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Buy Student Microscope

The National Geographic Ultimate Dual Microscope is just the tool your aspiring scientist will need to start investigating the world around them. It includes everything students need to get an introduction into biology, including 35 pre-prepared slides, a storage box, tools for slide prep, a petri dish, and more.

buy student microscope

For those interested in live specimens, the kit also comes with brine shrimp eggs and a hatching station. LED lights assist users in being able to see objects on the slide clearly, along with glass lenses that can get 20X or 50X magnification levels. For those looking to find a microscope on a budget, this is a great option for beginners looking for an all-inclusive experience.

AmScope microscopes are known for being some of the best on the market for affordability and versatility. The M150-MS is a budget-friendly option for students that comes with many features, including a monocular viewing head that has a 45-degree vertical inclination and 360-degree rotation capability. Because the M150-MS model has a diascopic Brightfield illumination, light appears upwards through the slide rather than shining down on it.

There are a lot of inexpensive microscopes available, of widely varying quality; some of the good ones cost no more than some of the nearly useless "toy" models. You don't have to be an optical expert to make a good choice, if you follow the simple evaluation criteria given here. Remember that "experts" don't always agree, and trust your own evaluation skills. The advice that follows is intended for teachers, parents, and school volunteers who are looking for good classroom equipment. An adult amateur will want a somewhat different microscope that can be upgraded with different lenses and accessories as the hobby progresses. Both will benefit from reading one of the several well-written introductory books that are available; Nachtigall, Exploring With the Microscope, for example. Full information on that book and many others can be found in the MICRO booklists, on this website. You'll find another useful discussion of microscope selection at .

The first choice is between "simple" and "compound" microscopes. A "simple" microscope (Leeuwenhoek used one) has just one lens and a "compound" scope has both an objective and an eyepiece. Don't buy a "simple" design! The working distances between eye and lens and lens and specimen are so small that they are very difficult to use. And a single powerful lens has so much aberration that the student who manages to get an image will be disappointed by its quality. Unfortunately, there are quite a few models offered in school supply catalogs.

Two types, actually, in roughly equal numbers for middle school. Inspection/dissection scopes are used to look at surface details of large, opaque specimens at relatively low (20-30x) power. Illumination is usually from above, and the image is erect, as in the "real world". Compound microscopes are usually used with transmitted light to look through transparent specimens; the useful school magnification range is 10-400x. The image is inverted. It takes a bit of practice to follow a moving subject when it's upside-down.

Both types should have metal bodies and metal rack-and-pinion focus, for durability and easy, precise focusing. That immediately eliminates the plastic "toy" scopes. Although a metal body is no guarantee of lens quality, metal focus gearing is more precise than twistable or plastic designs. Both types should have glass rather than plastic lenses and be able to focus on both thin specimens (slides) and the surface of larger objects at least an inch thick. Compound scopes should have a 3-lens turret and a substage diaphragm or series of "field stops" to control brightness. There are some good single-objective compound scopes available, but the three lens design is much more versatile; a student can locate a subject at low power and immediately switch to higher magnifications of the same area.

"Magnifies 600-1200 times!" NO. When you see this claim in an advertisement, it's good reason to read no further. The wavelength(s) of visible light and the optical properties of glass lenses used in air (rather than the "immersion oil" used with research microscopes) limit the useful magnification of a compound school microscope to 400x; more is "empty magnification". Magnification can be calculated by multiplying the power of the eyepiece lens by that of the objective lens. For example, using a 10x eyepiece and a 40x objective gives 400x. Higher magnifications are achieved in "toy" microscopes by using an eyepiece of excessive power, which in turn makes the field of view very narrow, while emphasizing all the aberrations of the image produced by the objective lens. It's like enlarging a snapshot from a cheap camera to poster size; it's bigger, but there's no more detail. Most school microscopy needs 10-100x (bacteria require 400x). True 1000x imaging requires a 4th objective (100x) in the turret, a multi-lens focusable condenser, plus the use of immersion oil. It should only be considered for advanced high school classes.

