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digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2012 4:21PM
Does anybody know where I can get a reasonably capable microscope without having to spend a fortune? I want one that isn't a toy but can't justify megabucks.

I would consider second hand but haven't used one for about 40 years so have no idea what is and is not a good one to get.



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brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2012 4:33PM
Have a look at your local auction house Ian, I sold my old lab quality microscope last year and got around 60 for it via our local auction.
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2012 4:48PM
Good idea thanks Brian.

Any tips about what to look for? Magnification, make, etc?
StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
16 Feb 2012 6:16PM
Ian, I did a bit of research on them a few years ago, and Olympus had some reasonably priced, interesting models with provision for camera attachment.
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2012 6:59PM
brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2012 7:27PM
Ian. as I've been retired 15 years and out of the lab for 25 I'm a bit out of touch but the key is a good light source, a selection of objectives and as StrayCat said, a camera attachment port is useful.

The other thing to think about is what samples you are going to be looking at, if they are larger, 3D objects than make sure you have sufficient clearance and track movement (and look for a reflection microscope), if you are going for thin / transpaernt objects then you need transmission microscopes and one with a polariser + dark field attachments is useful.

a couple of sites I've spotted with the same company (where the prices don't look to ridiculous)



and a reference that may be of interest? (they have my old microscope model on the top page, right side Smile

digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2012 8:15PM
Brilliant thanks. I'll have a good read.
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
17 Feb 2012 8:20AM
That site looks interesting thanks Brian. Another question, what sort of magnification range should I be looking for? We're (probably) typically going to want to view things like pond life and cells. The kind of things we would have been looking at in Biology at college.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
17 Feb 2012 8:34AM

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