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 Post subject: Sarin Diascan vs. Octonus Helium
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:37 pm 
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Hi,
I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with these two machines. I'm thinking of getting either one as a presentation tool for my customers but there have been mixed reviews, none detailed enough to say which is better.

They're really expensive so I don't want to make a mistake here. Any ideas?

Edit: http://www.octonus.com/oct/products/helium/polish/
http://www.sarin.com/DiaScan_Splus.asp?from=ret

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 Post subject: Sarin Diascan vs. Octonus Helium
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:39 am 
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I wouldnt touch either of them.
The Sarin is newer and has a higher resolution camera and connects to any computer via the USB port.

The Octonus probably has more advanced software but uses a lower res camera and frame grabber (like the previous Sarin) But its from Russia and getting service on it will be unlikely to impossible.

I have never played with either of these things. But I am getting decent if very slow help from a Sarin tech in Israel. I am working on my second Gran Diamond Colorimeter DC2000fs which Kassoy has charged the previous owner a fortune and TOTALLY fubarred them. I will NEVER buy anything from Kassoy again ever under any circumstances. Their service department are either morons or criminals or both. I took the problem right to Joan Slawitsky the president and she directed them to not help me any further.
VERY VERY BAD!! I don't know if there is another place to buy Sarin products but Kassoy would disqualify them.

I was not impressed with some of the hardware used in the previous diamondscam hardware. (ie same resolution as octonus which may not be enought to do the job. Not enough pixels)

I would wait another generation. Get a good microscope and hook a good video system to it and let your cutomers look at the actual stone rather than a stupid reconstruction.

JMO.
Gene


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:01 am 
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Thanks for the reply Gene.
We are currently using microscopes and proportionscopes but it still doesnt show the brilliance, fire and scintillation.

Even though the images in Diascan are computerized, it turns all the technical information into visuals that customers can comprehend. A picture is worth a thousand words, wouldn't you agree? This way, the customer can visually compare two or three diamonds simultaneously. I'm still quite skeptical though, on the accuracy of the reconstructed images. There are so many variations of "Ideal" cuts out there. Sarin would have to pick an "Ideal" measurement to base the results on, correct?

Too many questions to ask right here. I'll just split them into smaller chunks in the coming posts.

I'm sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience with Kassoy. Thanks for the heads up! Did your experience with Kassoy contribute to your unpleasant review towards these machines? Sounds like they're not very easy to use.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:29 am 
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I love my Sarin and I get terrific support from them.

Octonus is a good bunch but the Helium machine is terribly expensive and has no tech support in the US. For me this would be a total deal killer. What they have going for them is the rough planning system, something that few retailers are interested in.

I agree that the Kassoy tech support is both lame and expensive. You can, and should, buy directly from Sarin. Give me a call and I can help you track down a rep that serves your area. The Megascope from Ogitech is the competitor to consider. I would still choose Sarin again but Ogi is on the order of half the price and that's certainly an incentive.

Neil

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:27 am 
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There are two separate isssues being discussed here, which system is better and US service..

I am aware of the incident with Kassoy on the service issue with the old Gran Coloimeter (now owned by Sarin) and disappointed to say the least, and had previously forwarded messages to the President of Sarin in Israel regarding the particular problem. But that was with the colorimeter.

I believe that Sarin in NYC does the servicing for the scanners, a different issue, and I have previously heard of mixed reviews with some issues I have intervened on regarding software, and Sarin has, after gentle some gentle prods, both significantly improved and their software and fixed some issues with certain cutting styles. I have known the people at Sarin in Israel for a long time and had some interesting discussions with them at their facility in Ramat Gan last year, and they were very cooperative in solving a vexing issue.

Similarly, Sergey, at Octonus (Helium), has long been the standard bearer and leader in scannning software and 3D rendering and visualization techniques, and I highly regard the DiamondCalc software, which I believe is part of the Helium scanner package, and STIL IS the world leader with regard to visualization of the scans.

The Octonus DiamondCalc Software can read in SARIN SRN files as well as standard Stereo Lithography file formats (STL) and both file formats are accepted (STL and SRN) are accepted inputs to the AGS PGS system.

There is one issue with the Helium, and that may be that there may be practical size limits (~3cts RBC) on a particular machine for scanning, at least that is what I have observed. I believe there is a larger stone model machine, but I am not sure.

In any scanner, the PRACTICAL accuracy of any measurement is limited by the size of the stone versus the maximum quantization. If you divide X mm by 1000 versus dividing it by 500, you are theoretically better off with the 1000 quantization, providing you can do the arithmatic correctly, but BOTH may be entirely ACCEPTABLE for a given purpose, such as rendering or cut evaluation.

I believe BOTH Sarin and Helium now quote similar linear measurement accuracy of +/- 0.01mm and angular of +/-0.1 degrees (which I also believe are 2 sigma values).

Unfortunately, I am unaware of any commitment to US service support for the Helium product but I would STRONGLY suggest purchasing their DiamondCalc software which you can use with a Sarin scan, and you can usually get a SRN file for any diamond you purchase that has been to a laboratory other than GIA. Most wholesales will supply SRN files upon request.