"Zoom magnification!" NO. This is related to the preceding problem. A zoom eyepiece just makes things worse, because cheap zoom optics are full of aberrations. Magnification changes in a compound microscope should be accomplished by changing objective lenses, not by zooming the eyepiece. And that is best accomplished with a lens turret rather than changeable screw-in lenses, which are easy to damage or lose.

Binocular eyepieces. NO. Although the information content of a stereo view will help an older student, two sets of optics cost a lot more, and if rough use knocks them out of line factory service is needed. Younger children's narrower interocular distance often won't fit adult eyepiece spacing. And fully 17% of children (5 or 6 in a class of 30) will have amblyopia, strabismus, or other binocular coordination problems.

Condenser. MAYBE. Although the substage condenser, which focuses illumination on the specimen, is an essential part of a research microscope, it should be avoided in the $100 price range. If one is offered it will be a single lens which can't be focused, fixed in the stage. It will be easy to damage and difficult to clean.

Projection microscopy NO. Even if you can completely darken your room, illumination sufficient to project an image with one of the cheap direct projection scopes will also fry your specimen. Some manufacturers do have good, educationally useful video projection systems, but their cost makes it doubtful that they're "worthwhile" if the budget is limited. A separate digital camera connected to a computer is a better choice. The new digital microscopes that project onto a monitor allow the whole class to see the same thing at the same time. Avoid the "digital microscopes" that incorporate camera electronics into a glass-lens microscope itsef. That electronics will become obsolete rapidly, forcing you to abandon and replace the scope when it's optical and mechanical condition are still good.

Made in the U.S.A. NO. Brand names are no guarantee of American manufacture. Almost all American-brand microscopes are imported, and even scopes that are advertised as American-made will have important imported components, such as lenses.

Widefield eyepieces. YES. These provide a large, bright image and are usually the best choice. They let you see more specimen area than a conventional eyepiece of the same power. This also means that more illumination is gathered and transmitted, providing a brighter image. They should be no more than 15x; 10x is preferred. In student scopes, they're often fixed in place, which protects against loss, damage, and internal dirt.

Major scientific supply catalogs and some of the school supply houses will have them; this web page has a dealer contact list. A microscopes-only dealer may provide both a presale quality-control check and in-house service. Shop carefully; prices may vary by 50% or more.

If you know enough to evaluate a used scope or repair a faulty one you probably won't be reading this basic advice. Microscopes don't "wear out"; they're often on the market because they aren't working as well as they should. Used research scopes will have extra controls that will be very confusing for both teachers and students.

Get an LED microscope that will last a lifetime! This home microscope is easy-to-use, sturdy, affordable & allows observers to see intricate cell details. An excellent choice for students, science-lovers & hobbyists alike!

Our Home Advanced LED Microscope is available with a fully adjustable 1.25 N.A. Abbe condenser and iris diaphragm to provide better image contrast. Built to exacting standards, this compound microscope will last a lifetime!

This Home Binocular LED Microscope enhances viewing comfort, reduces eye strain, and improves depth perception. Built to exacting standards, this microscope will last a lifetime & is perfect for any home or classroom!

Studying the unseen world with a microscope is like traveling to another universe. And the Microscopic Discovery Kit is the vehicle to get you there. With our #1 bestselling microscope & microscopic slide set, this complete kit is the whole package.

This economical, sophisticated binocular microscope provides enhanced optics & advanced mechanics. This easy-to-use advanced microscope reduces eye strain & supplies depth of field flexibility. Comes with a lifetime warranty!

Don't let the price fool you! This Home LED Microscope features high-quality LED illumination and compound objectives to see up to 1000x. It's an excellent compound microscope for students, families, and hobbyists alike!

This Home Dual-Head LED Microscope is upgraded from the top-rated Home Advanced LED Microscope. Its dual-head design rotates 360 - making it the perfect microscope for teaching or microphotography! Lifetime warranty. 041b061a72


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