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Carson zPix Handheld USB Microscope Review

zPix™ 300 – MM-940

Ref : http://www.carson.com/microscopes/digit … sb-digital

I was asked for my appraisal of this microscope over on the Stampboards forum so I thought I would post it here too.

This is a USB handheld microscope that connects to your PC (I’m using Windows 10) or Mac and displays it’s images on your screen.

First a couple of photos so you can see what it looks like and get an idea of the size.

 

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It has four bright white LEDs to light up the subject. It can also be attached to a little stand that holds things firmly, like for viewing slides….

 

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The first thing I found was that it was much easier to move around than the other types that are a sort of stumpy cigar shape. The device is more stable and easier to handle than those.

Focus and zoom are easier to change too. The bottom ring zooms you in and the top ring focuses. There is a button on top to take a photo. Taking a photo is easier on a solid surface as pressing the button tends to push down on the microscope and mess with the focus a little – if you are using it in an album like I was. Or just press down while you are focusing and then take the shot. Or you could use the little stand if you don’t mind taking more time.

 

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You can also set the image resolution in the app that comes with it (downloaded from their site) from 160 x 120 up to 1600 x 1200. I found that the higher resolutions do slow the device down though and the image takes longer to update on the screen compared to the lower resolutions. It just tends to lag a bit. Had this been USB 3 (which I tested and it didn’t seem to be) it might have been better, but actually it’s not a huge problem. I settled on using 640 x 480 in the software to start with, these are some images taken at that resolution. The zoom for these was set at the lowest level.

You can see a great deal of detail and the image is pretty sharp – these two are chalk surfaced stamps. As you can see the associated pits really stand out. Not visible to the naked eye.

 

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This one is normal paper I think, showing fibre and no pits.

 

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The lowest zoom of the device is really quite close. These following three images show stamps taken at the lowest level of zoom too. So if you want big images of a whole stamp, or large parts of it, then you are still best to use a scanner or camera. But this is ideal for checking details, and gliding the device over stamps is easy to do – I kept mine on stock cards so that the stamp is still protected.

 

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These next three show images of stamps taken by setting the resolution (in the app) to 1600 x 1200. I have reduced the dimensions of these to fit the forum. Like I mentioned above the screen image updates slower, so for quickly examining a stamp a lower resolution might be the way to go.

 

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Colour is really quite good too and the images are clear once you focus.

Here’s one of the skin on my arm.

 

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And here’s one with the microscope zoomed in nearly full on a perforation. I found it a bit trickier to focus at this level but this could probably be improved upon with some practice.

 

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And George VI’s eye zoomed in quite full too…

 

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In summary I think this is a great little microscope and it’s well built. I paid £42 at Amazon for it and feel it was worth the cost. The image clarity is much better than the cheap cigar shaped one I had before and it is easier to use. You get clear and detailed images in a short time, so saving having to wait for a lengthy high dpi scan, but I did find it best to work at the lower end of the zoom for clarity. For whole stamp images I would use a scanner.

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New Book : Old Norfolk Post Offices

Old Norfolk Post Offices Cover
Old Norfolk Post Offices Cover

Today I am pleased to announce the launch of my new book entitled “Old Norfolk Post Offices – A Picture Postcard Tour” by Roger A. Davie.

Here’s the preface from the book and some further details…

Over the past few years I have been collecting postcards of old Norfolk post offices and also hunting around to see if they still exist. But this was not on foot or by car, this was a virtual tour as I did this using Google Earth – the ambitious and sometimes controversial mapping program we have all no doubt heard of by now. Finding each post office was an interesting pastime and I began to put a lot of this together on my website at www.thestampbook.co.uk where you can see some post offices as they were then and as they are now.

Then one day I thought it might be nice to make a little book as a companion together with a bit more information about each one and this is what you see here.

Information comes from various sources but a lot of it from reading through copies of Kelly’s Directories of Norfolk covering the early 1900s – so the town descriptions you read here are renditions of information from that time. I quote or paraphrase the introductory information as relayed in the directory. I think this gives a sense of what it was like back then in terms of travel arrangements and so on. It’s certainly eye opening to read about so many railway stations that have now been lost.

Details of who held the position of sub-postmaster or sub-postmistress in a certain year also come from Kelly’s Directory. If I have been able to find them, there then follows details taken from the various censuses, usually from 1901 or 1911.

The postcards I have selected mostly date from the early 1900s and where possible I have tried to enhance them for display. Some were very age worn, but they still give a good impression of the scene. I hope you enjoy this little trip.

Over 150 individuals identified. Over 120 postcard images. Old railway connections identified. Extra details taken from census records.

