Thanks for the info. It's good to finally get some first-person intel on them.
That being said, I'm not sure it's entirely fair to compare amscope's next-worst gem microscope against a high-end Zeiss or Wild scope and conclude from it that Chinese microscopes are bad? Not that Amscope sells anything that'd go head to head with a good Wild or Zeiss and come out ahead, but their CMO models are not garbage. I really wish I knew who was making them. I have also heard generally good things about some of the Nikon clones coming out of China, though it's hard to know if you're getting the same thing as someone else if you don't go through the same vendor. It's unclear to me if there are several factories putting out identical-appearing scopes, or what.
Yes, a direct comparison would not be fair. However, we were not expecting Zeiss top model quality. Rather we hoped for something "pretty good" for more routine stuff. This unit was not a CMO, though, as you can see from the pic from below.
For student and general use, we have about ten Zeiss Stemi 2000 units and those are actually extremely good for the purpose. Perhaps even slight overkill. Decades ago my institute used Soviet Union Lomo stereos for student use / field courses. Those were optically ok for that level of use but prone to mechanical problems and not very good in terms of ergonomics. We gave all of them away to schools etc. years ago.
Our current imaging stereo is a Zeiss Stereo Discovery V.12 with an objective revolver, a couple PlanApos and a very wide selection of different lights etc. It is extremely well liked.
But at heart, I'm a Wild guy