You'll want this

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
I bought this microscope and got it just today. It cost me $40 on Amazon, and it is already worth every penny. Literally the first picture I took on the thing was sexing a 1.5" B. smithi, and it took about 45 seconds to get a confirmed sex. A handheld jeweler's microscope is around $10 - just make the plunge to this.

Now, it's not for photographers. Colors are very muted and it's only 1280x720 resolution. But it's absolutely perfect for sexing small slings and just getting a good look at things. Look at some of these pictures, this thing's amazing.

Human hair
2017-04-18-20-17-54.jpg

Hair follicle
2017-04-18-20-20-34.jpg

Dried sea sponge
2017-04-18-20-22-44.jpg

Cleaver (new)
2017-04-18-20-30-04.jpg

Tropical white springtail
2017-04-18-20-57-48.jpg

A few shots of an adult male dubia roach
2017-04-18-22-04-03.jpg ----- 2017-04-18-22-08-13.jpg ----- 2017-04-18-22-04-33.jpg ------ 2017-04-18-22-05-15.jpg

B. smithi sexing, 1.5"
2017-04-18-12-05-50.jpg
 

ledzeppelin

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
434
How close to the object must you be? Because those lenses for phone cameras require that you literally press them down to the molt almost.. This results in constantly shriveling of the molt and subsequently annoyance :)
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
How close to the object must you be? Because those lenses for phone cameras require that you literally press them down to the molt almost.. This results in constantly shriveling of the molt and subsequently annoyance :)
If you want the full 200x magnification, then yeah, the lense has to be pretty much touching the object. But I took that sexing picture at about 0.5" away from the exuvia.
 

volcanopele

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
Messages
74
very cool! Though my issue with sexing isn't so much whether I can see the relevant parts, but actually unfolding such tiny abdomens. The best I've been able to manage was a 2.25" LP molt. not sure how you are able to unfold the smaller sheds. I've been using ball point pins that seems to work as long as I am very slow and careful.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
very cool! Though my issue with sexing isn't so much whether I can see the relevant parts, but actually unfolding such tiny abdomens. The best I've been able to manage was a 2.25" LP molt. not sure how you are able to unfold the smaller sheds. I've been using ball point pins that seems to work as long as I am very slow and careful.
I use two pairs of needle tipped tweezers and a dulled safety pin. The trick is that you should never actually grab anything on the exuvia, only unfold. Hence the dulled needle. Another user on here suggested getting raw wire and folding it, which is a great idea. I got one of those wire twist ties you get with bread, tore off the coating, and folded it once. Absolutely perfect shape and size.

It also goes without saying that you need to give the exuvia a 30 second bath in warm soapy water to loosen it up. Unless you got the exuvia within an hour of the spider molting, that step isn't optional.
 

Lunitar

Arachnoslacker
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
10
It is a very handy tool. I have one similar that I keep in my office for pcb soldering and bearing analysis.
 

Haemus

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
128
Cool find. A bit more expensive for us north of the border, but it records in video and gets some positive reviews, so I'm sold :)

@volcanopele I'm dealing with the same issue as well. Do you light the exuvia from the bottom? I've found that doing so helps being able to see wrinkles and folds I didn't know were even there.
 

Magenta

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
Messages
55
OOOOOOOHH! I might have to get one of these. I'm actually really excited about all the things I could look at under the microscope.:p

Thanks for sharing this!:)
 

DrowsyLids

Arachnosquire
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
95
I drove to three stores the other day looking for a cheap microscope and didn't find one. I'm kicking myself for not thinking about ordering one online :banghead:
Thanks for the link though
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
Very cool man. The USB one I got wont hook to my phone though so I'm kinda jealous.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
Very cool man. The USB one I got wont hook to my phone though so I'm kinda jealous.
I played with it a bit more last night. This scope has a slide that allows you to adjust the intensity of the light beam, which would be nice... if it didn't simply refocus and saturate depending on light. It makes the slide useless. Well, you can't turn off this feature on the phone, but you can turn it off on the computer. For that reason alone, I'll be using it on my computer from now on. On the computer, you can also do some neat stuff like adjust contrast, brightness, and even crop all within the program. Nothing I can't just do in Photoshop, but it's nice to have for quick and dirty shots.

I'm going to try and build a small light table with some frosted glass I have lying around. Much better for sexing, which is why I bought this in the first place. Just going to pick up a cheap LED and slide switch at RadioShack and mount the glass to a wooden frame.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
I'm going to try and build a small light table with some frosted glass I have lying around. Much better for sexing, which is why I bought this in the first place. Just going to pick up a cheap LED and slide switch at RadioShack and mount the glass to a wooden frame.
Nice, I'm currently using an upside down 16oz deli cup I cover in a wet white paper towel to defuse the light. I use a 2 LED head lamp inside it as the light source.

I have only been using the camera because the images are higher resolution but for smaller molts I maybe able to get more precise/better focus with the microscope.

Let me know how your table works out.
 

Haemus

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
128
I'm going to try and build a small light table with some frosted glass I have lying around. Much better for sexing, which is why I bought this in the first place. Just going to pick up a cheap LED and slide switch at RadioShack and mount the glass to a wooden frame.
When I was sexing my molt last week I was thinking of upgrading my setup as well. I just picked up one of these for photography purposes but I'm thinking it may work for sexing too:
https://www.amazon.ca/M-Way-Brightn...r=8-1&keywords=M.Way+A4+LED+Tracing+Light+Box
 
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