With the help of a couple of generous donors, Looking For Heat.com has been able to purchase a vintage metallurgical microscope. For the last 40 years it has sat- I suspect unused -in a dusty corner of a large nut-and-bolt manufacturer in Northern England. As so many have, the factory ran away to China- but they left the microscope and a lot of very useful extras behind.
Many of the 'extras' have never been unwrapped from new. Handily they include a beautiful filar micrometer (for particle or other micro-size measurement) full polarisation and pseudo phase-contrast possibilities, as well as a very wide range of premium-grade colour filters. As the microscope works with both reflected and transmitted light it is suitable for examining the surface of solid plates (electrodes for example) as well as powders down to 1 Micron or so.
The cost of this kind of scope today - at this quality is probably in the region of $40k. Things have got cheaper- back in in '70s it cost €12.5K. Enough then to buy a quite nice house in a London suburb. These prices are according to the archived Olympus price list And while electronics has moved on considerably since 1970, optics and mechanics have not, so it is not amazingly 'out of date'. With a theoretical maximum magnification of 2000x, (the practical limit is probably nearer 1500X) and by the use of post-processing of the 5Mp digital images this gives us the ability to approach the lower limits of what is possible with an electron microscope.
As part of our remit to help the experimenter's community, we are happy to offer a micro-photography service to serious experimenters at little or no cost - depending on what is involved. Contact via our website- or through this forum.
More photographs at http://www.lookingforheat.com/…metallurgical-microscope/