Top Portable Microscope Reviews

 

Firefly GT800 Handheld USB Digital Microscope Review

 

 

Main technical features

 

The Firefly GT800 is a handheld microscope that has optical magnification capabilities ranging from 15x to 230x and digital ones that go up to 700x.

As it was expected from a product in this line, the Firefly GT800 comes with a lighting system composed of eight ultra-bright LED of which the brightness can be adjusted by the user.

The product has been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera that can be utilized for taking stills and video of your samples. The image and video resolutions are the same, 1600 by 1200 pixels.

Connecting the microscope to a computer or laptop is made easy thanks to the USB 2.0 port that this unit has been equipped with.

Other functions made available by the software that is included in the box consist of rotation, freeze, scalable window, flip region of interest, and real-time measurements.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)

 

 

 

In-depth information

 

Based on the information that we have gathered about this option, the Firefly GT800 features a good magnification range, in that most amateurs and home users don’t require more than 230x. It should also be pointed out that, due to its small size and compact design, this unit is more than adequate for being taken on the field and can prove to be a trustworthy helper in areas such as veterinary medicine, where the examiner might have to discover the presence or absence of ectoparasites.

This particular handheld microscope comes with a proprietary illumination system as eight LED bulbs have been built in its construction. From what we have gathered by looking at the reviews of this product, it appears that the brightness intensity can be customized with ease.

Despite the fact that the resolution of the camera that this unit has been equipped with is somewhat inferior when compared to that of various other models, 2 megapixels seem to be more than enough in most situations. Besides, you’ll have no trouble taking shots or capturing video of the samples that you will analyze in the future.

It’s also worth noting that this microscope comes with a USB 2.0 connection, which means that you will be able to transfer the images to your computer or laptop as quickly and efficiently as possible. Since the software is provided in the box, you won’t have to go to extreme lengths in order to acquire it. Both the user manual and the driver can be found on the CD made available by the manufacturing company.

Once you install the software on your laptop, you’ll start to notice that there are several other features you can perform by using the driver. Modifications pertaining to the region of interest, resolution, and photo orientation can all be done with the help of the complementary driver.

 

Known issues

Even though most of the owner reviews we’ve gone through are favorable, there has been a customer who pointed out that the manual could have and should have been a bit more straightforward. First-time users might have a hard time understanding how they can make the most of the microscope if they don’t spend a lot of time trying to learn how to use it.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)

 

 

 

Crenova UM012C USB Microscope – Review

 

 

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Main technical features

 

The magnification ratio of this microscope ranges from 20X to 300X, making it raise up to par in a wide array of situations.

The light source that the Crenova unit has been equipped with consists of eight LED bulbs.

Having been fitted with a USB port, this model can be powered using the USB input of any computer or laptop and the same entry must be used in order to transfer the pictures to these devices.

The product is compatible with a broad range of operating systems, which adds to its versatility.

A 5MP sensor is utilized in order to capture the images that are both crisp and clear.

Software is included with the purchase and can be utilized to transfer the files and to perform measurements of the specimens or various areas that may be of interest on the slide.

This microscope is constructed out of three main parts.

 

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In-depth information

 

The 20X to 300X magnification range of this product makes it possible for teachers and students to study the details of rocks, hair strands, and many other specimens. It’s worth noting that this unit can be utilized with great results for studying the structure of jewelry pieces and electronics, which means that it satisfy the ever-growing requirements of many types of users.

Due to its somewhat basic construction, this low-power microscope comes with eight LED bulbs. A light source has been included in the build of the model because it is not an optical microscope and using natural lighting may be very difficult.

As with other digital microscopes in the same line, the Crenova features a USB port which has two roles. On the one hand, you can utilize this input in order to power the device. On the other hand, it should be employed when you need to analyze the specimens and visualize them on a laptop, for example.

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Compatibility is not an issue of this model as it has been found to work with multiple operating systems, and even more so with modern ones such as Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.5 and above.

The 5MP sensor comes in handy for people looking to capture the images in a more than decent quality so they can use them for proof or to display in various papers, be they scientific or not.

The value of this model is increased by the software included by the manufacturer as one doesn’t have to go to extreme lengths in order to acquire it separately.

Weighing in at just 1.8 pounds, this unit is built out of just three parts, which means that it won’t create any technical difficulties for individuals who are less tech-savvy. All one has to do is put the components together and start using the microscope. Convenience and ease of use are two of the most important factors to give some thought to when prospecting the market for a new microscope, particularly one that is intended for the use of hobbyists.

 

Known issues

While there have been no problems reported with regard to the performance of the model per se, it seems that some of the owners would have appreciated a WiFi capability. By no means is this a disadvantage as the Crenova unit is a very affordable alternative which makes for a user-friendly low-power microscope.

 

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AmScope SE400X Stereo Microscope Review

 

 

 

Main technical features

 

The AmScope SE400X comes with WF5x and WF10x eyepieces and a 1X objective. Its magnification capabilities are 5x and 10x.

The model has been equipped with a LED light that has been mounted on a gooseneck in order to allow owners to benefit from some level of adjustability with regard to the illumination they will focus on their subjects.

Both the 9-inch vertical working distance and the 12-inch boom arm can be used to tailor the characteristics of this unit to your momentary needs or sample you will be trying to analyze.

All of the optical components in this microscope are made of glass.

This product is not a portable microscope as it is rated 110V-120V and therefore uses a standard AC power source.

 

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In-depth information

 

Despite being one of the most affordable choices available for sale nowadays, this dissecting microscope is entirely capable of doing what it is supposed to. The magnification range is what makes it possible for the unit to raise up to par and offer excellent performance for multiple applications in different areas. Whether you’re interested in purchasing such a product for soldering, numismatics, dental applications, or even veterinary medicine, perhaps the AmScope SE400X might be the right choice for what you have in mind.

The vast majority of microscopes these days come with some kind of illumination system, and the same rule applies in the case of this model. The LED bulb has been installed on a gooseneck so that you’re able to move it around with ease and focus the light wherever you might need it the most.

Another reason you should give some thought to this option consists of the fact that it has been outfitted with a 12-inch boom arm and has a 9-inch vertical working distance. You won’t have to go through the trouble of getting your specimens and samples closer to the microscope. Instead, you can change the position and orientation of the microscope head so that you’re able to do the opposite.

As for the construction quality of this model, you probably have nothing to worry about in this sense. The rugged build and the fact that the optics have been made of glass should give you a pointer as to whether or not the unit will be capable of withstanding the test of time. Several extremely affordable alternatives have optics made of plastic, and these do a bad job when it comes to putting up with potentially high temperatures from the environment where the product might be stored in.

An AC outlet is required in order to get this microscope up and running. What this means is that you won’t be able to use it as a portable option.

 

Known issues

Most of the individuals who took the time to express their opinions about the performance and overall quality of this product seem to have nothing but good things to say about it. As such, this AmScope model appears to be one of the most convenient and versatile units in the line.

 

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OMAX CS-M837ZL Lab Digital Microscope – Review

 

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Main technical features

 

The OMAX 40X-2500X is a trinocular compound microscope that has been equipped with a 14-megapixel camera which will allow you to take shots of your samples.

This product has been equipped with a USB port that you’ll be able to utilize efficiently to transfer the pictures to your laptop or computer.

Having been equipped with transmitted illumination, you’ll find that the 3W LED light has variable intensity which can be customized depending on the circumstance.

The software provided in the box has been found to be compatible with a broad array of operating systems and can be utilized to perform measurements.

Unlike other products in the same line, the OMAX 40X-2500X has a camera resolution with three available settings, therefore giving you the freedom to save smaller or larger images, depending on your needs.

Given that it weighs in at just 14 pounds, this OMAX model is one of the lightest alternatives out there.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($615.99)

 

 

 

In-depth information

 

The resolution of the camera in this microscope is truly spectacular, as even $3,000-dollar models sometimes come with 5-megapixel cams. Thanks to the 14-megapixel res, you will fail to be disappointed in the picture quality. In addition to all of this, the camera allows owners to use three settings which can help them save the images and capture either in a smaller or a larger size. The highest 4096 x 3288 image resolution is, without a doubt, useful if you plan to showcase the specimens in a scientific paper.

In order to make it easier for owners to get the most of this microscope, the manufacturing brand has engineered the product with a USB port which you can utilize to connect a computer or laptop, depending on your location or the circumstances that might arise. What’s more, a USB cable is part of the deal with this model, which means that you won’t have to use one that you already own or buy it separately.

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The transmitted illumination of the 40X-2500X is made possible thanks to a 3W LED bulb. In the event of a malfunction or if this bulb has burned out, it’s reassuring to know that you will be able to replace it on your own, provided that you do so with a compatible model. Finding a 3W LED bulb these days isn’t all that difficult as it is available at many online retailers.

The deal also includes software that you’ll be utilizing to view the pictures of the specimens. Having been created with the needs of multiple users in mind, the driver is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computer and laptops.

In spite of its many functions and the impressive number of advantages it provides, this model weighs just 14 pounds. While it might not be a portable microscope, it’s certainly lightweight enough to be carried with ease and, therefore, taken wherever its services might be required.

 

Known issues

Some users argue that the instructions that accompanied the product could use some improvement as they had a hard time installing the device on their own.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($615.99)

 

 

 

National Optical 163-PH Trinocular Compound Microscope Review

 

Main technical features

 

The National Optical 163-PH is a trinocular compound microscope that comes with WF10x eyepieces, an iris diaphragm, and an Abbe condenser.

The magnification range of this option is 40X to 1000X.

Since it has been outfitted with mechanical stage locks, this unit is more than capable of providing excellent coarse and fine focus.

An illumination system is part of the construction of this model, in that it comes with a halogen bulb with a rheostat. The light intensity can be controlled by the user.

The model comes with four objectives: 4X, 10X, 40XR, and 100XR.

A dust cover, two rubber eyeshields, as well as three colored filters, can be found in the box.

 

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In-depth information

 

National Optical is a company headquartered in Texas, the United States of America, which is why it is one of the critically acclaimed brands in the industry of manufacturing high-quality microscopes that have American components. The construction quality of this choice renders it durable and easy to work with, although its 23.8 pounds weight suggests that it should be used in static environments such as laboratories. This is not a portable alternative, and so you won’t be able to take it with you when you are going to examine specimens on the field.

The magnification capabilities of a microscope matter most when you’re trying to decide either on a model or on a different one. The 40X to 1000X range allowed by this option means that you will be able to examine different kinds of smears and specimens that might you need to analyze in your profession. The product comes with four objectives that can assist you in making the most of the magnification range.

This particular trinocular compound microscope features a proprietary lighting system consisting of a halogen bulb that is placed below the spot where you will place the plate. Therefore, this unit comes with a transmitted illumination system, but the core advantage offered by it is that it allows you to customize the brightness depending on your momentary requirements.

The value offered by the National Optical 163-PH unit is further increased by the fact that the package includes several accessories. As such, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that the box contains both the microscope, eyepieces, and objectives, as well as three colored filters, two rubber eyeshields, and a dust cover. In other words, you won’t have to spend any money on getting these items separately as they are part of the deal.

One thing that is worth noting is that, while the National Optical 163-PH is a trinocular microscope, the camera has to be bought individually. A wide-field monocular eyepiece can be found in the exact place where the camera has to be installed once you have it.

 

Known issues

While most of the user feedback we have come across regarding the performance and characteristics of this alternative is favorable, there have been people pointing out that the phase condenser, located below the movable stage, does not come with a swing-out filter holder.

 

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Reasons why you should get a microscope

 

Whether you’re a biology student, passionate about electronics, or a caring parent, getting a quality microscope is an excellent choice. These devices are becoming more affordable by the day, and they offer superior performance as well as flexibility when it comes to functionality. You can use a microscope for various purposes, with some of the most popular mentioned below.

Study plants and animals

Regardless if you’re a biology student or studying animal and plant life is just a hobby, getting a microscope can allow you to observe countless species as well as biologic processes in high detail. Many microscopes come with multiple optical combinations to give you the magnifying power you need.

You can either examine full-sized specimens of tiny insects, worms, or other tiny creatures, or prepare microscope slides and study plant cell walls, animal tissues, protozoa, and many more. Many models come with multiple objective lenses, and you can also swap eyepieces for a better view, depending on the desired magnification and specific needs.

 

Examine rocks, minerals, and other materials

A microscope isn’t just good for studying lifeforms, but also inorganic objects such as mineral composites, rocks, plastics, and other materials. You can use such a device to study rock composition or crystal formation, as well as observe in high resolution the structures and behaviors of many different types of materials both natural and manmade.

 

Ensure a precise dissection of specimens

If you need to perform dissections on various specimens of vertebrates and invertebrates, then you can get one of the quality low-magnification models so that you get to see the morphological features in detail while also being able to perform the operation with ease.

There are quite a few types of optical devices to choose from so you should probably check some dissecting microscope comparison articles to make sure that you get the one that’s best suited for the kind of work you need to do.

 

Get help with SMD soldering

You can also use a microscope if you’re passionate about electronics and need to solder various SMDs to circuit boards. With one of these devices, you could easily mount capacitors, microchips, resistors, and other SMDs and get the close-up view you need for precise operations so you can build or repair even complex PCBs.

While many such units can have prohibitive prices, you should be glad to learn that you could also find a new microscope for SMD soldering that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You can choose a USB microscope that connects to your computer or laptop via a USB and cable so that you can watch what you’re doing on the screen.

These models are relatively inexpensive and can provide you with an easy way to work with tiny components and ensure an accurate and clean work.

 

Help your child become interested in science

If you have children, then offering them a microscope is the perfect gift which could help spark their interest in science. With a good microscope, they’ll surely start collecting samples of plants, insects, and rocks to look at them in great detail.

That won’t just help them in school, but possibly put them on a career path they will pursue with passion, as well as stimulate their love of nature and of science in general, which can only be a good thing. Your kids could also learn to love nature and understand why it’s so important to protect it, especially with the climate change challenges lying ahead.

 

Take a closer look at specimens in the field with a pocket microscope

In case you do a lot of field work that requires collecting samples and recording data while on the field, then a portable microscope is just what you need. You can get a small and compact model that’s easy to carry and can be plugged into your iPad or other mobile device and make some on-the-spot studies without the need to go back to the lab.

With an excellent microscope for iPad, you get a pocket optical instrument that offers 20x or even more magnification, which should be more than enough to examine small insects such as parasitic Hymenoptera or check tiny features or mushrooms spores so that you can accurately use identification keys and correctly label the species along with other data.

 

Prepare yourself for a career in forensics

A microscope is also a handy tool in case you’re planning to become a forensic scientist. You can study hair samples, carpet fibers, and other tiny particles and materials that could help you understand not just how to handle them, but also how they look, which features you need to closely examine, how to prepare slides, etc.

Some forensic sciences also require you to use a microscope to look at food for possible contamination, check striations on bullets to identify patterns and match them to a weapon, and examine bones and other tissues so getting a model can help you better understand how these procedures work.

Use a microscope for medical investigations

You can also use a microscope for many medical applications, whether you’re working in a laboratory or preparing to enter medical school. With a microscope, you can study blood cells to look for abnormalities such as the sickle cell disease or search for pathogens in bodily fluids or other tissues to determine the cause of an infection.

With enough magnification, you can examine bacteria, or study cytogenetics and look for alterations and other abnormalities in chromosomes. There are also many microscopes that come with various objective lenses and eyepieces so that you get the right tool for each type of job you need to perform.

 

Study environmental samples

With a quality microscope, you can also study environmental samples from soil and water. You can check out which species of algae thrive in a particular aquatic environment, look for insect larvae and study breeding patterns, or look at soil for composition and study worms, arthropods, and other small lifeforms.

In order to understand the environment, you need to understand the relationship between various organisms and inorganic components from soil and water, and a quality microscope can definitely get you started with your new passion and help you get a better grasp of this scientific discipline.

 

 

 

How to select your first microscope

 

If you are still looking for the microscope for the money but you lack the time to do the needed legwork in order to know what aspects are a must when it comes to a unit of this type, this article should be of great help to you.

Because we know how dreadful going to endless reviews can be, especially if you are a novice in this line of products, we have decided to put together a step by step guide that will help you select the right microscope to fit your needs.

 

Step 1. Know the basics

As you probably imagine, there are a few particularities that one should not settle without in a product of this type. For instance, it is crucial that you know the importance of buying an item that has good optics. In fact, you should know that high-quality lenses need to meet the DIN standard or the JIS (the Japanese norm of reliability).

The units that meet these requirements are said to be long-lasting. Moreover, in case you damage your optics if the model that you own is DIN/JIS approved, you will be able to replace them with similar products sold by basically any manufacturer.

Equally important, it might be an excellent idea to know what the term achromatic stands for when speaking about lenses.  To put it simply, achromatic lenses are color corrected. Thus, the sample that you want to observe will be visible under the microscope no matter its color.

By settling for lenses that are non-color corrected, you are prone not to be able to distinguish some of the objects that you want to analyze, simply because they have a color that is not picked up by the device.

Moreover, it is a well-known fact that aberration is something that most microscope lenses produce. An aberration is, to put it in simpler terms, a distortion that is produced due to the existence of a defect in the given lens. Although distortion free lenses do exist, they are particularly expensive and are only purchased for laboratories.

However, you should know that the lenses that have been labeled as achromatic have a field of view that is 60% free of aberration. This means that the remaining 40% outer part of the lens is likely to display aberrations. Yet, because you only use the central part of the objective to study a sample, this should not pose a problem.

If you want to invest in a product that allows for only 20% aberration, it might be a good idea to select a unit that is Semi-Plan.

 

Step 2. Decide between a monocular and a binocular device

Before you settle for the first stereo microscope for sale that you lay your eyes on, it might be a good idea to consider whether you want a monocular or a binocular unit.

