Question: Best beginner scope?

Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
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Denver, CO
Thread starter #1
Hi guys! I'm new to the cafe and I wanted to say hi and thank you for the opportunity to connect with all of you!
I took basic engraving at GRS and I'm finally close to up and running with my own set up. In fact, I have everything except the comnection set-up for the 4610ac compressor (showing up early this week) and a microscope. I'm thinking about starting by using the naked eye and an optivisor but I would like to get a scope asap. So I was wondering if anyone has insight towards a cheaper scope. I see there is one on ebay from china for around 400 but i know the chinese products can suck. Does anyone have experience with the chinese scope on ebay? Here is a link for the scope on ebay: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/321792363213 Or does anyone know of older models I should look for to start off on that would be cheaper second hand?
Thanks in advance.
-Peter
 

sam

Chief Administrator & Benevolent Dictator
Staff member
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Nov 6, 2006
Messages
9,896
Location
Covington, Louisiana
#2
My advice is to buy a secondhand Meiji EMZ-5 and avoid the Chinese scopes.

CHINESE MADE ENGRAVING TOOLS

MICROSCOPES

Pros:
Cheap

Cons:
Can have poorly aligned optics.
Might not stay in focus when zoomed.
Can have lenses made of plastic or window glass as opposed to optical glass.
Many are dim, dark, and have a yellowish view.
Most, if not all, are nowhere close to being as sharp and bright as Meiji, Leica, Olympus, or Zeiss microscopes.
China has notoriously bad quality control so one acceptable scope doesn’t guarantee the next one off the assembly line will be as good.
Many sellers cannot support the product with repair, adjustment, parts, etc, so you’re on your own, and imagine having to ship one back to China for repair or refund.
Most have very little resale value when you’re ready to upgrade later.
You are guaranteed to get exactly what you pay for.

COMMENTS:
I have tested a lot of Chinese scopes and found one or two that were acceptable entry level microscopes. Once again, just because one is acceptable doesn’t guarantee the next one will be. Chinese manufacturers are famous for making substitutes when they run out of materials.

If you have little or no experience with microscopes, any scope will look great to you when you use it, and your eyes can quickly overcome optical defects. The truth can come after many hours of use when you might develop eye strain and headaches and have no idea why.

I would advise finding a good used Meiji EMZ-5 microscope if the budget doesn’t allow for a new Leica or new Meiji. You will have a quality instrument that will last a lifetime, and parts and service are always available.

If you are absolutely determined to buy a Chinese microscope, then buy the seller as well as the microscope. Be sure it’s someone who can service or replace the scope without having to mail it back to China. Many dealers don’t care about anything other than making the sale.

There will always be someone who says “I have one of those and it works fine for me.” If quality control was as good as Meiji or Leica then that might actually mean something.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Denver, CO
Thread starter #3
My advice is to buy a secondhand Meiji EMZ-5 and avoid the Chinese scopes.

CHINESE MADE ENGRAVING TOOLS

MICROSCOPES

Pros:
Cheap

Cons:
Can have poorly aligned optics.
Might not stay in focus when zoomed.
Can have lenses made of plastic or window glass as opposed to optical glass.
Many are dim, dark, and have a yellowish view.
Most, if not all, are nowhere close to being as sharp and bright as Meiji, Leica, Olympus, or Zeiss microscopes.
China has notoriously bad quality control so one acceptable scope doesn’t guarantee the next one off the assembly line will be as good.
Many sellers cannot support the product with repair, adjustment, parts, etc, so you’re on your own, and imagine having to ship one back to China for repair or refund.
Most have very little resale value when you’re ready to upgrade later.
You are guaranteed to get exactly what you pay for.

COMMENTS:
I have tested a lot of Chinese scopes and found one or two that were acceptable entry level microscopes. Once again, just because one is acceptable doesn’t guarantee the next one will be. Chinese manufacturers are famous for making substitutes when they run out of materials.

If you have little or no experience with microscopes, any scope will look great to you when you use it, and your eyes can quickly overcome optical defects. The truth can come after many hours of use when you might develop eye strain and headaches and have no idea why.

I would advise finding a good used Meiji EMZ-5 microscope if the budget doesn’t allow for a new Leica or new Meiji. You will have a quality instrument that will last a lifetime, and parts and service are always available.

If you are absolutely determined to buy a Chinese microscope, then buy the seller as well as the microscope. Be sure it’s someone who can service or replace the scope without having to mail it back to China. Many dealers don’t care about anything other than making the sale.

There will always be someone who says “I have one of those and it works fine for me.” If quality control was as good as Meiji or Leica then that might actually mean something.
Wow! Thank you for the input, Sam! That's what I needed to hear to confirm I'm not buying a cheap chinese one! I appreciate everything you said, especially because I didn't know which older model to look for.*
While I'm saving and looking for the right scope do you think I can engrave with no scope or with an optivisor and still make good cuts?
Thanks again for replying!
-Peter
 

flintdoubles

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2014
Messages
171
Location
Wells KS
#4
Ebay is full of Meji EMZ-5 scopes at reasonable prices. I used a chinese scope for years. It worked but I had no idea how much better the Meji was until I got one. For around 100 more than the chinese scope you were looking at.
Leland
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Denver, CO
Thread starter #5
Ebay is full of Meji EMZ-5 scopes at reasonable prices. I used a chinese scope for years. It worked but I had no idea how much better the Meji was until I got one. For around 100 more than the chinese scope you were looking at.
Leland
Ok GREAT to know! Thank you, Leland! I'll probably be going that route! I appreciate you pointing me in the right direction!
Thanks again!
-Peter
 

monk

Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
9,008
Location
washington, pa
#6
nobody but you can determine if you can make good cuts--- with or without optics. i had a scienscope for a time. sold it and got a better leica on the bay. the scienscope worked adequately, but the leica was better all around. you really cant go wrong with the name brands. be sure to deal with a supplier that allows for returns. esp important if you buy one of the chinese bargains.
 

Marrinan

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Messages
2,901
Location
outside Albany in SW GA
#7
I would suggest along with second hand and whatever problems they come with check with the Microscope Store on Ebay. they guarantee their products and and very easy to work with. If I had a big name scope and wasn't happy with it I would check with them for a replacement. Fred
 
Joined
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Messages
7
Location
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Thread starter #8
nobody but you can determine if you can make good cuts--- with or without optics. i had a scienscope for a time. sold it and got a better leica on the bay. the scienscope worked adequately, but the leica was better all around. you really cant go wrong with the name brands. be sure to deal with a supplier that allows for returns. esp important if you buy one of the chinese bargains.
Ok thanks! Good stuff to know there, I appreciate the help with this decision!
-Peter
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Denver, CO
Thread starter #9
I would suggest along with second hand and whatever problems they come with check with the Microscope Store on Ebay. they guarantee their products and and very easy to work with. If I had a big name scope and wasn't happy with it I would check with them for a replacement. Fred
Thanks Fred! I'll check out the store after this response! Much appreciate the point in the right direction!
-Peter
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
51
Location
NSW Australia
#12
Peter, also watch out if you score a good second hand Leica, assuming it does not come with a Barlow lens, you may end up blowing your dough on the Leica Barlow lens
Steve
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Denver, CO
Thread starter #13
Peter, also watch out if you score a good second hand Leica, assuming it does not come with a Barlow lens, you may end up blowing your dough on the Leica Barlow lens
Steve
Ok thanks Steve. I've been looking at older models of Leica scopes. I will be sure to be aware. Thank you
-Peter
 

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