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Hot Gift Hint: the splendid "La Salamandre" nature magazine from Switzerland just at the moment is preparing a  Special Salamandre Issue exclusively dedicated to tardigrades.

You will be able to follow the events in French language via the Salamandre Blog. Even though you should possibly not be able to read in French language we would like to draw your attention to those many high-res tardigrade photomicrographs and, in addition, beautiful tardigrade graphics which are to be expected in the special issue.

Christmas is not that far away, so you might consider to directly order the Salamandre Special Issue via the  La Salamandre Website . It might be the appriopriate gift for some of your really choosy friends.

Small take-along helpers: Loupes (V) or slightly beyond loupes:
the traveling microscope

A microscope might be considered as a synonym for sober and serious intellectual science. But there is one type of instrument which appears to be different: the "travelling", "excursion" or "field microscope". Their actual usefulness might seem very questionable in the eyes of girl-friends or wives.
But most microscopists are intrigued by the technical glamour of those tiny milled wheels, levers, lenses and the fine machinery behind.

The Emoscop  (synonyms: Emoskop, Emoscope), a tiny universal optical gadget, might serve as an entry into the the world of micro microscope optics. Depending on how you are going to assemble its components it will serve as a Galilean telescope with threefold magnification, as a telescopic loupe with factor 3.5x, as a loupe with magnifications of 5x, 10x oder 15x and, last but not least, as a microscope with 30x or 35x magnification. It has no focusing wheel, just a sliding tube, and therefore resembles those highly magnifying loupe which we did present in the last issue. E.g. it might be used to casually screen one of our micro aquariums.

[ the Emoscope ]

Half way between loupe and microscope: the Emoscop (also Emoskop, Emoscope ...)
Height as shown ca. 66 mm.
Weight 22 grams.

The   Lumex Zoom Pocket Microscope  from Japan, probably made around 1970, instead has two adjusting wheels, one for focusing and the other for the variable zoom between 70x und 200x. The lever on the right-hand side acts against a spring on a fork-like slide holder. Directly above this lever you will see a circular head switch actuator which enables the electrical illumination. Our impression is that the optical quality, even in the higher zoom range, is quite competitive and clearly beyond the classical loupe range. We might use it, like the Emoscop, in order to screen a micro aquarium. But, of course, no chance with a Petri dish, as there is no specimen table a all.

[ Lumex pocket microscope ]

The Lumex Zoom Pocket Microscope. Dimensions ca. 7 cm x 8 cm x 2 cm.
Weight including battery ca. 160 grams.

You note, we are accelerating. The  Cogit Loupe Microscope  belongs to those few travelling microscopes which maximise the glamour of minaturisation, fine materials, beautiful finish and ultimate gadget character. It goes without saying that you would   n e v e r   take it along to journeys or expeditions but instead will pack in away in a hidden corner of your cupboard in order to protect it against the avid eyes of other gadget lovers like Sherlock Holmes or James Bond. The Cogit is really tiny, considerably smaller than a package of smoke annoyers. It resides in a thin shelled urse made by incredibly soft leather. The focusing wheel is visible on the small side of the housing. When you are going to press the round, nickel finished button on the front side, the spring-loaded small object table will extend to working distance.

[ Cogit Lupenmikroskop ]

The Cogit full metal Loupe Microscope, made in France. Magnification ca. 30fold.
Dimensions in "sleeping" state: ca. 6 cm x 5 cm x 2 cm. This is obviously very tiny, even for a pocket instrument. Typical small series metal craftswork. Weight ca. 130 grams.

When designing the Cogit the French engineers apparently tried to reach a new high-score in mechanical  and  optical artwork. The schematic diagram below illustrates the fact that a Cogit Pocket Microscope in fact houses three (!) prisms and four (!) separate groups of optical components. Once again, you might use a Cogit in order to look at some tardigrades - in theory - but of course it will be much more reasonable to lock it away in a safe ;-)

[ Optical pathway through the Cogit Loupe Microscope ]

Delicately folded optical pathway through the Cogit Loupe Microscope. Please note that whe have a fourfold bending of the optical pathway which appears to be a world record in microscopes. Even the later and much more famous MacArthur excursion microscope is based on a twofold optical diversion with just two modest prisms.

When coming back to the grounds of real life and real outdoor conditions we have to acknowledge that it might be better to use something less delicate outdoors. The German  Eschenbach   company, situated in the city of Nuremberg, provided a broad range of tiny microscopes - with so many modifications that very few people on earth will actually have an overview of the complete model range over the decades. The company obviously sold its smaller instruments in a different product-line called  Enuro (probably an acronym for Eschenbach Nu(e)rnberg Optik). One of those Enuro instruments is shown below as a typical example. It has a nicely designed double arm stand, a fine finish and a horizontal object table. The Eschenbach Company even provided a fitted electrical illumination.

[ Typical Enuro Microscope ]

Enuro microscope with threefold objective nose.

But there is a flaw: the optical quality of the tiny objectives is well below standard RMS achromatic optics. Well, beg for a miracle and just hope for an Eschenbach microscope mutation with Enuro design  and  standard optics. And in fact, it actually exists:

[ Small Eschenbach microscope with standard optics ]

Small Eschenbach(Enuro) microscope usable with standard optics,
here a 20x objective and a 15x Okular. Single lens condenser, iris.


For further information about tiny microscopes just look in the MICSCAPE register and elsewhere in the internet for other examples of travelling and excursion microscopes. Here are some examples:

Hensoldt Tami Pocket Microscope
Nikon "Modell H" microscope
"Algensucher" type microscopes

Please do as well note Mike Dingley's excellent work on portable microscopes collected on CD "A Catalogue of Portable Microscopes"

© Text, images and video clips by  Martin Mach  (webmaster@baertierchen.de).
Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of the German language monthly magazine  Bärtierchen-Journal . Style and grammar amendments by native speakers are warmly welcomed.

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