When making this decision it is advisable that you think about how you intend to use the selected unit. For instance, if you intend to make use of the newly purchased microscope on a day to day basis, it might be best to select a binocular model, as it will prove to be quite comfortable for your eyes.

Yet, if you want to invest in a product that you want to use every now and then, a monocular might be a better fit. The latter models are said to be particularly suitable for children.

 

Step 3. Type of focus

The next aspect that you should consider is the type of focus that the unit uses. From this point of view, one usually has to choose between a coarse focus and a fine focus. The models that use coarse focus require the buyer to use a focusing knob in order to adjust the image.

However, according to the specialists that put together a dissecting microscopes comparison, the latter option is recommendable for students, as it makes the unit easier to manage. Therefore, whenever thinking about buying a new device, make sure that you have this aspect in mind too.

 

Step 4. Should you consider buying a second-hand microscope?

Although this alternative might be fitting to those that do not want to invest a lot of money into a microscope, it might be better that one does not purchase a used instrument if she/he does not know how to assess the condition of a product of this type.

Moreover, experienced buyers recommend that if you decide to buy a second-hand unit you should not, in any case, buy one from a school. The main reason for this has to do with the fact that the microscopes that are used in schools go through a lot of hands and suffer plenty of abuse during their lifespan.

Given the state of things, it is advisable that you purchase a brand new model that is not particularly costly and that can last you a significant amount of time. In fact, as some previous buyers have noted, if treated properly, most microscopes can be used for years on end without experiencing any type of issues with them.

All in all, we believe that the information and the tips that we have shared with you should help you purchase a unit that is both reliable and precise. Our last recommendation to you is that you go online and, before ordering anything, you check to see what previous users of the product that you like had to say about that particular model.

 

 

 

How to understand the functional parts of a microscope

 

Because we know just how tricky 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.

 

 

 

How to set up your microscope correctly

 

If you are the proud new owner of a microscope, or you are just making use of an excellent high school microscope, but you still don’t know all the tricks one needs to be familiar with to operate it properly, we can help you out. In an attempt to make this process easier for you, we have gathered a handful of useful information that you might want to study so that you can use your acquisition in a proper manner.

In an attempt to make this guide effortless to read and understand, we have divided it into two separate sections. The first refers to how one has to prepare the head of the device, while the second details just what adjustments are needed when focusing the device.

 

How to prepare the head of your microscope

Before plunging into exploring the details of your first sample, it is crucial that you follow these suggestions. First things first, prior to placing your sample on the device’s stage, make sure that you turn on the lights that the unit comes provided with. This way, you will be sure that enough illumination is provided for you to examine the selected sample.

However, when doing so, it is not advisable that you select the highest illumination ratio, as this might make it difficult for you to see under the microscope clearly. Instead, the specialists recommend that you take the time to adjust it so that it provides you with the clarity that you need to correctly examine the sample.

Next, it is necessary that you rotate the 4x objective so that it reaches the required position. Then, make sure that you twist the left eyepiece diopter ring in the correct direction and that you line it up with the position of the eyepiece tube.

Furthermore, this is the moment when you have to arrange the distance between the eyepieces so that the two images can properly combine and offer you a single free of error image. Once this process is completed, you are minutes away from being ready to explore your sample!

 

How to focus the device

Before anything, it is crucial that we draw your attention to the fact that, when using a microscope, all glasses wearers should pay attention to a few aspects. Therefore, if you have myopia and you have difficulties seeing objects that are far away, you should remove your glasses when using the microscope.

Because those who have myopia have no trouble seeing/observing in detail objects that are close to them, they won’t have problems when it comes to distinguishing the sample that is placed under the microscope.

Still, if you wear glasses because you have astigmatism, you won’t be able to do so. Due to this situation, you will have to be very careful in order to avoid scratching your lenses when getting close to the unit’s oculars. The risk of having this happen to your lenses is increased if you wear glasses that have lenses made out of a plastic material. So, make sure that you are always careful when using the microscope.

To focus the unit, first, make sure that your side has no trace of dirt or debris. Then, check to see that the device’s oculars are clean. If this is not the case, use lens paper to remove the unwanted spots. Do not use any other type of material/substance when it comes to cleaning the optics! Additionally, take the time to verify that the glass of the lamp is also clean.

Further, go ahead and place the sample on the microscope’s stage with the coverslip facing up. Then, gently raise the condenser up until it reaches its maximum position. The diaphragm of the condenser should now be set at 30.

In order to focus the 10x objective, you have to use the coarse knob to adapt the focus knob so that you are capable of seeing the small details that are present in the given field. Next, do the same to position and also focus the 40x objective. During this process, you should not, in any case, make use of the coarse knob.

At this point, it is the moment when you have to adjust the two eyepieces of the microscope. To do so, make sure that you close the right eye so that you can focus the image in the left eyepiece. In order to focus it properly, use the focus knob. Then, by utilizing the diopter ring, close the left eye and go ahead and focus the right eye.

If you are the sole user of the microscope, you have to carry out this process just once, when you first start using the unit. Then, you can only use the focus knob to adjust the image when analyzing different samples. Nonetheless, if you have to share the device with other students/colleagues, it is recommended that you repeat the process whenever you have to use the microscope.

By doing so, it is guaranteed that you’ll get the best results. If you have trouble understanding how each component of the device is called/works, we suggest that you read the instruction manual that you’ve certainly received with the microscope. What is more, chances are that the manual contains additional recommendations as well as tips and tricks.

So, don’t waste any time, start reading and make sure that you set up your device like a pro! As a plus, you should know that you can now use a digital microscope camera to record your results!

 

 

 

Why should you get a student microscope

 

 

A student microscope may not seem like a purchase that has a lot of influence on the future of your kids, but you would surprise to know just how much can this simple instrument teach and shape the interests of an individual.

We tend to think of student microscopes as a sort of toy that younger kids can use to “pretend” to do a bit of science. While that might have been true in the past, it is important to know that student microscopes nowadays are pieces of technology and science that can be just as effective as research microscopes in studying complex components of various organisms, cells, and tissues.

It still begs the question, why should you buy a student microscope? After all, depending on the model you choose, this will not be a cheap purchase. So are there enough reasons to purchase such an instrument for your child? We believe there are, and in the article below, we will try to present a few of the reasons that had us convinced that a student microscope is an investment that is well worth the money.

 

Whet your child’s appetite for science

Science is not always fun, theory without practice can make this fascinating subject quite hard to digest. Unless you try and start their passion for science from a young age, you risk removing a wide range of opportunities that they can follow when they grow up.

This is where a microscope comes into a play, but you have to make sure that you choose the right model because otherwise you risk wasting money for nothing. A cheap model that is merely a plastic toy and that reveals nothing will only help to quash any interest that your kid might have had.

The good thing is that finding excellent student microscopes these days is quite easy since models are packed full of features, and they all offer great magnification and excellent viewing experience. The secret to getting a good instrument is not being afraid to spend a little more than what you would normally be used with.

This does not mean that you will have to spend a fortune since brands such as AmScope and others offer models that are aimed exclusively at students and young kids.

You should also consider the fact that they can use their microscope for school assignments. Not all schools afford to have a microscope for every student so having your very own will help your kid focus on what the teacher is trying to show to the class.

With your very own student microscope, you can even have classmates around and turn what would otherwise be a dull task, such as doing a biology assignment, into something fun and social. With the amount of fun they’ll be having, they won’t even notice that they’re doing work.

 

Think of the future

It is crucial that you help your kid experiment as much of what life has to offer from a young age, as that is the only way he or she can get to know themselves better. The sooner they learn what they like and what they dislike to do, the sooner they can start focusing on their energy on their passions.

This is why it is important that you offer them as many opportunities to learn and experience different and unique things. A microscope is no different as it can be a gateway to another world. Ask any scientist around the world, and they’ll probably tell you that their passion for science started when they were young, by using instruments such as a microscope or a telescope.

These simple instruments can have a big impact on the worldview of your child; they can easily awake a passion that laid dormant until you presented them with the right tools. Watching a leaf, an insect, even their own skin up close with the help of the microscope is an experience that they can’t get from other places.

This passion of theirs for science can easily transform into a career. If they end up working in an area that requires the use of a microscope, the years of using their own device can be of great help. He or she might not need to train, and the fact that using a microscope feels natural means will help them a great deal.

 

You can use it to have fun

Now that we’ve talked about what parents want from a telescope, it is also important we take a second and acknowledge the thing that is most important to a child: fun. That’s right, a microscope may seem like a sober instrument to us, but the truth is that kids absolutely love using it.

Kids are fascinated with the way the world works, they’ve been on it for such a short time that they want to learn all it has to offer. In a sense they are very much like your average scientist, the world is a mystery, and their goal in life is to make sense of it.

A microscope will help them do that while also offering them countless hours of pure fun. Be ready to be amazed by the number of objects they’ll start observing, and most importantly, be ready to join them and lose the track of time as you become a child again and view the world through the lenses of your new microscope.

 

The magic of technology

Another reason for getting a student microscope is the fact that you now have a ton of alternatives to choose from. Perhaps you’re used with models that are so massive that they risk toppling your desk, or maybe you’re used with microscopes that rely on glass lenses.

Those models are still around but the future is here, and it has come with loads of choices that can satisfy even the picky customer. You can now get portable models that fit even in the smallest backpack and that make exploring on the go a fun and effortless experience.

What’s more, if you don’t want to worry about fragile and easy to break optics, you can now go for digital microscopes that use technology that is similar to that of your phone’s camera. Speaking of your phone’s camera, you can even turn your phone into a microscope by using a magnifier that can be attached to the back of your phone.

With so many options to choose and the many benefits of having your own microscope, there’s really no reason for you not to get one right now.

 

 

 

Digital microscope cameras – What you need to know

 

 

If you own and work on a microscope but find only looking through the eyepieces limiting in some cases, then you should definitely learn what a digital microscope camera is and how it could help you out. This device is a modern solution to old problems. By getting one of these, you can easily connect your microscope to a computer or tablet and enjoy countless other benefits.So here are a few things you might need to know to properly compare digital microscope cameras on the market in order to make the best possible choice.

Benefit from easy connection and enhanced compatibility

One of the best things about buying a microscope camera is that you get to connect a microscope with a wide range of devices with a simple USB cable. This device can be mounted on many microscope models without much effort, and getting a quality camera will also provide you with plenty of adapters to ensure a proper fit and functionality.

Connecting the camera to a device such as a computer, tablet, or laptop is just as easy. Just plug in the cable, install the software, and you’re set to go. You should be glad to learn that modern digital microscope cameras come with software that’s compatible with most operating systems out there, from Windows 10 to Linux to Mac OS X.

Depending on the model, the camera may support USB 2.0 or 3.0 transfer rates. That means that you get live video recordings with minimum lag if any, as well as a fast way to snap pictures of your favorite slides and have them downloaded immediately on an external HDD. All of this can be performed easily with just a few clicks of the mouse.

 

Immortalize your work

The best way to immortalize your work is to take pictures of samples and specimens or even a recording of a complicated procedure under the microscope. You get to choose from many cameras with maximum resolutions ranging from 3 megapixels to 18MP or even higher.

In terms of video recordings, there are quite a few capable devices able to offer a good frame rate and decent transfer times so that you don’t have to wait forever even when recording lengthy operations.

With a good microscope camera, you can snap photographs that you can later use in your work. You could also effortlessly share pictures and video with peers or publish high-resolution images along with your articles and papers in major scientific publications and ensure that you also impress visually.

 

Present your findings to a large audience

A reliable digital microscope camera can also be a powerful educational tool. When performing complex procedures, all you need is a microscope, a camera, and a computer that’s connected to a projector in order to allow students to see everything in high detail.

Not only do you get to live stream work and teach on a large screen, but you can also record operations and get back to them later on with your students so you can discuss and discover new details.

Examine samples in greater detail

Another great advantage of using a microscope camera is that you get to see everything in higher detail. No longer will you have to strain your eyes with that 40x eyepiece. You could simply mount this device and work by looking at a large laptop or PC screen rather than through the tiny eyepiece.

That way you can see what you’re doing, in addition to being able to snapshots of your progress. You can examine everything in much higher detail than possible before, and a great advantage is that you can also capture things such as cellular division at different stages, various coloration techniques, chromosome migration or organelle formation, parasitic mating behavior, etc.

There’s simply no limit to what you can do with a simple device such as a microscope camera.

 

Perform precise dissections

With a good camera, you can also perform more accurate dissections. Just connect the microscope to a large screen and see what you’re doing in real time. You will be able to do things you could never have done directly under the microscope.

This would lead to better results across the board, as well as enjoying an easier way to work which would take less of a toll on your eyes, wrists, and fingers.

 

Get help with SMD soldering

If you thought dissections are tough under the microscope, just wait until you try SMD soldering. Most printed circuit boards are getting smaller and smaller by the day so it is only normal that fixing stuff and soldering parts such as tiny capacitors are becoming increasingly difficult.

The good news is that a high-quality digital microscope camera can help you out. You won’t have to struggle with tiny inscriptions or with synchronizing your eyes and hands through the eyepieces. You could now watch everything on a 1080p FullHD monitor and make sure that you get a good job done, and that without spending an arm and a leg on a camera.

There are plenty models that come with low price tags and they offer a high-enough resolution for just about any need.

Take quality photographs on the cheap

By spending a few dollars on a microscope camera, you get to delve into microscopic photography without having to invest in a full-size DSLR. While you’d certainly be able to take higher quality photos on a 4,000 dollar model, you might not want to invest that much only for photographic purposes.

Rather than forking over thousands of bucks on high-end photo equipment, you could upgrade your microscope, get new eyepieces, maybe even a new computer or laptop for that matter. Doing so would still allow you to take great pictures, especially when microscope cameras are getting better with each passing day while also becoming more affordable.

 

Enjoy a versatile device

Choosing one of the microscope digital cameras on the market will provide you with a versatile device that’s compatible with many makes and models of microscopes. You also get extra adaptors for increased functionality and compatibility across most digital operating systems.

In addition to the above, you can also post-process pictures and videos with specialized software and stitch multiple pictures, make measurements on samples, stream video, and perform a wide range of other functions.

 

 

 

Getting a microscope for a 7-year-old

 

While helping your child getting involved in all sorts of educational and sports activities is nice, you should never neglect his or her curiosity. If you want to expand the universe of your precious little one and show a new world, then there’s no better option other than getting one of the quality and safe microscopes for 7-year-olds available for sale.

Doing so will give your kid plenty of benefits in all sorts of areas that you might not have even thought of. Here are a few ways in which your child might benefit from a microscope.

Exploring a new world

One of the things you should never do is oversimplify things for your kids. You’d be surprised to find out that they’d actually love to know a lot more about the world that you would have thought. Children are like little sponges when it comes to absorbing information about the world, and offering them a microscope is a great way to allow them to learn a lot about microscopic wonders.

Even if biology classes weren’t your thing in school, your kid will benefit immensely from getting a scientific instrument able to unravel a hidden world filled with all sorts of interesting and captivating details. Your kid will learn to use the microscope with some assistance, and you can also choose to get some pre-made slides with various plant and animal species.

 

Learning more about living things

Especially with so many things going on in the world, from climate change to the shrinking of national parks to the extinction of species, now is a great time to teach your child about the importance of life. He or she can observe numerous species, from exotic ones to small creatures living in your backyard.

You’d be surprised to see how fast children catch up and learn. Besides having obvious educational advantages, a microscope can also provide your kid with loads of fun, especially when there are so many things to look at through the magnifying glass.

Getting involved in a wonderful after school activity

In addition to discovering more about the microscopic world that is hidden from our naked eyes, getting a microscope will provide your 7-year-old kid with a productive and entertaining after school activity.

In this modern world that’s dominated by iPhones, computers, and television, it can be a true blessing to get your child to go outside to collect samples and then spend quality time in the company of his little newfound little friends. This would be in contrast to having him stuck in front of a computer for hours on end.

A microscope might actually help your child with school work as he could participate in a science project and bring his own contributions. This would surely stimulate creativity, boost confidence, as well as possibly improve overall attitude towards education.

 

Developing cognitive and motor skills

A microscope is surely not the easiest devices to learn on, especially when the child is young. However, these optical devices come with numerous benefits in terms of improving both cognitive and motor skills.

Your kid will have to learn to operate all those little dials, knobs, and buttons so he might get quite good at handling them. Of course, you can always help when things get complicated, and you can also go for a simpler microscope in the first place.

Another advantage to getting a microscope for your boy or girl is that he or she will also benefit from mental exercises by trying to identify species seen through the eyepieces, putting information together, looking at characteristics and comparing these with those of other species.

You may not realize it yet, but all of these fun ‘exercises’ could help immensely with educating your child and creating a path for a more certain future.

 

Studying to be a scientist

In the world of Silicon Valley companies, everyone wants to be an IT specialist. However, there are few who choose the path of a scientist. This can be a highly rewarding choice, especially given the hefty salaries scientists from top institutes receive.

According to plenty of studies, it can also be rewarding in terms of satisfaction with the job and with life in general. This is because it appears people with higher academic studies and accomplishments tend to be happier.

A microscope might just tip the balance of curiosity and help your child decide on a future career in life sciences. Many of us, grown-ups, regret not having made a choice earlier in our lives, and there’s a great advantage in providing your kid with the means to figure out what he or she would like to do when growing up.

Getting an easy-to-use device

If all the above may sound serious and complicated, you might be glad to learn that you can find plenty of microscope models that are quite easy to use, not to mention extremely fun. You probably shouldn’t actually think of a plastic toy microscope since it would add little to no real value.

Yet there are some instruments that are easy to set-up as well as use. Your child can learn to twist all those dials in no time. There are quite a few beginner microscope sets out there, ranging from the down-right simple to the more complex variants that should still be manageable even by a 7-year-old.

