Green Microscope

great world of small things

Well shaped baby from mixed parents

Posted by janvangelderen on February 2, 2011

Optika’s B 350

The time we considered Chinese microscopes as vulgar copies of mainly Japanese hits (folded tin with play microscope optics) is over. China now produces good instruments and as a sample of that I have the honour of presenting the Optika B 350, with which I was allowed to play a few weeks.
‘A real Leica,’ exclaimed a friend of mine on seeing it on my desk. Well, the stand is very Leica like. Not very original, but a good modern and sturdy stand. Optika somewhere on its website boasts that their
better microscopes originate from the same factory where Leica orders. Do not know. But anyhow this is a good sturdy stand, ergonomically spoken very much okay, heavy, thanks to the inbuilt transformer for the led illuminator (12V) and your image does not come in trouble by a bonk on the table.

Led I said already with an enormous output, sometimes too much for low power. ‘We know,’ Optika said, ‘and are working on it’. I used an ordinary neutral density filter. This is some kind of critical illumination, no Koehler. But it works fine as it does on a lot of modern microscopes of different brands. The collector lies high and although there is a hint to shade it from the outside world I had to use tape and cardboard to have it not shining into my face.

With this kind of light one has to centre the (Abbe) condenser and the manual agrees. But the manual does not tell how. There is no projection image of the filament on the condenser diaphragm. Visually centering no way. So I had to use a centering telescope and having done, images had improved considerably. Mechanical a weakness in my opinion is that the two centring screws have to keep as well the condenser in its place.


The ergonomic features are great. You find coarse and fine focusing on axis on the left side. On the right side only fine focusing by means of a big wheel with finger holes. Even if your right hand is blind you’ll find this knob ánd the knobs for moving the slide holder ánd the knob for regulating the light output. That means one can observe the secrets of life by constantly having the eyes above the eyepieces. All knobs are covered with just soft enough rubber or something what feels like rubber.


Four achromatic objectives on the four fold fixed nose piece: 4x, 10x, 40x and oil 100x. NA the usual. If you want a handy 20x or a sometimes useful dry or immersion 63x, go to the concurrence for the latter or to Optika for the 20x. Compared to some Olympus, Zeiss and Leica of the same values and the same recent make they matched. The Optika come sure from a Chinese factory, the great names probably from the same mother. So the Chines win the competition in price and they have the same serious build. All with standardized Royal Microscopic Society thread, so go hunting on eBay if you want more and different. Good is that objectives not in use look through the back window, plenty of place on the table for manipulation.

Eyepieces gives a field of 18 and have a diam of 30 mm, so big fields and with the supplied objectives a lot of unsharpness on the periferie. This is no drawback if you use a small Chinese microscope camera for its small sensor will not see the periferie but for those who go full size we recommend the Plan objectives. Fase is also an option but I did not test that.

Standard a binocular tube with only one pipe with collar correction. This means for people with eyes with different dioptervalue they can correct for that. But only one means you have no means to parfocalize objectives. And I must admit: they are not parfocal. On the instrument I overviewed not in a way I lost my subject, but…  Surprisingly the phototube of the trinocular can be screwed in and out an that means that after a lot of trial and error one can achieve sharp pictures on seeing them sharp. Thanks.

The cons and pro of this instrument, very nice, ergonomical and mechanical excellent stand, good optics, great illuminator, big table, nice phototube (extra),

Not satisfying: centring condenser difficult, illuminator shines directly in eyes.


Prices (Dutch dealer Abro) :

Basic with four objectives € 470

id. with photo trinocular tube € 655,00

with plan achromatic objectives € 745,00


6 Responses to “Well shaped baby from mixed parents”

  1. Jacon said

    Very Interesting microscope. But there are many more microscopes in the market like Operating Microscope, Ophthalmic Microscope, ENT Microscope etc etc…

  2. janssen said

    Het feit dat de objectieven niet parfocaal zijn doet me ernstig twijfelen of het hier gaat om een kwaliteitsproduct.

  3. Antoine said

    Jan, ik zou eens een cursus Engels gaan volgen want deze boerenklompenpraat kan echt niet. Citaat uit je stuk: ‘Good is that objectives not in use look through the back window’. Kom op zeg!

  4. Really amazing microscopes like

  5. Ritchie said

    Optika, Italian bogus microscope with cheap optics and parts. That’s what this is, nothing more and nothing less. If you are really into microscopes and microscopy you don’t bother with this crap.

  6. serve sim… vo escrever esse fim de semana “sem falta” Click

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