Used Microscopes

RRR .... Recondition, Repair and Reuse

We specialize in the E. Leitz Wetzlar German-made legacy microscopes from about 1960 to 2000. These precision compound microscopes are completely cleaned and serviced with a ONE YEAR BUNTON WARRANTY PERIOD. Instruments are offered for both biological and industrial applications. Most have phototubes for connection of a modern digital camera. See our section on REPAIR AND SERVICE regarding our expertise in those areas. Most sellers of used microscopes are not able to pack them properly for shipment....much less make them usable by the microscopist. Beware of used microscopes being sold on-line "as is" or without a warranty. Many are missing key components or equipped with objectives/oculars made by other microscope brands. We stand behind our RRR microscopes and make sure the new owner is totally satisfied with their purchase. BUNTON SELLS SOLUTIONS....our customers will quickly differentiate us from our competitors. We support you for years to come and we are always available for quick information or guidance on proper use of your microscope and accessory equipment. Expert service people are available upon request. Just ask.


Dialux replaced "Labolux" (black stand) in the Leitz microscope line. The modularity and flexible design was influenced by the research stand "ORTHOPLAN" from the mid-1960's. This was the workhorse laboratory microscope for clinical labs and university settings. We can offer this model with new LED or a phototube. It is also available with Ploem epifluorescence module with filter cubes.


This microscope was so far ahead of the competition that it immediately became the instrument of choice in many tissue culture labs. The unique modular design with modern halogen lighting and easy-to-use phase contrast set up made the Diavert a benchmark for all others to follow.  We normally always will have Diaverts set up for biological phase contrast methods. The perfect workhorse in a tissue culture lab. Prices start around $1650.00 with complete phase kit...optional photo tube. Note the high position of the viewing oculars. Easily used with the stage left or right...or from "behind" as shown. A single phase ring for objectives 10x, 20x, 25x and turrets or phase ring changes at all magnifications. 62mm condenser-side working distance.  OPTIONAL LED - NO MORE BULBS!
Nice digital time lapse video captured by Dr. Brian Matsumoto using a Diavert with routine 20x phase contrast objective....20x timelapse speed-up: Go to YouTube and search "Matsu Imaging a sol division".


Launched in the 1930's as the world's first real modular research microscope stand. Primarily used for biological research, Ortholux was also used in pathology, geology, metallurgy, and materials science. It is an upright microscope and always comes with a phototube. Lighting is available as halogen, fiber optic or LED with modern configurations. Most of our Ortholux I models are for biology. It is a fantastic instrument for hobbyist who want a model to expand. Heine or Zernike phase kits. Ultropak for incident light darkfield work. See the photo below on this classic research model. Very "retro".


Ortholux II came out about ten years after the Orthoplan. It is totally modular but without the large field of view of the Orthoplan. It is a "170mm" optic instrument and a real step up from the Dialux noted above....note how the objective nosepiece turns "in" rather than "out" as on the Dialux model. This feature permits easier exchange of slides....and the nosepiece is quickly changed (as on Orthoplan) in a horizontal dovetail....quickly add a Ploem illuminator, Ultropak or seperate nosepiece with phase contrast components. They all come with trinocular FSA phototubes. Halogen 50W or LED options.


Orthoplan II was the "160mm" replacement for the aging Orthoplan I. It was made as an early offering only for the US market since Orthoplan I had ended production and Aristoplan was not quite ready for world-wide launch. Orthoplan  and Aristoplan have the option of an integrated Ploem illuminator for epifluorescence. Aristoplan then replaced Orthoplan II. Not many differences other than the nameplate. Note the ergonomic hand rests in the photo of Aristoplan. A Leitz unique feature on these models was the in-base controls for aperture and field diaphragm....i.e., the aperture diaphragm was not in the condenser! Rather, it was in the base and easily set up for Kohler with your left hand. The 12V power supply was built into the microscope base and 100W halogen was the basic lighting component. Several are offered with the ergonomic binocular viewing tube (tilting for operator ergonomics). The last of the Leitz finite tube length microscopes prior to launch of DM Series around 1991 (infinity corrected tube length). A pathologist's dream-scope ready for use with the Microvisioneer WSI stitching software (manualWSI).


