I referenced your thread a lot as the ~$200k total for everything you got was quite jaw-dropping! Do you mainly do fixed imaging where the atypical lines of the cheapest LDI doesn’t matter as much? Switching 470 to 488 and 555 to 577 would have added a fair amount to the price, and the main intended use case will be fast live cell imaging of weakly expressing FPs.
The V3 does use microlenses–but as I understand it, they are solely for homogenizing the illumination. The X1’s microlenses boost excitation transmission AND reduce the amount of reflected light from the disk. I was worried that some of the stray light eventually makes it through the disk/objective to the sample, but CrestOptics says this isn’t the case. To CrestOptics’ credit, the high OD filters and variable irises (and supposedly the V3’s re-designed light path) do a good job of preventing this stray light from reaching the camera. The X1 has the benefit of the dichroic being placed between the dual disks. I didn’t fully appreciate the X1’s design until about a month ago. I just really wished that the X1 had a larger FOV.
One additional consideration in our case are FRAP capabilities–as I understand it, those units need single-mode fibers, so buying extra lasers can get quite expensive, especially if 561 is among the list. Depending on who’s sourcing the lasers (and how many you need), utilizing a galvo switcher is possible and might close the cost difference gap between the X1 and V3.
There’s a lot of extra info here, and it isn’t necessarily directed at anyone–I hope it’s helpful for future readers.