Just about twenty years ago we launched our first website here in Maryland. I included a concept drawing of a microscope-in-a-box (MIB) and noted that this was the microscope of the future. Many MIBs have come and gone since then. Today they call them "whole slide imagers" (WSI) and they are primarily for use by pathologists as they validate and verify digital microscopy for biopsy materials ranging from frozen tissue sections to blood smears. The virtual slide will replace the repeated use of the physical glass tissue slide in pathology. How far we have come in twenty years with internet and digital imaging technology! We hope our FDA will soon give a blanket "thumbs-up" to WSI for primary diagnosis in pathology and cytology.
"Microscopy is the interpretive use and application of microscopes"..."light microscopy is used far more generally, by teachers, biologists, metallurgists, geologists, students, physicians, nurses, watchmakers, and jewelers, to name just a few. In fact, light microscopy is useful to practically every person who is curious about the world that surrounds us". From "Microscopy, Who Needs It?" by Dr. Theadore Rochow at NC State in Raleigh.... American Laboratory 1996.
Still, after more than 300 years of evolution, the optical light microscope is still evolving, paradigm-shifting and coming up with new methods and technology that is certainly disruptive! Lighting is now LED. Motorization of X, Y, and Z is becoming commonplace. Computer control of sample movement, lighting, camera image acquisition, processing, analysis and archiving are now routine. Digital cameras range from iPhone cameras to DSLR and MILC (mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras) to high performance sCMOS cameras with Peltier cooling for low light level imaging, processing and analysis. Most modern consumer cameras (DSLR and MILC) now include still capture (up to about 50MP or more) plus 4K full motion digital recording. High speed digital cine macro/micro cameras range from about $1500 to many thousands. See: www.infinity-usa.com In the past, high speed 16mm motion picture cameras were the norm for those who needed time lapse or high speed cine. Arriflex in Germany now offers one of the best digital cine cameras on the market...as much as a modest house on Main Street. Still, with all of this evolving technology, today's microscopist must understand how the best image can be achieved with their microscope. All of the "good practices" of light microscopy have not changed in the past one hundred or so years!
In 2014, Dr. Eric Betzig at Howard Hughes Janelia Farm in Ashburn, VA won a Nobel prize. He prototyped lattice lightsheet illumination with an old microscope in his living room "workshop". This method and SIM (structured illumination microscopy) is common in labs studying live cells. Living cell microscopy normally calls for an inverted microscope. Laser or LED are the sources of illumination. Many of Abbe's rules and guidelines are being surpassed today. DIY (do it yourself) is popular in the microscopy world. Visit: http://openspim.org
Bunton Instrument Company has been keeping up with these trends and new developments. Please review our site and feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions about the current product offerings. As always, we look forward to being at your service!
THIS IS THE PERFECT EDF (EXTENDED DEPTH OF FOCUS) SOLUTION FOR USE ON A COMPOUND MICROSCOPE WITH YOUR DSLR OR MILC. INCLUDES STEPPER MOTOR, CONTROLLER, CABLES AND POWER SUPPLY PLUS CORRECT SIZE GRIPPER CUP FOR YOUR PARTICULAR FINE FOCUS KNOB (LEFT OR RIGHT - USE SCOPE MANUALLY WHILE GRIPPER CUP IS ATTACHED TO THE LEAST USED SIDE OF THE INSTRUMENT.
A CABLE THAT CONNECTS YOUR DSLR TO THE CONTROLLER IS NOT INCLUDED....EASILY SOURCED ON-LINE FROM COGNISYS . WE RECOMMEND ZERENE STACKER BUT SOME MAY LIKE HELICON (UKRAINE) BETTER OR ALREADY HAVE THIS IN THEIR Z-STACKING ARSENAL....BOTH WORK FINE BUT WE LIKE RIK'S RAPID USA SUPPORT AT ZERENE.
RETROZED FROM BUNTON INCLUDES THE USA-MADE COGNISYS STACKSHOT CONTROL UNIT AND OUR OWN UNIVERSAL Z-DRIVE WITH INTERCHANGEABLE FLEXIBLE GRIPPER CUPS - WORKS WITH ZERENE STACKER OR HELICON FOCUS STACKING SOFTWARE. DIGITAL Z-STACKED IMAGE OF AQUATIC CRITTER IN DIC WAS CAPTURED BY DR. BRIAN MATSUMOTO WITH A DSLR, ZERENE SOFTWARE AND OUR RetroZED.
OUR OWN 3D PRINTED Z-DRIVE UNIT MAY BE USED WITH ANY MICROSCOPE WITH A COAXIAL COARSE/FINE FOCUS DRIVE. JUST LET US KNOW YOUR MAKE AND MODEL MICROSCOPE. WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEMS WORK BEST. STANDARD USB CABLE WILL BE NEEDED TO ROUTE CONTROLLER FUNCTION TO YOUR PC....LIVE VIEW CAMERAS ARE BEST SINCE ALL FOCUSING AND INTERACTION WITH THE SOFTWARE IS PERFORMED FROM YOUR DISPLAYER SCREEN.