It ultimately comes down to what standard of accuracy for what cut evaluation system you are using. If you unfortunately rely on the GIA system, you don't need much more than a protractor and ruler as it is geared to the lowest accuracy, and NOT BASED on an individual stone's ray tracing, as opposed to the AGS system, which is, and takes in account the "exact" facet interactions including asymmetry effects while GIA averages, applies non standard rounding techniques and then bases results on a symmetrical stone model to make a complcated problem "easy" for them.

I have done limited purtubation and rendering analyses and am working on modifying my software to produce randomized STL format files for the Round brilliant cut, to be able to evaluate the effects on different cut grading systems statistically based on actual 3D ray tracing.

If I were you, and wanted the capability, as well as also have some US hardware support, I would buy the DiamondCalc software and then the Sarin hardware direct from Sarin in NYC and bypass the middleman like Kassoy.



Marty








In the US, Sarin has sort of become the standard for major laboratories and right now, it appears that Sarin has caught up with Helium on overall accuracy issues, which are not only due to pixelization, but processing algorithms and methodology

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:34 am 
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neil wrote:
" The Megascope from Ogitech is the competitor to consider. I would still choose Sarin again but Ogi is on the order of half the price and that's certainly an incentive.

Neil


Neil, I don't think the OGI software and/or capability has caught up with either Sarin or Octonus.

Again, it depends on the intended use and requirements you want to meet.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:02 am 
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adamasgem wrote:
neil wrote:
" The Megascope from Ogitech is the competitor to consider. I would still choose Sarin again but Ogi is on the order of half the price and that's certainly an incentive.

Neil


Neil, I don't think the OGI software and/or capability has caught up with either Sarin or Octonus.

Again, it depends on the intended use and requirements you want to meet.


It hasn't. And it's worth noting that OGI doesn't produce files in either of the formats that can be read by the Octonus software, which I also strongly endorse by the way. What sells OGI is the price. For certain people I can see it and, as you point out,it depends on what you want to do with it. GIA sells a version of the OGI for more money under their own brand name. Again, I love my Sarin.

Sarin has divided the continent into several territories and has different reps. It depends on where you are but on their map Colorado is part of the 'west coast'. I had some techy difficulty a few months ago and Guy out in California, the folks in New York and the folks in Israel really went over backwards for me.

Neil

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:03 am 
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Quote:
We are currently using microscopes and proportionscopes but it still doesnt show the brilliance, fire and scintillation.


There are microscopes and there are microscopes. For what they charge for one of those simulation gadgets I could put you in a scope that would wipe the floor with them. With the added benefit that you would be looking at the actual diamond.

As you intimated the results presented depend on the calculations performed which are heavily dependent on the model used ,ie the structure of the calculations , in addition to the actual measurements that the instrument takes. To me this adds up to thin ice ethically. How do you know that the one that shows better on the Sarin or the OGI or the Helium really IS better.
Who are you going to believe, honey Me or your lying eyes?? The calculations used by these instruments are black boxes, that are trade secrets not peer reviewed scientific "facts". The diamond industry in particular is having a big marketing bullshit fit over cut analysis.

These instruments do have some utility for dimensional representation of diamonds for insurance purposes for example. But why would you think that a computer is superior to your eye in judging whether or not a diamond has personality. And even for dimensional representation the video standard that the Sarin originally used and the Helium still uses in not high resolution enough IMO. Look at how many pixels there are across the dimension of the diamond and convert that to a size dimension.
Its probably not enough. The new Sarin unit is going in the right direction.
I am sure the others will follow if they want to stay in business and maybe eventually they will get there.

Getting back to my opening line , the usual gemological microscopes are set up to judge the clarity of stones by darkfield illumination. Furthermore the optical quality of them is constrained by the price point they have to meet. Most jewelers have never looked through a good stereoscope.
If you want to ring the optical bell of a stone you need to put some light into it. From the top. Not a wimpy fluorescent with eight watts. Nor a single fiber optic point. You need to look at it with a widefield flatfield , contrasty scope that is correctly adjusted. If the field is wide enough and you put enough light on the subject with a multipoint ringlight and 150 watts of illumination or even an arc lamp, you will be able to put stones next to one another and let the customer decide with his own eyes. That is the way it should be decided. Maybe thow it up on a high res screen which are easily available nowadays so you and the customer don't need to look into the scope at all.

The Gran colorimeters' own instruction manual states that IT measures color YOU decide the grade. And color is an area where instrumentation IS superior to the human eye , under many circumstances. I have not been convinced that the same thing is true for cut and optical performance using the current offerings.

And, no, my opinion has not been altered by my Kassoy experiences. Sarin is a different company. They have innovative products. I would love to have one of their Diamond Scribers. I have held this opinion about these gadgets since they came out. I actually was more concerned about the accuracy , dimensionally speaking and not even worried about all the cut and performance bs that is added on. But they are in the next generation and furthermore they will continue to improve. But if you compare them to , for example, instrumentation used industrially to make measurements of comparably sized items you will find that they look like toys which is what I think they are.

