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Buying A New Microscope

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 10 / Views: 304Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
United States
3235 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  07:53 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add SilverCents to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello all!

So, I've been using the same $40 microscope for about 2-3 years now, and I'm looking for a new one.

This was my old one:

https://plugable.com/products/usb2-micro-250x

Don't get me wrong, it's excellent for its price, but I'm looking for something more professional. Something that won't cause lighting issues and lots of glare on coins, especially the infamous shield cents, and I want to be able to get some really nice close ups.

Now I'm not sure what would be best for such, or how much something like that would cost, but I'm willing to spend up to $400 or so. It might also be beneficial for it to be USB related, but if not, that's okay.

So are there any suggestions for something like that? (Again, I'm willing to spend up to $400).

Thank you!
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump
Progress can only be achieved through trial and error. Failure is the greatest teacher.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
42652 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  08:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A good brand is AmScope,my nephew has a higher end model and I have a low end model that cost me like $20.There is also a set up that a member offers for around $400,but I forget who it is.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
Pillar of the Community
United States
3235 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  08:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SilverCents to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you John! Would you perhaps know what microscope would be the best for coin photography that they offer? As in, would a Digital, Compound, or Stereo be best? (If you are unsure that's perfectly fine as well).
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump
Progress can only be achieved through trial and error. Failure is the greatest teacher.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
42652 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  10:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know enough about it to say one over another. I do know that the magnification needs to be as low as possible and that there is no need to go above 200x. Also,the megapixel needs to be at least 2,5 or higher is even better.Give it a bit and maybe the member here on CCF will chime it with that $400 set up.
John1

The member might be rmpsrpms
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
Edited by John1
12/03/2021 10:59 am
Pillar of the Community
United States
3235 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  11:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SilverCents to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you very much John, I'll keep that in mind for sure!

I should've included something: At the moment with traveling around, having an entire set up (camera, stand, etc.) is probably not the best idea at the moment anyway.

I'm more or less looking for a microscope that's all together. It doesn't have to be $400, it could be $100 and that would be perfect as well. I just wish for it to be somewhat better than the $40 one that I have, as the lighting issues have become a problem when searching for smaller varieties. $400 is just my maximum.

I'm quite clueless as to what is what and which microscope is better in the coin photography world, and based on viewing a few older posts, $400 might be a bit overkill when I'm just buying a singular microscope.

Will do John, I'm curious as to what the others will say.

"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump
Progress can only be achieved through trial and error. Failure is the greatest teacher.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
42652 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  11:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Don't base the scope only on price. I have seen photos from a $15 scope that look great. Whatever you choose, you will have lighting issues. Practice makes perfect.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
Pillar of the Community
United States
3235 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2021  12:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SilverCents to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gotcha

I have much to learn when it comes to photography. I'll keep the specifics you mentioned in mind while I'm looking for a scope.
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump
Progress can only be achieved through trial and error. Failure is the greatest teacher.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1123 Posts
 Posted 12/04/2021  09:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ham1947 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The person you are referring to is Ray Parkhurst. He is the one with all the information on coin photography setups. Excellent choice for all coin photography information. http://www.macrocoins.com
Pillar of the Community
United States
3409 Posts
 Posted 12/04/2021  8:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@SilverCents, what is it about the lighting on the plugable scope that is a problem? Maybe if the scope is OK but lighting is the only problem, that you could work on improving it rather than getting a whole new scope? Can you post some pics and point out what you don't like about them?
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
Pillar of the Community
United States
3235 Posts
 Posted 12/05/2021  12:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SilverCents to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you very much Ham for the information!

Hello Mr. Parkhurst, thank you for taking the time to review this post. It's posts like these that worry me, where I sent off these coins to Wexler and they came back with no doubling:

https://www.coincommunity.com/forum...IC_ID=377803

http://goccf.com/t/378053

http://goccf.com/t/380801

http://goccf.com/t/379621

Oftentimes the lighting itself is not consistent, as in, sometimes parts of the coin are not properly illuminated:



Shield and BU cents specifically cause me issues. I can rarely get a good clean look without the emphasis of DDD and MD:





I also can't get properly lighted full coin shots either, take this photo for instance:



(Side note, I can't perform full body shots of coins either, as the scale does not extend upwards enough, and when it barely does, the lighting makes everything have a shadowy look.

Overall, it's just a variety of issues ranging from ugly, improper lighting, to having the lighting make it so the MD combines with the actual coin, which produces an illusion, to the microscope just not being tall enough.

It's a great microscope, but there's just a lot of issues. I will provide an in depth explanation if I have to, this is just a kind of summary.
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump
Progress can only be achieved through trial and error. Failure is the greatest teacher.
Pillar of the Community
Australia
1023 Posts
 Posted 12/06/2021  7:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add David Graham to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting posts. Have dabbled a bit myself. I found the inbuilt lights in USB 'scopes is useless for coins with high lustre so I concur that external lighting is just as important as the camera or scope.
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