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7 Tips for Microscope Purchasing

7 Tips for Microscope Purchasing

Considered the gateway instrument to the world of science, mastering the art of microscopy is not only fundamental in learning but it underpins everything going forward!

In the education setting compound microscopes are the microscopes of choice, as they are a perfect compromise between price, magnification and usability. However when choosing a microscope, it can be daunting due to the wide range of information and the sheer variation of microscopes available. However there are a few key factors to consider when purchasing a microscope.

1. Construction Quality

Sturdiness is one of the most important qualities to consider when purchasing a microscope, as it will allow greater durability and longevity over a plastic construction. This can be avoided by purchasing from
a reputable vendor.

2. Optical Quality: Focus

Flat field correction is a key part of this; how much of the image is actually in focus. This can range from achromatic (standard lens) which leaves 65% of the image in focus, through to plan objectives which have 95% of the image flat and in focus giving a vastly different quality image.

3. Optical Quality: Objectives

The objectives are a key part of the microscope and is the biggest differentiating factor of a microscope, insuring they are achromatic and DIN compatible (Deutsch Industry Norm) as this is integral as DIN objectives are interchangeable from one microscope to the other.

4. Optical Quality: Eyepieces

Put simply, a wider eyepiece allows for easier viewing, with some of the best eyepieces including Wide Field (WF) or Super Wide Field (SWF).

5. Mechanical Stage

When viewing at high magnifications a mechanical stage becomes very important, as fine slide adjustments are made possible.

6. Condenser and Diaphragm

A good quality condenser and diaphragm is also useful. Typically an Abbe condenser allows for greater levels of adjustments, with some microscopes having an iris diaphragm in addition to the condenser.

7. Power Options

Think about the environment the microscope will be used in and the power option available, consider if battery capable microscopes will be required.

All being considered, the best advice to be given on choosing a microscope is to think beyond just the initial outlay, look at it as an investment which will last for decades. And account for any future requirements, to ensure that you have a suitable specification to cover any future needs for it.
The other factor to consider is industry relevance. Training students on a microscope which has similar features and design will set them in best stead for future careers in industry.

Need help with your next microscope purchase? Most suppliers will offer guidance, product demonstrations or a discovery day.

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