I will issue this challenge to you. For somewhat less than ten thousand dollars I will put together a microscope system for you that will blow your socks off and your customers too. I don't know where you are but if you don't like it I'll take it back less the shipping charges. If you like the idea send me a private message. If you are in the midwest I will come and set it up.


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 Post subject: Re: Sarin Diascan vs. Octonus Helium
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:11 pm 
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ben wrote:
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with these two machines. I'm thinking of getting either one as a presentation tool for my customers but there have been mixed reviews, none detailed enough to say which is better.

They're really expensive so I don't want to make a mistake here. Any ideas?

Edit: http://www.octonus.com/oct/products/helium/polish/
http://www.sarin.com/DiaScan_Splus.asp?from=ret


Sorry, but I misunderstood the purpose. Listen to G4lab and spend your money on a very good presentation tool like Gene suggested.

The Sarin and Helium are diagnostic analysis tools, not suitable for sales, unless you want to get real techy, and then most of your retail customer's eyes will roll to the back of their head.

Get stones with AGS paper for the most accurate grading and more discriminating and accurate cut grade analysis, and a decent video presentation microscope from G4lab.

Marty

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 Post subject: Re: Sarin Diascan vs. Octonus Helium
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:52 pm 
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adamasgem wrote:
[Get stones with AGS paper for the most accurate grading and more discriminating and accurate cut grade analysis, and a decent video presentation microscope from G4lab.

Marty


Agree, symply the perfect suggestion :D
Alberto


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:04 pm 
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Needless to say I also agree with Gene; :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:03 pm 
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Quote:
I love my Sarin and I get terrific support from them.

Unfortunately I'm not in the US. I'm based in Asia, and as far as I know, nobody in my country is using this sort of technology . So I'm pretty stoked if I'm the first here using it. We don't even have grading laboratories or appraisal services here. Saying that, after sales support would not be a determinant for this purchase.

Quote:
It ultimately comes down to what standard of accuracy for what cut evaluation system you are using. If you unfortunately rely on the GIA system, you don't need much more than a protractor and ruler as it is geared to the lowest accuracy

GIA is the only recognised grading laboratory here. It's sad, but nobody here buys carat size diamonds without GIA certification. Do you think Sarin would complement GIA in this aspect?

Quote:
For somewhat less than ten thousand dollars I will put together a microscope system for you that will blow your socks off and your customers too.

I'm currently using a Leica Stereozoom from Gemolite. It's the same one we use in GIA so I haven't put any thought into other microscopes. Plus, we're opening our second store next month so it'll be really expensive to get two systems. I agree with you, a microsope with a camera hooked up to it will be a lot better, but it does mean that as we open more stores, we will need one in each of them. Can you offer any other alternatives?

Quote:
The Sarin and Helium are diagnostic analysis tools, not suitable for sales, unless you want to get real techy, and then most of your retail customer's eyes will roll to the back of their head.

Haha, yea, we try to keep things as simple as possible, using as little tech and gemology terms as possible when it comes to our customers. But wouldn't it be more techy trying to explain the certification to them, rather than having them see it for themselves? Octonus has the free GemAdviser software which uses the DiamCalc files to produce a simulated image/video of that particular diamond. I wonder if anyone here has had, or know anyone else who has experience in using Sarin + Octonus in a retail setting. I would love to hear what their customers' responses were.

What about isee2 diamonds? They're using similar technology, correct? I know they're widely used in Taiwan (with over 30 retail brands carrying them), but what are the responses like over in the US? :)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:16 am 
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Quote:
What about isee2 diamonds? They're using similar technology, correct? I know they're widely used in Taiwan (with over 30 retail brands carrying them), but what are the responses like over in the US?


Hi,
maybe you have to take a look at this http://www.diamondvues.com/2006/03/isee_2_diamond.html

ciao! :D

Alberto


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:40 am 
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As a sales tool, I agree that a camera system is likely to be both more useful and quite a bit cheaper. Sarin/Octonus is good for selling to techie types and I find it very useful for documentation as an appraiser but in a showroom I think it would be of limited value. The Octonus software really gets the most out of the Sarin data but I’m not so sure I would use it live in a showroom. It takes a lot of explanation and customers are inclined to demand as much of your time as you’re willing to give them and then some. A ‘free’ in-depth analysis of each stone in the hopes of getting a sale is going to be extremely time consuming for your sales staff.

Neil

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:43 pm 
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Thanks for everyone's responses.
I'm finally convinced that the Sarin/Octonus would be a waste of money and too technical for the general public.

Please bear with me, it'll be my first time using a camera system. I really appreciate all your help.

I've never used a camera system before so I'm not sure how it could be used as a sales tool.

1. Is the diamond magnified 70X on screen so that customers can see the cut?

2. Does it show the diamond's fire and brilliance on screen?

3. How can I use it to show a diamond's superiority over the next diamond without going too much into cut?

4. What if the diamond's inclusions become very obvious under high magnification? It could be a turn-off, even for a VS1 diamond.

5. I really don't mean to sound like a cheapo, but are there any low-cost camera systems that are of decent quality? ..since we need to plan for the future opening of other stores.

Thanks so much for your patience!

Ben

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