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Subject: Field microscope

Field microscope

From: Jack Ogden <jack>
Date: Thursday, January 4, 2001
Chris Thomson <thomson [at] ici__net> writes

>We are looking to purchase a small, very portable, good-quality
>monocular or binocular microscope (20-30X) with a battery-powered
>light source for on-site examination of paint, wallpaper, etc. We
>would like to upgrade from the Radio Shack $9.95 one.

I assume you want a microscope to use for general observation by
reflected light (i.e. not polarising, metallurgical etc) and a
magnification in the generally useful range x10 to x45 or so. First
of all do go for a binocular one. For years I looked at ancient
jewellery around the world from excavation sites to museum basements
and needed lightness, compatibility and cheapness. I used a standard
small $250 odd binocular microscope (Meiji techno were the
makers--have a look at
<URL:http://www.meijitechno.com/emt.htm>--mine was the simplest with
the most basic stand--for basic stands see
<URL:http://www.meijitechno.com/pole.htm>). Maybe more than $250
now, but still reasonable. Meiji techno could presumably tell you a
local importer/agent

Lighting was a problem for years (unless I could hook into mains
power). In the end I gave up looking for an off-the-peg battery
powered set up and simply used a couple of small 'Maglite' type
torches on suitable supports - easy enough to rig up. Sounds
primitive, but it worked.

If I was doing the same today and had a bit more money?--I would be
tempted by a small digital microscope hooked up to a lap top.   For
the digital microscope I'm familiar with, see, for example,
<URL:http://www.altronavision.ch/DM/seih10.htm> and
<URL:http://www.scalaramerica.com/DG1.htm>. This of course has the
advantage that photography is an integral part--just save the frames
you need. But then, of course, you have laptop battery life to
consider ....

The cheap binocular route is less photo-friendly unless you get a
more sophisticate model. However, digital camera components are
inexpensive now and simple things that slot into a microscope
eye-piece tube inexpensive (or not too hard to rig up yourself).
Good luck,

Dr Jack Ogden
Hohnsen 36
D-31134 Hildesheim
Germany
+49 5121 69 16 10
Mobile +49 173 615 65 82


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:37
                 Distributed: Tuesday, January 9, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-37-002
                                  ***
Received on Thursday, 4 January, 2001

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