Microscopic View
Bunton Instrument Company
12610 Jesse Smith Road
Mt. Airy, Maryland 21771
Phone: 301-831-3434
Fax: 301-831-3424

General Information
Microscopy Instruction
New & Used Microscopes
Microscope Service & Repair
Computer Controlled Microscopy
Microscope Accessories

E-mail Bunton

Microscopic View


The insect photo you see on the above was captured in multiple focal planes and then combined into a single image with every single detail in focus! Z-stacking of images is a snap with the right software and we have everything you need to perform this process. Today we can do things with digital that would be difficult, expensive or impossible using film technology.

James G. Averill

James G. Averill,






Bunton Instrument Company, Inc. is located in Maryland. We are now in our 56th year of continuous operation here in the Mid- Atlantic region. The company was founded in 1957 by Paul Bunton who was this area’s first authorized dealer for E. Leitz GmbH in Germany. Mr. Bunton was joined by my father, James F. Averill, in 1960 and the company rapidly became one of the largest Leitz dealers in the USA. E. Leitz no longer exists as a company. Leica Microsystems is the name of the former company that was owned at one time by Wild Herrbrugg in Switzerland. Leica Microsystems is now owned by Danaher here in the Washington, DC area. We specialize in reconditioned Leitz microscopes from the 1960’s through 1980’s and early 1990’s. Bunton is also very interested in the latest digital technology for microscopy as well as leading edge upgrades to lighting (LED) to keep legacy instruments in the lab and not in the landfills. We have specialists on our team who are experts in servicing these older microscopes to keep them fully functional for many decades to come. Bunton Instrument is no longer a local microscope dealership. We sell reconditioned Leitz microscopes all over the United States and advise customers on the best digital imaging solution to meet their needs and budget. Classic optical and mechanical performance is now linked to the latest digital imagers, computers and LED lighting!

Many think that the modern microscope is a consumable item that has a short lifetime and must be replaced every so often. This is unfortunate thinking. A well made microscope that is properly maintained (more than external cleaning!) will last for decades. A legacy microscope with LED lighting, digital camera and good mechanics and optics will perform just as well, if not better, than current microscopes costing many thousands of dollars more. If you appreciate good German craftsmanship and optical performance, we are the right company to talk to for your optical and digital microscopy requirements. We can save you a lot of money and provide you with a reconditioned microscope to meet your needs for many years to come. We will tell you things about digital imaging equipment that the microscope makers do not want you to know about. We can tell you about a line of USA-made microscopes (www.infinity-usa.com) that will out-perform conventional microscopes for less money. We will tell you about LED lighting (for conventional and fluorescence microscopy) that is very unique and actually more efficient than older halogen and mercury are lamps.

We stock over 100 reconditioned microscopes and more than 85% of these are made by the former firm E. Leitz in Wetzlar, Germany. All previously-owned microscopes are subject to prior sale and the purchasing window must be fairly short (within two weeks from quote to Purchase Order/Payment) in order for us to have time to do final inspection and shipment. All used Bunton microscopes will have our own one year warranty. We accept government or school purchase orders. All hospital, corporate and personal purchases require payment in advance by check, money order or the usual credit cards.

Visit our YouTube channel: TheMICROBG

This channel has demonstrations of many of our products and offers some good information on digital imaging, microscopy applications and lighting methods for microscopy.

New LED Products for Fluorescence Microscopy


The mercury arc lamp’s days are numbered. Today the LED offers affordable, efficient and “green” illumination for fluorescence studies. Typical LED lifetimes will equal that of 150 to 250 mercury arc lamps at $200 a pop. Do the math. We sell the products from Fraen in Italy and Volpi USA. The photos below illustrate the latest products for incident light LED microscopy. They are for the use only on infinity corrected, upright design microscopes.

Bunton has developed special versions of the LED illuminators with an optical front end that make them ideal for special applications calling for unique features. Compact size, RETROFLUOR and RETROFLED are the macro/microscopes we have developed. Both products utilize a USA-made optical front end that permits internal fine focusing of any infinity corrected objective lens … or special macro front lenses with long free working distance and low magnification (widefield of view). These modules are easily mounted to support stands that meet your exact requirements and within your budget limits. Connect a digital camera of choice (including DSLR or MILC) … specify a manual or motorized sample stage, go from low magnifications to high magnifications by simply changing the front objective lens … including water immersion intravital objectives.

We have a YouTube channel: tune in to “TheMICROBG” and stay tuned for future demo clips and new product launches.


Biological fluorescence
Phase and differential interference contrast (DIC)
Darkfield and Rheinberg illumination
LED retro-fit for older models
Hoffman modulation contrast
Polarized light
Quantitative interferometry
Pathology routine and advanced
Forensic hair and fiber comparisons
Semiconductor inspection
Metallurgical and materials science
Dual head training and consultation
Camera lucida (drawing)
Biological inverted microscopes
Student microscopes
Digital camera connectivity



The modern DSLR camera has become fully embedded in the microscopy world. Film cameras are ancient history and Bunton has been busy helping microscopists around the USA to get their instruments ready for use with these high MP imagers. We have adapted many of the older 35mm film camera optical modules to receive a DSLR.

