Top microscopes for coins reviewed – Buying guide & Comparison for 2018
Getting the best microscope for coins can be a real adventure, so maybe you’d like to consider this paragraph if you have the time. Following several weeks of research spent reading the user reviews and going through the specs of hundreds of models, we have concluded that the AmScope SE306R-P20 is the choice you ought to consider. It’s a stereo microscope that can prove a real pleasure to use as the images you’ll be glancing at will always be clear and crisp. Besides, the unit boasts both upper and lower lighting, which means that you can have a good look at your coins and even adjust the brightness. Since this product is primarily designed as a dissecting microscope, it doesn’t come with a whopping magnification range. You’ll be able to increase areas on your coins by up to eighty times. If the AmScope SE306R-P20 is out of stock, be sure to have a look at the second best choice, the Plugable USB 2.0.
This microscope can be used either at home or in the classroom, depending on your needs. The pair of 20x widefield eyepieces makes it perfect for observing anything from jewelry to rocks, stamps or biological specimens. Interchangeable objectives offer you low magnification and allow you to observe larger specimens. Two 10W halogen light sources are used to properly illuminate the specimens you are currently analyzing.
A few customers have complained that while it’s functioning, this microscope tends to heat up because of the light source.
All in all, this is a good choice if you’re looking for a rather affordable device, great for home use but not destined for professionals.
Perhaps the most affordable alternative you could find in this category, this model is useful and fun at the same time, a great choice for school students or anyone remotely interested in exploring the world. It offers up to 250x magnification, making it fit for observing intricate details. It uses a webcam to project the image onto a monitor for better viewing. A LED halo light with adjustable brightness helps you see the specimens more clearly.
There have been a few complaints that this tool is rather unprofessional, and is rather suitable for children than for adults.
This model is affordable and fun to use, and despite not being fit for professional purposes, it’s still a great teaching device for your children.
A device in the medium price-range, the Opti-Tekscope alternative uses an advanced CMOS sensor to offer the customers high-definition for the finest details to become crystal clear. You can also capture footage while examining the object by connecting a USB cable to the microscope and linking it to a nearby computer. Record the images in BMP format and use them for further research if you need to. Eight LED lights with adjustable lighting ensure that every detail is well lit.
A few customers have stated that the software is fairly underdeveloped, while others complained that it has a limited focal range.
If you want to pay an affordable price and still get the features you’re interested in, this product is definitely worth taking into consideration.
As more and more manufacturing brands start to understand that microscopes have to be tailored to the needs of users, they start improving the design of their products. With such a broad array of units available out there, any prospective buyer can end up feeling a tad baffled. That’s why we are here to help you. Check out our guide and find out more about regular or digital (USB) microscopes for coins.
One of the primary factors you ought to keep in mind is how you want your microscope to be. There are roughly two types of models you can choose from. Some are stereomicroscopes, also used in areas like education, and others are USB microscopes for coins.
Usually, dissecting microscopes that are somewhat budget-friendly don’t come with connectivity capabilities or aren’t outfitted with a camera that can enable you to transfer the images to your laptop or computer. Therefore, you’ll have to momentarily look at your coins, and in a worst case scenario, take a shot through the eyepiece.
By contrast, USB microscopes are far more convenient as they’re usually equipped with a camera. There are some full-size units that are far better than those magnifiers that you might find for less than fifty dollars.
Some of these devices can be used with batteries whereas others don’t offer you that amount of freedom in this sense. Whether they are larger or smaller, microscopes that don’t have to be plugged into an outlet all of the time are far more convenient as you’ll be able to take them out in the garden, look at flowers, or use them to visualize any tiny item.
If, on the other hand, what you intend to do is look at your coins only when you’re in the comfort of your home, be sure to choose a model that requires a power outlet all of the time as this detail is of little or no importance to you.
Coin collectors have other hobbies, as well, so you may have to ask yourself if you intend to get the most out of the microscope or just use it for this purpose. If you want to utilize it for multiple applications, be sure to choose a model with a generous magnification range. Otherwise, you can stick to those allowed by stereo microscopes and USB models.
Ease of use and customization
Aside from the design, versatility, and overall convenience offered by the device, you also have to check whether or not it’s easy to use. What this means is that you should see if the design allows you to perform some adjustments so as to customize the microscope to your tastes and needs.
