Updated: May 9, 2015
Microscope Reviews:Microscopes are a great way for kids and adults to become educated about tiny creatures under a high powered lense. Science is a wonderful topic to learn about and having a microscope to use in your house is a great idea. Although some are pricey ($1000+), others are very affordable and will get the job done in terms of teaching your kids about blood cells, amoebas and bacteria. Microscopes come in different types - digital microscopes, inclined microscopes, stereo and zoom microscopes, compound microscopes, beginner microscopes, portable microscopes, and advanced microscopes. When choosing what kind of microscope to buy, you want to consider the light you will be using, the type of specimens you will be viewing, and the appropriate experience or age level. A student compound microscope is designed for viewing the microscopic world. They have monocular heads and are high power microscopes with magnifications of 40x, 100x, 400x and 1000x. A compound microscope is used to view blood samples, prepared slides, cells and cell structures, bacteria, pond life, and microscopic organisms. Stereo Microscopes are low power microscopes used for inspection and "hands under" work usually involving non-microscopic activities like viewing insects and coins.
We found that Amazon.com carries a variety of microscopes at pretty competitive prices. The Celestron Dissecting Microscope ($209.99) has standard features like an Optical Head - 45 degree inclined Binocular Head; 360 degree Rotatable, Interpupillary distance - Adjustable from 55-75mm, Illuminator - Top/Bottom built-in electric illuminator; Incandescent Bulb, Nosepiece - Turret objective 2x/4x, Stage - 94.5mm glass stage and black/white stage plate. Owners like this microscope for its ease of use and ability to view specimens without a slide. The Celestron Research Microscope ($483.95) costs more, but you get an adjustable illuminator with an illuminator with an Abbe 1.25 condenser, iris diaphragm, filters, and holder, built-in mechanical stage is 123mm x 153mm and has a movement range of 70mm x 40mm, a binocular head 45-degree inclined, 360-degree rotatable, and interpupillary distance of 55mm-75mm, four supplied achromatic objectives 4x, 10x, 40, 100xr (oil), and 10x and 15x eyepieces. All reviews were positive saying that the 4x objective was something not found in the popular Meade microscope. Olympus has an excellent resource site at Olympusmicro.com with useful sections on research microscopes, clinical microsopes, confocal microscopes, and education microscopes. Their latest research microscopes are the SZX16 Zoom Stereo Microscope and the SZX10 Zoom Stereo Microscope. They complement the AX Series and the BX2 series nicely. The top Confocal microscopes by Olympus are the FluoView 1000 and the FluoView 300. The Fluoview 1000, with two laser scanners, is great for "ultra-thin sectioning". Nikon makes great cameras but also specializes in microscopes. The newest products are the Eclipse LV100D Upright Metallurgical Microscope, Eclipse LV100 POL Polarizing Microscope, and the Nikon - SMZ1500 zoom stereomicroscope. Microscopedealer.com carries all the latest models with specs, features and pictures of them. We found some excellent microscope reviews online at websites like Microscope.com, Epinions, Amazon, and Microscopeplanet.com. All feature in depth owner reviews with comments and feedback that should make your buying decision well informed. You can browse the top selling microscopes online here.