Are you looking to get your first ever microscope? If that’s the case, maybe you should take the time to read this post. It’s packed with tips and tricks you should take into account if you want to make sure you’re getting just the right product for your specific needs.
First off, microscopes are used in various industries and for a broad array of purposes. Maybe you’re searching for one just to have a bit of fun on the weekends. Or maybe you’d like to further enhance your biology knowledge and get to know more about the world you cannot see with the naked eye.
Is the design important?
When it comes to picking such an optical instrument, one of the first factors you ought to look at is its design. Sure, that might be of lesser importance when compared to the magnification power, for example, but it still matters a lot.
If what you are in the market for are microscopes for children, you need to know that kids have close-set eyes compared to adults, so a big and hefty compound microscope might make a poor choice. Monocular microscopes are to be preferred because the young one won’t have a lot of issues with setting the right interpupillary distance.
On top of that, there are heaps and heaps of USB models you could consider. Of course, some full-size alternatives can also be connected to your laptop or personal computer, but some compact USB models weigh little to nothing and are particularly small, so you can use them pretty much anywhere.
What you do have to be aware of, though, is that these products usually have optical components made of plastic, so they might not deliver the image quality you might be after.
How about the magnification power?
Most of the choices available out there can offer you a lot of versatility in terms of magnification. Full-size microscopes, be they stereo or compound, are highly usable on this account. Some dissecting microscopes have limited magnification capabilities, and that’s understandable seeing how they’re commonly used to observe larger items like electrical components, delicate pieces of jewelry, or are just used for SMD soldering.
By contrast, some compound microscopes can have magnification abilities of 1000x and beyond. Some of those capable of excellent performance can even increase the size of the specimen by up to 2500 times.
The USB units we were mentioning previously usually have limited magnification settings that might, in the best case, go up to 250x or 500x, depending on the model.
What do you plan to use the microscope for?
Analyze your specific requirements before getting the product. If you want to look at leaves or parts of plants, jewelry pieces, or any electrical components, you do not need a 2000x compound microscope. You might actually do better with a USB one or a dissecting one.
On the other hand, if you want to look at smears and biological samples, you need a model that boasts a maximum magnification power of at least 1000x as this is that you will require for observing tissue samples, and even see bacteria colonies.