One of these details you should focus on consists of the illumination system. Back in the day, microscopes used to come with a tiny mirror whose position had to be adjusted by the user in order to direct the light onto the specimen. This rule doesn’t stand any longer as most such devices come with proprietary lighting systems.
Regardless of the type of bulbs that the unit has been equipped with, you ought to check whether the intensity and brightness can be customized. You probably know that a shiny coin can reflect the light and bother your eyesight or concentration.
Our 2018 list: Find the right coin microscope for your needs
Some of the best digital microscopes for coins have been showcased below. Based on what we have gathered, these models are the highly regarded options sold these days. Give them a shot if you still haven’t made up your mind.
As an alternative that has gathered some of the best microscopes for coins reviews, showcasing this AmScope model in our selection comes naturally. This product is a stereo microscope that does precisely what it has been designed to do. It boasts both upper and lower halogen lighting, so it can be used for a variety of applications, whether they involve science or just some DIY-ing.
Something other that needs to be added in regards to this unit is that it comes with optical components made out of glass. This is the detail that appears to set it aside from many USB options as they often come with optics made out of plastic.
The maximum magnification that you’ll be able to take advantage of if you decide to go for this microscope is 80x. In short, this product is a durable, stain-resistant, and all-around good choice for an array of purposes.
This stereo microscope is convenient, easy to use, and the neat thing about it is that it does not cost a fortune.
The magnification settings allowed by this choice are 40x and 80x, and it comes with 2x and 4x objectives.
Unlike other options out there, this one has been outfitted with both lower and upper halogen lighting, which means that you will be able to see your samples clearly and without making an effort in terms of providing the necessary illumination.
Thanks to its design, this model can be utilized for a multitude of applications, whether they pertain to biology or jewelry making.
Some owners have reported that the eye guards made operation difficult, in that they had a lot of trouble seeing past them.
The lamp can get rather hot, so you need to be cautious and avoid touching it.
As we were saying in the buying guide, there are two ways of going about things if you’re in the market for a microscope that should be used for looking at coins. One of them is to get a full-size device, and the other is to choose a portable microscope such as this one. While the quality and performance of such magnifiers like this can’t even be compared to those of full-size versions, sometimes they do come in handy.
Besides, this Plugable model does offer a series of net advantages, and one of them is that it’s been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera. You can increase the image by up to 250 times, so it’s not a disappointment in terms of the magnification range, either.
Furthermore, it should be noted that this USB microscope comes with software that has been found to be compatible with Windows and Mac OS X operating systems alike.
One of the main reasons you should consider this product is that it doesn’t cost a pretty penny. It is affordable and easy to utilize.
Since this is a USB microscope, you won’t encounter any technical difficulties as the device can be operated by more or less tech-savvy individuals just as well.
The maximum magnification allowed by this alternative is 250x, which is more than enough to look at coins.
The Plugable unit has been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera that you can use to take pictures of your coins, jewelry pieces, leaves, and any other specimens.
A driver that’s compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows is included in the deal.
There have been buyers who have noted that the interface could have been better, in that it could have recorded or taken shots a bit faster.
Other consumers indicate that they would have liked it if the magnification had been stronger.
Unlike some of the other choices we have discussed earlier on, this particular model can be utilized for even more purposes. For example, due to the fact that it has been outfitted with a flexible arm, you might find it convenient to use as an endoscope or borescope. The unit boasts an illumination system consisting of eight LED bulbs of which the brightness can be customized.
Given its capability to capture stills and record video, this model is a great choice for people who are interested in shooting video of insects and nature, in general. As is the case with other units, this particular one has to be plugged into the USB port of your laptop or computer in order to be able to do its job.
Some of the people who have purchased this model say that it’s both fun and easy to use. Others say that it offers excellent results for engraving.
The product has been equipped with a 2-megapixel camera that you can utilize to take shots and record video of your samples, in case you’re not hung up on the idea that you want to use it only for coins.
The 8 LED light illumination system is adjustable, so you can set the brightness that you consider appropriate for the specimen you want to have a look at.
Because it comes with a working distance, you can utilize this device for other purposes, such as looking into the ear or nose canals of a person.
Also, the head can be moved with ease, which means that the flexible component can be bent conveniently.
