on May 10, 2011
As a home-schooling mom of 6 I can't say enough about this scope. We have struggled with several under $100 microscopes and I wish we would have started with this one. It is simple enough for our 4 year old to use and advanced enough for our son in college. The mechanical stage is a definite plus making it easy to find all sorts of creatures and to give coordinates for science assignments. This is better than the scope I used in college and we have had a great time with it. I would recommend purchasing slides, a good how to guide etc because you will quickly become addicted. Nothing beats the right tool to get the job done and all of a sudden, science is the favorite class. We have studied parameciums to stem cuttings. The only thing I can think of that makes this less than perfect is that I need a case. The desciption neglects to tell you what is included - 2 light filters, a lighting iris diaphragm to control light levels, dust cover - in short it was more than I expected. Crystal clear images and with some maneuvering we can get a 3d image.
The price can't be beat (especially with free shipping)- I HIGHLY recommend this scope and can't imagine a kid not mesmerized examining his own blood,cheek cells, dust mites, algae, pond creatures, pollen, bees' legs, flies' wings etc, etc
on August 16, 2011
Item arrived on time, well packaged and in perfect condition.
This microscope is well made and of metal construction. I have wanted a microscope for many years but the models I found in local hobby shops were either way too expensive or cheaply constructed of plastic. Thanks to Amazon, I was able to find and select this quality product. Upon receipt, I performed the simple assembly within 10 minutes and was viewing paramecium, amoeba, planaria and other creatures in a drop of water from my backyard pond in no time at all. After about a month of ownership, I purchased a Celestron digital USB imager for less than 50 bucks and I can now view and photograph excellent images as well as create videos of anything seen through this microscope using my PC. The microscope comes with both 10X and 20X eyepieces as well as color filters (which I would love to know how to use if anyone can advise me how to mount them) and a fantastic X / Y micrometer type clamping device which allows one to find an object, note its coordinates, move on and return to it easily rather than moving a slide with your fingers and possibly creating a mess. If you are looking for a well made hobby grade microscope for a very reasonable price, this is it. Do not be put off by the fact that this is not a well known name brand.
on June 17, 2013
I'm a research scientist and know high quality microscopes in my lab and even for the classroom are pricey. This is a very economical microscope that is of excellent quality. My kids and I have had a blast looking at pond water (algae, paramecium, round worms), small ticks (Here we used it to see if the entire tick was removed...it was), molds (hyphae and spores), budding yeast, etc. My ten year-old is picking up a lot of info and my 4 year-old is also enjoying it...who knows how much he is picking up and who cares, he's engaged. I am making the slides, finding the items, and focusing, all that will come with time for the kids.
I did not find it difficult to assemble, but I have some experience there. It seemed pretty intuitive to me. It came in about 4 parts that were preassembled (body, stage, eye piece unit, slide holder). The light is very bright/effective, even at 100x and it comes with one replacement bulb. There is a lever to control the light passing up through the lenses. Not sure why one would want to use the color filters...these remain in the styrofoam packaging. All four objectives are excellent and you can use either the 10x or 20x eyepieces, which are also clear.
I got tired of waiting for the university sales where they sell their old microscopes. Getting a new 'scope is even better!
You will need microscope slides and cover slips, but those are also easy to find on Amazon. It comes with immersion oil for the 100x objective. It does not come with lens paper or cleaning solution to remove the oil off the lens or for general maintenance of the lenses.
on October 24, 2011
We home school and had tried another microscope that was around 50-60 bucks cheaper. We got it and returned it, as there were several issues with the quality. We decided to try this one instead.
The construction is much better and feels solid. This scope is like the ones I worked with in undergrad - much more satisfied.
The only problem I've encountered is that the mechanical stage attachment isn't stable. I've triple checked and I have it attached correctly, but whenever turning the knobs to move the slide, there is a "wobble" in it that causes the view to be distorted and you have to refocus. This also causes the "latch" that catches the slide and fixes it into place to ride a little high and have trouble securing the slide into place consistently. I have "jury rigged" it by sliding a piece of folded paper under it to keep it more stable.
Overall pleased. Just curious as to why the mechanical stage attachment is a little off.
on October 27, 2011
I am a science education major and this is very similar to the microscopes we use in lab. The main difference seems to be that the light bulb on this model is not on a dimmer switch, but the iris diaphragm is still present. It comes with 3 different light filters and the 20x eyepieces are awesome. If you want a really great microscope for not too much cash, this is definitely a good choice.
on May 24, 2012
This microscope is better than it looks in pictures, it's made of metal and has a perfect size to be used even by a kid.
It seems to last a lifetime but it is not a professional equipment. It lacks the possibility to change/upgrade lighting system, (fine focus wheel slightly shifs the image*), condenser lens is slightly mis-aligned. But being reasonable, such claims could only be asked from a real pro. The objectives are really nice: sharp clear, bright, no colour aberations. Considering the limitation of lighting system, x40 and x100 ones cannot show their real value.
