Author Topic: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?  (Read 5876 times)

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Offline jfiresto

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #75 on: December 11, 2020, 08:05:33 pm »
I saw these product description/demo videos and was intrigued but what finally sold me was some random video clips taken through the eyepieces. The image quality throughout the zoom range is well beyond what I'm used to.

Just the zoom range is well beyond what I am used to. ;D

That is cool. The left side gives you depth and right side gives you detail. Which side goes to the camera? Can you choose?
 

Offline lukego

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #76 on: December 11, 2020, 10:32:12 pm »
That is cool. The left side gives you depth and right side gives you detail. Which side goes to the camera? Can you choose?

I don't think that you can choose. My speculation is that it will come from the right side because the left will already lose a lot of light in reducing the aperture for depth of field. So the "spare" brightness on the right could be given to the camera. But I guess Leica did a lot of research about how (most people's...) brains interpret the signal to make the choice.
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #77 on: December 11, 2020, 11:13:54 pm »
Congrats!
Looks excellent!

Thanks!

I saw these product description/demo videos and was intrigued but what finally sold me was some random video clips taken through the eyepieces. The image quality throughout the zoom range is well beyond what I'm used to.







The zoom range and the quality on those videos look really good but I'm betting that as good as they are the direct optical view is going to be amazingly super duper outstanding.  My guess is that you have pioneered the forum forward to what we might start referring to as the BGA Lll Principle"If you are skilled enough to do BGA soldering you should have a Leica like lukego:)
 

Offline lukego

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #78 on: December 12, 2020, 07:33:28 am »
"If you are skilled enough to do BGA soldering you should have a Leica like lukego:)

I feel quite self-conscious that I'm using high-end tools while still doing very newbie-level work. Forum veterans seem to get the job done using basic and even improvised tools while I've spent most of my first year of electronics just working out what stuff to buy. I'm coming to electronics later in life though and I suppose that it's rational to use special equipment to compensate for my lack of experience (having misspent my youth doing software rather than hardware.)
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #79 on: December 12, 2020, 05:50:19 pm »
I have a theory that while everyone has a budget and a sense of what is an appropriate amount to spend on test equipment and tools vs everything else in life that the ability to measure and visualize can definitely accelerate and enhance the learning process - which can lead to valuable knowledge, skills, and improved productivity, plus a lot of enjoyment as the previously difficult to see and not so well understood becomes better seen, better understood, and better managed.  We are living in an age where the tools to learn are a major blessing and a great opportunity for human development.  Congrats and enjoy!
 
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Offline jfiresto

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #80 on: December 13, 2020, 10:36:47 am »
I feel quite self-conscious that I'm using high-end tools while still doing very newbie-level work. Forum veterans seem to get the job done using basic and even improvised tools while I've spent most of my first year of electronics just working out what stuff to buy....

Leica considers the S9 a "routine" microscope. You are investing in a good tool that will allow you to see things that you would otherwise not know and do things that you would not otherwise be able to do – not just next month or next year, but quite possibly for decades. I think you will find the microscope a good investment and a good experience. I doubt I am the only one, here, who wished he had gotten a good microscope years earlier. Enjoy the new microscope!
 
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Offline lukego

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #81 on: January 10, 2021, 11:14:39 am »
Got the Leica S9D now. My impression is that it's basically like a luxury version of the AmScope. It does basically the same things in basically the same way but it does each of them about twice as well. Brightness, zoom range, clarity at high mag, depth of field, ergonomics are all substantially better. Build quality feels the same.

Overall I'm satisfied. I think that the research I did gave me realistic expectations, especially watching those random Youtube videos taken through the eyepiece. I am glad that I went for the more expensive microscope with longer zoom range because that's really the killer feature for me: going fluidly between "whole board" and "that 0402 over there." I'm also satisfied that I bought new because I really spent waaay too much time fighting with cheap optics in 2020

The S9 is compatible with my polarizing ring light from the AmScope (phew) but for now I prefer just using four gooseneck lights. Here's a video showing it off together with my preheater-on-a-lazy-susan bench setup. I'm not sure if the RPi camera is really doing it justice, I'm capturing at less than 1080p, but it's good enough for me for now.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 11:16:17 am by lukego »
 

Offline Finderbinder

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #82 on: January 23, 2021, 09:53:22 pm »
Hello,
had this microscope choosing dilema a year ago. Thought between used well known brands and new unbranded. Found some Youtube videos (reviews) with very positive impressions about two unbranded models from Aliexpress:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000297444680.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.7876452aC72H7J&algo_pvid=25c0c701-8bcb-4442-85b3-26b219aadb44&algo_expid=25c0c701-8bcb-4442-85b3-26b219aadb44-54&btsid=2100bb4c16114355680688241e1a5a&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000255521417.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000060.1.79721b76C3689z&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreThisSeller&scm=1007.13339.169870.0&scm_id=1007.13339.169870.0&scm-url=1007.13339.169870.0&pvid=60bab7fd-5202-41a3-94af-a8b56f50a0e0&_t=gps-id:pcDetailBottomMoreThisSeller,scm-url:1007.13339.169870.0,pvid:60bab7fd-5202-41a3-94af-a8b56f50a0e0,tpp_buckets:668%230%23131923%2354_668%23888%233325%232_668%232846%238114%231999_668%232717%237563%23506_668%231000022185%231000066059%230_668%233468%2315618%23940

