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Thread: Buying a Microscope?

  1. #1 Buying a Microscope? 
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    Hey everyone, first post here.

    I'm majoring in biology and, although my focus is zoology, find the microscopic world fascinating. I expected microscopes to be tons of money, but I found them to be surprisingly cheap. I wanted to get some input if I could, and maybe an idea of what kind of things I can see out of an intermediate one.

    The one I'm seriously looking at right now is the Celestron 44104 at Amazon for $125/ I didn't expect good ones to be that cheap, but it has all positive reviews and what seems to be good features. Is this one a good choice? I would rather not spend much more than that unless it's necessary.

    So what kind of stuff will I be able to see with this, and in how much detail? I would love to see chromosomes, but I know that's unrealistic. Can I see some cell and bacteria detail with something like the celestron? I think the ad says 500x max magnification.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!


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  3. #2  
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    That is appallingly cheap - wonder if it's a kiddie scope. Don't waste your money. For microbiology you'll need 1000x (via oil immersion) to visualize stained bacteria.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907
    That is appallingly cheap - wonder if it's a kiddie scope. Don't waste your money. For microbiology you'll need 1000x (via oil immersion) to visualize stained bacteria.
    Thanks for the reply. After posting this I did some more research, and was recommended an AMscope. http://store.amscope.com/b100-ms.html

    The only thing I don't like about it is that the light source is standard bulb, not LED. What do you think?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Ya, incandescent light bulbs in microscopes are OKish, but you get kind of a yellowish dimmer light, which won't prevent you from using the microscope effectively if you're a hobbyist. I personally would prefer the brighter lighting an LED provides, plus they last longer, but even the incandescent lights last a long time.

    Edit: That microscope looks like a standard high school teaching one. It's a pretty decent deal for the price.

    The product description says there's an optional 60X objective, which will be more useful for you than the 40X objective included. At 600X magnification you can see individual bacteria, but they're really tiny. It can be useful sometimes though. That's the magnification I tend to use at work for urine analysis, cause you can make out the crystals and any possible bacteria simultaneously.
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  6. #5  
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    If you want to study bacteria - don't get it.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    I can't see a problem with it if he just wants to see bacteria. You're not really going to get anything better at that price.

    Maybe look for a used Nikon.
    "I almost went to bed
    without remembering
    the four white violets
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    and how i kissed you then
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    never been your lover "
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  8. #7  
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    I do want to be able to see bacteria, but I don't really care to get all that up close and personal. Ideally I would like to observe Protists, and see detail within the cell.
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  9. #8  
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    Have a look at Microscopy-UK - they'll give some good advice on buying new or used microscopes and what to go for depending on your interests. The site is not well organised sadly, but there is a ton of information on it.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    The product description says there's an optional 60X objective, which will be more useful for you than the 40X objective included. At 600X magnification you can see individual bacteria, but they're really tiny. It can be useful sometimes though. That's the magnification I tend to use at work for urine analysis, cause you can make out the crystals and any possible bacteria simultaneously.
    The 60x costs $50, while the next level microscope only costs only $20 more and has 40X, 64X, 100X, 160X, 400X, 640X,1000X & 1600X. Alternatively, $5 dollars up from that one is one with 40X, 80X, 100X, 200X, 400X, 800X, 1000X & 2000X.

    Which one do you think would be more useful?
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