Labovert replaced the Diavert model. Primarily used for cell culture, live cell micromanipulation/microinjection, the Labovert eventually came out with a "FS" (fixed stage) model that was more suitable for micromanipulation of cells in dishes....the objective nosepiece moved in the z-axis and the stage and sample remained in a fixed position. We have models with phase contrast, DIC or modulation contrast. Note the ergonomic position of the body tube.....easy on the neck. Most of our offerings of Labovert will include the "ergotube" invented by Leitz. This tube tilts the oculars 0-40 degrees and creates and erect image for comfortable viewing angles of both short and tall humans. Ideal for micromanipulation and routine cell culture photomicroscopy.

The FLUOVERT inverted research model shown in the second photo was the instrument of choice for those doing live cell studies involving fluorochromes. The typical lamp was HBO 100W mercury arc lamps but we can also offer this model with new LED from ScopeLED. The integrated Ploem illuminator accepts two filter cubes. CHROMA in Vermont is our supplier for new filter cubes for just about any modern fluorescence study....just tell us your fluorochrome need and we can quote accordingly. We do have some used basic cubes on hand as needed. Labovert and Fluovert are both offered with mechanical stages. Photo: mouse egg undergoing transgenic microinjection...holding pipette left and injection needle on the right. Optics: differential interference contrast (DIC). PRICES START AROUND $3,000.00 with phototube and 100W halogen lamp.


Here you will see a 1965 image of the classic Ortholux I. Note that it is shown with a 35mm film camera. Also notice the shot of the Leitz Micro-IBSO 35mm photomicrographic attachment with oculars. Guess who invented 35mm photography.....E. Leitz, GMBH in Wetzlar, Germany! The LEICA (LEI=Leitz and CA=Camera). Micro-IBSO was the first modular 35mm film camera attachment for a microscope. Bunton now adapts old MicroIBSOs, KAVARs (old code letter model that replaced MicroIBSO) with a M42 male ring so any modern DSLR/MILC can be used on these classic scopes with appropriate T-mount adapter for your make/model camera. RRR....and you can use full frame sensor cameras with these attachments since they were designed for 35mm film to start with.....24x36mm format. Most cheap DSLR microscope couplers not only have poor optical performance but they are only for the smaller APS-C CMOS sensor size (or smaller). Now we can even use iPhone adapters for photomicroscopy with 50-year old microscopes!

We also show an old "internal workings" line drawing of the 1965 era Leitz research model "ORTHOPLAN" What a great design! This was the Leitz flagship research model for about 20 years. The main feature was widefield sample field of view with oversized prisms in the body tube and new plano (flatfield) objectives mounted on a 1x nosepiece (Ortholux 1 was 1.25x). Orthoplan I was offered for biological work as well as versions for polarized light, metallurgy and semiconductor quality control (wafers). Ocular field index was up to 28mm with Orthoplan I...more than 2x the field of view of Ortholux I.....loved by pathologists. This is the widest field of view a human can "handle" without moving your head or trying to get your eyes to focus at the extreme edge of the ocular field. Today, modern NOZL microscopes have these same limitations and 24mm seems to be the maximum field index when using 10x oculars on the research models. And then everything went to total INFINITY CORRECTED OPTICAL SYSTEMS....that is where we are today with the MOTIC microscopes and all of the other NOZL microscopes. We always have good stock on RRR Leitz 160 and 170 optics....a trained eye can find them quickly on EBAY each day.

two separate firms working together toward rrr....microscopes and lab equipment

Bunton is now working closely with BaneBio ( located in nearby Frederick, MD. BaneBio specializes in RRR laboratory instrumentation and now offers both new and used optical microscopes. They have an excellent showroom area set up for the microscopes. They have an in-house microscope service and repair (see our Microscope Service and Repair page) as well as many microscopes from the NOZL firms et al. All are cleaned, lubricated and aligned for many more years of operation. We assist BaneBio in locating "missing pieces" for their microscopes in their showroom. Contact us for an appointment to visit BaneBio at your convenience. If you are looking for excellent laboratory instrumentation give BaneBio a call .... ask for Justin (Sales Manager) or Doug (Owner); or contact Jim at for anything related to microscopy.

