We have been working with various systems over the years, so we have specific requirements for the configuration of the microscope. As a result, the ZEISS SteREO Discovery V.8
stereo microscope was chosen.
One of the key parameters is the widest overlapping zoom range. This is important because we analyze a very wide range of objects, even in the same painting. We start with a small 5 or 10 zoom ratio to ensure that the layers belong to the same time period, we also analyze the composition of layers and check whether there are any visible foreign inclusions. Finally, we conduct a detailed analysis of the texture and structure of the pigment, and this requires a higher zoom ratio. Sometimes we need to look inside the craquelure to determine its age and make sure that it is in harmony with lacquer coating. We also check whether the lacquer coating penetrates the craquelure, and if so, when it was applied, and so on. We use the camera mainly when it is obvious that the work of art is not genuine, and we need to illustrate and document all the facts.
It is important that the entire structure is tough enough as any vibrations can have a significant impact at high zoom ratios. And this stand is ideal for our purposes. It allows us to work with large paintings thanks to an extra arm, but at the same time it is quite tough and provides the possibility to use necessary zoom ratios. The structure is compact and provides a high degree of mobility.