Some people argue that the instructions provided in the box aren’t particularly comprehensive, which is why you might have a hard time using the device at the beginning, especially if you are a first-time user.
Much like the Plugable model showcased in the same selection, the eBoTrade unit is a convenient and portable choice that ought to be on your list if you’re looking for a user-friendly USB microscope. The neat thing about this option is that it boasts a 5-megapixel camera. The other benefit ensured by the design of the product is that you can increase the image of your specimens by up to 300 times.
In this respect, the performance of the eBoTrade is actually superior to that of many of its competitors. What’s more, it’s typically priced under seventy dollars, which means that you won’t have to spend an entire fortune to get such a compact magnifier.
As with other choices we have tackled, this particular one is accompanied by complimentary software that’s compatible with Mac OS X and Windows alike. The base stand is included in the package, so you needn’t rely on the stability of your hands all of the time.
This small-sized portable microscope doesn’t raise any technical difficulties, which is why it is easy to utilize.
The resolution of the integrated camera is what sells this device as 5 megapixels are more than enough if you want to take clear shots of coins and any other items you might want to analyze in depth.
The maximum magnification allowed by this device is 300x, so it is higher when compared to that of other models.
Software that’s compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X is part of the deal with this product.
As some owners note, this magnifier is a good choice only for people looking for a very portable microscope with a somewhat limited magnification.
Others say that the quality of the software is quite poor, but since they have not gone into detail as to why they have this opinion, this issue might be a matter of preferences and whether or not you are a patient user.
Yet another notable choice is the Crenova, which has been described in other of our selections, as well. It’s one of the most well-regarded units out there, so it might be worth considering if you are still having second thoughts about ordering a USB microscope.
The unit is accompanied by software that’s compatible with Windows and Mac OS X. All you need to do in order to utilize this device is plug it into a USB port of your laptop or computer. Next thing you know, you’re ready to go. The stand that the model comes with can be used for performing several measurements.
As it comes with a five-megapixel camera and a magnification range that goes up to 300x, you can use this device for many purposes. If you have an interest in botany and other science-related areas, be sure to give a chance to this user-friendly alternative.
Since this device has been outfitted with a 5-megapixel sensor, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to look at crystal clear images of your coins and various other items or specimens.
When it comes to ease of use and assembly, this model is a net winner as it is composed of just three parts. Therefore, you can set it up and take it apart both easily and in a timely fashion.
The software is said to be simple and appears to be compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.
What seems to set the Crenova aside from the rest of the models we’ve seen is that the driver can be used to perform measurements of the samples.
With this choice, you can magnify the image by up to 300x.
It seems that the magnification of this alternative has its limitations, in that the optical one isn’t all that great.
Microscopes are optical instruments used in a variety of domains. They are currently employed in medical sciences, lab work, veterinary medicine, as well as a plethora of other activities and fields. Some people use them for crafting handmade jewelry while others utilize such devices for looking at coins.
No microscope is identical with the next, and that’s why not all can be used for repairing electronics or PCB inspection. There are many articles out there that might showcase good microscopes for electronics repair, but the fact of the matter is that your needs should come first when scouring the market for such a model.
Why’s that? The problem with such microscopes is that few of them do a good job in settings that involve something other than vertical inspection. So, if you are looking at components from above, you can definitely use any type of such microscopes. However, if you want to look at any components at an angle, you might find it difficult to track the right model.
In fact, from the research that we have undertaken, it looks like most repair technicians are dissatisfied with the models they’ve tried in the past.
Don’t underestimate the power of USB microscopes and borescopes
One of the first mentions that we do have to make is that, as you might have figured out from the headline, not all microscopes are the same. Besides, your specific requirements need to be taken into account. What if we told you that you could do the same with a quality borescope as you would with a quality microscope?
Obviously, there are certain limitations you need to consider if you want to try out your borescope or, as some people call it, endoscope game. There are many models outfitted with multiple types of cameras, and so the magnification power differs largely from one unit to the next. But some of these gadgets are really good at what they’re supposed to do. And some higher end ones even come with their own display.
While a USB microscope cannot be compared to a stereo one when it comes to the quality of the optical components, for instance, it can still be a handy helper in some situations. Moreover, you ought to consider the fact that most USB microscopes actually have higher magnification powers compared to dissecting microscopes. Let’s face it; under some circumstances, you just want to know what’s that you’re seeing. You don’t need the quality of the image to be extremely high.