RetroZED IS OFERED AT$775.00 PLUS SHIPPING
INSECT AND CORK IMAGES (BELOW) BY C. KREBS - Z-STACKED USING ZERENE WITH THE INFINITY TS-160 MICROSCOPE. MICRO OR MACRO, AUTOMATED Z-STACKING WITH RetroZED IS A FAST WAY TO CAPTURE UNIFORMLY SPACED FOCAL PLANES THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TURNING THE FOCUS BY HAND.
Direct from Finland, the OCUS from www.grundium.com includes a special 20x objective and fully motorized scanning stage for high resolution image stitching.
A very portable WSI microscope for pathology and cytology applications-full automation and autofocus for single 3x1 glass slides. Share images rapidly with up to eight (8) selected participants who may also control OCUS from remote locations while pointing out ROI to all spoke viewers in-session.
The world's first and only WSI microscope with embedded NVidia computer and software. Useable with just about any external PC, Mac, tablet or iPad. Best images are viewed with a 4K displayer. All you need is a WiFi hot spot (WLAN) or Ethernet connection to the web for uploading images and direct viewing of the virtual images. Includes 500GB archive image file for quick reference. Use with external hard drives including thumb drives (USB port) for quick WSI image sessions. $15,000.00.
Take a look at our YouTube demo on this software called manualWSI. www.microvisioneer.com is the perfect economical solution for WSI image stitching in pathology and cytology. Perfect for those intending to validate WSI prior to implementation...for under $5,000.00. That price includes the software that is downloaded to your computer (Windows 10 or better) as well as a global shutter camera with the latest Sony Pregius sensor. 3 or 5MP performance and a suitable c-mount coupler for your existing microscope. Special packages are offered that include the new MOTIC Panthera microscope, computer and 4K displayer. Here you move the XY mechanical stage of the microscope and collect and stitch each field of view while watching the display screen to monitor focus and whole slide image progress. Once complete, the WSI (virtual image) is ready for sharing with others or archived for future reference. Perfect for students and small departments that wish to create teaching WSI images for special cases, stains or group discussions in the classroom. Great for virtual slide making duties with any microscope objective on the nosepiece.....10x-100x. Options for live, interactive telemicroscopy as well as an option for sharing a WSI image rapidly without taking time to upload to a cloud viewer. Visit: www.slidepeek.com and www.instaslide.net
RetroBOT is quite unique. It was designed for additive manufacturing methods...i.e., 3D printing. We use precision XYZ stepper motors and the stage is designed for use with upright microscopes. The controller is based on Arduino technology. RetroBOT includes its own API so users can develop their own scanning and focus requirements. Visit: www.micro-manager.org
Ideal for developers and OEM customers with their own proprietary software solutions. Prime applications include image stitching and z-stacking. Details upon request but do take a look at our YouTube demo first. Newest model now offered with belt drive XY with travel end stops (as shown left). The stage is 3D-printed and includes our own slide holder (not shown in photo). Even the control unit is 3D-Printed and the second photo shows the fully assembled manual controller (XYZ). The "blank" 3D-printed housing in the foreground shows the manual controller as well as the Arduino module attached. Future units will be offered with only the Arduino card and power supply all stage (XY) and focus (Z-Photo #3) can then be initiated on your computer displayer with appropriate software developed for specific microscopy duties. Developer kit is just under $3,000.00.
Bunton Instrument has been a Motic dealer since they began operations in North America. We have seen this line evolve from stereo and student microscopes to advanced microscopes for biological research, industrial and materials science, live cell/tissue culture microscopy. The photo to the right is the newest routine inverted phase contrast microscope with integrated flatscreen and camera for small group discussions and photomicroscopy. Motic is now a leader in WSI (whole slide imaging) with their latest EasyScan instruments. Visit "Computer Controlled Microscopy" page.
THE MOTIC BA310 P0L ...This model is set up only for transmitted light investigations of mineral thin sections. The BA310 POL is the perfect geology student microscope and may be set up for digital photomicroscopy. Optional XY mechanical stage and compensators (mica, gypsum and quartz wedge).
NEW FROM MOTIC...PANTHERA "TEC" RESEARCH MODELS FOR MATERIALS SCIENCE AND POLARIZED LIGHT STUDIES. The "POL" model with LED incident light vertical illuminator may be combined with transmitted light for mineral thin sections.
