Stereomicroscopes (moved)

Discussion about cameras, microscopes, stains, and gadgets, along with useful tips for preparation of fungi samples
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Leif
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Re: Greyish disco on deciduous stump

Post by Leif » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:35 pm

Paul Cannon wrote:Assuming that you had asci rather than basidia, most would identify this as Mollisia cinerea, though in reality that is a horrible hotchpotch of species that needs a proper sorting out. And I can assure you that acquiring a dissecting microscope will make your life immeasurably easier and more pleasurable!

Best wishes
Paul
Thanks. I was concerned at the spores lacking droplets, and not being curved, as well as the very distorted forms. Oh and the rather large asci in my specimens.

Any recommendations for dissecting microscopes? I would guess that a used specimen from one of the big names would be best, but I'm guessing.

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Chris Yeates
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Re: Greyish disco on deciduous stump

Post by Chris Yeates » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:47 pm

Leif wrote: . . .
Any recommendations for dissecting microscopes? I would guess that a used specimen from one of the big names would be best, but I'm guessing.
Hi Leif

It's length of a piece of string really. From a basic x20 stereoscope (need not be expensive, but it's very limiting) things that notch the price up are:
* varied magnification, eg. x10 and x30, or x20 and x40
* zoom facility
* inbuilt lighting - top light, or both top and bottom; and type of lighting
* trinocular head for photography - very useful and it's not hard to take a series of shots for stacking

I recently upgraded to http://www.nickssciencesupplies.co.uk/s ... ation-new/ and I'm very happy with it, but that's a new one of course. If you get a good refurbished one there should be no problems, but things to watch out for are misalignments that mess up the stereo effect and slippage of the scope on its column, epecially with the added weight of a camera. I could have got one without the lighting as I normally use a Photonic PL1000 - fibreoptic double gooseneck arm light source; but if, say, travelling to a foray I don't need to take that along as well. As Paul C suggests it does make life so much easier, especially for things like dissecting off a tiny bit of gill edge to look at cystidia, or to make a cap 'scalp' - or indeed for getting any small samples from a fungus with both hands free - and we all know that with microscopical mounts less is almost better than more . . . .
anyway - just some thoughts . . . .
regards
Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

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Chris Johnson
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Re: Greyish disco on deciduous stump

Post by Chris Johnson » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:51 am

Chris Yeates wrote:
Leif wrote: . . .
Any recommendations for dissecting microscopes? I would guess that a used specimen from one of the big names would be best, but I'm guessing.
Hi Leif

It's length of a piece of string really. From a basic x20 stereoscope (need not be expensive, but it's very limiting) things that notch the price up are:
* varied magnification, eg. x10 and x30, or x20 and x40
* zoom facility
* inbuilt lighting - top light, or both top and bottom; and type of lighting
* trinocular head for photography - very useful and it's not hard to take a series of shots for stacking

I recently upgraded to http://www.nickssciencesupplies.co.uk/s ... ation-new/ and I'm very happy with it, but that's a new one of course. If you get a good refurbished one there should be no problems, but things to watch out for are misalignments that mess up the stereo effect and slippage of the scope on its column, epecially with the added weight of a camera. I could have got one without the lighting as I normally use a Photonic PL1000 - fibreoptic double gooseneck arm light source; but if, say, travelling to a foray I don't need to take that along as well. As Paul C suggests it does make life so much easier, especially for things like dissecting off a tiny bit of gill edge to look at cystidia, or to make a cap 'scalp' - or indeed for getting any small samples from a fungus with both hands free - and we all know that with microscopical mounts less is almost better than more . . . .
anyway - just some thoughts . . . .
regards
Chris
All good advice from Chris.

One other point I find important is the working distance between the lens and the deck. Not all manufacturers give this information (don't see it on Chris's), but some of the cheaper models in particular give little room to operate. It's important if looking at your subject when still on its substrate (often the case with small fungi).

Cheers, Chris

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Re: Greyish disco on deciduous stump

Post by Chris Yeates » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:48 pm

Chris Johnson wrote: All good advice from Chris.
One other point I find important is the working distance between the lens and the deck. Not all manufacturers give this information (don't see it on Chris's), but some of the cheaper models in particular give little room to operate. It's important if looking at your subject when still on its substrate (often the case with small fungi).
Cheers, Chris
A very good point, and yes one I didn't think of. I would always recommend getting a model with an upright column along which the "works" can be moved and locked. Compare:
http://www.microscope.com/media/catalog ... oscope.png
with
http://www.microscope.com/media/catalog ... 1_copy.png
Please note I picked these images at random to illustrate the two types, this is no reflection on the quality of the 'scopes themselves.
Note to Adam perhaps this has moved so off-topic (from Leif's last question above) it could be moved to the viewforum.php?f=5 thread under a "Stereo Microscopes" title?
Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

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Stereomicroscopes (moved)

Post by adampembs » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:57 pm

Moved here
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Leif
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Re: Stereomicroscopes (moved)

Post by Leif » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:01 am

Chris/Chris

Thanks. Looks like the Chinese ones much be pretty good.

Chris: Why did you choose that specific model rather than for example one from Brunel? And would you describe the image quality as photographic, or simply suitable for the purpose of dissecting specimens, and perhaps recording features without being prissy about IQ? (My brightfield compound microscope fits into the latter category, IQ is not its strength, sadly.)

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Re: Stereomicroscopes (moved)

Post by Chris Yeates » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:21 pm

Leif wrote:Chris/Chris

Thanks. Looks like the Chinese ones much be pretty good.

Chris: Why did you choose that specific model rather than for example one from Brunel? And would you describe the image quality as photographic, or simply suitable for the purpose of dissecting specimens, and perhaps recording features without being prissy about IQ? (My brightfield compound microscope fits into the latter category, IQ is not its strength, sadly.)
Hi Leif
the price difference between the one I bought and the equivalent one from Brunel was £130, and I have bought from Nick Parry before and trust his assessment of quality and his post-purchase support. The image quality is excellent and would be more than fine for photographic purposes - the results would be based on quality of the camera.
I tend not to photograph this way purely because I invested in the http://static.bootic.com/_pictures/1594 ... -photo.jpg and then a https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-6d camera body (being a Nikon man previously I had no choice). At maximum magnification the horizontal field of view with this combo is 7mm; coupled with the full frame D6, which enables one to crop an image and still end up with a good sized result, I personally don't need to use the stereo 'scope for photography. This is an example of what I mean, this image covers almost exactly 1mm along the horizontal axis - I'm still amazed that one can do this with a macro lens (albeit a rather special one):
Pansem03a.jpg
spores of Panaeolus semiovatus
cheers
Chris
PS I think that image shows rather well the sequential ripening of the spores, giving rise to the mottled gill effect . . .
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

Leif
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Re: Stereomicroscopes (moved)

Post by Leif » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:24 pm

Chris, yes I know about the Canon lens, if only Nikon produced an equivalent, but for me to go to Canon land is not practical having recently updated my DSLR to one with an articulating LCD and electronic shutter (very very useful especially on a microscope, no more standing on a chair in the kitchen, and confusing the neighbours) and with an investment in Nikon lenses. That is indeed a nice photo, you can see that the basidia are 4 spored too. You can of course get a similar effect by stacking SLR lenses, but it is clumsy and not as good. To be honest I generally prefer to leave microfungi to more knowledgeable people, they require too much specialist literature and experience. Larger fungi are more than enough to get on with.

Thanks for the information on the stereomicroscope.

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