How to use a stereo microscope to repair an electronic board or any other electronic component
Most standard stereo microscopes are equipped with a boom arm that’s linked to a boom stand. With some models, you have the opportunity to use a knob to customize the position of the arm depending on your application. You can either move the arm from left to right or lower or raise it. This freedom of movement is particularly handy and believe it or not, you’re going to use it many times.
Adjusting the focus on a dissecting microscope is very easy, and that’s because you can move the arm lower or higher to make sure that you get it in the right position. Some models come with extra lens eyepieces with variable magnification powers.
While they do tend to cost a pretty penny when compared to their USB counterparts, dissecting microscopes are far better for electronics repair. Trinocular models will enable you to connect a high-quality camera so that you can see everything on the display of your computer or laptop. For this kind of unit, you don’t even have to focus on a feature like customizable interpupillary distance.
It stands to reason that the camera software can differ largely from one model to the next. With some products, you have the freedom to freeze the image, take a shot, and then move on to other components of the electronic board so as to check for other damages that you have to repair. This particular feature comes in handy when you have to prepare a scientific paper or when you film videos or tutorials for your students.
One of the things that most people fail to understand when it comes to stereo microscopes is why they have such a limited magnification power. The fact of the matter is that electronic boards or other electronic components aren’t as small as bacteria, cells, or tissue samples.
In most cases, you’ll find that the optical components boasted by a quality dissecting microscope are actually better compared to those with which a compound unit has been equipped. Furthermore, such a product will enable repair technicians to do their job properly by allowing them to move the arm in accordance with their momentary needs. Needless to say, this feature doesn’t show up in most compound alternatives.
Understanding the difference between a dissecting and a stereo microscope
On most websites and other online resources, you’ll find that both dissecting and stereo microscopes are treated like the same optical instrument. The fact is that they do tend to differ. There isn’t an exact distinction between these two, as even a dissecting alternative enables the user to benefit from certain freedom of movement.
However, when it comes to the design, a dissecting unit will likely resemble a compound one, which basically means that you won’t have a boom arm whose position you can modify. In addition to that, a dissecting microscope usually comes with too much magnification, which renders it useless for some electronics repair situations.
The point that we are trying to make is that it is a better idea to get a stereo microscope if repairing electronics is the purpose you want to use it for. A magnification of 0.5 to 3x is perfect, but just make sure that the unit is fitted with a ring light with variable controls.
If you’ve reached this article, chances are that you’ve heard about the possibility of using your camera with your microscope. The process of attaching a camera to an awesome microscope for coins is often used by those that want to take pictures of the details on a coin. However, the process is regularly used by the scientists and researchers that want to easily take photographic pieces of evidence of the samples that they are examining. Nowadays, the process of capturing images by using a microscope goes by the name of photomicrography.
The first unit that allowed the combination of a microscope with a camera was the Olympus OM 35 mm SLR system that was developed in 1972 by a well-known designer named Yoshihisa Maitani. Although the Olympus OM system is now outdated, it is still seen as the first step in the development of the adaptor-based technology that we use today.
At the current time, in order to attach a camera to a microscope, one needs a lens adapter, a camera body, a camera adapter, a photo and a finder eyepiece as well as a trinocular head. According to the specialists, the finder eyepiece is optional.
The camera body
To be able to take photos of a sample by using a camera, one must connect the body of the camera through the lens adapter to the camera adapter. Moreover, due to the fact that the photo eyepiece is constructed in such a manner that it projects a given image in a sensor, one should not place an additional lens on the camera.
According to previous users of this system, the vibration caused by the mirror of the camera and the shutter can sometimes pose a problem when shooting photos. In order to avoid this, it might be best that one uses long exposure times, an electronic flash or a stand that places the camera above the microscope so that it doesn’t make direct contact with it.
Moreover, if you own an EOS camera, it most certainly comes with software that enables you to control it by using a USB connection. Therefore, in this case, you’ll be able to verify the image’s composition and/or focus on your PC or laptop. Consequently, the resulting images will be of great quality.
