Toolmakers' Microscope Questions; Unitron Style versus Mitutoyo TM
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  1. #1
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    Default Toolmakers' Microscope Questions; Unitron Style versus Mitutoyo TM

    I have a need to measure smallish parts (about 12mm x 5 x 5 max volume). I've used Unitron toolmaker's microsopes long ago, and comparators, and optical CMM's, and have a Titan Tool centering projector which is clamped into the spindle of the Bridgeport and the DRO used. No room for big comparator, or budget/time for fancy optical gaging scopes.

    So, I'm pondering on getting another toolmakers' microscope. Having only used the Unitron types, I was curious if anyone had opinions of the Unitron style (with turret objectives) objective turret, versus the Mitutoyo types with regard to usability, image quality and flexibility in light of the differences below. I would put a new set of Mit digital micrometer heads on. It may be a foregone decision since complete Unitron style scopes are difficult to find in good condition. If anyone has anything interesting collecting dust, feel free to send a PM also. Thanks in advance for any comments.

    Unitrons and similar:
    objective turret with up to 40x objective
    thu-objective illumination
    z-axis measurement capability with depth-of-focus and indicator
    ability to use binocular eyepieces (helpful for eyestrain)
    no eyepiece protractor
    coarse and fine focus
    difficult to find intact units
    working distance 3x objective=2"

    Mitutoyo and similar:
    no turret, single objective (2x,5x, 10x)available
    no thru-objective illumination
    no z-axis measurement capability (unless 10x objective and 20x eyepeices available and manually switched out, and no fine focus)
    no fine focus (probably not necessary with typ x-y measurement magnification)
    eyepiece protractor
    no ability to use binocular eyepieces
    various accessories available
    working distance 2x objective=2.6"

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    I like my ancient Unitron and you can put in any objectives you like. Illumination isn't great so I usually use a separate microscope illuminator. When I need to measure angles, I resort to my even more ancient Gaertner. Image of Gaertner They weigh a ton but work a treat. IMO, the worst part about either scope is the fixed micrometers. The Unitron would be way better if it had a set of digital mics that could be re-zeroed at any point. If I had spare $$ I'd put some on. The Gaertner has it's own very clever screw system, where the follower runs on an adjustable rail. This can be adjusted to remove any error over long distances. Unfortunately, the dials are fixed so you can't reset zero. The whole unit is built to an incredibly high standard. You could also use an inexpensive video microscope/camera and software to make measurement, but I'm more old school.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info Conrad. Those Gaertner scopes and equipment are incredibly made, like the pre 80's Leitz and Zeiss stuff. I noticed that scope has micrometers that look like for tilt of the column, what is that function useful for. I ended up buying a Meiji toolmakers' scope off of Fleabay, looked in good condition, with all the OEM objectives, etc., Mitutoyo digital micrometers, binocular eyepieces. it's mostly clone of the Unitron, and beefy at 43 pounds. Only one of the light-sources was present, but I was going to do an LED conversion on the illumination anyhow. Meiji (Japan) makes good products, but not as wellknown as Nikon, Olympus and Mit....Cheers


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