Introduction . . .

This is a brand new blog, by a brand new blogger. However, some readers may recognize this blog's title, taken from a series of books of the same name. Unfortunately, time has a way of gradually making printed material all too quickly outdated -- especially these days -- and so, this blog was created partly as an attempt to address that issue.

As we move forward from here on-going efforts will be made to transfer selected content from the Better Microscopy books series into this new format, not only to provide to provide more effective distribution, but also as a means for making timely additions and overdue updates to that material. In addition, much previously unpublished material is now planned to be released, including high-resolution color images.

The current plan is to aim for a content mix that is both interesting and educational -- perhaps even inspiring -- and which will address the needs and interests of a wide range of user levels, from beginner to semi-professional. With more decades of Microscopy experience than I care to admit, I hope I will be able to contribute something to others in terms of both knowledge and enjoyment.

I hope you find something of interest in new undertaking as it takes shape and gain much from its content, now and well into the future!

Just beware of the occasional attempts at humor...

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, July 7, 2014

What's all the fuss about 'Infinity'?

There seems to be a good deal of confusion, uncertainty, and just plain misunderstanding when it comes to the new "Infinity-type" scopes.

On one hand, it seems that these may be merely a thinly-disguised ploy; merely "Planned Obsolescence" with a fresh coat of paint. And, perhaps, for many users this might very well be true. But, on the other hand, there are a range of new, exotic techniques now available which simply cannot be supported by the older "finite-type" instruments. However, in fairness, these new methods and their related equipment tend to be very expensive, very specialized, and of legitimate benefit to only a select few users.

Justifications aside, the only real benefit of an "Infinity-type" system is the ability to insert accessory devices into the optical path, above the objective, with a very minimal loss of image quality. In fact, it is quite possible to even "stack" a pair of such devices to achieve a compounding of techniques -- "DIC & Epi-Fluorescence" is just one fairly common example.

Now, although such capabilities may be a great boon to some researchers, what about the rest of us "common" folks who have no need for such exotic contraptions?

Just what does all this "Infinity" business mean to us . . . ?

If I had to sum this situation up in just one word, I would say the word is, "Opportunity"!

Why "opportunity" . . .

First, as with anything "new," there will be those who simply "must" have the latest and greatest. In such quests, the "old" is often mindlessly cast aside ("dumped"?) This creates an "opportunity" for the watchful to acquire formerly state-of-the-art equipment at a fraction of its only-too-recent value.

Second, the existence of "new" stuff tends to reduce demand for the older equipment types in the used market. Some buyers will switch to chasing the "new" versions instead, even at premium prices. This drop in demand is often followed by a reduction in prices, which also creates an "opportunity" for the watchful. 

Finally, there is the issue of "warehousing," where dealers and others may have amassed significant amounts of "old" equipment, usually in hopes of profitable resale. However, with the advent of replacement models, often incompatible, these vendors now face the likelihood of being "stuck" with gear for which there will be a dwindling pool of professional and institutional buyers. So, some number of these players will elect to unload "older" equipment at reduced prices -- to clear out the "old," generate some cash, and make room for the "new." Again, another potential "opportunity" for us!

So, for those of you (us?) who cruise the Internet searching for 'goodies," bide your time, decide what you really want/need, and be ready to pounce when it surfaces!

Isn't New Stuff just Great!?

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