The lens adapters and camera adapters
These adapters are used for joining the body of the camera to the adapter of the camera. By doing so, one can make sure that the digital sensor and the film in the camera are both placed in the same spot. For cameras with EOS bodies, there are three different adapters that one can use AF confirm, no chip and EMF chip adapters.
Each of the before mentioned models comes with separate features that you should have in mind before ordering them.
However, each type of camera has to be connected to a different adapter. In order to find out what is the right adapter for your camera, we suggest that you go online and do some research on this subject. Also, if you want a 100% correct answer, you can always ask the unit’s manufacturer about this type of technical details.
Similarly to the situation of lens adapters, camera adapters also differ from one unit to another. So, our advice to you is that you go online and you order an adapter that fits your camera. In case you have difficulties finding one, you can always ask other cameras and microscopes enthusiasts for help. As a plus, the sellers of optical devices might also be of great help.
Photo eyepieces and the finder eyepiece
The photo eyepiece is utilized as a way of propelling the image created by the objective onto the sensor that the body of the camera includes. However, this process is possible thanks to additional photo eyepieces that are placed in the trinocular head’s circular dovetail. Once again, not all cameras can be used with the same eyepiece. So, do the research before you order one.
As we’ve mentioned before, the finder eyepieces are not considered a must when mounting a camera on the microscope. However, these eyepieces are particularly handy as they allow you to see what the camera’s view is, without having to look through the camera or at the screen of the computer.
Last but not least, we have to tackle the subject of trinocular heads. According to the specialists, these heads have both a pair of binocular viewing tubes as well as a vertical one for your camera. This last viewing tube cannot be adjusted, but it does have a slot where you can install a finder eyepiece.
Using a camera in order to take pictures of the samples that you are studying under the microscope makes use of a type of technology that many invest in today thanks to its utility. For instance, some of the new microscopes for electronics repairmodels are built using this technology.
So, our advice to you is that you don’t waste any more time. Take your microscope and your camera and by the additional pieces to put them together and start enjoying observing life and nature in detail.
Even more so, you can use this combination and explore your photographic skills and then, later on, share the results of your hobby with your friends and loved ones.
Because we know just how trick understanding how microscopes work can be, we have composed an easy to read guide that helps one understand what the parts of a microscope are.
Before anything, you should know that the classic compound microscope has two distinct lenses that ensure that its user is supplied with enough magnification. Therefore, each owner of a device of this type should know that the unit that he/she uses has an ocular lens (the eyepiece one) and an objective lens that is situated close to the sample that is being examined.
This is true for all types of compound microscopes. So, whether you own a microscope for veterinary use or one for coins, these specifications still apply to your unit.
Let’s get familiar with the basics
First things first, it might be useful that you know that the piece that you look through when analyzing a sample is called an eyepiece lens. Most models come provided with two lenses, one for the right eye and one for the left. These lenses usually have a magnification ratio between 10x and 15x. Moreover, the unit’s eyepiece lenses are connected to its objective lenses via a tube.
Additionally, all microscopes come provided with an arm that supplies the needed support for the before mentioned tube. As a plus, this arm has the task of connecting this tube to the base of the device. What is more, each model includes an illuminator also known as a light source. However, older models include a mirror that reflects the light provided by an external source.
The stage is another important part of a device of this type that you should get familiarized with. The stage is the name of the platform where you lay your slides that contain the samples that you want to examine. A microscope’s stage has to be flat, and it usually comes equipped with some clips that you can use to set the slides in the required position.
It is important that you know that newer, more developed units have electrical stages. These advanced models are often designed with two knobs that the user uses to move the stage to the right or the left as well as up and down.
The turret or the moving nosepiece is another part of your microscope that you should know. This part was designed so that it keeps the objective lenses secure. Furthermore, the turret is quite practical because it can be moved in order to modify the power of the lenses.
No matter if you own an outstanding trinocular microscope or a traditional unit, all the devices from this line of products have objective lenses. Depending on the model, a microscope can have between 3 and four lenses that have four different ranges of power that go from 4x, to 10x, 40x and even 100x.
Another important adjustment that is said to decide just how small is the distance between the slide and the objective lens is the rack stop. This part is usually pre-installed by the manufacturer, and it is highly appreciated due to the fact that it can keep one from breaking the unit’s objective lenses by bringing them too close to the slide.