Don't see what you're looking for? .... we have over 150 Leitz microscopes available. We can supply you a partial microscope to complement Leitz parts you may already have available....or we can offer a complete instrument with optics included along with new LED or digital camera adapters. Contact Bunton if you would like to visit us at the Bane offices in Frederick, MD to view the current microscope offerings. Some of the newer Leica microscopes as well as older instruments from Nikon, Olympus and Zeiss are offered through Bane Bio. Jim Averill is the Bane Bio microscopy consultant and their non-Leitz microscopes are serviced in-house at Bane with the same one year warranty period offered by Bunton Instrument. Lots to see at Bane Bio if you are looking for other non-microscope lab equipment at a reasonable price.....including lab glasswear. We have shopping carts available and the warehouse is open for your exploration. Call Justin for an appointment.

Here you will see an American Optical (made in Buffalo, NY USA) 120 laboratory microscope. The small white control unit to the left of the microscope base is the intensity dimmer for a LED unit. These old AO scopes suffered from failed lighting units (usually halogen) and bad transformers. LED conversion was the obvious solution to make this fine instrument useable again. The "120" has been cleaned and lubricated for excellent operation. AO microscopes of this era used infinity-corrected optical systems....long before Zeiss and the other NOZL firms made the switch from finite (160mm) to infinity. The A.O. line was the American hospital and school microscope of choice for decades. Along came Nikon and Olympus and that put them out of the microscope business along with Bausch and Lomb microscopes in Rochester, NY. Today the Chinese microscope builders (Motic and multiple private label microscope factories) control most of the routine and school microscope market sectors. MOTIC is the one Chinese maker with USA brand recognition. All of the others are private labeled and sold by USA vendors on line or through some microscope "repair" firms. I guess if they can't fix the old scope they try to sell just another Chinese-made new scope. Off to the landfill with old microscopes that some think cannot be made useable again....we take the RRR approach. Motic even makes a microscope line for Carl Zeiss! Mr. Bunton was the Spencer-American Optical rep in DC for many years. Both AO and B&L became part of the Leica mergers after interaction with new owners like Cambridge Instruments and Reichert (Austria). All now part of the Danaher empire. Aside from Motic, most of the Chinese-made microscopes we have seen are one-and-done. When they break down and you go looking for the documents to support five year or "lifetime" warranties.....try putting in a claim for a free repair job. If the original seller still even exists!

We have always been on the lookout for the pioneer comparison bridge from Leitz....view the two images side-by-side (hemispheres) or superimposed (full field of view). Designed for the crime lab, this bridge simply connects two microscopes. We have comparison systems available based on the older black Laborlux and the later Dialux models. The photo shows the last of the Leitz finite tube length model Laborlux-S. Note the RetroDiode LED control unit. Lighting is very critical for such comparison systems. You must be sure the color temperature and illumination is perfect so that both images being compared have the same background and color balance. Bunton offers a single fiber optic lamp with bifurcated flexible light guide or two seperate LED lamps with variable intensity ...color temp is the same for both sides no matter which one you choose. We have the optics that are matched magnification and normally set these units up with a phototube so a digital camera may be attached for documentation or training. Complete systems for less money than the bridge alone when it was new!

Bunton Instrument
Company, Inc.


12610 Jesse Smith RD
Mount Airy, MD 21771
(301) 831-3434

Contact Us

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.