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 Post subject: Re: Best Used Scopes?
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Owen's advice is not a bad idea.

The reason I don't mention it to people is that most of the camera's that are sold to be used this way are not very good. I have had email and also people have posted on this forum about the unsatisfactory performance of most of the ocular cameras sold on ebay.

Cameras with a higher megapixel count can become fairly pricey. But they are easy to interface to a microscope without a photoadapter. If you buy such a camera make absolutely sure that whomever you buy it from will allow a no questions asked return policy. Many of these cameras have software that appears to have been copied and hacked from competitors and often seems to not work well. I have also heard of reliability problems and image quality problems and distributors that are of no help nor refund.

There are two brand names I know of that should give satisfaction. On is Motic and the other the PaxCam (and its accompanying PaxIt software.) These will cost much more than the usual ebay cams.

http://www.motic.com/upfile/ProductFile ... 202009.pdf

http://www.paxcam.com/gemology_camera.asp


There are probably other reputable suppliers of C mount camera heads but I have not kept up with this area that much. There are many eyepiece tube to C mount adapters available on ebay , if the camera vendor doesn't sell them. Again a no questions asked
money back guarantee is what is called for. It might take more than one try to get
the projective magnification (the ocular shooting the image onto the camera chip) right.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Used Scopes?
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Decisions... Decisions... I'll get a price quote from both of them and go from there. It would be nice not to have to install/uninstall the mount all the time.

We'll see how much they are before I go that route though.

Thanks for all the input. All of you have been very helpful.

By the way... I love the new scope and have been having fun looking at my collection. It really opens up another world when you get to look at gems through quality optics. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Best Used Scopes?
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:00 am 
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Well... It doesn't look like I'll be going with a Paxcam or Motic camera. They are way out of the price range I want to spend. I got a quote for the Paxcam today and it is more than tripple the cost of my scope!

It would make things simple but at this point it's not a cost effective method for my needs. Maybe I'll just try to hook up my Coolpix and see how that turns out.

Thanks for the suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Used Scopes?
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:20 pm 
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Although they are getting to be long in tooth from a pixel count perspective.
The Coolpix 990 ,995 and 4500 are much beloved by microphotographers both hobbyist and professional because they are lightweight enough to mount onto an eyetube and the way they are made, zooming and focusing do not require the internal mechanisms to move the weight of the entire camera when they are stuck onto an eyepiece tube like that.

They also have numerous adaptations available on ebay. What model is your Coolpix?
The models above are 3.34 mp and 4.0 mp and perform about as well as the PaxCam and the Motic. They probably have the same or very similar sensor chips.

Nobody ever got fired for buying anything from Nikon.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Used Scopes?
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 10:59 pm 
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My Coolpix is a Nikon S560 10 Megapixel camera. Are there adapters that will work with it?

I also have a Canon PowerShot G2 if that's a better option.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Used Scopes?
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 4:51 pm 
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Either of those two would work OK. Get one of those telescope mounts that I linked to.

Or find a used coolpix 4500. The go for under $200 and get an eyepiece adapter for it.
There are many of those available on ebay.

If you use the cameras you have you can try either or both cameras with and without the eyepiece in place. Without the eyepiece is called the afocal method. You might need to adjust the zoom.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NIKON-COOLPIX-CAMER ... 3cb0484cd7

http://cgi.ebay.com/NIKON-COOLPIX-DIGIT ... 3cae12c071

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Coolpix-Compo ... 19c4fe066a

Since the coolpixes that these fit are all getting older and there seem to be more competitors these have been coming down in price.

There are a couple of newer coolpixes that they will fit too using an extra adapter ring
like the Coolpix 5000 and 5400. These also are not that much to buy anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Used Scopes?
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 10:37 am 
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Funny that you should mention this adapter.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NIKON-COOLPIX-CAMER ... 3cb0484cd7

I checked it out and emailed them regarding this adapter and they responded saying that it wouldn't work with my camera and then pointed me to one of their other products here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... :MESELX:IT

They claim a one year warranty and satisfaction guarantee, "return it no questions asked" policy. But like you said... buyer beware!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Used Scopes?
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 12:25 pm 
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I mentioned that adapter in case you decided to get one of the legacy Coolpixes which would probably be the best course of action. Find a nice 4500 outfit.

I looked at that guys feedback and in March someone complained the software was infected and shut down his computer. Most of his other negative feedback related to those cameras too.


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