Leica A60 microscope review by Sam

davidshe

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Nice review Sam and what you say about the depth of field advantage is right on! I have had my Leica A60 for about a year now and I love it. The Acrobat stand looks like a good one. Might have to look into that!
 

dlilazteca

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Nice review Sam and what you say about the depth of field advantage is right on! I have had my Leica A60 for about a year now and I love it. The Acrobat stand looks like a good one. Might have to look into that!
David,

What is yours sitting on now?

GunEngraver.com Guns, Knives & More
 
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#7
Good review, Sam

I was demonstrating with it in Basel for eight days and it's the first time I've actually had a chance to work with it. (not just look through it)

It's an impressive setup with the new Acrobat Versa stand which is rock solid. The special adaptor ring certainly made a difference being able to use the entire zoom range.

And I'm a big fan of the Optima ring light. From dark through to supernova!!!!! I've been using one for a while now and love it.

For the real techies you can also slot some LED side lights onto the stand. They simply snap on and off the Acrobat stands.

And I know it's a small thing........but it's looks cool with that sleek space age star wars look to it. Hey, if you are going to be an engraver you may as well be a stylie engraver :) :)

Cheers
Andrew
 

sam

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Once I started using my scopes with an 8" working distance I never looked back. On the Leica, the 0.5x will give you that.
 

Riflesmith

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I would like a little more working distance, I sometimes feel cramped for space with my Meiji and at times, for background stippling and some inlay work I could use a little more working space!

Thanks Sam!
 

sam

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I would like a little more working distance, I sometimes feel cramped for space with my Meiji and at times, for background stippling and some inlay work I could use a little more working space!

Thanks Sam!
I would recommend you get the adapter along with the 0.5x.
 
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#14
Sam,

I agree that the Leica is great!. I also have a couple of Zeiss . The Leica isn't brighter as you said I think it's the same. The reason that you may have a different experience is that you use a trinocular Zeiss they gather 50% less light than the normal models. Mine are normal models.

As for the stand I am sure that new stand is better than the old one but the stand that comes with the Leica is the best I have ever used. It articulates like nothing I have ever used or tried. I can move it with two fingers and it stays where you put it. For engraving this may or may not be as important but when using at the jewelry bench it makes a huge difference. Yes it is rock solid as well and in my opinion less intrusive on a work bench. We had three acrobats at the jewelry store I work at and replaced them because they were in the way more than not.

The light it comes with is also a good one it has 10 settings and a great diffuser . It can be used without the diffuser as well . It's not made for a headrest but that is not an issue for myself I don't know many who use one. It would be interesting to know how many do.

I agree though that the Leica is the scope to go for. I use mine now 100 percent of the time.

Chris
 

Riflesmith

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#15
I thought I'd buy the adaptor ring also.

Being as my post is mounted upside down so I can swing gun barrels under it I don't know if a Leica arm will work. I tried a Leica that Tira had at FEGA last year and I'm really not fond of that arm. I'm pretty sure I'd like the Versa much better for my needs and I don't think I'll sell the old Meiji and stand I think I'll use it for shows.

Good information though and thank you Chris.
 

sam

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Yes, my Zeiss scopes are trinocs and I also recently sold a Zeiss binocular Stemi 2000 and it was a bit brighter than the trinoculars. Like I said, I don't have a testing lab so my tests were real-world tests and not scientific. The Leica is fabulously bright...and very sharp! The the DOF is just incredible.

The Meiji has been and still is a great workhorse microscope. Leica is fantastic upgrade though.
 
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#18
One of the observations I’ve made over the years about people using microscopes is that it comes in two parts.

The first and foremost is obviously optics. For people like me a microscope enables me to actually see what I’m doing.

The second part and just as crucial is centering the work to the microscope because you have a limited and narrow field of vision. This gets worse the more you zoom in.

For those that use an optivisor/loupe etc it doesn’t matter as your peripheral vision is so much larger and it’s easier for the eye/hand to compensate.

Using a ball vise with a microscope you need a turntable……..the turntable and scope should be centered. This means that the area you are working on, so long as it’s in the centre of the microscope, will always spin on its axis……….this allows you to work far more efficiently and faster. It makes cutting scrolls, leaves and curves easier and smoother.

It also applies to stone setting if you are doing something like a gypsy setting. If the work is spinning on it’s axis it just makes the job so much easier and quicker.

To do this you need to lock the microscope and stand down tight otherwise you just end up chasing your work, or constantly pushing the work to the centre of the microscope. Both of which get old real fast. If the stand isn’t locked down it goes out of centre very quickly and you are constantly bumping and readjusting it which is a real pain.

This is how I work on my own personal setup………………the only time I unlock and move the Acrobat stand around is when I need to pull it out and reset it for really awkward or large jobs. So it’s important to me that the stand locks up tight and remains rigid most of the time but can be moved about if I so desire by unlocking everything.

It’s always interesting how different people work. None of it right or wrong. Just different. But it’s also interesting that when I show engravers and stone setters that use microscopes how to centre their work………….most of them want to change their work habits immediately as they are constantly having to readjust their work or it’s swinging out of their vision all the time.

You can also do it with a BenchMate.

Cheers
Andrew
 

Big-Un

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I agree with centering your microscope and turntable, which I really haven't gotten down yet. I keep trying but haven't got it quite figured out. It'll eventually make sense but I think my problem is the scope being too loose. Thanks for the tip Andrew. Will give it a go when I'm able to get into my upstairs studio again.

Bill
 

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