 

Enjoying a versatile device

One of the best things about microscopes nowadays is that they come with plenty of eyepieces, zoom options, lighting systems, adjustments, accessories, etc. What this means for you is that you have a wide range of options at your disposal so that you can make the right choice for your child.

You can get a normal glass microscope that comes with extra safety features, or a smaller and lighter plastic variant that you could upgrade later on, as your kid learns more.

There are also quite a few USB microscope cameras out there that could enable an easy connection to a laptop or computer so that your kid can record and review slides and experiments. This in addition to getting a much clearer view in the first place if you plug the microscope camera into a large screen.

 

 

 

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Do you intend to start a coin collection but have no idea where to start? The following list of tips will help you in your endeavor. We gathered the most important guidelines and recommendations from experts that any novice can apply to become an excellent coin collector.

Know your lingo

Besides being a fascinating pastime, coin collecting comes with its language. So, if you intend to join the world of coin collectors, you may start by learning a few terms. For instance, circulation coins are coins that have been used in commercial transactions over the years.

Commemorative coins, on the other hand, belong to a category of coins that are minted to celebrate an event, an outstanding personality, or an institution. They are also called numismatic coins. As you can quickly glean from the information offered here, they are never used for commercial purposes.

You should also learn about uncirculated coins, minting, face value, along with other terms that will make you the necessary introduction to the world of coin collecting.

 

Find a reputable dealer

You cannot start your collection without coins. That means that you need to be aware of the implications of purchasing coins from shady sources. Always count on a reputable coin dealer, as, otherwise, your collection might end up containing nothing but worthless pieces, or coins for which you cannot prove the provenience and therefore value.

There are many advantages associated with working with an honest coin dealer. For starters, he or she can offer invaluable information on what coins you should purchase. You can also get a correct appraisal of the coins you get, in case you receive them or you already have them from other sources. Last, but not least, a coin dealer can help you sell your collection for the right price, should you decide to do that at some point.

Invest a little in equipment

To learn about coins, you need to scrutinize them. While the naked eye can only do this much, to observe details that are too minuscule to see without extra help, you need something more. Some people prefer a dissecting microscope for coins, so think whether such an investment is justified, in case you’re not yet convinced that you want to get busy with coin collecting in your spare time.

You should have latex or cotton gloves for manipulating the coins since, while they are made of metal and resistant to wear and tear, they can get scratched and damaged, especially their surface. Find a place where you can store your coins, and place your case of coins somewhere away from any damage, be it excessive humidity, or anything else.

Or get the right magnifying glass

You might not have heard so far about the existence of a particular magnifying glass for coins, but such items do exist, and they have specific characteristics that you must bear in mind. Experts recommend getting a model with at least 7x magnification so that you can see all the details without any problem.

Others believe that a magnification of 2x or 3x is enough for a beginner. In case your eyesight is not the best, you should opt for a model with a higher magnification just so that you don’t have to squint and force your eyes when you’re examining your prized collection of coins.

Learn to be organized

Even if you don’t care about investing in equipment, and a magnifying glass for reading is enough for examining the coins in your collection, you should learn how to be organized. Cardboard folders are an easy choice if you want to keep your coins in the same place, and away from harm of any kind.

An idea that experts insist on is to label all the coins and write the specs underneath each coin. This way, you will be able to group different coins, and you will not have to worry about getting them mixed up.

This operation, however, requires a bit of time, and you might also have to educate yourself on the importance and value of each coin in your collection.

Never think as an investor

Coin collecting can be a productive pastime and not only a hobby, but that happens only if you have the proper mindset. If you get into coin collecting just for the sake of making a buck, you have just started on the wrong foot. Investors are guided, in their endeavors, by the need to make a profit. Their goal is to buy low and sell high.

Coins, even when they are collectibles, do not change their value overnight. Collectors, not investors, are those who make a good profit from selling their coins or even entire collections, due to a primary consideration.

They take care of their collections, and thus, they increase their value. A fair return on investment happens years or even decades from purchasing a particular coin.

Always buy coins that look great

Coins, to maintain their value, need to be in as close as mint condition as possible. An old and rare coin might have some minor signs of damage and still maintain its high value, but, as is the case with most coins, they don’t belong to such a narrow category.

So, if you want a rule of thumb for your coin collecting ambitions, you should always invest in good looking coins. Inspect them, if need be, to ensure that they are in good condition.

Never try to remove scratches and signs of damage

Do you know what can be even worse than buying damaged coins? The right answer is: trying to eliminate the signs of damage by polishing the coins or using other methods. Even the least trained coin dealer and collector can tell you that it is a complete no-no to try to recondition damaged coins.

Pay heed to the advice offered just earlier and invest only in pieces that are worth the price. Only in this way, you will be able to populate your collection with valuable pieces that you can later resell.

 

 

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Have you thought about taking up a new hobby? Do you find coin collecting fascinating, but so far you haven’t thought about it as a way to spend your time in an exciting manner? Maybe the only thing in your way is the simple fact that you don’t know enough things about it. We are here to help you by offering you a list of rules of coin collecting that any beginner should know so that you can avoid bad deals.

Make reasonable purchases from the get-go

Many people feel tempted to believe that they only need one lucky deal and they can get rich. But many professional coin collectors can make such dreams shatter just by examining the coins brought to their attention in this manner with a magnifying glass.

First things first, if you are looking to become a coin collector, you need to learn about coins. Do not throw thousands of dollars on a single item – unless you’re a millionaire and don’t care about losses – and don’t bet on lucky hunches.

There are no such things when it comes to the arduous and exciting hobby of collecting coins. There is, however, a lot of knowledge involved. Also, while you learn, purchase coins that are priced reasonably. They will make the basis of your collection. It is a great starting point.

 

Learn how to store and handle your coins properly

You might think that since coins are made of metal, nothing can damage them unless you pick a sledgehammer and you start trying to make them flat. However, despite this widespread misconception, coins need proper storage conditions. Environment conditions and other factors can damage their surface.

If the design on a face of a coin becomes difficult to see or there are scratches and other signs of damage, the value of that coin decreases. That is why this rule is essential for those who are mere novices.

Don’t attempt to clean your coins! Any coin that undergoes a cleaning process is considered damaged by professionals and, therefore, you end up with nothing but a piece of metal in your hands. When you handle your coins, make sure that you wear latex or cotton gloves. Try to pick the coins only by the edge. Such measures are essential for keeping the value of your coins intact.

Have patience

A coin collection will not be as extensive as you want it to be overnight. This is one of the best pieces of advice someone who is just starting out can receive. Start with an idea. What sort of coins do you want to collect? How would you like to keep your collections organized?

Be aware of situations when you might feel tempted to throw some money just for the sake of completing a collection in the making. Avoid such mistakes. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then that means it is.

Hunt down the pieces that are not yet part of your collection. But always make your purchases from reputable sources, and ask for any certifications and guarantees that may be available.

 

Consider investing in good equipment

Some coin collectors prefer a magnifying glass for coins as the only piece of equipment they need for examining the pieces in their collection. However, the same people tend to have a pretty well-trained eye, and that means that they need only this type of visual enhancement to notice the tiniest details on the coins they collect.

Such a tool is indispensable for beginners, too. It is not expensive, and you can use it while you learn about different coins. However, if you want to examine a new coin that comes to your attention correctly, you might find that a dissecting microscope for coins is a better tool for this purpose. Some models are not that expensive, and while they might cost a bit more than a piece of glass that magnifies details, they are still a good deal.

 

Get to know people in the coin collecting world

Coin collecting might not sound like the type of hobby that requires someone to perform a lot of networking, but the truth is, getting to know the right people is essential for being successful in this type of activity.

Where can you find such people? One idea would be to join a coin collecting club. Here you will most likely find other people like you that might have information to share. It doesn’t hurt to attend coin auctions and other related events, as there you will be able to find out about rare coins, their value, and other details that you might not be able to get anywhere else.

Coins are a long-term investment

Coin collecting is not the type of hobby you should expect to yield results from within a short time. A coin you buy today will not change its value overnight. Unless you’re fortunate and you stumble upon an incredible deal, or you find your great-grandfather’s old collection, it is not possible to make a fortune by buying coins today and selling them tomorrow.

Think of your coin collection as a long-term investment. Everyone who is serious about this hobby knows this simple truth well. That is why your chances of finding incredible deals are close to naught. People passionate about numismatics are connoisseurs, and they won’t give up on a valuable coin.

 

Aim for high value

Do not think of your coin collection in terms of quantity. That is a rookie mistake and one that professional collectors never make. A vast collection of one dollar coins is nothing compared to a handful of coins that are valued at thousands of dollars, if not more.

When you make a purchase, search for high-value coins. Get the best price you can. The more valuable coins you have in your collection, the more value your collection as a whole will have. Such a simple rule should put you on the right path of collecting pieces that will bring an extraordinary satisfaction to the collector.

 

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The microscope is an invention without which we wouldn’t be here today. Not only it helped us discover just how incredibly fascinating the microcosmos can be, but it also allowed us to live longer, more exciting and healthier lives. It allowed us to detect the tiny microorganisms that cause disease in humans and it taught us how to get rid of them.

So this begs the next question. Who invented the microscope and why? And the answer we crave is not as simple as we’d like because its origins are disputed between several names in our history. The earliest prototype, if we can even call it that, dates back to the Ancient Roman era, where the Romans used a particular type of glass that magnified objects when you looked through it.

But that was a rudimentary innovation, and it was an accidental discovery that didn’t have any purpose behind it. But then history took another turn when Salvino D’Armate, an Italian scientist created the world’s first eyeglass. But this smart device could only magnify about 5x to 10x and was mostly used to observe larger things such as insects, flowers, and fleas.

The Netherlands and its geniuses

Then something unusual started to happen in the 1590’s, when two Dutch citizens, Zacharias Jansen, and his equally creative father began using lenses in a new way that wasn’t previously experimented with. What they did was that they put a few lenses in an elongated tube, and realized that this organization was about to change the world.

They have realized that the tiny thing at the end of their tube seemed somehow much larger than in real life, much more than a single lens could enlarge something by itself. They didn’t comprehend at that time what would be the implications of this discovery, but it didn’t stop them, and it didn’t curb their enthusiasm in any way.

Although the images obtained with this exciting machine were somehow blurry, they were still enough to impress the public with, since both of them were spectacle men. Unfortunately, none of their microscopes have survived to the modern day, and we only know about them indirectly through a description found in the archives of the Dutch royalty.

Knowing all of this information, we still can’t say the Jansen family invented the microscope since their tools were just overly complicated magnifying glasses. What we call today a microscope is a compound microscope, which is a tool that features two or more lenses, interconnected via a hollow cylinder. The top piece is called an eyepiece or the ocular, and the bottom one is the objective lens.

 

The first pioneer

Most people attribute the invention of the modern microscope to another Dutch person called Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who was a 17th-century scientist who pioneered microscopy. He was the first out of his peers to create and to successfully use a real microscope. His lenses were renowned because they were highly polished and far more superior than the ones of his contemporaries.

His microscope could magnify up to 270x, and it was capable of viewing objects smaller than one-millionth of a meter. Since he was a scientist, he didn’t just make the microscope, but he used it too. Under his polished lenses, he  analyzed bacteria, yeast, and even droplets of water. He described all of them and received many praises from the Royal Society of England, but also a few letters of disbelief, since what he talked about seemed so outlandish.

Now or never

Of course, the Dutchman’s innovative work soon begun to get the attention of scientists all over the world, especially since he was translated into English by Robert Hooke, who published Micrographia in 1665, which is believed to be the first study regarding microscopy.

Hooke is another genius, who took this subject to a whole new level by reinvigorating microscopy and by taking biology into the future.

Modern compound microscopes are indispensable from all laboratories today. And not only that, but they have also have reached into the mainstream, and now anyone who has an interest in science and the intricacy of the world owns one. A dissecting microscope is indispensable in school labs.

A good microscope for students will let you see the mind-blowing detail of any ordinary object, and it will make you a much richer person because you get to be one of the few lucky ones who know that there is more to life than what meets the eye.

 

 

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Scales | History, Benefits & Common Uses

 

Firefly GT800 Handheld USB Digital Microscope Review

 

 

Main technical features

 

The Firefly GT800 is a handheld microscope that has optical magnification capabilities ranging from 15x to 230x and digital ones that go up to 700x.

As it was expected from a product in this line, the Firefly GT800 comes with a lighting system composed of eight ultra-bright LED of which the brightness can be adjusted by the user.

The product has been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera that can be utilized for taking stills and video of your samples. The image and video resolutions are the same, 1600 by 1200 pixels.

Connecting the microscope to a computer or laptop is made easy thanks to the USB 2.0 port that this unit has been equipped with.

Other functions made available by the software that is included in the box consist of rotation, freeze, scalable window, flip region of interest, and real-time measurements.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)

 

 

 

In-depth information

 

Based on the information that we have gathered about this option, the Firefly GT800 features a good magnification range, in that most amateurs and home users don’t require more than 230x. It should also be pointed out that, due to its small size and compact design, this unit is more than adequate for being taken on the field and can prove to be a trustworthy helper in areas such as veterinary medicine, where the examiner might have to discover the presence or absence of ectoparasites.

This particular handheld microscope comes with a proprietary illumination system as eight LED bulbs have been built in its construction. From what we have gathered by looking at the reviews of this product, it appears that the brightness intensity can be customized with ease.

Despite the fact that the resolution of the camera that this unit has been equipped with is somewhat inferior when compared to that of various other models, 2 megapixels seem to be more than enough in most situations. Besides, you’ll have no trouble taking shots or capturing video of the samples that you will analyze in the future.

It’s also worth noting that this microscope comes with a USB 2.0 connection, which means that you will be able to transfer the images to your computer or laptop as quickly and efficiently as possible. Since the software is provided in the box, you won’t have to go to extreme lengths in order to acquire it. Both the user manual and the driver can be found on the CD made available by the manufacturing company.

Once you install the software on your laptop, you’ll start to notice that there are several other features you can perform by using the driver. Modifications pertaining to the region of interest, resolution, and photo orientation can all be done with the help of the complementary driver.

 

Known issues

Even though most of the owner reviews we’ve gone through are favorable, there has been a customer who pointed out that the manual could have and should have been a bit more straightforward. First-time users might have a hard time understanding how they can make the most of the microscope if they don’t spend a lot of time trying to learn how to use it.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)

 

 

 

Crenova UM012C USB Microscope – Review

 

 

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Main technical features

 

The magnification ratio of this microscope ranges from 20X to 300X, making it raise up to par in a wide array of situations.

The light source that the Crenova unit has been equipped with consists of eight LED bulbs.

Having been fitted with a USB port, this model can be powered using the USB input of any computer or laptop and the same entry must be used in order to transfer the pictures to these devices.

The product is compatible with a broad range of operating systems, which adds to its versatility.

A 5MP sensor is utilized in order to capture the images that are both crisp and clear.

Software is included with the purchase and can be utilized to transfer the files and to perform measurements of the specimens or various areas that may be of interest on the slide.

This microscope is constructed out of three main parts.

 

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

In-depth information

 

The 20X to 300X magnification range of this product makes it possible for teachers and students to study the details of rocks, hair strands, and many other specimens. It’s worth noting that this unit can be utilized with great results for studying the structure of jewelry pieces and electronics, which means that it satisfy the ever-growing requirements of many types of users.

Due to its somewhat basic construction, this low-power microscope comes with eight LED bulbs. A light source has been included in the build of the model because it is not an optical microscope and using natural lighting may be very difficult.

As with other digital microscopes in the same line, the Crenova features a USB port which has two roles. On the one hand, you can utilize this input in order to power the device. On the other hand, it should be employed when you need to analyze the specimens and visualize them on a laptop, for example.

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Compatibility is not an issue of this model as it has been found to work with multiple operating systems, and even more so with modern ones such as Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.5 and above.

The 5MP sensor comes in handy for people looking to capture the images in a more than decent quality so they can use them for proof or to display in various papers, be they scientific or not.

The value of this model is increased by the software included by the manufacturer as one doesn’t have to go to extreme lengths in order to acquire it separately.

Weighing in at just 1.8 pounds, this unit is built out of just three parts, which means that it won’t create any technical difficulties for individuals who are less tech-savvy. All one has to do is put the components together and start using the microscope. Convenience and ease of use are two of the most important factors to give some thought to when prospecting the market for a new microscope, particularly one that is intended for the use of hobbyists.

 

Known issues

While there have been no problems reported with regard to the performance of the model per se, it seems that some of the owners would have appreciated a WiFi capability. By no means is this a disadvantage as the Crenova unit is a very affordable alternative which makes for a user-friendly low-power microscope.

 

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

AmScope SE400X Stereo Microscope Review

 

 

 

Main technical features

 

The AmScope SE400X comes with WF5x and WF10x eyepieces and a 1X objective. Its magnification capabilities are 5x and 10x.

The model has been equipped with a LED light that has been mounted on a gooseneck in order to allow owners to benefit from some level of adjustability with regard to the illumination they will focus on their subjects.

Both the 9-inch vertical working distance and the 12-inch boom arm can be used to tailor the characteristics of this unit to your momentary needs or sample you will be trying to analyze.

All of the optical components in this microscope are made of glass.

This product is not a portable microscope as it is rated 110V-120V and therefore uses a standard AC power source.

 

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

In-depth information

 

Despite being one of the most affordable choices available for sale nowadays, this dissecting microscope is entirely capable of doing what it is supposed to. The magnification range is what makes it possible for the unit to raise up to par and offer excellent performance for multiple applications in different areas. Whether you’re interested in purchasing such a product for soldering, numismatics, dental applications, or even veterinary medicine, perhaps the AmScope SE400X might be the right choice for what you have in mind.

The vast majority of microscopes these days come with some kind of illumination system, and the same rule applies in the case of this model. The LED bulb has been installed on a gooseneck so that you’re able to move it around with ease and focus the light wherever you might need it the most.

