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what is the best coin microscope

jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

I know this has been discussed previously, but with the changes I've noted on the top microscope websites, I would like to know a proven microscope used by forum members with good color, usb and 5-6mp 10-60x would be enough magnification.
Thanks
Jim


No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

Comments

  • jafo50jafo50 Posts: 288 ✭✭✭

    I'd be interested in any responses to this same question. There are so many low prices scopes that get horrible reviews and terrible tech support.

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  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,457 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have six. First:

    1. What are you going to use it for...be very specific.
    2. How much money do you wish to spend? (Mine are not for sale.)
    3. Do you care if it is used?
  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 2,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 6, 2018 7:27PM

    I have a $40 portable USB microscope (endoscope) from ebay.
    It's OK for quick photos, but needs a tripod (usually they come with a simple stand that works fine).
    My camera + macro lens is even better for quick photos, but it cost more than $40.

    However, for coin viewing, I prefer a (non-electronic) stereo microscope.
    I use the one my dad gave me, from the old Boeing Surplus.
    If you look on ebay, you'll see the expensive high end stereo microscopes, like Leica and Nikon.
    But you should be able to find a reasonable used one (not a name brand) for around $100. Shipping is expensive, though.

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2
    I have six. First:
    1. What are you going to use it for...be very specific.
    2. How much money do you wish to spend? (Mine are not for sale.)
    3. Do you care if it is used?

    1. Coins
    2. Less than $200
    3. No, as long as it has good color, usb and 5-6mp camera with 10-60x

    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • rickoricko Posts: 73,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use 5x and 10x magnifying glasses.... I purchased an electronic microscope that hooks up to the computer about four years ago... have never taken it out of the box. Cheers, RickO

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko
    I use 5x and 10x magnifying glasses.... I purchased an electronic microscope that hooks up to the computer about four years ago... have never taken it out of the box. Cheers, RickO

    Just ship it to me(I'll pay the freight, naturally) and I'll take it out of the box and let you know how it works. ;)
    Jim


    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • rickoricko Posts: 73,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well... I think I will keep it a while... I am not getting younger, (though I feel like it)... and these old eyes may need help down the road a bit.... :D Cheers, RickO

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,457 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jesbroken said:
    @Insider2
    I have six. First:
    1. What are you going to use it for...be very specific.
    2. How much money do you wish to spend? (Mine are not for sale.)
    3. Do you care if it is used?

    1. Coins
    2. Less than $200
    3. No, as long as it has good color, usb and 5-6mp camera with 10-60x

    LOL. Ok, I deserve that.

    1. What are you doing with the coins. Grading, carving, authenticating, looking for varieties. all of that?

    2. that's going to take some looking and for a top brand (used). Otherwise, that should be enough. I use a "No Name" Chinese trinocular 7-45X zoom for micrographs much of the time that I found on Ebay (after some searching) for under $200. I use a Nikon SMZ-2 the rest of the time. Also found on Ebay with box, cover, and 10,15, & 20X eyepieces. This was a $2000+ set up when new. Cost me $325 a few years ago.

    3. If you want something that hooks to a computer....I've not seen anything I like or would use at work - I cannot help you. I did have a chance to use one in a class. It's a fair teaching tool to use for beginners but could not get really good images due to the lighting.

  • ShadyDaveShadyDave Posts: 1,955 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dino-Lite are good brand name USB microscopes. I bought mine used on eBay and it was worth every cent.

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ShadyDave
    Dino-Lite are good brand name USB microscopes. I bought mine used on eBay and it was worth every cent.

    Do you have a photo of a complete coin Morgan, Peace, or Ike that you could share so I see the quality of the photo.
    Is it a 5mp or lower/higher? Color or Black and White?
    Thanks,
    Jim


    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2

    I use it for anything coin related, mint marks, steps, full whatever, die doubling. Just for fun. I have had several(still got two) that have never satisfied me. Thanks for your reply.
    Jim


    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • FunwithMPLFunwithMPL Posts: 313 ✭✭✭
    edited June 8, 2018 3:41AM

    I used an Leica EZ4W it is great for close-up's This is an photo of one of my Matte proof Lincoln cents sorry about being in black and white but it is for and exhibit.

