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Buying a microscope


Where can I find a good used Zeiss microscope
for < $1000 ?
It’s very rare to find one in good condition, and used Zeiss microscopes hold their value very well because of the supply/demand ratio. The “local” market seldom sees one come up. Usually they sell by word of mouth as soon as someone makes one available. Most of the used microscopes offered for sale locally are “worn-out” Wellsite microscopes of lower quality. They are usually American Optical, Bausch and Lomb, or similar and most often have wear and damage to the lenses, both the eyepieces and objective. The best chance to buy a good, used Zeiss is through Ebay or other internet auction sites. Sometimes a microscope that has been used in a “clean” lab comes up. Avoid microscopes that have been exposed to acid fumes, soldering of I.C. boards, or biological toxins. In warm, humid, environments it is common for fungus to grow inside a microscope. This can distort and degrade the optics if it is in the many lenses inside the ‘scope. I’m told that it is very difficult to clean fungus out, mainly because the cleaners and solvents needed to remove the fungus can also remove the lens coatings. Used Zeiss Stereoscopes usually sell for between $ 600 and $ 3000 U.S. on Ebay, with shipping, customs charges and GST added to that. If the microscope is dirty and needs professional cleaning, that will usually run from $150- $400 depending on the condition. A pre-1990 Zeiss stereomicroscope in good condition that has been cleaned and serviced usually sells for $1200 - $1800. A used Zeiss Stemi 2000-C is good condition will fetch $3800- $4500 in the Canadian market.
How much will a new stereo-binocular microscope cost
and where can I buy one?
$800- $1200 for a new Chinese made microscope. In Calgary, Petrocraft Products and SciOptic Canada are reputable dealers. $1700 - $2800 for “base model” higher grade microscopes. Nikon, Zeiss, Leica $4000- $9000 for best quality microscopes. These have the best optics and usually have Trinocular (dedicated port for Digital camera) capabilities. The premium brands are Zeiss, Nikon and Leica.


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