Another reason you should give some thought to this option consists of the fact that it has been outfitted with a 12-inch boom arm and has a 9-inch vertical working distance. You won’t have to go through the trouble of getting your specimens and samples closer to the microscope. Instead, you can change the position and orientation of the microscope head so that you’re able to do the opposite.

As for the construction quality of this model, you probably have nothing to worry about in this sense. The rugged build and the fact that the optics have been made of glass should give you a pointer as to whether or not the unit will be capable of withstanding the test of time. Several extremely affordable alternatives have optics made of plastic, and these do a bad job when it comes to putting up with potentially high temperatures from the environment where the product might be stored in.

An AC outlet is required in order to get this microscope up and running. What this means is that you won’t be able to use it as a portable option.

 

Known issues

Most of the individuals who took the time to express their opinions about the performance and overall quality of this product seem to have nothing but good things to say about it. As such, this AmScope model appears to be one of the most convenient and versatile units in the line.

 

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

OMAX CS-M837ZL Lab Digital Microscope – Review

 

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Main technical features

 

The OMAX 40X-2500X is a trinocular compound microscope that has been equipped with a 14-megapixel camera which will allow you to take shots of your samples.

This product has been equipped with a USB port that you’ll be able to utilize efficiently to transfer the pictures to your laptop or computer.

Having been equipped with transmitted illumination, you’ll find that the 3W LED light has variable intensity which can be customized depending on the circumstance.

The software provided in the box has been found to be compatible with a broad array of operating systems and can be utilized to perform measurements.

Unlike other products in the same line, the OMAX 40X-2500X has a camera resolution with three available settings, therefore giving you the freedom to save smaller or larger images, depending on your needs.

Given that it weighs in at just 14 pounds, this OMAX model is one of the lightest alternatives out there.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($615.99)

 

 

 

In-depth information

 

The resolution of the camera in this microscope is truly spectacular, as even $3,000-dollar models sometimes come with 5-megapixel cams. Thanks to the 14-megapixel res, you will fail to be disappointed in the picture quality. In addition to all of this, the camera allows owners to use three settings which can help them save the images and capture either in a smaller or a larger size. The highest 4096 x 3288 image resolution is, without a doubt, useful if you plan to showcase the specimens in a scientific paper.

In order to make it easier for owners to get the most of this microscope, the manufacturing brand has engineered the product with a USB port which you can utilize to connect a computer or laptop, depending on your location or the circumstances that might arise. What’s more, a USB cable is part of the deal with this model, which means that you won’t have to use one that you already own or buy it separately.

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The transmitted illumination of the 40X-2500X is made possible thanks to a 3W LED bulb. In the event of a malfunction or if this bulb has burned out, it’s reassuring to know that you will be able to replace it on your own, provided that you do so with a compatible model. Finding a 3W LED bulb these days isn’t all that difficult as it is available at many online retailers.

The deal also includes software that you’ll be utilizing to view the pictures of the specimens. Having been created with the needs of multiple users in mind, the driver is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computer and laptops.

In spite of its many functions and the impressive number of advantages it provides, this model weighs just 14 pounds. While it might not be a portable microscope, it’s certainly lightweight enough to be carried with ease and, therefore, taken wherever its services might be required.

 

Known issues

Some users argue that the instructions that accompanied the product could use some improvement as they had a hard time installing the device on their own.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($615.99)

 

 

 

National Optical 163-PH Trinocular Compound Microscope Review

 

Main technical features

 

The National Optical 163-PH is a trinocular compound microscope that comes with WF10x eyepieces, an iris diaphragm, and an Abbe condenser.

The magnification range of this option is 40X to 1000X.

Since it has been outfitted with mechanical stage locks, this unit is more than capable of providing excellent coarse and fine focus.

An illumination system is part of the construction of this model, in that it comes with a halogen bulb with a rheostat. The light intensity can be controlled by the user.

The model comes with four objectives: 4X, 10X, 40XR, and 100XR.

A dust cover, two rubber eyeshields, as well as three colored filters, can be found in the box.

 

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

In-depth information

 

National Optical is a company headquartered in Texas, the United States of America, which is why it is one of the critically acclaimed brands in the industry of manufacturing high-quality microscopes that have American components. The construction quality of this choice renders it durable and easy to work with, although its 23.8 pounds weight suggests that it should be used in static environments such as laboratories. This is not a portable alternative, and so you won’t be able to take it with you when you are going to examine specimens on the field.

The magnification capabilities of a microscope matter most when you’re trying to decide either on a model or on a different one. The 40X to 1000X range allowed by this option means that you will be able to examine different kinds of smears and specimens that might you need to analyze in your profession. The product comes with four objectives that can assist you in making the most of the magnification range.

This particular trinocular compound microscope features a proprietary lighting system consisting of a halogen bulb that is placed below the spot where you will place the plate. Therefore, this unit comes with a transmitted illumination system, but the core advantage offered by it is that it allows you to customize the brightness depending on your momentary requirements.

The value offered by the National Optical 163-PH unit is further increased by the fact that the package includes several accessories. As such, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that the box contains both the microscope, eyepieces, and objectives, as well as three colored filters, two rubber eyeshields, and a dust cover. In other words, you won’t have to spend any money on getting these items separately as they are part of the deal.

One thing that is worth noting is that, while the National Optical 163-PH is a trinocular microscope, the camera has to be bought individually. A wide-field monocular eyepiece can be found in the exact place where the camera has to be installed once you have it.

 

Known issues

While most of the user feedback we have come across regarding the performance and characteristics of this alternative is favorable, there have been people pointing out that the phase condenser, located below the movable stage, does not come with a swing-out filter holder.

 

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

Reasons why you should get a microscope

 

Whether you’re a biology student, passionate about electronics, or a caring parent, getting a quality microscope is an excellent choice. These devices are becoming more affordable by the day, and they offer superior performance as well as flexibility when it comes to functionality. You can use a microscope for various purposes, with some of the most popular mentioned below.

Study plants and animals

Regardless if you’re a biology student or studying animal and plant life is just a hobby, getting a microscope can allow you to observe countless species as well as biologic processes in high detail. Many microscopes come with multiple optical combinations to give you the magnifying power you need.

You can either examine full-sized specimens of tiny insects, worms, or other tiny creatures, or prepare microscope slides and study plant cell walls, animal tissues, protozoa, and many more. Many models come with multiple objective lenses, and you can also swap eyepieces for a better view, depending on the desired magnification and specific needs.

 

Examine rocks, minerals, and other materials

A microscope isn’t just good for studying lifeforms, but also inorganic objects such as mineral composites, rocks, plastics, and other materials. You can use such a device to study rock composition or crystal formation, as well as observe in high resolution the structures and behaviors of many different types of materials both natural and manmade.

 

Ensure a precise dissection of specimens

If you need to perform dissections on various specimens of vertebrates and invertebrates, then you can get one of the quality low-magnification models so that you get to see the morphological features in detail while also being able to perform the operation with ease.

There are quite a few types of optical devices to choose from so you should probably check some dissecting microscope comparison articles to make sure that you get the one that’s best suited for the kind of work you need to do.

 

Get help with SMD soldering

You can also use a microscope if you’re passionate about electronics and need to solder various SMDs to circuit boards. With one of these devices, you could easily mount capacitors, microchips, resistors, and other SMDs and get the close-up view you need for precise operations so you can build or repair even complex PCBs.

While many such units can have prohibitive prices, you should be glad to learn that you could also find a new microscope for SMD soldering that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You can choose a USB microscope that connects to your computer or laptop via a USB and cable so that you can watch what you’re doing on the screen.

These models are relatively inexpensive and can provide you with an easy way to work with tiny components and ensure an accurate and clean work.

 

Help your child become interested in science

If you have children, then offering them a microscope is the perfect gift which could help spark their interest in science. With a good microscope, they’ll surely start collecting samples of plants, insects, and rocks to look at them in great detail.

That won’t just help them in school, but possibly put them on a career path they will pursue with passion, as well as stimulate their love of nature and of science in general, which can only be a good thing. Your kids could also learn to love nature and understand why it’s so important to protect it, especially with the climate change challenges lying ahead.

 

Take a closer look at specimens in the field with a pocket microscope

In case you do a lot of field work that requires collecting samples and recording data while on the field, then a portable microscope is just what you need. You can get a small and compact model that’s easy to carry and can be plugged into your iPad or other mobile device and make some on-the-spot studies without the need to go back to the lab.

With an excellent microscope for iPad, you get a pocket optical instrument that offers 20x or even more magnification, which should be more than enough to examine small insects such as parasitic Hymenoptera or check tiny features or mushrooms spores so that you can accurately use identification keys and correctly label the species along with other data.

 

Prepare yourself for a career in forensics

A microscope is also a handy tool in case you’re planning to become a forensic scientist. You can study hair samples, carpet fibers, and other tiny particles and materials that could help you understand not just how to handle them, but also how they look, which features you need to closely examine, how to prepare slides, etc.

Some forensic sciences also require you to use a microscope to look at food for possible contamination, check striations on bullets to identify patterns and match them to a weapon, and examine bones and other tissues so getting a model can help you better understand how these procedures work.

Use a microscope for medical investigations

You can also use a microscope for many medical applications, whether you’re working in a laboratory or preparing to enter medical school. With a microscope, you can study blood cells to look for abnormalities such as the sickle cell disease or search for pathogens in bodily fluids or other tissues to determine the cause of an infection.

With enough magnification, you can examine bacteria, or study cytogenetics and look for alterations and other abnormalities in chromosomes. There are also many microscopes that come with various objective lenses and eyepieces so that you get the right tool for each type of job you need to perform.

 

Study environmental samples

With a quality microscope, you can also study environmental samples from soil and water. You can check out which species of algae thrive in a particular aquatic environment, look for insect larvae and study breeding patterns, or look at soil for composition and study worms, arthropods, and other small lifeforms.

In order to understand the environment, you need to understand the relationship between various organisms and inorganic components from soil and water, and a quality microscope can definitely get you started with your new passion and help you get a better grasp of this scientific discipline.

 

 

 

How to select your first microscope

 

If you are still looking for the microscope for the money but you lack the time to do the needed legwork in order to know what aspects are a must when it comes to a unit of this type, this article should be of great help to you.

Because we know how dreadful going to endless reviews can be, especially if you are a novice in this line of products, we have decided to put together a step by step guide that will help you select the right microscope to fit your needs.

 

Step 1. Know the basics

As you probably imagine, there are a few particularities that one should not settle without in a product of this type. For instance, it is crucial that you know the importance of buying an item that has good optics. In fact, you should know that high-quality lenses need to meet the DIN standard or the JIS (the Japanese norm of reliability).

The units that meet these requirements are said to be long-lasting. Moreover, in case you damage your optics if the model that you own is DIN/JIS approved, you will be able to replace them with similar products sold by basically any manufacturer.

Equally important, it might be an excellent idea to know what the term achromatic stands for when speaking about lenses.  To put it simply, achromatic lenses are color corrected. Thus, the sample that you want to observe will be visible under the microscope no matter its color.

By settling for lenses that are non-color corrected, you are prone not to be able to distinguish some of the objects that you want to analyze, simply because they have a color that is not picked up by the device.

Moreover, it is a well-known fact that aberration is something that most microscope lenses produce. An aberration is, to put it in simpler terms, a distortion that is produced due to the existence of a defect in the given lens. Although distortion free lenses do exist, they are particularly expensive and are only purchased for laboratories.

However, you should know that the lenses that have been labeled as achromatic have a field of view that is 60% free of aberration. This means that the remaining 40% outer part of the lens is likely to display aberrations. Yet, because you only use the central part of the objective to study a sample, this should not pose a problem.

If you want to invest in a product that allows for only 20% aberration, it might be a good idea to select a unit that is Semi-Plan.

 

Step 2. Decide between a monocular and a binocular device

Before you settle for the first stereo microscope for sale that you lay your eyes on, it might be a good idea to consider whether you want a monocular or a binocular unit.

When making this decision it is advisable that you think about how you intend to use the selected unit. For instance, if you intend to make use of the newly purchased microscope on a day to day basis, it might be best to select a binocular model, as it will prove to be quite comfortable for your eyes.

Yet, if you want to invest in a product that you want to use every now and then, a monocular might be a better fit. The latter models are said to be particularly suitable for children.

 

Step 3. Type of focus

The next aspect that you should consider is the type of focus that the unit uses. From this point of view, one usually has to choose between a coarse focus and a fine focus. The models that use coarse focus require the buyer to use a focusing knob in order to adjust the image.

However, according to the specialists that put together a dissecting microscopes comparison, the latter option is recommendable for students, as it makes the unit easier to manage. Therefore, whenever thinking about buying a new device, make sure that you have this aspect in mind too.

 

Step 4. Should you consider buying a second-hand microscope?

Although this alternative might be fitting to those that do not want to invest a lot of money into a microscope, it might be better that one does not purchase a used instrument if she/he does not know how to assess the condition of a product of this type.

Moreover, experienced buyers recommend that if you decide to buy a second-hand unit you should not, in any case, buy one from a school. The main reason for this has to do with the fact that the microscopes that are used in schools go through a lot of hands and suffer plenty of abuse during their lifespan.

Given the state of things, it is advisable that you purchase a brand new model that is not particularly costly and that can last you a significant amount of time. In fact, as some previous buyers have noted, if treated properly, most microscopes can be used for years on end without experiencing any type of issues with them.

All in all, we believe that the information and the tips that we have shared with you should help you purchase a unit that is both reliable and precise. Our last recommendation to you is that you go online and, before ordering anything, you check to see what previous users of the product that you like had to say about that particular model.

 

 

 

How to understand the functional parts of a microscope

 

Because we know just how tricky 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.

 

 

 

How to set up your microscope correctly

 

If you are the proud new owner of a microscope, or you are just making use of an excellent high school microscope, but you still don’t know all the tricks one needs to be familiar with to operate it properly, we can help you out. In an attempt to make this process easier for you, we have gathered a handful of useful information that you might want to study so that you can use your acquisition in a proper manner.

In an attempt to make this guide effortless to read and understand, we have divided it into two separate sections. The first refers to how one has to prepare the head of the device, while the second details just what adjustments are needed when focusing the device.

 

How to prepare the head of your microscope

Before plunging into exploring the details of your first sample, it is crucial that you follow these suggestions. First things first, prior to placing your sample on the device’s stage, make sure that you turn on the lights that the unit comes provided with. This way, you will be sure that enough illumination is provided for you to examine the selected sample.

However, when doing so, it is not advisable that you select the highest illumination ratio, as this might make it difficult for you to see under the microscope clearly. Instead, the specialists recommend that you take the time to adjust it so that it provides you with the clarity that you need to correctly examine the sample.

Next, it is necessary that you rotate the 4x objective so that it reaches the required position. Then, make sure that you twist the left eyepiece diopter ring in the correct direction and that you line it up with the position of the eyepiece tube.

Furthermore, this is the moment when you have to arrange the distance between the eyepieces so that the two images can properly combine and offer you a single free of error image. Once this process is completed, you are minutes away from being ready to explore your sample!

 

How to focus the device

Before anything, it is crucial that we draw your attention to the fact that, when using a microscope, all glasses wearers should pay attention to a few aspects. Therefore, if you have myopia and you have difficulties seeing objects that are far away, you should remove your glasses when using the microscope.

Because those who have myopia have no trouble seeing/observing in detail objects that are close to them, they won’t have problems when it comes to distinguishing the sample that is placed under the microscope.

Still, if you wear glasses because you have astigmatism, you won’t be able to do so. Due to this situation, you will have to be very careful in order to avoid scratching your lenses when getting close to the unit’s oculars. The risk of having this happen to your lenses is increased if you wear glasses that have lenses made out of a plastic material. So, make sure that you are always careful when using the microscope.

To focus the unit, first, make sure that your side has no trace of dirt or debris. Then, check to see that the device’s oculars are clean. If this is not the case, use lens paper to remove the unwanted spots. Do not use any other type of material/substance when it comes to cleaning the optics! Additionally, take the time to verify that the glass of the lamp is also clean.

Further, go ahead and place the sample on the microscope’s stage with the coverslip facing up. Then, gently raise the condenser up until it reaches its maximum position. The diaphragm of the condenser should now be set at 30.

In order to focus the 10x objective, you have to use the coarse knob to adapt the focus knob so that you are capable of seeing the small details that are present in the given field. Next, do the same to position and also focus the 40x objective. During this process, you should not, in any case, make use of the coarse knob.

At this point, it is the moment when you have to adjust the two eyepieces of the microscope. To do so, make sure that you close the right eye so that you can focus the image in the left eyepiece. In order to focus it properly, use the focus knob. Then, by utilizing the diopter ring, close the left eye and go ahead and focus the right eye.

If you are the sole user of the microscope, you have to carry out this process just once, when you first start using the unit. Then, you can only use the focus knob to adjust the image when analyzing different samples. Nonetheless, if you have to share the device with other students/colleagues, it is recommended that you repeat the process whenever you have to use the microscope.

By doing so, it is guaranteed that you’ll get the best results. If you have trouble understanding how each component of the device is called/works, we suggest that you read the instruction manual that you’ve certainly received with the microscope. What is more, chances are that the manual contains additional recommendations as well as tips and tricks.

So, don’t waste any time, start reading and make sure that you set up your device like a pro! As a plus, you should know that you can now use a digital microscope camera to record your results!

 

 

 

Why should you get a student microscope

 

 

A student microscope may not seem like a purchase that has a lot of influence on the future of your kids, but you would surprise to know just how much can this simple instrument teach and shape the interests of an individual.

We tend to think of student microscopes as a sort of toy that younger kids can use to “pretend” to do a bit of science. While that might have been true in the past, it is important to know that student microscopes nowadays are pieces of technology and science that can be just as effective as research microscopes in studying complex components of various organisms, cells, and tissues.