Post Office Locations Contained :

Attleborough, Aylsham, Baconsthorpe, Bacton, Banham, Barton Turf, Bawdeswell, Belton, Blofield, Bracon Ash, Brooke, Brundall, Burgh Apton, Catfield, Cawston, Cley-Next-The-Sea, Croxton, Denver, Deopham, East Dereham, East Rudham, East Runton, East Ruston, Emneth, Erpingham, Felthorpe, Frettenham, Fritton, Geldeston, Gillingham, Great Massingham, Great Plumstead, Great Yarmouth; Regent Street, Great Yarmouth; North Denes, Gresham, Gressenhall, Hales, Hanworth, Happisburgh, Hardwick, Heacham, Hempton, Hemsby, Hickling, Hilgay, Hindolveston, Honing, Horning, Hunstanton, Ingham, King’s Lynn, Lakenham, Langham, Litcham, Loddon, Ludham, Lyng, Martham, Morley St. Botolph, Mulbarton, Mundesley, Narborough, Neatishead, Newton Flotman, North Creake, North Elmham, Northrepps, Northwold, Norwich, Overstrand, Poringland, Potter Heigham, Ranworth, Reedham, Reepham, Reymerston, Rollesby, Rougham, Salhouse, Saxlingham Nethergate, Saxthorpe, Scole, Seething, Shotesham All Saints, Snettisham, South Lopham, South Walsham, Stalham, Stiffkey, Sutton, Swaffham, Swanton Abbot, Swanton Morley; Town Street, Swanton Morley; Greengate, Tasburgh, Thetford, Thorpe Abbots, Thorpe St. Andrew, Topcroft, Trimingham, Trowse Newton, Upton, Walcot, Walpole Highway, Watton; High Street, Watton; Post Office Street, Wereham, West Lynn, West Runton, West Somerton, Whissonsett, Winfarthing, Witton Bridge, Woodbastwick, Wood Dalling, Wood Norton, Worstead, Wroxham.

 

Later next week the print edition will be available on the worldwide Amazon stores and other places.

Priced at $11.99, £7.99 and €10.99 depending on location for print.

Priced at $7.99, £5.60 and €7.32 again depending on location for the Kindle version.

Thanks for taking a look !

Currently the print book is available from CreateSpace.

Update : Now available at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com in print and for Kindle.

Preview : For sample pages please Click Here…

 

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Great Yarmouth (Churchill Road), Norfolk

Great Yarmouth Old Post Office Churchill Road
Great Yarmouth Old Post Office Churchill Road
Great Yarmouth Old Post Office Churchill Road
Great Yarmouth Old Post Office Churchill Road

Great Yarmouth, often known to locals as Yarmouth, is a coastal town in Norfolk, England. It is located at the mouth of the River Yare, 20 miles (30 km) east of Norwich. It has been a seaside resort since 1760, and is the gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the North Sea. ~Wikipedia

Continue reading Great Yarmouth (Churchill Road), Norfolk

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Great Massingham, Norfolk

Great Massingham Old Post Office
Great Massingham Old Post Office

Great Massingham is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It is also notable for the number of ponds in the village – two large ones in the village centre and more in the outskirts. ~Wikipedia

Continue reading Great Massingham, Norfolk

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Geldeston, Norfolk

Geldeston Old Post Office
Geldeston Old Post Office

Geldeston is a parish and village in Norfolk. It is about 1 mile west of Gillingham and 2 miles north west of Beccles. Other nearby villages include Ellingham and Broome to the west. ~Wikipedia

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Fritton, Norfolk

Fritton Old Post Office
Fritton Old Post Office

Fritton is a village in the English county of Norfolk, situated some 9 km (5.6 mi) south-west of the town of Great Yarmouth and 11 km (6.8 mi) north-west of the Suffolk town of Lowestoft. It should not be confused with the village of the same name near Morning Thorpe in Norfolk. ~Wikipedia

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Catfield, Norfolk

Catfield Old Post Office
Catfield Old Post Office

Catfield is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is 19.7 miles (31.7 km) south-east of Cromer, 17.3 miles (27.8 km) north-east of Norwich and 136 miles (219 km) north-east of London. The village lies 2.7 miles (4.3 km) south-south-east of the nearby town of Stalham. ~Wikipedia

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Blofield, Norfolk

Blofield Old Post Office
Blofield Old Post Office

Blofield is the village and civil parish in the Broadland district of Norfolk, England. ~Wikipedia

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Bergh Apton, Norfolk

Bergh Apton Old Post Office
Bergh Apton Old Post Office

Bergh Apton is a village and civil parish in the South Norfolk district of Norfolk, England, 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Norwich just south of the A146 between Yelverton and Thurton. ~Wikipedia

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Falkland Islands Dependencies Map Flaws Part Two – Spot on King’s Cheek

Further to John Spencer’s comment here…

John kindly sent me some images of another flaw that appears on the Falkland Island Dependencies Map set of stamps.

I reproduce here the comments he sent me. Many thanks John !

Plate1 R5/1

Saunders and Harding in their Study Paper No 4 and later Goldberg gives a description for stamps in this position as: Small breaks in top frame line at either end. Defective 2nd E in WEDDELL.

However, the most prominent feature is the spot on the King’s lower right cheek/chin/around his mouth. Possibly it was assumed to be a blemish or a paper fault.

Due to the poor registration between the vignette and the duty plate the spot appears at many different places. The position however, remains constant in relation to the map.

Spot on King's Cheek flaw
Spot on King’s Cheek flaw
Spot on King's Cheek flaw
Spot on King’s Cheek flaw
Spot on King's Cheek flaw
Spot on King’s Cheek flaw
Spot on King's Cheek flaw
Spot on King’s Cheek flaw
Spot on King's Cheek flaw
Spot on King’s Cheek flaw