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Side view lens attachment

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I am thinking about a microscope side view lens (aka 3D lens) but have two road humps:

1. Don't know if it's actually useful/better - anyone used one that can give an opinion?

2. They are expensive. We are talking $1000 for some models! Looking on Aliexpress I see cheap version attached to a lens that is perhaps $100-$200 but I don't need the lens, only the attachement. Some of the Ali adverts even show the attachment removed from the lens, but nowhere can I find it on its own. Am I going to be stuck with buying the entire thing, removing the attachment and binning the lens?

Interesting find, thank you!

I cannot find similar ones.
Wouldn't it be the easiest if you just contact the seller asking to buy the rail separately?

Of course you can make it yourself using an aluminium rails like

and first surface mirrors like

plus some DIY 3D printed blocks.

Of coarse a Barlow lens would help to achieve longer working distances,
(or even better, a very expensive telecentric lens).

Yeah I was looking at these 3D inspection lenses, they are very simply constructed, from what I can see. But the price is still high for just mirror part, without the camera lens. I had a aliexpress one saved but it was still over $150. Here is another one:

To me its a great idea, but only if you are specifically inspecting completed products using a digital microscope, and taking photos of the process.

If you are working on anything, I would go with a stereo microscope instead.
What is your intended use case and what equipment do you have?

I have a stereo microscope, which works fine (also has a video camera attached). But sometimes I think I want a side view to be able to see the side of pins rather than just the straight down top. I sometimes resort to hold the PCB off the front of the bench so I can see it side on, but obviously that's not optimal and you can't, say, resolder a poor joint like that. I figured these side view gizmos might be useful even give the stereo aspect.

I don't know if it would work at all with a stereo microscope, maybe with one eye.
If you have a boom or arm stand, you can tilt the microscope to a 45 degree angle, usually helps, if raising the microscope is not enough.

Or maybe figure out some kind of custom angled mirror setup, similar to what spostma is talking about, but fixed.


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