The seller claims "Brand New Microscope and Main components  are produced by the same technications on the same production line which producing for Nikon, Olympus , Leica , Zeiss Microscopes".
The review guy highly recommended these models against lottery with used branded models.
At that moment I was confused :-// and tired :phew: of reading and comparing and abandoned this pursuit for the best variant.
But now read your posts and remembered my unfinished task  :)

Did someone here have compare these unbranded gems with some branded ones?
 
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Offline jfiresto

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #83 on: January 23, 2021, 10:22:38 pm »
You may need to just try out a microscope for while for your applications, to discover what works and what doesn't and what you need and don't need. At least that was my experience. Are there things in particular you want to look at?
 

Offline Finderbinder

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #84 on: January 23, 2021, 10:45:46 pm »
80% of use is fine smd soldering (including presoldering, postsoldering inspection), 10% looking for small defects, rest for various things. Camera compatibility would be nice addon if of rather good quality.
Till now I use MBS-10. The optical quality is rather acceptable, but its clunky focus mechanism is the biggest shortcoming (need 2 hands to turn it up - have to put tools aside, when focusing).
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #85 on: January 24, 2021, 10:12:16 am »
80% of use is fine smd soldering (including presoldering, postsoldering inspection), 10% looking for small defects, rest for various things. Camera compatibility would be nice add-on if of rather good quality.
Till now I use MBS-10. The optical quality is rather acceptable, but its clunky focus mechanism is the biggest shortcoming (need 2 hands to turn it up - have to put tools aside, when focusing).

I can see why it has been challenging to find a good replacement for your present microscope. An MBS-10 has its advantages and disadvantages compared to the non-costly alternatives. Of course, if you throw enough money at the problem, you could probably get a microscope that improves on it in every significant way!

What do you really like about your present microscope and would miss? What other annoyances does it have that you really wish it did not? For example, I have read the MBS-10 has a stepped magnification range of of 0.6–7X, almost 12 to 1, which must be great. It might make you, however, unhappy owning a typical, Chinese stencil microscope with only about half that zoom range – as lukego found earlier in this thread.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 10:35:43 am by jfiresto »
 

Offline Finderbinder

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #86 on: January 24, 2021, 12:07:39 pm »
Bear in mind lukego's microscope is of different league compared to the ones I mentioned earlier, according to that youtube review.

According MBS-10. The x7 magnification is useless, at least with my device - the image quality is super bad, just useless. x4 I use rarely partly because of insufficient light (original halogen-fiber ring and now modified LED-fiber ring), and image quality is noticeably worse compared to x2. Chromatic aberrations/reflections start to appear from x2 magnification. All this with x14 oculars (so can calculate overall magnification). And as I mentioned clumsy focusing mechanizm is the biggest issue for me.
Other than that it is quite useful microscope.

Continuous zoom I think would be nice upgrade, and deep focus field too (as new lukego's Leica have, I understand).
MBS-10 is my first and the only serious stereo microscope for electronics work I used and have access to. So dificult to compare with something I haven't access to.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 03:57:00 pm by Finderbinder »
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Mind-range microscope upgrade? Stemi 305, SMZ-2T, EMZ-5TR, Mantis...?
« Reply #87 on: January 25, 2021, 06:36:09 pm »
The [MBS-10] x7 magnification is useless, at least with my device - the image quality is super bad, just useless. x4 I use rarely partly because of insufficient light (original halogen-fiber ring and now modified LED-fiber ring), and image quality is noticeably worse compared to x2. Chromatic aberrations/reflections start to appear from x2 magnification. All this with x14 oculars (so can calculate overall magnification)....

7x14=98X is well into "empty magnification". I bet lower power oculars would give a much sharper, brighter image with a greater field of view.

If you long for more brightness, a Common Main Objective (CMO) microscope is a good choice, although it introduces a new problem: lateral chromatic aberrations (purple and yellow fringing around sharp contrasts and shiny spots that are away from the center of the field of view). It is a little bit of pick your poison. It is more of a problem when you are taking photographs and shooting movies. When you look through the eyepieces and your mind combines the otherworldly sight of deep objects that are somehow out at infinity, it also mentally mostly cancels out the complementary fringing seen by the left and right eyes.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 06:37:57 pm by jfiresto »
 
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