Prior

Purchasing Questions

Please find below a brief list of purchasing questions that you may have. If you require additional assistance please contact Prior directly. If you are having problems working out which adaptors, stages, or controllers are suited to your system, please use the configurator.

  • Do I need an OptiScan™III or ProScan™III system?

    The ProScanTM III and OptiScanTM III  systems are both high quality, versatile systems allowing fine control and automation of various components of your microscopy set-up. Which one is best suited for your needs depends entirely on what you need your system to do. The OptiScan III represents a balance between precision and economy, whils the ProScan is far more flexible and designed for very demanding optical microscopy applications. 

    The most important difference is that the OptiScan III can only control the X, Y and Z axes - therefore, if you need to include illumination, slideloaders, or other accessories then you will need a ProScan III. The ProScan is a far more versatile system, and additionally can be upgraded as your needs develop. This is not an option if you have an OptiScan. In addition, a larger variety of stages can be controlled via the ProScan III. 

    The ProScan III also includes TTL, which is ideal if high speeds are needed in your system. It also allows greater accuracy when positioning stages - sub micron accuracy is achievable with the ProScan III system. By contrast, if speed is not important and above micron accuracy is needed, and you only wish to control the stage and focussing, the OptiScan III system may be more than sufficient for your needs. 

    If you are still unsure, please email us at uksales@prior.com to discuss your requirements further.

  • Are custom sample holders available?

    Yes, we have an extensive range of sample holders most of which are not displayed on the Price list or on this website.

    If you have a request please contact tech support and supply details of what you would like to hold and what instrument (and Prior stage) you are using.

  • Does Prior manufacture custom or OEM stages?

    Yes, We offer a service for larger quantities of stages where we will design stages for the purposes of our customers. Please see the OEM section of the website for more information on this, or contact tech support.

  • Does Prior offer custom controllers?

    Yes, a service for larger quantities of controllers where we will design controllers for the purposes of our customers is available. Please see the OEM section of the website for more information, or contact tech support.

  • Should I get 400 step or 200 step motors for my inverted stage?

    400 step motors should be coupled with a 1mm ball screw to provide an extremely accurate and smooth (under high magnification) stage movement. High precision encoders are also a good option to further improve this type of stage.

    200 step motors are best coupled with 2mm ball screws to provide a greater movement speed where the accuracy required is sufficient with the ProScan™III standard stage.

  • Should I get a 1mm or 2mm ball screw?

    1mm ball screws provide a smaller step size which provides a smoother movement, however this slows the overall movement of the stage down by half. If your requirement is for speed use a 2 or 5mm ball screw, if you require smooth and slower movement choose the 1mm ball screw.

  • When do I need an encoded focus?

    An encoded focus is required if the microscope which is being used has a focus mechanism which is not directly connected to the fine focus system, e.g., most Zeiss models. In this case a Z-encoder is recommended to provide a reliable Z-position.

    An encoded focus is required for lengthy time lapse experiments where the microscope focus can drift with temperature over time.

  • Why do we suggest an encoded focus for all Zeiss instruments?

    An encoded focus is required if the microscope which is being used has a focus mechanism which is not directly connected to the fine focus system, e.g., most Zeiss models. In this case a Z-encoder is recommended to provide a reliable Z-position.

  • Do I need a NanoScanZ Piezo Z stage system?

    The NanoScanZ is a high accuracy focus system designed for high speed fusion (z-stacking) techniques. The NanoScanZ system has up to 1nm resolution and can complete a move in 10 microseconds. Standard focus motors (with and without encoders) are capable of providing Z-stacking up to 0.5um thicknesses with good accuracy, but are somewhat slower than the NanoScanZ.

  • Are custom light sources available?

    Yes, We offer a service for larger quantities of light sources where we will design light sources for the purposes of our customers. Please see the OEM section of the website for more information on this, or contact tech support.

  • Is the Lumen compatible with Cy5 and DAPI?

    Yes, The standard Lumen 200 wavelength range is sufficient to cover both CY5 and DAPI.

  • Can I use the Lumen with Cy5.5?

    Yes, the Lumen 220 model is now available for Cy5.5.