Good and Cheap 10x Objective

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by rmpsrpms, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. rmpsrpms

    rmpsrpms Lincoln Maniac

    I'm always looking for good deals on high quality optics, and I have found a "ringer" to alert you all to: the Bausch & Lomb 10x 0.25 16mm. In general I have not found B&L microscope objectives to be particularly good, at least the lower power ones. So when I bought this B&L 10x it was with modest expectations. But for $12 shipped, I could not pass up the opportunity. It turns out this objective is indeed very good, and is sharp out to the corners of the APS-C sensor. It also has excellent working distance, making the subject very easy to light. Best of all, it is very available on eBay for peanuts! One seller has 120 NOS objectives for sale at $25 each, so there should not be a shortage of supply.

    For comparison, I tested my Nikon M10 0.25, my best 10x objective, in the same lighting situation. The Nikon requires a longer extension, so I had to adjust the bellows between these two, and I was not very careful about matching the magnification, but they are not too far off. I did a simple 6-image stack on both, which is actually not sufficient but will give you an idea of what the objectives can achieve.

    Here are the comparison images:

    B&L 10x

    Nikon 10x
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  3. PHanagriff

    PHanagriff Active Member

    Awesome, nice pictures. Can't tell the difference.
  4. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    The Nikon looks much sharper on the mint mark and the MD portion of the bottom tip of the 9, the B&L is good , but the Nikon is better. Nice.
  5. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    I would think the lay person would find both examples very, very good. Your lighting is excellent and doesn't distort the images. It's unfortunate that some of the people who can only afford the cheap USB scopes can't realize why their close-ups are critiqued in a negative way.

    Paul M. likes this.
  6. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    When you realize you're comparing a $25 piece of equipment to a $200+ one, I'd say the B&L has the edge here for most people.
  7. Stoneman2

    Stoneman2 New Member

    I see very little difference in sharpness between the two but to me the Nikon is way ahead in contrast.
    STU likes this.
  8. SuperDave

    SuperDave Free the Cartwheels!

    The problem with evaluating Ray's work is that he's at a level where the most insignificant differences in ambient lighting and angle can affect quality. And with stacked, highly-magnified imagery of this type, a truck going past on the road (or a housemate choosing that moment to walk between rooms) can alter the quality of the resulting image. Unspoken in what he's posted here is some very_exacting effort to create a stable working environment.

    Not everybody's willing to go to those extremes of technique to image coins and coin details. That's their loss. :)
    Paul M. and STU like this.
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