It still begs the question, why should you buy a student microscope? After all, depending on the model you choose, this will not be a cheap purchase. So are there enough reasons to purchase such an instrument for your child? We believe there are, and in the article below, we will try to present a few of the reasons that had us convinced that a student microscope is an investment that is well worth the money.

 

Whet your child’s appetite for science

Science is not always fun, theory without practice can make this fascinating subject quite hard to digest. Unless you try and start their passion for science from a young age, you risk removing a wide range of opportunities that they can follow when they grow up.

This is where a microscope comes into a play, but you have to make sure that you choose the right model because otherwise you risk wasting money for nothing. A cheap model that is merely a plastic toy and that reveals nothing will only help to quash any interest that your kid might have had.

The good thing is that finding excellent student microscopes these days is quite easy since models are packed full of features, and they all offer great magnification and excellent viewing experience. The secret to getting a good instrument is not being afraid to spend a little more than what you would normally be used with.

This does not mean that you will have to spend a fortune since brands such as AmScope and others offer models that are aimed exclusively at students and young kids.

You should also consider the fact that they can use their microscope for school assignments. Not all schools afford to have a microscope for every student so having your very own will help your kid focus on what the teacher is trying to show to the class.

With your very own student microscope, you can even have classmates around and turn what would otherwise be a dull task, such as doing a biology assignment, into something fun and social. With the amount of fun they’ll be having, they won’t even notice that they’re doing work.

 

Think of the future

It is crucial that you help your kid experiment as much of what life has to offer from a young age, as that is the only way he or she can get to know themselves better. The sooner they learn what they like and what they dislike to do, the sooner they can start focusing on their energy on their passions.

This is why it is important that you offer them as many opportunities to learn and experience different and unique things. A microscope is no different as it can be a gateway to another world. Ask any scientist around the world, and they’ll probably tell you that their passion for science started when they were young, by using instruments such as a microscope or a telescope.

These simple instruments can have a big impact on the worldview of your child; they can easily awake a passion that laid dormant until you presented them with the right tools. Watching a leaf, an insect, even their own skin up close with the help of the microscope is an experience that they can’t get from other places.

This passion of theirs for science can easily transform into a career. If they end up working in an area that requires the use of a microscope, the years of using their own device can be of great help. He or she might not need to train, and the fact that using a microscope feels natural means will help them a great deal.

 

You can use it to have fun

Now that we’ve talked about what parents want from a telescope, it is also important we take a second and acknowledge the thing that is most important to a child: fun. That’s right, a microscope may seem like a sober instrument to us, but the truth is that kids absolutely love using it.

Kids are fascinated with the way the world works, they’ve been on it for such a short time that they want to learn all it has to offer. In a sense they are very much like your average scientist, the world is a mystery, and their goal in life is to make sense of it.

A microscope will help them do that while also offering them countless hours of pure fun. Be ready to be amazed by the number of objects they’ll start observing, and most importantly, be ready to join them and lose the track of time as you become a child again and view the world through the lenses of your new microscope.

 

The magic of technology

Another reason for getting a student microscope is the fact that you now have a ton of alternatives to choose from. Perhaps you’re used with models that are so massive that they risk toppling your desk, or maybe you’re used with microscopes that rely on glass lenses.

Those models are still around but the future is here, and it has come with loads of choices that can satisfy even the picky customer. You can now get portable models that fit even in the smallest backpack and that make exploring on the go a fun and effortless experience.

What’s more, if you don’t want to worry about fragile and easy to break optics, you can now go for digital microscopes that use technology that is similar to that of your phone’s camera. Speaking of your phone’s camera, you can even turn your phone into a microscope by using a magnifier that can be attached to the back of your phone.

With so many options to choose and the many benefits of having your own microscope, there’s really no reason for you not to get one right now.

 

 

 

Digital microscope cameras – What you need to know

 

 

If you own and work on a microscope but find only looking through the eyepieces limiting in some cases, then you should definitely learn what a digital microscope camera is and how it could help you out. This device is a modern solution to old problems. By getting one of these, you can easily connect your microscope to a computer or tablet and enjoy countless other benefits.So here are a few things you might need to know to properly compare digital microscope cameras on the market in order to make the best possible choice.

Benefit from easy connection and enhanced compatibility

One of the best things about buying a microscope camera is that you get to connect a microscope with a wide range of devices with a simple USB cable. This device can be mounted on many microscope models without much effort, and getting a quality camera will also provide you with plenty of adapters to ensure a proper fit and functionality.

Connecting the camera to a device such as a computer, tablet, or laptop is just as easy. Just plug in the cable, install the software, and you’re set to go. You should be glad to learn that modern digital microscope cameras come with software that’s compatible with most operating systems out there, from Windows 10 to Linux to Mac OS X.

Depending on the model, the camera may support USB 2.0 or 3.0 transfer rates. That means that you get live video recordings with minimum lag if any, as well as a fast way to snap pictures of your favorite slides and have them downloaded immediately on an external HDD. All of this can be performed easily with just a few clicks of the mouse.

 

Immortalize your work

The best way to immortalize your work is to take pictures of samples and specimens or even a recording of a complicated procedure under the microscope. You get to choose from many cameras with maximum resolutions ranging from 3 megapixels to 18MP or even higher.

In terms of video recordings, there are quite a few capable devices able to offer a good frame rate and decent transfer times so that you don’t have to wait forever even when recording lengthy operations.

With a good microscope camera, you can snap photographs that you can later use in your work. You could also effortlessly share pictures and video with peers or publish high-resolution images along with your articles and papers in major scientific publications and ensure that you also impress visually.

 

Present your findings to a large audience

A reliable digital microscope camera can also be a powerful educational tool. When performing complex procedures, all you need is a microscope, a camera, and a computer that’s connected to a projector in order to allow students to see everything in high detail.

Not only do you get to live stream work and teach on a large screen, but you can also record operations and get back to them later on with your students so you can discuss and discover new details.

Examine samples in greater detail

Another great advantage of using a microscope camera is that you get to see everything in higher detail. No longer will you have to strain your eyes with that 40x eyepiece. You could simply mount this device and work by looking at a large laptop or PC screen rather than through the tiny eyepiece.

That way you can see what you’re doing, in addition to being able to snapshots of your progress. You can examine everything in much higher detail than possible before, and a great advantage is that you can also capture things such as cellular division at different stages, various coloration techniques, chromosome migration or organelle formation, parasitic mating behavior, etc.

There’s simply no limit to what you can do with a simple device such as a microscope camera.

 

Perform precise dissections

With a good camera, you can also perform more accurate dissections. Just connect the microscope to a large screen and see what you’re doing in real time. You will be able to do things you could never have done directly under the microscope.

This would lead to better results across the board, as well as enjoying an easier way to work which would take less of a toll on your eyes, wrists, and fingers.

 

Get help with SMD soldering

If you thought dissections are tough under the microscope, just wait until you try SMD soldering. Most printed circuit boards are getting smaller and smaller by the day so it is only normal that fixing stuff and soldering parts such as tiny capacitors are becoming increasingly difficult.

The good news is that a high-quality digital microscope camera can help you out. You won’t have to struggle with tiny inscriptions or with synchronizing your eyes and hands through the eyepieces. You could now watch everything on a 1080p FullHD monitor and make sure that you get a good job done, and that without spending an arm and a leg on a camera.

There are plenty models that come with low price tags and they offer a high-enough resolution for just about any need.

Take quality photographs on the cheap

By spending a few dollars on a microscope camera, you get to delve into microscopic photography without having to invest in a full-size DSLR. While you’d certainly be able to take higher quality photos on a 4,000 dollar model, you might not want to invest that much only for photographic purposes.

Rather than forking over thousands of bucks on high-end photo equipment, you could upgrade your microscope, get new eyepieces, maybe even a new computer or laptop for that matter. Doing so would still allow you to take great pictures, especially when microscope cameras are getting better with each passing day while also becoming more affordable.

 

Enjoy a versatile device

Choosing one of the microscope digital cameras on the market will provide you with a versatile device that’s compatible with many makes and models of microscopes. You also get extra adaptors for increased functionality and compatibility across most digital operating systems.

In addition to the above, you can also post-process pictures and videos with specialized software and stitch multiple pictures, make measurements on samples, stream video, and perform a wide range of other functions.

 

 

 

Getting a microscope for a 7-year-old

 

While helping your child getting involved in all sorts of educational and sports activities is nice, you should never neglect his or her curiosity. If you want to expand the universe of your precious little one and show a new world, then there’s no better option other than getting one of the quality and safe microscopes for 7-year-olds available for sale.

Doing so will give your kid plenty of benefits in all sorts of areas that you might not have even thought of. Here are a few ways in which your child might benefit from a microscope.

Exploring a new world

One of the things you should never do is oversimplify things for your kids. You’d be surprised to find out that they’d actually love to know a lot more about the world that you would have thought. Children are like little sponges when it comes to absorbing information about the world, and offering them a microscope is a great way to allow them to learn a lot about microscopic wonders.

Even if biology classes weren’t your thing in school, your kid will benefit immensely from getting a scientific instrument able to unravel a hidden world filled with all sorts of interesting and captivating details. Your kid will learn to use the microscope with some assistance, and you can also choose to get some pre-made slides with various plant and animal species.

 

Learning more about living things

Especially with so many things going on in the world, from climate change to the shrinking of national parks to the extinction of species, now is a great time to teach your child about the importance of life. He or she can observe numerous species, from exotic ones to small creatures living in your backyard.

You’d be surprised to see how fast children catch up and learn. Besides having obvious educational advantages, a microscope can also provide your kid with loads of fun, especially when there are so many things to look at through the magnifying glass.

Getting involved in a wonderful after school activity

In addition to discovering more about the microscopic world that is hidden from our naked eyes, getting a microscope will provide your 7-year-old kid with a productive and entertaining after school activity.

In this modern world that’s dominated by iPhones, computers, and television, it can be a true blessing to get your child to go outside to collect samples and then spend quality time in the company of his little newfound little friends. This would be in contrast to having him stuck in front of a computer for hours on end.

A microscope might actually help your child with school work as he could participate in a science project and bring his own contributions. This would surely stimulate creativity, boost confidence, as well as possibly improve overall attitude towards education.

 

Developing cognitive and motor skills

A microscope is surely not the easiest devices to learn on, especially when the child is young. However, these optical devices come with numerous benefits in terms of improving both cognitive and motor skills.

Your kid will have to learn to operate all those little dials, knobs, and buttons so he might get quite good at handling them. Of course, you can always help when things get complicated, and you can also go for a simpler microscope in the first place.

Another advantage to getting a microscope for your boy or girl is that he or she will also benefit from mental exercises by trying to identify species seen through the eyepieces, putting information together, looking at characteristics and comparing these with those of other species.

You may not realize it yet, but all of these fun ‘exercises’ could help immensely with educating your child and creating a path for a more certain future.

 

Studying to be a scientist

In the world of Silicon Valley companies, everyone wants to be an IT specialist. However, there are few who choose the path of a scientist. This can be a highly rewarding choice, especially given the hefty salaries scientists from top institutes receive.

According to plenty of studies, it can also be rewarding in terms of satisfaction with the job and with life in general. This is because it appears people with higher academic studies and accomplishments tend to be happier.

A microscope might just tip the balance of curiosity and help your child decide on a future career in life sciences. Many of us, grown-ups, regret not having made a choice earlier in our lives, and there’s a great advantage in providing your kid with the means to figure out what he or she would like to do when growing up.

Getting an easy-to-use device

If all the above may sound serious and complicated, you might be glad to learn that you can find plenty of microscope models that are quite easy to use, not to mention extremely fun. You probably shouldn’t actually think of a plastic toy microscope since it would add little to no real value.

Yet there are some instruments that are easy to set-up as well as use. Your child can learn to twist all those dials in no time. There are quite a few beginner microscope sets out there, ranging from the down-right simple to the more complex variants that should still be manageable even by a 7-year-old.

 

Enjoying a versatile device

One of the best things about microscopes nowadays is that they come with plenty of eyepieces, zoom options, lighting systems, adjustments, accessories, etc. What this means for you is that you have a wide range of options at your disposal so that you can make the right choice for your child.

You can get a normal glass microscope that comes with extra safety features, or a smaller and lighter plastic variant that you could upgrade later on, as your kid learns more.

There are also quite a few USB microscope cameras out there that could enable an easy connection to a laptop or computer so that your kid can record and review slides and experiments. This in addition to getting a much clearer view in the first place if you plug the microscope camera into a large screen.

 

 

 

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Do you intend to start a coin collection but have no idea where to start? The following list of tips will help you in your endeavor. We gathered the most important guidelines and recommendations from experts that any novice can apply to become an excellent coin collector.

Know your lingo

Besides being a fascinating pastime, coin collecting comes with its language. So, if you intend to join the world of coin collectors, you may start by learning a few terms. For instance, circulation coins are coins that have been used in commercial transactions over the years.

Commemorative coins, on the other hand, belong to a category of coins that are minted to celebrate an event, an outstanding personality, or an institution. They are also called numismatic coins. As you can quickly glean from the information offered here, they are never used for commercial purposes.

You should also learn about uncirculated coins, minting, face value, along with other terms that will make you the necessary introduction to the world of coin collecting.

 

Find a reputable dealer

You cannot start your collection without coins. That means that you need to be aware of the implications of purchasing coins from shady sources. Always count on a reputable coin dealer, as, otherwise, your collection might end up containing nothing but worthless pieces, or coins for which you cannot prove the provenience and therefore value.

There are many advantages associated with working with an honest coin dealer. For starters, he or she can offer invaluable information on what coins you should purchase. You can also get a correct appraisal of the coins you get, in case you receive them or you already have them from other sources. Last, but not least, a coin dealer can help you sell your collection for the right price, should you decide to do that at some point.

Invest a little in equipment

To learn about coins, you need to scrutinize them. While the naked eye can only do this much, to observe details that are too minuscule to see without extra help, you need something more. Some people prefer a dissecting microscope for coins, so think whether such an investment is justified, in case you’re not yet convinced that you want to get busy with coin collecting in your spare time.

You should have latex or cotton gloves for manipulating the coins since, while they are made of metal and resistant to wear and tear, they can get scratched and damaged, especially their surface. Find a place where you can store your coins, and place your case of coins somewhere away from any damage, be it excessive humidity, or anything else.

Or get the right magnifying glass

You might not have heard so far about the existence of a particular magnifying glass for coins, but such items do exist, and they have specific characteristics that you must bear in mind. Experts recommend getting a model with at least 7x magnification so that you can see all the details without any problem.

Others believe that a magnification of 2x or 3x is enough for a beginner. In case your eyesight is not the best, you should opt for a model with a higher magnification just so that you don’t have to squint and force your eyes when you’re examining your prized collection of coins.

Learn to be organized

Even if you don’t care about investing in equipment, and a magnifying glass for reading is enough for examining the coins in your collection, you should learn how to be organized. Cardboard folders are an easy choice if you want to keep your coins in the same place, and away from harm of any kind.

An idea that experts insist on is to label all the coins and write the specs underneath each coin. This way, you will be able to group different coins, and you will not have to worry about getting them mixed up.

This operation, however, requires a bit of time, and you might also have to educate yourself on the importance and value of each coin in your collection.

Never think as an investor

Coin collecting can be a productive pastime and not only a hobby, but that happens only if you have the proper mindset. If you get into coin collecting just for the sake of making a buck, you have just started on the wrong foot. Investors are guided, in their endeavors, by the need to make a profit. Their goal is to buy low and sell high.

Coins, even when they are collectibles, do not change their value overnight. Collectors, not investors, are those who make a good profit from selling their coins or even entire collections, due to a primary consideration.

They take care of their collections, and thus, they increase their value. A fair return on investment happens years or even decades from purchasing a particular coin.

Always buy coins that look great

Coins, to maintain their value, need to be in as close as mint condition as possible. An old and rare coin might have some minor signs of damage and still maintain its high value, but, as is the case with most coins, they don’t belong to such a narrow category.

So, if you want a rule of thumb for your coin collecting ambitions, you should always invest in good looking coins. Inspect them, if need be, to ensure that they are in good condition.

Never try to remove scratches and signs of damage

Do you know what can be even worse than buying damaged coins? The right answer is: trying to eliminate the signs of damage by polishing the coins or using other methods. Even the least trained coin dealer and collector can tell you that it is a complete no-no to try to recondition damaged coins.

Pay heed to the advice offered just earlier and invest only in pieces that are worth the price. Only in this way, you will be able to populate your collection with valuable pieces that you can later resell.

 

 

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Have you thought about taking up a new hobby? Do you find coin collecting fascinating, but so far you haven’t thought about it as a way to spend your time in an exciting manner? Maybe the only thing in your way is the simple fact that you don’t know enough things about it. We are here to help you by offering you a list of rules of coin collecting that any beginner should know so that you can avoid bad deals.

Make reasonable purchases from the get-go

Many people feel tempted to believe that they only need one lucky deal and they can get rich. But many professional coin collectors can make such dreams shatter just by examining the coins brought to their attention in this manner with a magnifying glass.

First things first, if you are looking to become a coin collector, you need to learn about coins. Do not throw thousands of dollars on a single item – unless you’re a millionaire and don’t care about losses – and don’t bet on lucky hunches.

There are no such things when it comes to the arduous and exciting hobby of collecting coins. There is, however, a lot of knowledge involved. Also, while you learn, purchase coins that are priced reasonably. They will make the basis of your collection. It is a great starting point.

 

Learn how to store and handle your coins properly

You might think that since coins are made of metal, nothing can damage them unless you pick a sledgehammer and you start trying to make them flat. However, despite this widespread misconception, coins need proper storage conditions. Environment conditions and other factors can damage their surface.

If the design on a face of a coin becomes difficult to see or there are scratches and other signs of damage, the value of that coin decreases. That is why this rule is essential for those who are mere novices.

