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Re: [Orchid] Recommendations for a stonesetter microscope?
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Joris Van Daele Saturday, February 09, 2013
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    I have tried a PC connected close up camera, and the disconnect
    between my hands and the camera were too much, and variable, for me.
    Also, the depth of focus was too shallow. Also, my bench real estate
    was too precious to lose almost a square foot for the notebook. 

    I now have a used Nikon SMZ-1 zoom microscope, with an articulating
    stand and a 0.5X Barlow lens. I bought all on eBay for about $650 in
    total. Without the Barlow, I have 5x-30x magnification and about 4"
    working distance. With the Barlow, I work at 6.5-7.5", and 2.5x-15x
    magnification. The depth of field is great at 2.5x, and fairly
    shallow at 15x, but enough to set tiny stones. The view is
    surprisingly wide. The stand allows me to swing the scope in and out
    of my work area. I adapted my bench to have an additional bench pin
    setup a bit lower so I could use the microscope without craning my
    neck. It all works well, and the view is first class. Those used
    Nikons are a great deal on eBay, and if you choose the used route,
    make sure you get the originalNikon eyepieces, which are really nice
    and a large part of the final optical quality. 


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