/products/sm745ntp-b?variant=40347834482863

Warning: If you are trying to buy a kit like this link, be careful that they consider the microscope itself to be ~$150, and the shapes and lines around the monocular are different than the Amscope.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2255799973374314.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.64333c00BLGHdi&mp=1

I decided to go with the dual boom, amscope everything, IMX307 camera. There is a chance the above kit would have been fine, and would have been more cost effective, but I didn't want to deal with Aliexpress/Alibaba if it wasn't. I'd rather deal with Amscope. I also got a 15% coupon from Amscope, their 4th of July sale... Which is funny as an American holiday. I don't like buying Chinese equipment, but in this case it was this or nothing.

I doubt I'll need to update given the other reviews I've seen, I'm sure it'll work just fine.
 

Offline Ungolian

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2022, 11:30:01 pm »

I just don't do enough soldering to go balls out on this stuff. I do enough with small parts, but I'm a programmer first.


I dunno...  That's pretty balls out...  Enjoy!
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: Is this the microscope I want?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2022, 02:00:46 am »

I dunno...  That's pretty balls out...  Enjoy!

A microscope is the absolute basics. The camera is optional.

A bit more fancy would be a Mantis and/or a Leica microscope.
 


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