Dear Chandra, we are also currently getting quotes for a new microscope. I recently worked at Oak ridge with a Zeiss SteREO Discovery.V20 (everything motorized, which is not really needed) and at diamond with a leica M205 C Stereomikroskop. Both are high end machines and I can't say which one is better, the quality was perfect for both. However the Leica at diamond has a very flat base. If you keep the plate on the glass everything is fine. But the frame get's warm and fried my crystals. However all mentioned microscopes are modular and you can also get a base with external light source. So contacting your local dealer or looking at synchrotrons or a microscope facility helps a lot for the right decision.

What*we are still looking for is a light source for intrinsic flourescence and **trace label flourescence*. We just found one vendor

We would also build it from parts of an electronic store if we get a good plan. Nowadays with LED's in all colors that can't be too difficult?

I asked now for quotes for a Zeiss

SteREO Discovery.V8    magnification     10x … 80x

SteREO Discovery.V12magnification     8x … 100x

and the
leica M205 C, because they have sales representatives here in Vienna and I can test the microscopes before buying.

A recent post on the bulletin summarizes well on what to focus:

In my opinion, the main features/specs to "focus" on:

   ○ Full Working Distance (FWD) - how much space is there between the
   front objective lens and the tray - anything less than ~55 mm and
   you will likely be frustrated when harvesting crystals

   ○ Magnification - for screening & harvesting anything less than a
   total magnification of ~80x will leave you wanting more, ideally
   120x or more will let you resolve those <10 µm crystals

   ○ Base Size - how large is the working area of the base - anything
   less than 250 mm (deep) x 300 mm (wide) can leave your plates
   dangling off the edge when harvesting from the perimeter columns

   ○ Light Source - a bright external LED cold light source, with a
   fiber optic transmitted feed into the microscope base, will give the
   light you need while preventing your trays from heating and drying
   out during viewing

Of course, quality of optics, ergonomics, cross-polarization attachments, and camera/trinocular mount are also important factors to consider.

Best regards, Georg.

Am 07.03.2018 um 11:18 schrieb Patrick Shaw Stewart:

Hi Chandra

My only comment is be careful of modern microscopes that have a frosted glass screen with LEDs behind it, just below the plate.  For looking at crystals you need /directional /light. I've seen some very expensive modern microscopes with illumination that just doesn't work for crystallization.  If I come across that situation I normally make a platform and raise the plate up by a few inches - it can dramatically improve the quality of images.  You can also cut a round hole in e.g. a piece of aluminium foil and use it to make the area of the light source smaller.

On the other hand illumination mustn't be /too /directional because the drop itself acts as a lens.  If you have a light source that is small and too far from the sample you'll get black regions around the outside of the drop where you can't see crystals.

It's all about the solid angle of the light hitting the sample - I'm sure others can explain better than I can.

Good luck, Patrick

On 7 March 2018 at 02:06, Chandramohan Kattamuri < <>> wrote:


    I'm looking for suggestions on a good microscope for looking at
    crystals, which includes polarization, light source (fiber
    optics), crosshairs and camera mount.  What Models and make?

    Thanks in advance


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