Ogles Mesoscope

ed4

Idling
Rating - 100%
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I was able to pick one up recently at a great price from Ogles Ltd. My product shipped directly from the UK, by means of Royal Mail International Signed For handing off the package to the good ol' USPS. Door-to-door delivery took 5 business days.

If you're not familiar with this product, it's basically a fixed, high-quality magnifying scope, not quite a microscope nor a magnifying glass. It attaches to the outside surface of an aquarium by the suction disc at the far end of the scope. This allows for a steady view of a subject.

I got an opportunity to use one at the House of Fins a while back and I knew I had to get one, someday. I also knew that the $700 they were asking for it could be obtained for (waay) less elsewhere, so I held out. Recently, Ogles announced a 20% off sale for the next 15 scope sales and I jumped on it quickly. I ended up paying $399 with free shipping.

In the audiophile audio domain, with the right setup, it is said that every song (even crappy ones) enriches your senses. That analogy can be used here: looking at anything & everything in the tank with the scope is equally amazing. Copepods, micro brittle stars, the micropatterns on the skin of SPS corals, live rock surfaces and polyp extension on anything coral-related can be seen easily. There were details in everything that I never really noticed or imagined. Even new corallite growth on established corals, however tiny, can also be seen. Simply put, staring at plain sand in high detail is pretty freaking facinating in itself!

This thing could be useful at ID'ing coral pests.

The suction device is simple to use. This is created by a simple push-knob that creates a vacuum between the aquarium surface and the far end of the scope. Focus adjustments are performed by turning the body. I wish that the suction would be stronger, given the possibility of the weight and value of this thing dropping on the floor over the hours of unattendance. It does however keep the scope attached for at least 30 minutes.

It's a great buy if it doesn't break the bank.


Pros:
  • Well built
  • Seems durable
  • Crystal-clear optics
  • Foam storage case, cleaning tools and lens dust caps are included
  • Free shipping from the UK
  • Easy to focus
  • Great customer service
  • Modular - good for cleaning and replacing parts
Cons:
  • Cost makes it prohibitive to most hobbyists, except for the rich and red-hot impulsive spenders (me)
  • Suction seems to be weak - would not leave unattended
  • No camera adapter offered or planned, according to Ogles (most-major drawback)
  • Leaves rubber-oil residue on the glass. Maybe this won't be a problem with time.
  • Rubber parts of the mesoscope give off a RANK smell. This better go away with time.
 
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