The condenser lens is responsible for focusing the light for you to get a clear, bright view of your sample. When settling for a condenser light, it is best that you purchase the unit with the highest power, usually more than 400x. The main advantage of these lenses is the fact that they supply the buyer with sharp images that units that don’t have them are incapable of delivering.
Last but not least, we believe that it is essential that we mention the importance of a microscope’s iris. Also known as a diaphragm, the iris is the disk that rotates under the stage of the unit. Its purpose is to modify the intensity of the light delivered to the slide. By doing so, the iris can provide you with just the needed light intensity so that you can thoroughly examine your samples without feeling hindered by the lack of illumination.
What are the must-have features in a new microscope?
Settling for a feature-packed unit is a task that many science enthusiasts find rather exhausting. However, if you want to end up with a unit that can offer you crisp and bright images, it is best that you only purchase a model that is made from metal and that has all optical elements made out of glass. This way you can rest assured knowing that the unit will do its job in the long run.
Moreover, whenever you are in the market for such a product, it is recommendable that you only purchase a model from a source that you know that you can trust. Therefore, it might be best to avoid sketchy stores where they do offer no warranty agreements.
Additionally, stay away from second-hand units. If you aren’t an expert when it comes to microscopes, chances are that you won’t be able to assess a model’s condition prior to buying it correctly.
Last but not least, the specialists advise against buying a model that has priory been used in a school or learning institution. The main reason for this has to do with the fact that these units are usually poorly maintained, overused and abused.
Microscopes for amateurs – Buying Guide & Comparison
Is time of the essence but you still want to know what the best microscope for amateurs is? If that’s so, we believe this paragraph can help you. According to our research, the AmScope SE-400Z is the model that you should keep in mind as it comes with most of the features you might require from a good-quality dissecting microscope. Its 10x and 20x magnification powers will allow you to utilize it for a good deal of applications. The fact that it comes with a boom arm stand and has been outfitted with LED lighting are two other benefits that are worth mentioning. Should you find that the AmScope SE-400Z is no longer in stock, we suggest considering the My First Lab MFL-06.
This amateur microscope comes with two magnification options, 10x and 20x. As its design allows, the unit can be used for the observation and examination of larger items. You can use it when trying to repair circuit boards or work on dental pieces. The boom arm allows you to adjust the distance between the microscope and the item that is being examined up to 12 inches. The LED bulb installed on the gooseneck offers proper illumination.
The stand is bulky, but not stable, as some users say in their comments.
Ideal for amateurs who want to work on their small projects without having to spend a fortune.
Any novice will appreciate the number of extras offered by the seller with the microscope. All you need for running your experiments at home is included in this kit, starting with four slides, and ending with the forceps and the test tube. You can pick from three magnification options, 40x, 100x, and 400x, so this unit is quite versatile. The monocular construction is helpful when utilized by kids, as a compound model would not be as easy to use.
The highest setting does not work with illumination, as noticed by one reviewer.
Versatile and straightforward, it is an easy-to-use microscope with some extra features.
This model is portable, which is a great plus, compared to any other models on the market. While it works with replaceable batteries, it can be powered from an electric outlet, so there is no restriction to how you want to use it. Setting the brightness for the LED light is easy to do, as there is a rheostat present that allows this. You can rotate the monocular head so that you can explain the findings to a young pupil. The magnification can be adjusted if need be.
The shallow depth of field can be an issue when you want to increase the magnification.
Portable and versatile, this model is a good option for homeschooling or school projects.
Are you in the market for the best beginner microscope kit that you can use now and again? If you don’t plan on becoming an expert microscope user, perhaps we might help you select the right device for your expertise and skills. After having gone through dozens of articles about these optical instruments, we have come up with a straightforward buyer’s guide. Check it out below.
Consider your applications
Given that not all microscopes are made the same, they speak to the needs of various users. While some might be interested in looking at plants, coins, stamps, and a variety of other things that don’t involve biological samples, others might want to purchase their microscope specifically for this last purpose.
The kind of application you have in mind has a lot to do with usability and the design of the device you will be spending your cents on. If you’re a collector, want to repair watches, or wish to make handmade jewelry, what you need is a stereo microscope, also known as a dissecting microscope.
If you’re a student or want to become a biologist or just have a keen interest in very very small things like tissue and cells, you need a standard compound microscope.