Don’t attempt to clean your coins! Any coin that undergoes a cleaning process is considered damaged by professionals and, therefore, you end up with nothing but a piece of metal in your hands. When you handle your coins, make sure that you wear latex or cotton gloves. Try to pick the coins only by the edge. Such measures are essential for keeping the value of your coins intact.

Have patience

A coin collection will not be as extensive as you want it to be overnight. This is one of the best pieces of advice someone who is just starting out can receive. Start with an idea. What sort of coins do you want to collect? How would you like to keep your collections organized?

Be aware of situations when you might feel tempted to throw some money just for the sake of completing a collection in the making. Avoid such mistakes. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then that means it is.

Hunt down the pieces that are not yet part of your collection. But always make your purchases from reputable sources, and ask for any certifications and guarantees that may be available.

 

Consider investing in good equipment

Some coin collectors prefer a magnifying glass for coins as the only piece of equipment they need for examining the pieces in their collection. However, the same people tend to have a pretty well-trained eye, and that means that they need only this type of visual enhancement to notice the tiniest details on the coins they collect.

Such a tool is indispensable for beginners, too. It is not expensive, and you can use it while you learn about different coins. However, if you want to examine a new coin that comes to your attention correctly, you might find that a dissecting microscope for coins is a better tool for this purpose. Some models are not that expensive, and while they might cost a bit more than a piece of glass that magnifies details, they are still a good deal.

 

Get to know people in the coin collecting world

Coin collecting might not sound like the type of hobby that requires someone to perform a lot of networking, but the truth is, getting to know the right people is essential for being successful in this type of activity.

Where can you find such people? One idea would be to join a coin collecting club. Here you will most likely find other people like you that might have information to share. It doesn’t hurt to attend coin auctions and other related events, as there you will be able to find out about rare coins, their value, and other details that you might not be able to get anywhere else.

Coins are a long-term investment

Coin collecting is not the type of hobby you should expect to yield results from within a short time. A coin you buy today will not change its value overnight. Unless you’re fortunate and you stumble upon an incredible deal, or you find your great-grandfather’s old collection, it is not possible to make a fortune by buying coins today and selling them tomorrow.

Think of your coin collection as a long-term investment. Everyone who is serious about this hobby knows this simple truth well. That is why your chances of finding incredible deals are close to naught. People passionate about numismatics are connoisseurs, and they won’t give up on a valuable coin.

 

Aim for high value

Do not think of your coin collection in terms of quantity. That is a rookie mistake and one that professional collectors never make. A vast collection of one dollar coins is nothing compared to a handful of coins that are valued at thousands of dollars, if not more.

When you make a purchase, search for high-value coins. Get the best price you can. The more valuable coins you have in your collection, the more value your collection as a whole will have. Such a simple rule should put you on the right path of collecting pieces that will bring an extraordinary satisfaction to the collector.

 

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The microscope is an invention without which we wouldn’t be here today. Not only it helped us discover just how incredibly fascinating the microcosmos can be, but it also allowed us to live longer, more exciting and healthier lives. It allowed us to detect the tiny microorganisms that cause disease in humans and it taught us how to get rid of them.

So this begs the next question. Who invented the microscope and why? And the answer we crave is not as simple as we’d like because its origins are disputed between several names in our history. The earliest prototype, if we can even call it that, dates back to the Ancient Roman era, where the Romans used a particular type of glass that magnified objects when you looked through it.

But that was a rudimentary innovation, and it was an accidental discovery that didn’t have any purpose behind it. But then history took another turn when Salvino D’Armate, an Italian scientist created the world’s first eyeglass. But this smart device could only magnify about 5x to 10x and was mostly used to observe larger things such as insects, flowers, and fleas.

The Netherlands and its geniuses

Then something unusual started to happen in the 1590’s, when two Dutch citizens, Zacharias Jansen, and his equally creative father began using lenses in a new way that wasn’t previously experimented with. What they did was that they put a few lenses in an elongated tube, and realized that this organization was about to change the world.

They have realized that the tiny thing at the end of their tube seemed somehow much larger than in real life, much more than a single lens could enlarge something by itself. They didn’t comprehend at that time what would be the implications of this discovery, but it didn’t stop them, and it didn’t curb their enthusiasm in any way.

Although the images obtained with this exciting machine were somehow blurry, they were still enough to impress the public with, since both of them were spectacle men. Unfortunately, none of their microscopes have survived to the modern day, and we only know about them indirectly through a description found in the archives of the Dutch royalty.

Knowing all of this information, we still can’t say the Jansen family invented the microscope since their tools were just overly complicated magnifying glasses. What we call today a microscope is a compound microscope, which is a tool that features two or more lenses, interconnected via a hollow cylinder. The top piece is called an eyepiece or the ocular, and the bottom one is the objective lens.

 

The first pioneer

Most people attribute the invention of the modern microscope to another Dutch person called Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who was a 17th-century scientist who pioneered microscopy. He was the first out of his peers to create and to successfully use a real microscope. His lenses were renowned because they were highly polished and far more superior than the ones of his contemporaries.

His microscope could magnify up to 270x, and it was capable of viewing objects smaller than one-millionth of a meter. Since he was a scientist, he didn’t just make the microscope, but he used it too. Under his polished lenses, he  analyzed bacteria, yeast, and even droplets of water. He described all of them and received many praises from the Royal Society of England, but also a few letters of disbelief, since what he talked about seemed so outlandish.

Now or never

Of course, the Dutchman’s innovative work soon begun to get the attention of scientists all over the world, especially since he was translated into English by Robert Hooke, who published Micrographia in 1665, which is believed to be the first study regarding microscopy.

Hooke is another genius, who took this subject to a whole new level by reinvigorating microscopy and by taking biology into the future.

Modern compound microscopes are indispensable from all laboratories today. And not only that, but they have also have reached into the mainstream, and now anyone who has an interest in science and the intricacy of the world owns one. A dissecting microscope is indispensable in school labs.

A good microscope for students will let you see the mind-blowing detail of any ordinary object, and it will make you a much richer person because you get to be one of the few lucky ones who know that there is more to life than what meets the eye.

 

 

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Top Portable Endoscope Reviews

 

Firefly GT800 Handheld USB Digital Microscope Review

 

 

Main technical features

 

The Firefly GT800 is a handheld microscope that has optical magnification capabilities ranging from 15x to 230x and digital ones that go up to 700x.

As it was expected from a product in this line, the Firefly GT800 comes with a lighting system composed of eight ultra-bright LED of which the brightness can be adjusted by the user.

The product has been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera that can be utilized for taking stills and video of your samples. The image and video resolutions are the same, 1600 by 1200 pixels.

Connecting the microscope to a computer or laptop is made easy thanks to the USB 2.0 port that this unit has been equipped with.

Other functions made available by the software that is included in the box consist of rotation, freeze, scalable window, flip region of interest, and real-time measurements.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)

 

 

 

In-depth information

 

Based on the information that we have gathered about this option, the Firefly GT800 features a good magnification range, in that most amateurs and home users don’t require more than 230x. It should also be pointed out that, due to its small size and compact design, this unit is more than adequate for being taken on the field and can prove to be a trustworthy helper in areas such as veterinary medicine, where the examiner might have to discover the presence or absence of ectoparasites.

This particular handheld microscope comes with a proprietary illumination system as eight LED bulbs have been built in its construction. From what we have gathered by looking at the reviews of this product, it appears that the brightness intensity can be customized with ease.

Despite the fact that the resolution of the camera that this unit has been equipped with is somewhat inferior when compared to that of various other models, 2 megapixels seem to be more than enough in most situations. Besides, you’ll have no trouble taking shots or capturing video of the samples that you will analyze in the future.

It’s also worth noting that this microscope comes with a USB 2.0 connection, which means that you will be able to transfer the images to your computer or laptop as quickly and efficiently as possible. Since the software is provided in the box, you won’t have to go to extreme lengths in order to acquire it. Both the user manual and the driver can be found on the CD made available by the manufacturing company.

Once you install the software on your laptop, you’ll start to notice that there are several other features you can perform by using the driver. Modifications pertaining to the region of interest, resolution, and photo orientation can all be done with the help of the complementary driver.

 

Known issues

Even though most of the owner reviews we’ve gone through are favorable, there has been a customer who pointed out that the manual could have and should have been a bit more straightforward. First-time users might have a hard time understanding how they can make the most of the microscope if they don’t spend a lot of time trying to learn how to use it.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)

 

 

 

Crenova UM012C USB Microscope – Review

 

 

1-1-usb-microscope-crenova

 

Main technical features

 

The magnification ratio of this microscope ranges from 20X to 300X, making it raise up to par in a wide array of situations.

The light source that the Crenova unit has been equipped with consists of eight LED bulbs.

Having been fitted with a USB port, this model can be powered using the USB input of any computer or laptop and the same entry must be used in order to transfer the pictures to these devices.

The product is compatible with a broad range of operating systems, which adds to its versatility.

A 5MP sensor is utilized in order to capture the images that are both crisp and clear.

Software is included with the purchase and can be utilized to transfer the files and to perform measurements of the specimens or various areas that may be of interest on the slide.

This microscope is constructed out of three main parts.

 

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In-depth information

 

The 20X to 300X magnification range of this product makes it possible for teachers and students to study the details of rocks, hair strands, and many other specimens. It’s worth noting that this unit can be utilized with great results for studying the structure of jewelry pieces and electronics, which means that it satisfy the ever-growing requirements of many types of users.

Due to its somewhat basic construction, this low-power microscope comes with eight LED bulbs. A light source has been included in the build of the model because it is not an optical microscope and using natural lighting may be very difficult.

As with other digital microscopes in the same line, the Crenova features a USB port which has two roles. On the one hand, you can utilize this input in order to power the device. On the other hand, it should be employed when you need to analyze the specimens and visualize them on a laptop, for example.

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Compatibility is not an issue of this model as it has been found to work with multiple operating systems, and even more so with modern ones such as Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.5 and above.

The 5MP sensor comes in handy for people looking to capture the images in a more than decent quality so they can use them for proof or to display in various papers, be they scientific or not.

The value of this model is increased by the software included by the manufacturer as one doesn’t have to go to extreme lengths in order to acquire it separately.

Weighing in at just 1.8 pounds, this unit is built out of just three parts, which means that it won’t create any technical difficulties for individuals who are less tech-savvy. All one has to do is put the components together and start using the microscope. Convenience and ease of use are two of the most important factors to give some thought to when prospecting the market for a new microscope, particularly one that is intended for the use of hobbyists.

 

Known issues

While there have been no problems reported with regard to the performance of the model per se, it seems that some of the owners would have appreciated a WiFi capability. By no means is this a disadvantage as the Crenova unit is a very affordable alternative which makes for a user-friendly low-power microscope.

 

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AmScope SE400X Stereo Microscope Review

 

 

 

Main technical features

 

The AmScope SE400X comes with WF5x and WF10x eyepieces and a 1X objective. Its magnification capabilities are 5x and 10x.

The model has been equipped with a LED light that has been mounted on a gooseneck in order to allow owners to benefit from some level of adjustability with regard to the illumination they will focus on their subjects.

Both the 9-inch vertical working distance and the 12-inch boom arm can be used to tailor the characteristics of this unit to your momentary needs or sample you will be trying to analyze.

All of the optical components in this microscope are made of glass.

This product is not a portable microscope as it is rated 110V-120V and therefore uses a standard AC power source.

 

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In-depth information

 

Despite being one of the most affordable choices available for sale nowadays, this dissecting microscope is entirely capable of doing what it is supposed to. The magnification range is what makes it possible for the unit to raise up to par and offer excellent performance for multiple applications in different areas. Whether you’re interested in purchasing such a product for soldering, numismatics, dental applications, or even veterinary medicine, perhaps the AmScope SE400X might be the right choice for what you have in mind.

The vast majority of microscopes these days come with some kind of illumination system, and the same rule applies in the case of this model. The LED bulb has been installed on a gooseneck so that you’re able to move it around with ease and focus the light wherever you might need it the most.

Another reason you should give some thought to this option consists of the fact that it has been outfitted with a 12-inch boom arm and has a 9-inch vertical working distance. You won’t have to go through the trouble of getting your specimens and samples closer to the microscope. Instead, you can change the position and orientation of the microscope head so that you’re able to do the opposite.

As for the construction quality of this model, you probably have nothing to worry about in this sense. The rugged build and the fact that the optics have been made of glass should give you a pointer as to whether or not the unit will be capable of withstanding the test of time. Several extremely affordable alternatives have optics made of plastic, and these do a bad job when it comes to putting up with potentially high temperatures from the environment where the product might be stored in.

An AC outlet is required in order to get this microscope up and running. What this means is that you won’t be able to use it as a portable option.

 

Known issues

Most of the individuals who took the time to express their opinions about the performance and overall quality of this product seem to have nothing but good things to say about it. As such, this AmScope model appears to be one of the most convenient and versatile units in the line.

 

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OMAX CS-M837ZL Lab Digital Microscope – Review

 

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Main technical features

 

The OMAX 40X-2500X is a trinocular compound microscope that has been equipped with a 14-megapixel camera which will allow you to take shots of your samples.

This product has been equipped with a USB port that you’ll be able to utilize efficiently to transfer the pictures to your laptop or computer.

Having been equipped with transmitted illumination, you’ll find that the 3W LED light has variable intensity which can be customized depending on the circumstance.

The software provided in the box has been found to be compatible with a broad array of operating systems and can be utilized to perform measurements.

Unlike other products in the same line, the OMAX 40X-2500X has a camera resolution with three available settings, therefore giving you the freedom to save smaller or larger images, depending on your needs.

Given that it weighs in at just 14 pounds, this OMAX model is one of the lightest alternatives out there.

 

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In-depth information

 

The resolution of the camera in this microscope is truly spectacular, as even $3,000-dollar models sometimes come with 5-megapixel cams. Thanks to the 14-megapixel res, you will fail to be disappointed in the picture quality. In addition to all of this, the camera allows owners to use three settings which can help them save the images and capture either in a smaller or a larger size. The highest 4096 x 3288 image resolution is, without a doubt, useful if you plan to showcase the specimens in a scientific paper.

In order to make it easier for owners to get the most of this microscope, the manufacturing brand has engineered the product with a USB port which you can utilize to connect a computer or laptop, depending on your location or the circumstances that might arise. What’s more, a USB cable is part of the deal with this model, which means that you won’t have to use one that you already own or buy it separately.

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The transmitted illumination of the 40X-2500X is made possible thanks to a 3W LED bulb. In the event of a malfunction or if this bulb has burned out, it’s reassuring to know that you will be able to replace it on your own, provided that you do so with a compatible model. Finding a 3W LED bulb these days isn’t all that difficult as it is available at many online retailers.

The deal also includes software that you’ll be utilizing to view the pictures of the specimens. Having been created with the needs of multiple users in mind, the driver is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computer and laptops.

In spite of its many functions and the impressive number of advantages it provides, this model weighs just 14 pounds. While it might not be a portable microscope, it’s certainly lightweight enough to be carried with ease and, therefore, taken wherever its services might be required.

 

Known issues

Some users argue that the instructions that accompanied the product could use some improvement as they had a hard time installing the device on their own.

 

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National Optical 163-PH Trinocular Compound Microscope Review

 

Main technical features

 

The National Optical 163-PH is a trinocular compound microscope that comes with WF10x eyepieces, an iris diaphragm, and an Abbe condenser.

The magnification range of this option is 40X to 1000X.

Since it has been outfitted with mechanical stage locks, this unit is more than capable of providing excellent coarse and fine focus.

An illumination system is part of the construction of this model, in that it comes with a halogen bulb with a rheostat. The light intensity can be controlled by the user.

The model comes with four objectives: 4X, 10X, 40XR, and 100XR.

A dust cover, two rubber eyeshields, as well as three colored filters, can be found in the box.

 

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In-depth information

 

National Optical is a company headquartered in Texas, the United States of America, which is why it is one of the critically acclaimed brands in the industry of manufacturing high-quality microscopes that have American components. The construction quality of this choice renders it durable and easy to work with, although its 23.8 pounds weight suggests that it should be used in static environments such as laboratories. This is not a portable alternative, and so you won’t be able to take it with you when you are going to examine specimens on the field.

The magnification capabilities of a microscope matter most when you’re trying to decide either on a model or on a different one. The 40X to 1000X range allowed by this option means that you will be able to examine different kinds of smears and specimens that might you need to analyze in your profession. The product comes with four objectives that can assist you in making the most of the magnification range.

This particular trinocular compound microscope features a proprietary lighting system consisting of a halogen bulb that is placed below the spot where you will place the plate. Therefore, this unit comes with a transmitted illumination system, but the core advantage offered by it is that it allows you to customize the brightness depending on your momentary requirements.

The value offered by the National Optical 163-PH unit is further increased by the fact that the package includes several accessories. As such, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that the box contains both the microscope, eyepieces, and objectives, as well as three colored filters, two rubber eyeshields, and a dust cover. In other words, you won’t have to spend any money on getting these items separately as they are part of the deal.

One thing that is worth noting is that, while the National Optical 163-PH is a trinocular microscope, the camera has to be bought individually. A wide-field monocular eyepiece can be found in the exact place where the camera has to be installed once you have it.

 

Known issues

While most of the user feedback we have come across regarding the performance and characteristics of this alternative is favorable, there have been people pointing out that the phase condenser, located below the movable stage, does not come with a swing-out filter holder.

 

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Reasons why you should get a microscope

 

Whether you’re a biology student, passionate about electronics, or a caring parent, getting a quality microscope is an excellent choice. These devices are becoming more affordable by the day, and they offer superior performance as well as flexibility when it comes to functionality. You can use a microscope for various purposes, with some of the most popular mentioned below.

Study plants and animals

Regardless if you’re a biology student or studying animal and plant life is just a hobby, getting a microscope can allow you to observe countless species as well as biologic processes in high detail. Many microscopes come with multiple optical combinations to give you the magnifying power you need.