    Collector
  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,457 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2

    I use it for anything coin related, mint marks, steps, full whatever, die doubling. Just for fun. I have had several(still got two) that have never satisfied me. Thanks for your reply.
    Jim

    Then you will need one that goes to around 40X. Most work is done using the lowest powers. Don't get sucked into the 10X & 30X models. Better to get a Zoom that has a range of power.

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2

    I've got a wide angle/macro lens coming for my Canon PowerShot 530 HS so that will probably suffice. My left hand shakes so bad sometimes, I have to use the camera stand. I though this camera had a remote control cable/switch, but it didn't. My bad for not paying more attention. It takes pretty fair pics with just the standard macro feature, but not when you want to enlarge it. I think I will just keep the Celestron and the QX7(maybe I can find software for the QX7). Thanks for your help. I2
    Jim


    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 2,920 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The camera stand will help a lot when you are using high magnification, even if you had a fairly steady hand!

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,457 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you are taking photos with just at camera you wont need a Trinocular scope. That's good. I use an old Cannon Powershot S5IS on the scope. I cannot get an entire coin larger than a cent. :(

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That was my problem with the QX7, while easy to operate and took great pics, they were awful color(gray or blue) and hard to get a full size half or dollar coin with a full photo. The celestron is just a pain in the rear to use and a bigger problem with the larger coins than the QX7. I have had a QX3, a QX5 and the QX7. Loved them all for what they did, but had so many limitations. Twenty years ago, I wore my magnifying glasses(too many to list) out searching for varieties and was into the Vams, but I now just wanted one to piddle with. Thanks all for your replies.
    Jim


    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • davids5104davids5104 Posts: 743 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 9, 2018 6:10AM

    I have tried three different ones, here is what I have learned.....my opinions...
    1. Built in lighting on scope is bad, washes out color. I can never image color, just detail with them.
    2. Microscopes with adjustable necks are better than ones that just pivot. But number 4 is best for me
    3. The USB cord lengths are annoyingly short, so sometimes you need an extender
    4. I prefer the old chemistry setup of a metal stand like these with a clamp
    https://www.fishersci.com/us/en/products/I9C8K6TK/stands-rings.html

    I personally don't buy into the idea that if you can't see the coin at 7x it's not worth looking at, but you do not need 800X that exists in the world

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  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,457 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Avoid scopes with built-in lights, unless that's the only way they come in your price range. One of mine has a light above the stage and below. I never use the one above and use the one below for examining paper.

  • LyndagLyndag Posts: 99 ✭✭

    Thanks everyone for all your input. My hands are not steady and I’m going to be getting glasses soon. I want to be able to see close ups of coins. I want to see double dies, steps, mint marks and I don’t want to spend more than $150 nor do I mind if it is used. Just want to get the right thing for a reasonable price or a used one from an honest person. Thanks everyone.

  • YQQYQQ Posts: 2,548 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 21, 2019 7:09PM

    IMO, a camera setup with a proper macro lens, true macro, is what will solve your problem.
    Perhaps Jeremy Katz ( member here) or another expert would care to chime in on this.
    If you the right macro, and the proper lighting, you win.
    whatever you can not see with a macro lens, a TPG will nor recognize anyway as it can not be determined what it really is. like a small letter 3x punched or 4x or 5x...
    PLUS you will need a SW that works with that Camera... Canon comes to mind...
    you control the camera with the mouse. ( assuming your camera is mounted on either an old enlarger or a tripod)
    IMO, there is nothing in Numismatics that will need xxxxxx+ enlargements.
    if you try to sell a coin saying it is punched or doubled or whatever 8x , nobody would want to buy it.
    YOU will have a lot more fun with a macro lens.. :) ( tell your wife, mistress, or GF.. your BD is coming up o:) )
    Just my 2 cents (not 1 cent) worth to the subject.