Decide on the magnification you need
The magnification of most dissecting models can be 10x, 20x, and in very fortunate cases, can go up to 90x. By contrast, the magnification range of some compound models can allow you to increase the size of the specimen by 40 to 1,000 times or even 2,500 times, if you’re particularly lucky and can afford such a device.
If you’re getting the device for SMD soldering, electronics repair, jewelry making, and any other such application, you don’t need a too high magnification. This rule does not apply in the case of biological samples, however. Some prospective buyers might ask themselves what’s a good microscope for a student. The answer would be one that boasts a magnification range of 40x to 1000x.
Will you need extras?
The best microscope for beginners should come with some accessories that could make a complete rookie’s life a whole lot easier. If you’re getting the model primarily for kids, you need to ensure that the set also contains a simple booklet with several instructions on using the device.
The package should also contain several blank slides, some oil, colors, tweezers, and anything else a little one might require to get started. Of course, all of these accessories wouldn’t hurt even if you’re an adult who wants to learn how to use a microscope.
Decide between a magnifier and a microscope
While there are some models available for sale these days that have gathered the best amateur microscope reviews, they might not even look like a traditional microscope. These are wireless or USB magnifiers that can be used with another mobile device or a laptop or computer.
Such products are compact, easy to utilize, and versatile, but they do not come with the same quality construction components that you’d find in a compound microscope. There are some limitations to magnifiers because usually, their maximum magnification capabilities go up to 250x and in very rare cases, 500x.
While they are cheaper and somehow, limited when compared to their full-size counterparts, magnifiers are quite usable and do prove their worth under certain circumstances such as those involving the use of a portable microscope.
Top rated amateur microscopes reviews in 2018
If you haven’t made up your mind just yet, we’re here to give you a hand in selecting the right product. We’ve created a short list of some of the critically acclaimed choices out there. Based on what we have found about these options, they are perfectly capable of doing what they’re supposed to.
As we were noting in the buyer’s guide, sometimes a good-quality dissecting microscope is all you might need. The SE400-Z is just that, what with it having been designed by one of the top manufacturers in the industry. The model is a binocular alternative that comes with 10x and 20x magnifications.
The SE400-Z should, therefore, utilized to analyze the structure and detail of larger objects. Because of the working distance allowed by its design, this particular unit can also be employed for repairing larger items, such as dental pieces and circuit boards.
Despite the fact that it is not the most budget-friendly model that we have stumbled upon, the SE400-Z seems to offer good value for the money. Most of those who have bought it praise its features. Some say that they’ve used it for SMD soldering while others have made their own jewelry with its help. In short, it might be worth your consideration.
The versatility of this choice cannot be denied as it can be used for a broad array of applications involving larger items such as electronics components, circuit boards, and even dental pieces.
The vertical working distance of this model is 9” and the boom arm allows owners to benefit from a working distance of 12”.
The product comes with a built-in 1W LED bulb that has been installed on the adjustable gooseneck.
Whether you’re getting this unit for scientific purposes or your hobby, the fact is that you’re likely to be impressed with the quality of the optics that have been used in its construction.
Since this is a stereomicroscope, the maximum magnification you will be able to use is 20x. Some people might have something against this detail, but they’re probably looking for a compound microscope instead.
There are several good reasons to consider the MFL-06. One of them is the fact that it is significantly more affordable when compared to many of its competitors nowadays. The other is that it is remarkably easy to utilize especially as it is a monocular microscope. Why’s this detail important?
Kids and adolescents who aren’t all grown up have eyes that are close set compared to adults. This might make it difficult for them to work with binocular optical instruments. Nonetheless, this issue is nonexistent as the design of the MFL-06 makes it possible for everyone to utilize it efficiently and comfortably.
The three magnification powers made available by this choice are 40x, 100x, and 400x. In this respect, it is quite versatile as it can be utilized to look at a broad array of specimens. It might not make the perfect choice if you’re looking for a model particularly designed for highly scientific applications.
This kit comes with 50 extras that include four prepared slides, cover slips, a plastic dropper, forceps, a test tube, a Petri dish, a pack of lens paper, a teasing needle, as well as others.
The magnification capabilities of this choice are 40x, 100x, and 400x, which means that it is suited for many purposes.
