CONVERTING A LOMO MONOCULAR MICROSCOPE TO A BINOCULAR
by Chuck Huck, USA
About a year or so ago, I purchased a brand new monocular Lomo microscope from a local science and surplus store. Over the years I purchased several oculars and objectives (all brand new and at low prices) also from the same store for my other microscopes.
The Lomo came equipped with 9X, 20X and 40X objectives in a quadruple nosepiece and a 7X ocular. The microscope worked quite well but did not have a mechanical stage. Since my other scopes had mechanical stages, I really wanted to have one for the Lomo. I asked Micscape editor Dave Walker if he knew of a place to obtain one since he also had a Lomo. He gave me the name of a company in the US and I was able to purchase a mechanical stage at a very reasonable price.
Since I am accustomed to using binocular microscopes, I wondered if I could adapt a binocular head to the Lomo. About five years ago I purchased two used identical Swift binocular heads off eBay for an extremely low price. The price was so low that I figured that I could adapt at least one to some microscope in the future. One of the Swift heads was damaged, so I just salvaged the prisms and threw the rest away. The other head was in great shape, almost brand new. This head came from an old Swift microscope that was made maybe twenty or thirty years ago.
To my surprise, the Swift binocular head was easily adaptable to the Lomo. It fit perfectly, in fact, and used the same type of mounting screw as the monocular head. I had an extra set of 10X widefield oculars but needed only another 7X ocular, so I went back to the science and surplus store and bought an identical one. So, I can now achieve magnifications from 63X to 400X.
Here are some photos that may be of interest. They were taken using tungsten lighting and a Digitrex digital camera hand held over one of the 7X oculars. One of these days, I will make a device to attach the camera to the microscope, as I have done with a regular 35mm camera to my other scopes.
Comments to the author, Chuck Huck, are welcomed.
1Lomo microscope equipped with mechanical stage and Swift binocular head.
2Unknown crystals under polarized light, Lomo microscope, 63X.
(These crystals were mounted many years ago and I unfortunately did not make a record at the time.)
3Forams from the Indian Ocean (courtesy of Richard Howey, Wyoming, USA), Lomo microscope, 63X.
4Potassium sulfate crystals under polarized light, Lomo microscope, 63X.
5Sand grains under polarized light, Lomo microscope, 63X.
Please report any Web problems or offer general comments to the Micscape Editor.
Micscape is the on-line monthly magazine of the Microscopy UK web site at Microscopy-UK.