THE NEW ADVANCED MOTIC MICROSCOPE PRODUCTS ALSO INCLUDE A PANTHERA TEC FOR MATERIALS SCIENCE AND METALLURGY. THIS MODEL IS EQUIPPED WITH MECHANICAL STAGES UP TO 6" X 4" SCAN RANGE AS WELL AS DIC (INCIDENT DIFFERENTIAL INTERFERENCE CONTRAST) AND EXCELLENT BRIGHTFIELD-DARKFIELD OBJECTIVES INCLUDING APO 50X AND 100X FOR MAXIMUM RESOLUTION AND COLOR FIDELITY. THESE OBJECTIVES ARE UNIVERSAL TYPE AND ONE CAN ADD INTERFERENCE CONTRAST AT A FUTURE DATE IF NEEDED.
MOTIC...30 + YEARS OF MICROSCOPY DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION.
THE TWO PHOTOS YOU SEE HERE WILL ILLUSTRATE THE RANGE OF PERFORMANCE MADE POSSIBLE BY THE INFINITY PHOTO OPTICAL K2-DISTAMAX. THE SAMPLE IC IMAGE ILLUSTRATES THE NWE FRONT OPTIC WITH AN ADAPTER FOR USE WITH A MICROSCOPE OBJECTIVE.....THE SECOND IMAGE (by Hillar Ilves), "HALF MOON" WAS CAPTURED USING THE K2 WITH NWE FRONT LENS.....NOTHING ON THIS ROCK CAN MATCH THAT CAPABILITY!
INFINITY PHOTO OPTICAL IN COLORADO, IS ONE OF THE VERY FEW MICROSCOPE BUILDERS IN AMERICA. The unique design of most models make these instruments true microscopes for use with digital cameras at the back-end. We have re this line for many years and have found some very interesting applications along the way. The K2 (below)) shows a stereo 3D binocular tube connected to the back end. A beamsplitter option (right) would permit attachment of a full frame DSLR camera or digital cine camera for full motion imaging ...including high speed recording of very rapid events. The NWE lens for K2 will focus from 27" to infinity. A simple adapter is offered so one could even use optical microscope objective lenses on the K2. A very unique instrument from a very unique company.
The photomicrographs captured by Charles Krebs will illustrate the optical performance merits of the Infinity Photo Optical InfiniProbe TS-160. The photo of the TS-160 mounted on a stereo microscope support stand is ideal for high resolution photomicroscopy with a DSLR or MILC.....the TS-160 comes with both a macro(on stand)and micro(on main photo)interchangeable front lens. Note the twin flash head fixture for high intensity flash units. Wireless Nikon flash heads are in the photo of the TS-160 on microscope stand. TS-160 is perfect for manual Z-stacking using software from Zerene or Helicon. Another unit is called the KC-VIDEOMAX. The KC may also be used with full frame cameras but it is optimized for use with motorized sample stages for automatic z-stacking with products such as our Retro-ZED described above. You will not get such images using a camera on even the best stereo microscope (single photo channel). You will have the ability to capture photomacro or photomicro images with the same microscope...simply by changing optical components. Use with your DSLR and small format (HD) camera (for training and group discussions) at the same time. Create EDF (extended depth of focus) Z-stacks that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with even the best single channel macrozooms.....for a lot less money. All are made in the USA with a five year warranty. Thanks to Charles Krebs for his fantastic photomacrographs captured with TS-160....all z-stacked for EDF.
Qualified microscope techs are hard to find in the USA. We have listed two for your consideration here in Maryland. The two most common issues with an optical microscope are the focus block and light source. Unfortunately there are quite a few "spit-and-polish" microscope "repair" techs in the USA but rarely will you find the expertise needed to address serious lubrication or part failures that are hidden from external inspection. One needs to know the exact procedure for disassembly, lubrication (with correct lubes) and reassembly and adjustment. Further, once in useable condition, the microscope will require periodic maintenance (preventative) to continue useable service and provide the user with first-class images. Simple DIY optical cleaning (front lenses of objectives, clean eyepieces and condenser lens) should be taught every user of an optical microscope. Even the correct cleaning solutions and tools must be on-hand for all users to keep things clean and clear as they use the microscope on a daily basis.
Today's microscopes can be difficult to use if one is not familiar with "all the bells and whistles", knobs, and switches. Many high end microscopes are now being used by the second or third generation scientists and, without an owner's manual, one can be at a loss for good operation technique. The basic controls are on all microscopes no matter the make or model. It is import to fully understand these basic functions and how to set up your microscope for the best image. Fortunately there is quite a bit of useful information on the internet and most NOZL microscope owner's manual are available upon request or easily downloaded. Older model microscopes may require one to search for original documentation. We can help for most NOZL models...or, at least, point you to a good website source or local expert in your area who should have manuals. Seek and ye shall find. We can also offer on-site training in microscopy and digital photomicroscopy for your staff.....contact us and we can discuss this option.