Since it is a monocular microscope, it speaks to the needs of both adults and children as the latter have close set eyes and would find it difficult to work with a compound model.
The neat thing about the My First Lab MFL-06 is that it does not cost a fortune, which makes it stand out from the crowd as many other microscopes are anything but budget-friendly.
The maximum magnification of this alternative means that you won’t be able to see bacteria and germs, which would require a magnification of at least 1000x.
Should you be in the market for a portable microscope, this model ought to be one of the first you should consider. On the one hand, it boasts a magnification range of 40x to 1000x, so it’s entirely capable of doing a variety of jobs. It can even be great for outdoor explorations or adventures and can prove its worth even more so in situations such as medical examiners and veterinarians working in the field.
This cordless device can be used with standard AA batteries or while it is plugged into a power outlet. The model has been outfitted with an illumination system consisting of a LED with a rheostat, which means that you can set the brightness of the light depending on your momentary preferences.
The product can also be utilized for educational purposes given that its monocular head can be rotated. So, if you’re a teacher and you’ve set the image perfectly, you can rotate the head and show it to a student.
One of the core advantages ensured by this product is that it works both with AA batteries and a typical power outlet. This detail makes it portable and convenient.
The 40x to 1000x magnification range is another benefit that should be given some thought to as it increases the versatility allowed by the product.
Since this model is a monocular, it is destined for both adults and youth.
The unit comes with upper and lower LED illumination of which the intensity can be set by the user.
The rotatable head is another detail to take into account given that it makes this product suitable for educational purposes.
There have been a few owners who have complained about the fact that this product does not come with an instruction manual, and so it’s practically impossible for an utter beginner to understand how he or she is supposed to use it.
In some respects, this choice somehow resembles the My First Lab MFL-06 we’ve also mentioned in this selection. It’s more affordable that many of the other models we have come across, and comes with a series of accessories that increase its value. However, the similarities end here as the product comes with a magnification range of 40x to 1000x whereas the MFL-06 would offer just three settings, 40x, 100x, and 400x.
Something else that has to be added in regard to this product is that it comes with a dual illumination system so it lights the specimen both from above and from beneath. Also, the product works with batteries and can also be plugged into a wall outlet, should you be at home or at the office.
In a nutshell, this reasonably priced microscope makes a portable alternative that ought to be borne in mind if you are unwilling to spend a fortune on such a device. Besides, if your skills of using such a device are still limited, it’s only natural to get a good budget-friendly option so as to avoid breaking an expensive one.
This unit costs a lot less than other products in the same line, despite the fact that it comes with a magnification range of 40x to 1000x.
The dual illumination system is an advantage in itself as you will be able to analyze the samples properly and comfortably.
The kit also contains a number of slides.
If you are interested in employing the device for educational purposes, you might want to be aware of the fact that it has been outfitted with a metal frame so as to increase its durability.
Several owners report that the focus might be a bit better. However, this isn’t a drawback as it gets the job done for most amateurs.
If your finances aren’t a limitation, perhaps you should take the time to throw an eye on the specs of the B120C. It’s one of the most cutting-edge devices in the line, especially as its magnification range is 40x to 2500x. So it is more than suitable for most scientific applications. Whether you plan to look at tissues, cells, and even a broad array of microorganisms, you can conveniently do so with the help of the B120C.
The model comes with a LED illumination, so that’s an advantage that needs to be emphasized, as well. Other interesting details include an Abbe condenser and a double-layer mechanical stage.
Is the product far less affordable compared to others? That it is. Is it worth every penny? It certainly appears to be so, at least judging by the feedback that it has received over time. It all boils down to your expectations and how much you are willing to spend on a new microscope.
This unit comes with as many as six widefield magnification settings; 40x, 100x, 250x, 400x, 1000x, and 2500x.
Both coarse and fine focusing is available with this alternative given that it has been outfitted with knobs that can increase the user’s efficiency in this sense.
The model comes with a LED illumination system that’s capable of delivering enough light onto the specimen so that it can be properly examined.
The enamel-coated cast-steel body that this unit has been equipped with is both a winner in terms of durability and appearance, as it has been found to be stain-resistant.
It’s not nearly as reasonably priced as some other products in this category, which might put off some prospective buyers.
The image is harder to focus if the slides are thicker than the usual.