You can either examine full-sized specimens of tiny insects, worms, or other tiny creatures, or prepare microscope slides and study plant cell walls, animal tissues, protozoa, and many more. Many models come with multiple objective lenses, and you can also swap eyepieces for a better view, depending on the desired magnification and specific needs.

 

Examine rocks, minerals, and other materials

A microscope isn’t just good for studying lifeforms, but also inorganic objects such as mineral composites, rocks, plastics, and other materials. You can use such a device to study rock composition or crystal formation, as well as observe in high resolution the structures and behaviors of many different types of materials both natural and manmade.

 

Ensure a precise dissection of specimens

If you need to perform dissections on various specimens of vertebrates and invertebrates, then you can get one of the quality low-magnification models so that you get to see the morphological features in detail while also being able to perform the operation with ease.

There are quite a few types of optical devices to choose from so you should probably check some dissecting microscope comparison articles to make sure that you get the one that’s best suited for the kind of work you need to do.

 

Get help with SMD soldering

You can also use a microscope if you’re passionate about electronics and need to solder various SMDs to circuit boards. With one of these devices, you could easily mount capacitors, microchips, resistors, and other SMDs and get the close-up view you need for precise operations so you can build or repair even complex PCBs.

While many such units can have prohibitive prices, you should be glad to learn that you could also find a new microscope for SMD soldering that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You can choose a USB microscope that connects to your computer or laptop via a USB and cable so that you can watch what you’re doing on the screen.

These models are relatively inexpensive and can provide you with an easy way to work with tiny components and ensure an accurate and clean work.

 

Help your child become interested in science

If you have children, then offering them a microscope is the perfect gift which could help spark their interest in science. With a good microscope, they’ll surely start collecting samples of plants, insects, and rocks to look at them in great detail.

That won’t just help them in school, but possibly put them on a career path they will pursue with passion, as well as stimulate their love of nature and of science in general, which can only be a good thing. Your kids could also learn to love nature and understand why it’s so important to protect it, especially with the climate change challenges lying ahead.

 

Take a closer look at specimens in the field with a pocket microscope

In case you do a lot of field work that requires collecting samples and recording data while on the field, then a portable microscope is just what you need. You can get a small and compact model that’s easy to carry and can be plugged into your iPad or other mobile device and make some on-the-spot studies without the need to go back to the lab.

With an excellent microscope for iPad, you get a pocket optical instrument that offers 20x or even more magnification, which should be more than enough to examine small insects such as parasitic Hymenoptera or check tiny features or mushrooms spores so that you can accurately use identification keys and correctly label the species along with other data.

 

Prepare yourself for a career in forensics

A microscope is also a handy tool in case you’re planning to become a forensic scientist. You can study hair samples, carpet fibers, and other tiny particles and materials that could help you understand not just how to handle them, but also how they look, which features you need to closely examine, how to prepare slides, etc.

Some forensic sciences also require you to use a microscope to look at food for possible contamination, check striations on bullets to identify patterns and match them to a weapon, and examine bones and other tissues so getting a model can help you better understand how these procedures work.

Use a microscope for medical investigations

You can also use a microscope for many medical applications, whether you’re working in a laboratory or preparing to enter medical school. With a microscope, you can study blood cells to look for abnormalities such as the sickle cell disease or search for pathogens in bodily fluids or other tissues to determine the cause of an infection.

With enough magnification, you can examine bacteria, or study cytogenetics and look for alterations and other abnormalities in chromosomes. There are also many microscopes that come with various objective lenses and eyepieces so that you get the right tool for each type of job you need to perform.

 

Study environmental samples

With a quality microscope, you can also study environmental samples from soil and water. You can check out which species of algae thrive in a particular aquatic environment, look for insect larvae and study breeding patterns, or look at soil for composition and study worms, arthropods, and other small lifeforms.

In order to understand the environment, you need to understand the relationship between various organisms and inorganic components from soil and water, and a quality microscope can definitely get you started with your new passion and help you get a better grasp of this scientific discipline.

 

 

 

How to select your first microscope

 

If you are still looking for the microscope for the money but you lack the time to do the needed legwork in order to know what aspects are a must when it comes to a unit of this type, this article should be of great help to you.

Because we know how dreadful going to endless reviews can be, especially if you are a novice in this line of products, we have decided to put together a step by step guide that will help you select the right microscope to fit your needs.

 

Step 1. Know the basics

As you probably imagine, there are a few particularities that one should not settle without in a product of this type. For instance, it is crucial that you know the importance of buying an item that has good optics. In fact, you should know that high-quality lenses need to meet the DIN standard or the JIS (the Japanese norm of reliability).

The units that meet these requirements are said to be long-lasting. Moreover, in case you damage your optics if the model that you own is DIN/JIS approved, you will be able to replace them with similar products sold by basically any manufacturer.

Equally important, it might be an excellent idea to know what the term achromatic stands for when speaking about lenses.  To put it simply, achromatic lenses are color corrected. Thus, the sample that you want to observe will be visible under the microscope no matter its color.

By settling for lenses that are non-color corrected, you are prone not to be able to distinguish some of the objects that you want to analyze, simply because they have a color that is not picked up by the device.

Moreover, it is a well-known fact that aberration is something that most microscope lenses produce. An aberration is, to put it in simpler terms, a distortion that is produced due to the existence of a defect in the given lens. Although distortion free lenses do exist, they are particularly expensive and are only purchased for laboratories.

However, you should know that the lenses that have been labeled as achromatic have a field of view that is 60% free of aberration. This means that the remaining 40% outer part of the lens is likely to display aberrations. Yet, because you only use the central part of the objective to study a sample, this should not pose a problem.

If you want to invest in a product that allows for only 20% aberration, it might be a good idea to select a unit that is Semi-Plan.

 

Step 2. Decide between a monocular and a binocular device

Before you settle for the first stereo microscope for sale that you lay your eyes on, it might be a good idea to consider whether you want a monocular or a binocular unit.

When making this decision it is advisable that you think about how you intend to use the selected unit. For instance, if you intend to make use of the newly purchased microscope on a day to day basis, it might be best to select a binocular model, as it will prove to be quite comfortable for your eyes.

Yet, if you want to invest in a product that you want to use every now and then, a monocular might be a better fit. The latter models are said to be particularly suitable for children.

 

Step 3. Type of focus

The next aspect that you should consider is the type of focus that the unit uses. From this point of view, one usually has to choose between a coarse focus and a fine focus. The models that use coarse focus require the buyer to use a focusing knob in order to adjust the image.

However, according to the specialists that put together a dissecting microscopes comparison, the latter option is recommendable for students, as it makes the unit easier to manage. Therefore, whenever thinking about buying a new device, make sure that you have this aspect in mind too.

 

Step 4. Should you consider buying a second-hand microscope?

Although this alternative might be fitting to those that do not want to invest a lot of money into a microscope, it might be better that one does not purchase a used instrument if she/he does not know how to assess the condition of a product of this type.

Moreover, experienced buyers recommend that if you decide to buy a second-hand unit you should not, in any case, buy one from a school. The main reason for this has to do with the fact that the microscopes that are used in schools go through a lot of hands and suffer plenty of abuse during their lifespan.

Given the state of things, it is advisable that you purchase a brand new model that is not particularly costly and that can last you a significant amount of time. In fact, as some previous buyers have noted, if treated properly, most microscopes can be used for years on end without experiencing any type of issues with them.

All in all, we believe that the information and the tips that we have shared with you should help you purchase a unit that is both reliable and precise. Our last recommendation to you is that you go online and, before ordering anything, you check to see what previous users of the product that you like had to say about that particular model.

 

 

 

How to understand the functional parts of a microscope

 

Because we know just how tricky 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.

 

 

 

How to set up your microscope correctly

 

If you are the proud new owner of a microscope, or you are just making use of an excellent high school microscope, but you still don’t know all the tricks one needs to be familiar with to operate it properly, we can help you out. In an attempt to make this process easier for you, we have gathered a handful of useful information that you might want to study so that you can use your acquisition in a proper manner.

In an attempt to make this guide effortless to read and understand, we have divided it into two separate sections. The first refers to how one has to prepare the head of the device, while the second details just what adjustments are needed when focusing the device.

 

How to prepare the head of your microscope

Before plunging into exploring the details of your first sample, it is crucial that you follow these suggestions. First things first, prior to placing your sample on the device’s stage, make sure that you turn on the lights that the unit comes provided with. This way, you will be sure that enough illumination is provided for you to examine the selected sample.

However, when doing so, it is not advisable that you select the highest illumination ratio, as this might make it difficult for you to see under the microscope clearly. Instead, the specialists recommend that you take the time to adjust it so that it provides you with the clarity that you need to correctly examine the sample.

Next, it is necessary that you rotate the 4x objective so that it reaches the required position. Then, make sure that you twist the left eyepiece diopter ring in the correct direction and that you line it up with the position of the eyepiece tube.

Furthermore, this is the moment when you have to arrange the distance between the eyepieces so that the two images can properly combine and offer you a single free of error image. Once this process is completed, you are minutes away from being ready to explore your sample!

 

How to focus the device

Before anything, it is crucial that we draw your attention to the fact that, when using a microscope, all glasses wearers should pay attention to a few aspects. Therefore, if you have myopia and you have difficulties seeing objects that are far away, you should remove your glasses when using the microscope.

Because those who have myopia have no trouble seeing/observing in detail objects that are close to them, they won’t have problems when it comes to distinguishing the sample that is placed under the microscope.

Still, if you wear glasses because you have astigmatism, you won’t be able to do so. Due to this situation, you will have to be very careful in order to avoid scratching your lenses when getting close to the unit’s oculars. The risk of having this happen to your lenses is increased if you wear glasses that have lenses made out of a plastic material. So, make sure that you are always careful when using the microscope.

To focus the unit, first, make sure that your side has no trace of dirt or debris. Then, check to see that the device’s oculars are clean. If this is not the case, use lens paper to remove the unwanted spots. Do not use any other type of material/substance when it comes to cleaning the optics! Additionally, take the time to verify that the glass of the lamp is also clean.

Further, go ahead and place the sample on the microscope’s stage with the coverslip facing up. Then, gently raise the condenser up until it reaches its maximum position. The diaphragm of the condenser should now be set at 30.

In order to focus the 10x objective, you have to use the coarse knob to adapt the focus knob so that you are capable of seeing the small details that are present in the given field. Next, do the same to position and also focus the 40x objective. During this process, you should not, in any case, make use of the coarse knob.

At this point, it is the moment when you have to adjust the two eyepieces of the microscope. To do so, make sure that you close the right eye so that you can focus the image in the left eyepiece. In order to focus it properly, use the focus knob. Then, by utilizing the diopter ring, close the left eye and go ahead and focus the right eye.

If you are the sole user of the microscope, you have to carry out this process just once, when you first start using the unit. Then, you can only use the focus knob to adjust the image when analyzing different samples. Nonetheless, if you have to share the device with other students/colleagues, it is recommended that you repeat the process whenever you have to use the microscope.

By doing so, it is guaranteed that you’ll get the best results. If you have trouble understanding how each component of the device is called/works, we suggest that you read the instruction manual that you’ve certainly received with the microscope. What is more, chances are that the manual contains additional recommendations as well as tips and tricks.

So, don’t waste any time, start reading and make sure that you set up your device like a pro! As a plus, you should know that you can now use a digital microscope camera to record your results!

 

 

 

Why should you get a student microscope

 

 

A student microscope may not seem like a purchase that has a lot of influence on the future of your kids, but you would surprise to know just how much can this simple instrument teach and shape the interests of an individual.

We tend to think of student microscopes as a sort of toy that younger kids can use to “pretend” to do a bit of science. While that might have been true in the past, it is important to know that student microscopes nowadays are pieces of technology and science that can be just as effective as research microscopes in studying complex components of various organisms, cells, and tissues.

It still begs the question, why should you buy a student microscope? After all, depending on the model you choose, this will not be a cheap purchase. So are there enough reasons to purchase such an instrument for your child? We believe there are, and in the article below, we will try to present a few of the reasons that had us convinced that a student microscope is an investment that is well worth the money.

 

Whet your child’s appetite for science

Science is not always fun, theory without practice can make this fascinating subject quite hard to digest. Unless you try and start their passion for science from a young age, you risk removing a wide range of opportunities that they can follow when they grow up.

This is where a microscope comes into a play, but you have to make sure that you choose the right model because otherwise you risk wasting money for nothing. A cheap model that is merely a plastic toy and that reveals nothing will only help to quash any interest that your kid might have had.

The good thing is that finding excellent student microscopes these days is quite easy since models are packed full of features, and they all offer great magnification and excellent viewing experience. The secret to getting a good instrument is not being afraid to spend a little more than what you would normally be used with.

This does not mean that you will have to spend a fortune since brands such as AmScope and others offer models that are aimed exclusively at students and young kids.

You should also consider the fact that they can use their microscope for school assignments. Not all schools afford to have a microscope for every student so having your very own will help your kid focus on what the teacher is trying to show to the class.

With your very own student microscope, you can even have classmates around and turn what would otherwise be a dull task, such as doing a biology assignment, into something fun and social. With the amount of fun they’ll be having, they won’t even notice that they’re doing work.

 

Think of the future

It is crucial that you help your kid experiment as much of what life has to offer from a young age, as that is the only way he or she can get to know themselves better. The sooner they learn what they like and what they dislike to do, the sooner they can start focusing on their energy on their passions.

This is why it is important that you offer them as many opportunities to learn and experience different and unique things. A microscope is no different as it can be a gateway to another world. Ask any scientist around the world, and they’ll probably tell you that their passion for science started when they were young, by using instruments such as a microscope or a telescope.

These simple instruments can have a big impact on the worldview of your child; they can easily awake a passion that laid dormant until you presented them with the right tools. Watching a leaf, an insect, even their own skin up close with the help of the microscope is an experience that they can’t get from other places.

This passion of theirs for science can easily transform into a career. If they end up working in an area that requires the use of a microscope, the years of using their own device can be of great help. He or she might not need to train, and the fact that using a microscope feels natural means will help them a great deal.

 

You can use it to have fun

Now that we’ve talked about what parents want from a telescope, it is also important we take a second and acknowledge the thing that is most important to a child: fun. That’s right, a microscope may seem like a sober instrument to us, but the truth is that kids absolutely love using it.

Kids are fascinated with the way the world works, they’ve been on it for such a short time that they want to learn all it has to offer. In a sense they are very much like your average scientist, the world is a mystery, and their goal in life is to make sense of it.

A microscope will help them do that while also offering them countless hours of pure fun. Be ready to be amazed by the number of objects they’ll start observing, and most importantly, be ready to join them and lose the track of time as you become a child again and view the world through the lenses of your new microscope.

 

The magic of technology

Another reason for getting a student microscope is the fact that you now have a ton of alternatives to choose from. Perhaps you’re used with models that are so massive that they risk toppling your desk, or maybe you’re used with microscopes that rely on glass lenses.

Those models are still around but the future is here, and it has come with loads of choices that can satisfy even the picky customer. You can now get portable models that fit even in the smallest backpack and that make exploring on the go a fun and effortless experience.

What’s more, if you don’t want to worry about fragile and easy to break optics, you can now go for digital microscopes that use technology that is similar to that of your phone’s camera. Speaking of your phone’s camera, you can even turn your phone into a microscope by using a magnifier that can be attached to the back of your phone.

With so many options to choose and the many benefits of having your own microscope, there’s really no reason for you not to get one right now.

 

 

 

Digital microscope cameras – What you need to know

 

 

If you own and work on a microscope but find only looking through the eyepieces limiting in some cases, then you should definitely learn what a digital microscope camera is and how it could help you out. This device is a modern solution to old problems. By getting one of these, you can easily connect your microscope to a computer or tablet and enjoy countless other benefits.So here are a few things you might need to know to properly compare digital microscope cameras on the market in order to make the best possible choice.

Benefit from easy connection and enhanced compatibility

One of the best things about buying a microscope camera is that you get to connect a microscope with a wide range of devices with a simple USB cable. This device can be mounted on many microscope models without much effort, and getting a quality camera will also provide you with plenty of adapters to ensure a proper fit and functionality.

Connecting the camera to a device such as a computer, tablet, or laptop is just as easy. Just plug in the cable, install the software, and you’re set to go. You should be glad to learn that modern digital microscope cameras come with software that’s compatible with most operating systems out there, from Windows 10 to Linux to Mac OS X.

Depending on the model, the camera may support USB 2.0 or 3.0 transfer rates. That means that you get live video recordings with minimum lag if any, as well as a fast way to snap pictures of your favorite slides and have them downloaded immediately on an external HDD. All of this can be performed easily with just a few clicks of the mouse.

 

Immortalize your work

The best way to immortalize your work is to take pictures of samples and specimens or even a recording of a complicated procedure under the microscope. You get to choose from many cameras with maximum resolutions ranging from 3 megapixels to 18MP or even higher.

In terms of video recordings, there are quite a few capable devices able to offer a good frame rate and decent transfer times so that you don’t have to wait forever even when recording lengthy operations.

With a good microscope camera, you can snap photographs that you can later use in your work. You could also effortlessly share pictures and video with peers or publish high-resolution images along with your articles and papers in major scientific publications and ensure that you also impress visually.

 

Present your findings to a large audience

A reliable digital microscope camera can also be a powerful educational tool. When performing complex procedures, all you need is a microscope, a camera, and a computer that’s connected to a projector in order to allow students to see everything in high detail.

Not only do you get to live stream work and teach on a large screen, but you can also record operations and get back to them later on with your students so you can discuss and discover new details.

Examine samples in greater detail

Another great advantage of using a microscope camera is that you get to see everything in higher detail. No longer will you have to strain your eyes with that 40x eyepiece. You could simply mount this device and work by looking at a large laptop or PC screen rather than through the tiny eyepiece.

