newbie looking for first microscope

Do you have any microscopy questions, which you are afraid to ask? This is your place.
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paulmich12
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 3:56 pm
Location: Michigan

newbie looking for first microscope

#1 Post by paulmich12 » Sat May 26, 2018 4:04 pm

I am new to this forum. I am a hobbyist looking for first microscope. I am looking for a biological scope for viewing small invisible cells. I live in an apartment so I would like to keep its size on the smaller side. I am definately wanting a digital microscope to view on a tablet, or pc monitor. My budget is $1,400 max. I would prefer something a little more advanced- something I can grow into without having to worry about upgrading in a few years.
Thanks!

Charles
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: newbie looking for first microscope

#2 Post by Charles » Sat May 26, 2018 5:20 pm


JimT
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Re: newbie looking for first microscope

#3 Post by JimT » Sat May 26, 2018 7:48 pm

Welcome Paul. Don't hesitate to ask questions as you close in on a scope.

paulmich12
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 3:56 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: newbie looking for first microscope

#4 Post by paulmich12 » Sun May 27, 2018 4:17 am

thanks Charles and Jim. I watched those videos from Oliver that is what brought me into the microscopy forums. It is so fascinating that a simple device can bring hours of entertainment and learning at the same time. Hats off to Oliver for being the voice and figure head of present day microscopy! Oliver you make things so easy to understand. I wish I had the internet (and youtube) in my youth. I am still young and have many more years of learning.

PeteM
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Re: newbie looking for first microscope

#5 Post by PeteM » Sun May 27, 2018 6:34 am

In terms of your desire for a digital microscope, I'd suggest buying a used top quality lab microscope from the 70's - 90's and then add a digital camera to it. That, rather than buying a new "digital microscope" with the camera already built in.

Possibilities might include Nikon Labophot, Olympus BH-2, Reichert MicroStar IV or Diastar, Zeiss Standard, Leitz, maybe a Leica DM series, etc.

The older microscopes will be of a much higher mechanical quality -- important for things like digital photography and focus stacking. The lenses will likely be as good or better than any Chinese scope under $1500 and there will be more and better options on the used market for upgrades. At some point you may want top quality lenses, polarization, dark field, phase contrast, oblique, and perhaps even DIC imaging options.

If you already have a DSLR camera, you can connect that to a microscope. If not, allowing $300-400 or so of your budget for a dedicated microscope camera would leave plenty of $$$ left for a superb used microscope.

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coominya
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Re: newbie looking for first microscope

#6 Post by coominya » Sun May 27, 2018 4:37 pm

In terms of your desire for a digital microscope, I'd suggest buying a used top quality lab microscope from the 70's - 90's and then add a digital camera to it.
I concur Paul, if you have an eye for quality engineering and precision controls you can't go past the older ones IMO. Dollar for dollar with the new ones there is no comparison. You will also have the option of using your eyes directly through the glass, which is to my mind is just like being down there in person amongst the wildlife.

I have a few microscopes now but mostly use an Olympus from the late 1960's that I paid $200 for. A while back I also bought an equivalent 2000's model, worth $2000 new, which thankfully was damaged in transit so I got to send it back. In the short time I had it an inspection revealed it had sloppy controls and poor quality metals in it's construction. The only good thing about it was the superior objectives but even they had a fault. The specs were wearing off them, there was no etching or recessed lettering, they were just cheaply painted on. This was a Japanese scope mind you, not some cheap Chinese unit.

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