We all know that science is amazing. It lead and still leads to wonderful things that we can all exploit nowadays. It does not matter that it is medicine or astrophysics. As long as we have passionate and determined scientists, we will all evolve to be better people. We have our life to thank science, and sometimes, it all starts with a student microscope.
Well, first of all, I do not think that you will be able to afford a professional microscope. Professional microscopes are very expensive, which is why you only see them in specialized labs. If you are a student, the last thing you need is to pay a few thousands of dollars on a piece of equipment. Second of all, you will not need a professional microscope. It would be like using the Hubble to look in the neighbor’s backyard. As long as you are still learning, there is no way that you can use a professional microscope to the best of its abilities. Also, you need to learn how to use one before bringing in the big guns.
There are plenty of factors that make the difference between the two kinds, from lenses to resolution. But we will get to those that later on. For now, let’s just analyze the factors that make a product the best student microscope.
One of the first things you need to look at when you put your eyes on a particular microscope is the construction. You need one that is well built, something that will last for years. After all, you will use it for years to come. Quality components are key. Also, you need a sturdy frame. My recommendation is to look for metal alloys. That is because there will be no vibration, and there is almost no temperature fluctuation. One thing is for certain, though. If the microscope you want is made of plastic, you need to sort out your standards because plastic is the worst possible solution. Also, do not go for chrome-painted ‘toys.’ They may look sturdy, but they are all low-quality.
Without good lenses, a microscope is not of much value. Of course, you need to look at the item as a whole. For example, if you have high-quality lenses, but lousy focus…you cannot say that you bargained very well. Anyway, optics are one of the critical components of a good student microscope. However, keep in mind that optics means more than lenses. It also means eyepieces, resolution, and monocular/binocular. Let’s explore them all, shall we? It is for your better understanding.
The title above refers to two things, mainly. DIN is an international standard and stands for ‘Deutsche Industrie Norm.’ You may also find JIN, which is a Japanese standard. Why do you need lenses that meet those standards? Because if one of your lenses breaks, you can replace it with any other lens that meets DIN standards. It will be easier for you to find spare lenses. That is the point of the whole thing. You will not have to buy lenses from the same manufacturer.
As for the achromatic part, there are a few things to say about that, but the most important aspect is that achromatic lenses are designed to be color corrected. If they are not, some colors will be out of the focal plane, and as a result, you will not be able to see them. And you do want to see everything with your microscope, don’t you?
Leaving the objectives aside, we should also take care of the lens that is the closest to your eye. To make your job easier, what you need is an eyepiece with a wide field. Why? Because the opening is more prominent. Thus, you can see better. That helps you in two ways. First, it will be easier for you to position your eye on the eyepiece. It is like trying to look through a peephole. The bigger the peephole, the easier will be to see through it. Simple as that. Second of all, let’s not forget that we are talking about a student microscope, so children may be using it. It is easier for them to look through a wider eyepiece. It is all about fine motor skills, and small children are underdeveloped as far as that is concerned. It is not their fault, so you need to help them somehow. A wide field is a solution.
What you need to know is that the resolution comes from the objective lenses and not the eyepiece. You would be surprised at how many people make that confusion. However, the eyepiece has a role as well. It can magnify the resolution given by the objective. For example, a 40x objective with a 10x eyepiece is an ideal combination for a high resolution. The image will be sharper than 20x objective and a 20x eyepiece.
There is no right answer here. Your choice should depend on how often you are going to use the scope. If you will be using it a lot, then there is no dilemma. A binocular student microscope is way better. It is more comfortable to use, and you do not have to train your brain to ignore the information it receives from the other eye like it is with a monocular student microscope. Binocular scopes are usually adjustable to different face sizes. As for the other one, monocular scopes are better for children. That is because they may have trouble with interpupillary adjustment.
One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to lighting is that light is light, right? Not quite. There are several kinds of lighting, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. They are as follows:
Now that you have all the information you need to make the right decision, you can move on to making an actual purchase. If you still have difficulties, here are three excellent suggestions.
This model is one of the best selling scopes for students for more than one reason. First of all, it is inexpensive. However, that does not mean you will not get a high-quality product. The AmScope has a sturdy construction, and the entire framework is made of metal. No cheap metal, not low quality. It is ideal for home-schooling, elementary school, and even high school. It is a capable scope that will meet its purpose.
The monocular scope is rotatable 360 degrees, and it has five magnification settings: 40x, 100x, 250x, 400, and 1000x. The settings are more than sufficient for a student. The eyepiece provides a wield field, and it includes a single less condenser with disc diaphragm.
As for the lighting, this student microscope uses an LED illumination system. The white light is perfect for what you want to do, and there is no heat. Also, thanks to LED technology, you can use this microscope without plugging it in. If you are doing fieldwork, all you need are three AAA batteries. However, an AC adapter will be provided so that you can plug it in when you do not want your scope to run on batteries. Overall, this is an excellent product for the money you are spending.
This is yet another high-quality student microscope. It is not expensive at all, and it comes with excellent features. The monocle rotates 360 degrees, and at the same time, it is inclined at a 45 degrees angle. That will make usage more comfortable. Also, the eyepiece provides a wide field for more convenience.
The Aomkie has three magnification settings: 64x, 160x, and 600x. The images you get are clear, and the resolution is pretty good for a 70$ scope. One of the features you will like the most about this scope is that it has three illumination modes: upper, lower, and both. Also, you can adjust the brightness, which comes in handy since the LED lights can sometimes be too bright.
This microscope can also run on three AA batteries. LED lights are low consumers, which allows you to do some fieldwork if you want. But you can also use the AC adapter when you use it at home. As for the construction of this scope, it has a solid all metal build. There is no plastic involved. The smooth focusing knob is easy to use, and you can use this student microscope in whatever field you want. It will work like a charm.
While the previous two models are designed for older students, this one is for small children. It has 62 pieces in total, and three magnification settings: 100x, 450x, and 900x. All the parts come in a case for easy carrying. Your child will have an easy time staying organized, and the chances of losing some of the pieces are pretty low.
On the other hand, just because this microscope is designed more for children than for older age groups does not mean that it is low-quality. It is constructed of durable die-cast metal that will last for years. It can handle years of abuse, which means you do not have to worry about buying a new one anytime soon.
I think this model is ideal for introducing children to science. They can observe small objects, and maybe they will take an interest in science. It uses two AA batteries for lighting, and it can keep your child entertained for hours. As a first microscope, this is perfect. Not to mention that it is really cheap.
I have to admit that I like all three models. They are not expensive, they are of high quality (more than you would expect,) and they will do a pretty good job. However, if I had to choose one, I would go with the AmScope M150C-I Student Biological Compound Microscope. It has more magnification settings than the other two, it has excellent lighting, and I think it is more suited for students who have taken an interest in science. I believe it is one of the best student microscopes in this price range.
We live in the golden age of technology, and while computers may take over microscopy someday, I still believe there is a certain level of satisfaction when you put your eyes through a scope. Also, I think that a gift such as a microscope can awaken the passion for science in a child. It is interesting to see several samples right in front of you, which is why I believe that students should be taught microscopy with the old-fashioned microscope. With that being said, whichever product you pick, I think you will be satisfied with your choice. Click here to buy it on Amazon