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life
  • KkathylKkathyl Posts: 3,697 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you have used them you would know price point & use critical. For coins I use this got it cheap under 100. And it works fine for my use. The one I originally wanted was 1,500.00 used.

    http://7kmetals.com/longscollectables
    Best place to buy !
    Bronze Associate member

  • KkathylKkathyl Posts: 3,697 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Example

    http://7kmetals.com/longscollectables
    Best place to buy !
    Bronze Associate member

  • KkathylKkathyl Posts: 3,697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 21, 2019 7:34PM

    @ricko said:
    Well... I think I will keep it a while... I am not getting younger, (though I feel like it)... and these old eyes may need help down the road a bit.... :D Cheers, RickO

    Haha. Your fabulous! I have the head gear glasses for my hands needed project fine till you forget and try to run to bathroom while tripping over dog. Oops. Well call those 40’s going hotter. That why I stick to ball powder 😎

    http://7kmetals.com/longscollectables
    Best place to buy !
    Bronze Associate member

  • Timbuk3Timbuk3 Posts: 11,270 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting information, thank you all for sharing !!! :)

    Timbuk3
  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    An update to the op. I got the SX530HS and it will not tether but will connect via wifi. Just too much trouble. While it takes good photos it did not solve my shaky left hand problem. So now I'll sell it and get another. Just bought a new EOS Rebel T6 with macro and telephoto lens. As soon as I get it programmed and ready to shoot, I'll let you know.
    Jim


    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,457 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2019 8:28AM

    Get a cork to put the coin on and it won't wiggle.

  • oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 9,174 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2019 9:25AM

    @FunwithMPL said:
    I used an Leica EZ4W it is great for close-up's This is an photo of one of my Matte proof Lincoln cents sorry about being in black and white but it is for and exhibit.

    Hmmm...a "BU" Matte Proof. ;)

    I have a Dino-Lite (something-or-another) and a cheapo chinese made USB microscope. Both work really well for extreme close-ups. Full coin images are better off with actual cameras, although some phones are pretty darn good too.

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_



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  • YQQYQQ Posts: 2,548 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2019 9:25AM

    Make sure your new Canon has the connecting SW included. If not you can Dwnld it from Canon. Use a hard wire connection to your PC if you can, even though WiFi should work.
    your lens, if I understand right is the lens that comes with the package. most likely a 300mm lens with a macro setting. It will not be ideal for you. If I am right with my guess, I would sell the lens and put a few dollars on top and shop around for a true macro lens, 90 mm macro minimum , anything, like 110 mm and up is better. if you do not insist on original Canon (super duper lenses), then you do have a few other choices. Tamron and Sigma are two.
    in the meantime, I assume your Canon body came in the package with a 28-55 mm lens. This lens has a position which is like macro setting I believe. I sometime use it for banknotes or larger objects. It works well for coins also.
    then, invest another 40 Dollars or so, go on ACDsee website and buy the absolute nessecary software to deal with your pictures. NO need to go expensive, like photo shop etc. Your camera should have a SW with it... but ACDsee is much easier to handle. When you use the lenses and mouse for control, for macro photography, use Manual settings only. Try different backgrounds, like white and black, grey etc. and I use AUTO white balance unless you are seriously familiar on how to set the white balance. Not easy...to get it perfect.
    And now, a KEY element. You need to find a device to mount your camera so it is positioned directly above the coin
    Find an old enlarger and modify it. it is easy. Most allow a 2' vertical adjustment. it is probably the best tool I have besides the macro lens. the enlarger takes away the "shaking" as you do everything with the mouse!!! the object is 100% stationary. if you like, I will post an image of my setup later.
    Go hunting in second hand stores and flea markets for an old enlarger..... should cost around $20 or so.
    Good luck with all that.

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life
  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,457 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2019 10:18AM

    @oih82w8 said:

    @FunwithMPL said:
    I used an Leica EZ4W it is great for close-up's This is an photo of one of my Matte proof Lincoln cents sorry about being in black and white but it is for and exhibit.

    Hmmm...a "BU" Matte Proof. ;)

    I have a Dino-Lite (something-or-another) and a cheapo chinese made USB microscope. Both work really well for extreme close-ups. Full coin images are better off with actual cameras, although some phones are pretty darn good too.

    Looks more like corrosion.

    Great image! What type of lighting did you use?

  • joeykoinsjoeykoins Posts: 5,293 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2019 12:07PM

    To me money matters. Here is my scope. It performs close to the big name scopes but a whole lot cheaper in price! This is a picture of my second purchase. So I'll always have one on hand if the first one decides to take a dive. Here is the best part. Only $20!
    It's called the Jiusion 40 - 1000 Mag.

    "Jesus died for you and for me, Thank you,Jesus"!!!

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