The USA-made TS160 from Infinity Optical in Boulder, CO is an excellent alternative to putting a camera on a stereo microscope. Visit: www.infinity-usa.com and view demo on YouTube. Modern electronic macro flash heads and features such as “live view” make the DSLR the perfect choice for first-class image capture. We call these DSLRs “large format” in that their sensors are now equal in size to a piece of 35mm film (24x36mm…”full frame”). “small format” cameras started out in machine vision but have become popular for those who want superior low light sensitivity (Peltier cooling) or software for image analysis. Z-stacking is popular. Visit www.heliconfocus.com for details on a very economical solution for use with your DSLR. Free trial period. The photo shows the latest TS160 mounted on a stereo microscope support stand with a macro-flash lighting rig. Please go to our “DIGITAL AND VIDEO MICROSCOPY” chapter for some sample images shot with this rig…I think you will be impressed.

HD 1080P CAMERA OFFERINGS… Many DSLRs come with full motion 720/1080p recording capabilities in addition to high resolution still imaging. You simply plug the camera into the HDMI port of a modern displayer and you are doing HD. Some folks would rather have a dedicated camera on their microscope for HD imaging (2K or 2MP performance 1920x1080 on widescreen 16:9 displayers). Versions are offered with crossline generators or eight variable reference lines. The newest SmartCam HD camera includes on-screen menu selections with a mouse for realtime measurements. All of our HD cameras include a standard SD card slot for snapshots or video clips.

We offer one model that can be used as stand-alone direct plug-in with a PC/Mac with HDMI input. Most HD cameras are “stand-alone” and there is no computer in the loop. You set the camera on-screen and tethered “cable release” is included for photomicroscopy. All you need to provide is a standard/M HDMI cable and suitable 16:9 displayer with HDMI input. PRICES START AT $1,250.00.

HIGH PERFORMANCE CCD SMALL FORMAT CAMERAS… we now offer high end CCD cameras with 2/3” sensors (11mm diagonal) that may be used with either Windows or Mac operating systems. All include measurement function and the ability to z-stack images. Peltier-cooled versions are available in monochrome (i.e. no color Bayer filter) or “color” (with Bayer filter). All use the same Sony CCD sensors found in other makes for thousands ($$) more. Keep in mind that microscope makers do not make their own digital cameras… they are made for them by others and sold at very high prices. A 5MP color CCD camera is $1,600.00. Peltier cooled monochrome cameras start at $2,800.00…same price for the color version. Look at the prices of such a camera (1.4MP) from the major microscope makers. The newest 2.8MP Peltier cooled monochrome camera (Sony ICX674ALG) sells for $4,500.00…..most camera makers have not even started to use this sensor. It is superior to the older Sony CCD still used today. All cameras are USB2 connected to the PC….some makers are still using Firewire 1394a!


Now that we have HD cameras capable of 2MP performance (1920x1080) running at 60fps (real-time), we can tell you about a USA company called RMT. Visit www.rmtcentral.com and learn more about a system for your microscope that uses a safe and secure cloud service and permits realtime discussions using a standard web browser. The camera is mounted on any microscope for any application and on-line consultations and discussions can take place at any time with those you invite to the session. Think Skype but with superior imaging detail and secure (HIPAA compliant for medical apps) communication with two or more individual connections. The system involves a “hub” microscope with camera and invited “spokes” who will see the HD display at their end and have constant voice and on-screen annotation capabilities. Set up your own network of viewers and participants. PC or MAC use. Don Marchon, CEO of RMT, is seen on our You Tube channel (The MICROBG) during a presentation of system in action. This system can be useful for medical/pathology consults, industrial quality control and for education of students at remote locations…..any place, any time, anywhere!


Visit: www.viewsiq.com and take a look at this interesting system. It is a high resolution camera (Gig-E) connected to a Windows o/s with proprietary software that allows the microscopist to move the sample and do seamless stitching at high magnifications (high n.a. for the best detail and resolution) to create a beautiful “virtual slide” that can be archived, transmitted or presented in real-time via the internet as you make the scan. A typical tissue slide (12mm x12mm) takes less than three minutes for the typical scan routine. The scanning is manual and the user has the ability to move over the sample for quick focus adjustment and updates. Yes, much slower than a slide scanner but a fraction of the pricetag! This Panoptiq system has educational, industrial and clinical-medical applications. Demos on the website noted above. Panoptiq is a turnkey system that includes camera, software and computer hardware. All you need is the microscope and c-mount coupler (0.60x) for the 2/3” color CCD camera that is included.

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