I have come to realise that the problem with buying an ex-lab microscope is that they don’t come with everything you need or want – due to the fact that they were used for a specific research purpose. So, with my IM microscope, although it is fully functioning, its stage is a flat sheet of metal without any fine adjustment – clearly the previous owners only looked at something like Petri dishes at low power and had no need for this functionality.
However, I would like to view slides at higher magnification and therefore would like to add fine adjustment to my microscope.
I found an appropriate fully working stage with mechanical fine adjustment controls on ebay for…….£450 from USA and needed to add postage…..so that wasn’t a good idea – gave up on that!
Turns out the Chinese sells piles of mechanical fine adjustment stages on ebay or Amazon – for around £20-£30 so I bought one of those. Problem now was how do I attach it to my microscope? I wasn’t keen to start drilling holes in my pristine stage which is what the manufacturers of the Chinese one were asking me to do. I then came across a broken IM microscope on ebay – so for only a small amount I bought the broken scope, took off its stage and used that instead. That one theoretically has fine control but that did not work – but no problem it formed the basis for attaching my Chinese one to without worrying about damaging the original stage that came with my scope….and they are easily interchangeable. One thing I need to remember for future reference is that under these Zeiss stages there are three machined attachment nipples. They easily unscrew and can be moved between stages. This is important as one of my stages came with long versions and some of the objectives will not come to focus when those long nipples are attached to either stage.
I need to give thanks to my neighbour John Brockley for his help sorting out the attachment of the Chinese stage to the Zeiss one.
My Zeiss IM microscope with new Chinese stage (in middle) attached to larger Zeiss stage taken from another broken IM35 microscope:
I also needed something to clean off this “new” stage – 95% ethanol below!