Great outcome, Dave ... Thanks for sharing news of your success.
With over 7000 views, it seems that the subject matter, and the informative replies, has been of interest to a great many people here.
From my point of view, I am now where I want to be with this, and can start to explore the world of microscopy, combined with my love of photography. If I find that microscopy is something that I want to pursue, then I would look to upgrading the microscope, initially by changing the achromatic objectives, to Plan objectives, as I find that mechanically, the microscope is quite well built, and specified.
I guess the moral of the story is that not all Chinese made budget to mid-price microscopes are necessarily of poor quality, and can be a good starting point for someone starting out in microscopy, with them likely to encourage, as opposed to discourage.
If I had taken on-board many of the comments that I have seen posted on various forums, regarding the poor quality of Chinese microscopes, many likely based on 'hear say' rather than personal experience, I probably wouldn't have bothered giving microscopy a try.
I wasn't prepared to chance buying second-hand from the likes of e-bay etc, where I couldn't "try before buying", so it had to be new, and at price point that didn't involve a significant outlay, in case I found that microscopy turned out to be just a passing interest.
It is unfortunate that forums like this are populated mainly by enthusiasts with premium brand microscopes, albeit bought secondhand, by knowledgeable people. There are very few examples, or discussion, of what can be done with budget to mid price Chinese microscopes. As such, apart from Micscape (UK), I see little to encourage the 'newbie' on microscopy forums.
I have to wonder if this is why microscopy doesn't enjoy the anywhere the popularity, and following as does astronomy, and photography.
With astronomy, and photography, there are numerous monthly magazines, while as far as I'm aware, there are none for microscopy. I guess publishers can see no point in producing a magazine for what is such a minority interest.
I know that there are some organisations trying to reach out to young people, but in the 'bigger picture' they are a bit of a 'lone voice'.
As I see it, the hobby is populated mainly by middle aged, and older people. BTW, I fit into the latter category.