July 25-29: FRANKLIN, NORTH CAROLINA: Annual show; Bellpoint Promotions ; Echo Valley Showplace; Wed. 9-6, Thu. 9-6, Fri. 9-6, Sat. 9-6
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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:31 pm 
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I vote for the Meiji.


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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Out of curiosoty, what makes the ~3000cad difference for you with thr meiji vs the old gemolite? The one real annoyance I can think of with the gemolite is how hot the lamp gets, which I could see being a significant issue in some cases.


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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:44 pm 
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We want to presume that the used eBay instrument is in top shape.
Unlikely.
I like to buy new with a warranty. Personal preference. I'm not qualified to modify instrumentation my reputation depends on. :(
And yes! The light well....we could fry eggs on that Gemolite light well.

Here is a suggestion from Eickhorst
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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:01 pm 
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I think that particular seller has a good reputation--I haven't dealt with him myself though. With regards to the condition, these older bases are made very sturdily with nice solid hunks of metal. It's hard to imagine what would be wrong with it that wouldn't show up with basic testing. If he's being honest about having tested and cleaned them up the condition of the base wouldn't concern me at all.

The older heads can certainly have problems with mold or rough treatment, though if you're not looking for a bargain there are plenty of businesses that sell refurbished Bausch and Lomb heads with various testing and guarantees. That 1-7x base zoom too...

Either way, I'm not sure how a microscope misbehaving would risk your reputation. Microscopes are fairly far from a black box, and it should be obvious if something is wrong. It could cause some pain or frustration though!

Basically my thought on reliability is that, for 5000cad, you could probably have two gemolites and a backup sz7 head in storage. That sure won't solve the heat issue though. From reading the older threads on microscopes here I know that a common refrain was that LED lighting wasn't as well suited for usage with colored stones, but I don't know whether that assertion has stood the test of time given how the technology has advanced. At some point I'll definitely be pondering some sort of retrofit or other to mine to make it run cooler.

I do love that Eickhorst graphic, and their reputation speaks for itself. That said it looks to me like the only part left on the original scope is the focus mount. At that point why not just make the base with a B&L compatible e-arm instead of having someone dismantle and ruin a good old scope? Or take the part off one of the many many cheaper, more common and less delightful basic B&L bases?


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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:25 pm 
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I'm not sure how a microscope misbehaving would risk your reputation.
I only work with the public, often folks who are meeting me for the first time. For me, it is essential to look smooth, in control and professional. If anything malfunctions and I look befuddled, it does not instill confidence in the client sitting opposite.
I know, I am not qualified to fix gem instruments.
I always buy new, I never let anyone touch my tools and always give everything a test drive before appointments.

Just the way I roll. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:41 pm 
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The lack of warranty and the idea of a used product is my major hang up on the gemolite. I like that I can get the Meiji though a Canadian supplier as well, paying for the duty on things like that gets to be a nightmare. With that being said, finding a Canadian company that distributes most gemological equipment manages to be a massive pain too.


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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:37 pm 
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Ebay now forces refunds if you are not satisfied. even if the seller says no refunds unless they list something as for parts only. You do have to give it a thorough shakedown immediately on receipt.
Most Gemolites were pampered and lived under dust covers or in cases. They are easily upgradeable.
The Meiji is a great scope but has two downsides. The bulb that it comes with needs to be upgraded to a similar and somewhat difficult to find halogen lamp. The gemolite already has a halogen lamp unless it is really ancient.
The Meiji also may not switch between bright field and darkfield like a gemolite. I think some of their new ones may but the older ones didn't. I don't think it was much of a problem. The Meiji scope pod is better than any AO or Bausch scope head. The scope head on the Eickhorst although labeled Zeiss is actually built by Motic in China. It is a very good scope but I think Zeiss is very disingenuous to put their name (ALL their entry and mid level and educational scopes) on a chinese product though the other big makers do it too. But last I saw Meiji was still building them in Japan.
In fact you won't go wrong with any of the suggestions in this thread. There are two Gem Oros in our local club and they both work great. The newest one has LED lighting which is rather too bluish for my good taste, but on the other hand it doesn't double as an egg fryer either.


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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Thank you! I greatly appreciate everyone’s input, got a little bit of time before my order must go in, but this has been super helpful!


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 Post subject: Re: Microscopes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:48 pm 
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In the last two years I have purchase 3 Gemolite Mark VIIs used from EBay. One for me here in the U.S., one for the office in Ethiopia, and one for Tanzania. All below $1,000, all in excellent condition and providing good service.


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