That way you can see what you’re doing, in addition to being able to snapshots of your progress. You can examine everything in much higher detail than possible before, and a great advantage is that you can also capture things such as cellular division at different stages, various coloration techniques, chromosome migration or organelle formation, parasitic mating behavior, etc.

There’s simply no limit to what you can do with a simple device such as a microscope camera.

 

Perform precise dissections

With a good camera, you can also perform more accurate dissections. Just connect the microscope to a large screen and see what you’re doing in real time. You will be able to do things you could never have done directly under the microscope.

This would lead to better results across the board, as well as enjoying an easier way to work which would take less of a toll on your eyes, wrists, and fingers.

 

Get help with SMD soldering

If you thought dissections are tough under the microscope, just wait until you try SMD soldering. Most printed circuit boards are getting smaller and smaller by the day so it is only normal that fixing stuff and soldering parts such as tiny capacitors are becoming increasingly difficult.

The good news is that a high-quality digital microscope camera can help you out. You won’t have to struggle with tiny inscriptions or with synchronizing your eyes and hands through the eyepieces. You could now watch everything on a 1080p FullHD monitor and make sure that you get a good job done, and that without spending an arm and a leg on a camera.

There are plenty models that come with low price tags and they offer a high-enough resolution for just about any need.

Take quality photographs on the cheap

By spending a few dollars on a microscope camera, you get to delve into microscopic photography without having to invest in a full-size DSLR. While you’d certainly be able to take higher quality photos on a 4,000 dollar model, you might not want to invest that much only for photographic purposes.

Rather than forking over thousands of bucks on high-end photo equipment, you could upgrade your microscope, get new eyepieces, maybe even a new computer or laptop for that matter. Doing so would still allow you to take great pictures, especially when microscope cameras are getting better with each passing day while also becoming more affordable.

 

Enjoy a versatile device

Choosing one of the microscope digital cameras on the market will provide you with a versatile device that’s compatible with many makes and models of microscopes. You also get extra adaptors for increased functionality and compatibility across most digital operating systems.

In addition to the above, you can also post-process pictures and videos with specialized software and stitch multiple pictures, make measurements on samples, stream video, and perform a wide range of other functions.

 

 

 

Getting a microscope for a 7-year-old

 

While helping your child getting involved in all sorts of educational and sports activities is nice, you should never neglect his or her curiosity. If you want to expand the universe of your precious little one and show a new world, then there’s no better option other than getting one of the quality and safe microscopes for 7-year-olds available for sale.

Doing so will give your kid plenty of benefits in all sorts of areas that you might not have even thought of. Here are a few ways in which your child might benefit from a microscope.

Exploring a new world

One of the things you should never do is oversimplify things for your kids. You’d be surprised to find out that they’d actually love to know a lot more about the world that you would have thought. Children are like little sponges when it comes to absorbing information about the world, and offering them a microscope is a great way to allow them to learn a lot about microscopic wonders.

Even if biology classes weren’t your thing in school, your kid will benefit immensely from getting a scientific instrument able to unravel a hidden world filled with all sorts of interesting and captivating details. Your kid will learn to use the microscope with some assistance, and you can also choose to get some pre-made slides with various plant and animal species.

 

Learning more about living things

Especially with so many things going on in the world, from climate change to the shrinking of national parks to the extinction of species, now is a great time to teach your child about the importance of life. He or she can observe numerous species, from exotic ones to small creatures living in your backyard.

You’d be surprised to see how fast children catch up and learn. Besides having obvious educational advantages, a microscope can also provide your kid with loads of fun, especially when there are so many things to look at through the magnifying glass.

Getting involved in a wonderful after school activity

In addition to discovering more about the microscopic world that is hidden from our naked eyes, getting a microscope will provide your 7-year-old kid with a productive and entertaining after school activity.

In this modern world that’s dominated by iPhones, computers, and television, it can be a true blessing to get your child to go outside to collect samples and then spend quality time in the company of his little newfound little friends. This would be in contrast to having him stuck in front of a computer for hours on end.

A microscope might actually help your child with school work as he could participate in a science project and bring his own contributions. This would surely stimulate creativity, boost confidence, as well as possibly improve overall attitude towards education.

 

Developing cognitive and motor skills

A microscope is surely not the easiest devices to learn on, especially when the child is young. However, these optical devices come with numerous benefits in terms of improving both cognitive and motor skills.

Your kid will have to learn to operate all those little dials, knobs, and buttons so he might get quite good at handling them. Of course, you can always help when things get complicated, and you can also go for a simpler microscope in the first place.

Another advantage to getting a microscope for your boy or girl is that he or she will also benefit from mental exercises by trying to identify species seen through the eyepieces, putting information together, looking at characteristics and comparing these with those of other species.

You may not realize it yet, but all of these fun ‘exercises’ could help immensely with educating your child and creating a path for a more certain future.

 

Studying to be a scientist

In the world of Silicon Valley companies, everyone wants to be an IT specialist. However, there are few who choose the path of a scientist. This can be a highly rewarding choice, especially given the hefty salaries scientists from top institutes receive.

According to plenty of studies, it can also be rewarding in terms of satisfaction with the job and with life in general. This is because it appears people with higher academic studies and accomplishments tend to be happier.

A microscope might just tip the balance of curiosity and help your child decide on a future career in life sciences. Many of us, grown-ups, regret not having made a choice earlier in our lives, and there’s a great advantage in providing your kid with the means to figure out what he or she would like to do when growing up.

Getting an easy-to-use device

If all the above may sound serious and complicated, you might be glad to learn that you can find plenty of microscope models that are quite easy to use, not to mention extremely fun. You probably shouldn’t actually think of a plastic toy microscope since it would add little to no real value.

Yet there are some instruments that are easy to set-up as well as use. Your child can learn to twist all those dials in no time. There are quite a few beginner microscope sets out there, ranging from the down-right simple to the more complex variants that should still be manageable even by a 7-year-old.

 

Enjoying a versatile device

One of the best things about microscopes nowadays is that they come with plenty of eyepieces, zoom options, lighting systems, adjustments, accessories, etc. What this means for you is that you have a wide range of options at your disposal so that you can make the right choice for your child.

You can get a normal glass microscope that comes with extra safety features, or a smaller and lighter plastic variant that you could upgrade later on, as your kid learns more.

There are also quite a few USB microscope cameras out there that could enable an easy connection to a laptop or computer so that your kid can record and review slides and experiments. This in addition to getting a much clearer view in the first place if you plug the microscope camera into a large screen.

 

 

 

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Do you intend to start a coin collection but have no idea where to start? The following list of tips will help you in your endeavor. We gathered the most important guidelines and recommendations from experts that any novice can apply to become an excellent coin collector.

Know your lingo

Besides being a fascinating pastime, coin collecting comes with its language. So, if you intend to join the world of coin collectors, you may start by learning a few terms. For instance, circulation coins are coins that have been used in commercial transactions over the years.

Commemorative coins, on the other hand, belong to a category of coins that are minted to celebrate an event, an outstanding personality, or an institution. They are also called numismatic coins. As you can quickly glean from the information offered here, they are never used for commercial purposes.

You should also learn about uncirculated coins, minting, face value, along with other terms that will make you the necessary introduction to the world of coin collecting.

 

Find a reputable dealer

You cannot start your collection without coins. That means that you need to be aware of the implications of purchasing coins from shady sources. Always count on a reputable coin dealer, as, otherwise, your collection might end up containing nothing but worthless pieces, or coins for which you cannot prove the provenience and therefore value.

There are many advantages associated with working with an honest coin dealer. For starters, he or she can offer invaluable information on what coins you should purchase. You can also get a correct appraisal of the coins you get, in case you receive them or you already have them from other sources. Last, but not least, a coin dealer can help you sell your collection for the right price, should you decide to do that at some point.

Invest a little in equipment

To learn about coins, you need to scrutinize them. While the naked eye can only do this much, to observe details that are too minuscule to see without extra help, you need something more. Some people prefer a dissecting microscope for coins, so think whether such an investment is justified, in case you’re not yet convinced that you want to get busy with coin collecting in your spare time.

You should have latex or cotton gloves for manipulating the coins since, while they are made of metal and resistant to wear and tear, they can get scratched and damaged, especially their surface. Find a place where you can store your coins, and place your case of coins somewhere away from any damage, be it excessive humidity, or anything else.

Or get the right magnifying glass

You might not have heard so far about the existence of a particular magnifying glass for coins, but such items do exist, and they have specific characteristics that you must bear in mind. Experts recommend getting a model with at least 7x magnification so that you can see all the details without any problem.

Others believe that a magnification of 2x or 3x is enough for a beginner. In case your eyesight is not the best, you should opt for a model with a higher magnification just so that you don’t have to squint and force your eyes when you’re examining your prized collection of coins.

Learn to be organized

Even if you don’t care about investing in equipment, and a magnifying glass for reading is enough for examining the coins in your collection, you should learn how to be organized. Cardboard folders are an easy choice if you want to keep your coins in the same place, and away from harm of any kind.

An idea that experts insist on is to label all the coins and write the specs underneath each coin. This way, you will be able to group different coins, and you will not have to worry about getting them mixed up.

This operation, however, requires a bit of time, and you might also have to educate yourself on the importance and value of each coin in your collection.

Never think as an investor

Coin collecting can be a productive pastime and not only a hobby, but that happens only if you have the proper mindset. If you get into coin collecting just for the sake of making a buck, you have just started on the wrong foot. Investors are guided, in their endeavors, by the need to make a profit. Their goal is to buy low and sell high.

Coins, even when they are collectibles, do not change their value overnight. Collectors, not investors, are those who make a good profit from selling their coins or even entire collections, due to a primary consideration.

They take care of their collections, and thus, they increase their value. A fair return on investment happens years or even decades from purchasing a particular coin.

Always buy coins that look great

Coins, to maintain their value, need to be in as close as mint condition as possible. An old and rare coin might have some minor signs of damage and still maintain its high value, but, as is the case with most coins, they don’t belong to such a narrow category.

So, if you want a rule of thumb for your coin collecting ambitions, you should always invest in good looking coins. Inspect them, if need be, to ensure that they are in good condition.

Never try to remove scratches and signs of damage

Do you know what can be even worse than buying damaged coins? The right answer is: trying to eliminate the signs of damage by polishing the coins or using other methods. Even the least trained coin dealer and collector can tell you that it is a complete no-no to try to recondition damaged coins.

Pay heed to the advice offered just earlier and invest only in pieces that are worth the price. Only in this way, you will be able to populate your collection with valuable pieces that you can later resell.

 

 

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Have you thought about taking up a new hobby? Do you find coin collecting fascinating, but so far you haven’t thought about it as a way to spend your time in an exciting manner? Maybe the only thing in your way is the simple fact that you don’t know enough things about it. We are here to help you by offering you a list of rules of coin collecting that any beginner should know so that you can avoid bad deals.

Make reasonable purchases from the get-go

Many people feel tempted to believe that they only need one lucky deal and they can get rich. But many professional coin collectors can make such dreams shatter just by examining the coins brought to their attention in this manner with a magnifying glass.

First things first, if you are looking to become a coin collector, you need to learn about coins. Do not throw thousands of dollars on a single item – unless you’re a millionaire and don’t care about losses – and don’t bet on lucky hunches.

There are no such things when it comes to the arduous and exciting hobby of collecting coins. There is, however, a lot of knowledge involved. Also, while you learn, purchase coins that are priced reasonably. They will make the basis of your collection. It is a great starting point.

 

Learn how to store and handle your coins properly

You might think that since coins are made of metal, nothing can damage them unless you pick a sledgehammer and you start trying to make them flat. However, despite this widespread misconception, coins need proper storage conditions. Environment conditions and other factors can damage their surface.

If the design on a face of a coin becomes difficult to see or there are scratches and other signs of damage, the value of that coin decreases. That is why this rule is essential for those who are mere novices.

Don’t attempt to clean your coins! Any coin that undergoes a cleaning process is considered damaged by professionals and, therefore, you end up with nothing but a piece of metal in your hands. When you handle your coins, make sure that you wear latex or cotton gloves. Try to pick the coins only by the edge. Such measures are essential for keeping the value of your coins intact.

Have patience

A coin collection will not be as extensive as you want it to be overnight. This is one of the best pieces of advice someone who is just starting out can receive. Start with an idea. What sort of coins do you want to collect? How would you like to keep your collections organized?

Be aware of situations when you might feel tempted to throw some money just for the sake of completing a collection in the making. Avoid such mistakes. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then that means it is.

Hunt down the pieces that are not yet part of your collection. But always make your purchases from reputable sources, and ask for any certifications and guarantees that may be available.

 

Consider investing in good equipment

Some coin collectors prefer a magnifying glass for coins as the only piece of equipment they need for examining the pieces in their collection. However, the same people tend to have a pretty well-trained eye, and that means that they need only this type of visual enhancement to notice the tiniest details on the coins they collect.

Such a tool is indispensable for beginners, too. It is not expensive, and you can use it while you learn about different coins. However, if you want to examine a new coin that comes to your attention correctly, you might find that a dissecting microscope for coins is a better tool for this purpose. Some models are not that expensive, and while they might cost a bit more than a piece of glass that magnifies details, they are still a good deal.

 

Get to know people in the coin collecting world

Coin collecting might not sound like the type of hobby that requires someone to perform a lot of networking, but the truth is, getting to know the right people is essential for being successful in this type of activity.

Where can you find such people? One idea would be to join a coin collecting club. Here you will most likely find other people like you that might have information to share. It doesn’t hurt to attend coin auctions and other related events, as there you will be able to find out about rare coins, their value, and other details that you might not be able to get anywhere else.

Coins are a long-term investment

Coin collecting is not the type of hobby you should expect to yield results from within a short time. A coin you buy today will not change its value overnight. Unless you’re fortunate and you stumble upon an incredible deal, or you find your great-grandfather’s old collection, it is not possible to make a fortune by buying coins today and selling them tomorrow.

Think of your coin collection as a long-term investment. Everyone who is serious about this hobby knows this simple truth well. That is why your chances of finding incredible deals are close to naught. People passionate about numismatics are connoisseurs, and they won’t give up on a valuable coin.

 

Aim for high value

Do not think of your coin collection in terms of quantity. That is a rookie mistake and one that professional collectors never make. A vast collection of one dollar coins is nothing compared to a handful of coins that are valued at thousands of dollars, if not more.

When you make a purchase, search for high-value coins. Get the best price you can. The more valuable coins you have in your collection, the more value your collection as a whole will have. Such a simple rule should put you on the right path of collecting pieces that will bring an extraordinary satisfaction to the collector.

 

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The microscope is an invention without which we wouldn’t be here today. Not only it helped us discover just how incredibly fascinating the microcosmos can be, but it also allowed us to live longer, more exciting and healthier lives. It allowed us to detect the tiny microorganisms that cause disease in humans and it taught us how to get rid of them.

So this begs the next question. Who invented the microscope and why? And the answer we crave is not as simple as we’d like because its origins are disputed between several names in our history. The earliest prototype, if we can even call it that, dates back to the Ancient Roman era, where the Romans used a particular type of glass that magnified objects when you looked through it.

But that was a rudimentary innovation, and it was an accidental discovery that didn’t have any purpose behind it. But then history took another turn when Salvino D’Armate, an Italian scientist created the world’s first eyeglass. But this smart device could only magnify about 5x to 10x and was mostly used to observe larger things such as insects, flowers, and fleas.

The Netherlands and its geniuses

Then something unusual started to happen in the 1590’s, when two Dutch citizens, Zacharias Jansen, and his equally creative father began using lenses in a new way that wasn’t previously experimented with. What they did was that they put a few lenses in an elongated tube, and realized that this organization was about to change the world.

They have realized that the tiny thing at the end of their tube seemed somehow much larger than in real life, much more than a single lens could enlarge something by itself. They didn’t comprehend at that time what would be the implications of this discovery, but it didn’t stop them, and it didn’t curb their enthusiasm in any way.

Although the images obtained with this exciting machine were somehow blurry, they were still enough to impress the public with, since both of them were spectacle men. Unfortunately, none of their microscopes have survived to the modern day, and we only know about them indirectly through a description found in the archives of the Dutch royalty.

Knowing all of this information, we still can’t say the Jansen family invented the microscope since their tools were just overly complicated magnifying glasses. What we call today a microscope is a compound microscope, which is a tool that features two or more lenses, interconnected via a hollow cylinder. The top piece is called an eyepiece or the ocular, and the bottom one is the objective lens.

 

The first pioneer

Most people attribute the invention of the modern microscope to another Dutch person called Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who was a 17th-century scientist who pioneered microscopy. He was the first out of his peers to create and to successfully use a real microscope. His lenses were renowned because they were highly polished and far more superior than the ones of his contemporaries.

His microscope could magnify up to 270x, and it was capable of viewing objects smaller than one-millionth of a meter. Since he was a scientist, he didn’t just make the microscope, but he used it too. Under his polished lenses, he  analyzed bacteria, yeast, and even droplets of water. He described all of them and received many praises from the Royal Society of England, but also a few letters of disbelief, since what he talked about seemed so outlandish.

Now or never

Of course, the Dutchman’s innovative work soon begun to get the attention of scientists all over the world, especially since he was translated into English by Robert Hooke, who published Micrographia in 1665, which is believed to be the first study regarding microscopy.

Hooke is another genius, who took this subject to a whole new level by reinvigorating microscopy and by taking biology into the future.

Modern compound microscopes are indispensable from all laboratories today. And not only that, but they have also have reached into the mainstream, and now anyone who has an interest in science and the intricacy of the world owns one. A dissecting microscope is indispensable in school labs.

A good microscope for students will let you see the mind-blowing detail of any ordinary object, and it will make you a much richer person because you get to be one of the few lucky ones who know that there is more to life than what meets the eye.

 

 

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