In the first half an hour after opening the packet I was able to look in a drop of water (on a concave slide) from my fish bowl and saw jungle there. My 11 year daughter have a thrill of horror after seeing a metazoa (cyclop?) who's eating a little something. She had got fascinated and that's what I actually watching from this purchase.
I hope we will enjoy for many yeasa from now on the universe opened by this tool, but for the others who are looking for a microscope I would suggest another one for the same price: http://www.amazon.com/AmScope-Compound-Biological-Microscope-40x-1000x/dp/B007LBFLSM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2MQAIRS1KO6GP&coliid=I1L6332N8CEHHO
Other recommandation would be to negotiate a low magnification in favor of a better lighting system. Don't look after 1600x, 2000x or 2500x but look after rack and pinion adjustment for condenser, darkfield condenser, coaxial coarse & fine focusing etc. Peace!
P.S. *After a couple of days of using I observed that the little shift of image caused by the fine focusing knob it's no more visible, maybe it needed a little running...
on February 8, 2012
I got my microscope today. I put it together, put one of my especially hard to resolve prepared slides (teased lichen) on the stage and . . . unbelievable. The clarity was unsurpassed, the resolution was awesome. I have been using microscopes pretty much my entire life (I'm 58 years old) and they just don't get much better than this. I checked out some Diatoms and the striations were resolved completely. I did a side by side comparison with a Swift microscope for which I paid over 750 dollars 15 years ago and there was no contest. The images in the Swift are good, but not as good as this AmScope. All these years I thought my Swift was sooooooooo nice and now. . . I would gladly pay much more than this for the optics alone in this AmScope. If you are hesitant to purchase this product don't be. You will not find a better instrument at a better price anywhere. I promise.
By the way, the first scope I bought from them was a stereo microscope for 137 dollars. That scope is what convinced me to go ahead and try the compound microscope. I'm glad I did - both times. They are two very nice additions to my collection. I only wish there were more stars, five is not enough!
on December 6, 2012
Solidly built and reasonably precise mechanically. However, the mechanical stage clip assembly was shipped out of alignment. I doubt this piece went through a final QA as it would not lay flat on the stage when it was mounted and would not hold a slide since it was raised about 2mm above the stage, allowing the slide to slip out underneath it.
After adjusting the set screws that hold the clip bar to the moving mount, I managed to adjust it to nearly level with the stage. Enough to hold the slide in place. Still, it is not 100% flush with the stage and with extended use it has a tendency to raise up and let the slide slip out again. German engineering it's not. Note - if this type of adjustment is needed, you'll need an extra small philips screwdriver, like those used for fixing eyeglasses.
Other than that, the optics are fine and the coarse and fine focus knobs work well with some patience and practice. The light on this does get quite hot, so if you think you'll be working with live specimens you may want to consider an LED version. Also, there is no way to vary the intensity of the light other than adjusting the iris, which is not ideal in some situations. At first, I didn't think this would be a big deal, but now I wish I had spent a few more bucks to have the extra ability to fine tune the amount of light projecting though the condenser.
on January 29, 2013
I got this scope because I've always wanted one. My school never had this kind of equipment.(They didn't have computers til long after I'd left either!) Anyway, this is an awesome toy and tool of discovery. It's amazing how things look even at the lower magnifications. House dust, sugar, salt, a drop of water from the pond, this scope handles all of that like a champ. In fact, images up to 400x are generally striking, and vivid.
With this scope, I have resolved things down to less than a micron, seen all kinds of pond life, including diatoms and other algae, tardigrades, worms, tiny crustaceans, book lice, ants and even cyanobacteria.The 100x objective, the oil objective, delivers light and magnification nicely even through the 20x eyepieces. beware though, spiders are tiny horror movies up close. Don't look at bugs unless you REALLY like to be grossed out!
There was a youtube video for this line of scopes, so I watched it. Very succinct. See the video. It teaches you the basics of setting up and using the scope. The components generally look and feel like decent quality items. It feels sturdy and it looks good. I also recommend picking up a pair of 5x WideField eyepieces. Often, using a lower magnification can get you what you're looking for so much faster than a higher one. 5x eyepieces get you down to a 20x minimum magnification, which has turned out to be very useful.
Now, for a couple of negatives:
- The mechanical stage quickly (within a week) started to get sloppy and show a lot of play in it. Also, it does not sit flat on the stage. Because it does not stay perfectly flat against the stage, it does not hold slides well and once the slide actually got stuck under the mechanical stage, which probably just makes it worse. I discovered that the washer used under the hold-down screw for the mechanical stage could not possibly be to spec, because it simply did not fit flush in the hole, which allowed the mechanical stage to wobble sightly. I put in an appropriately sized washer which seems to have improved things to a tolerable level. I just keep aware of how delicate the rig really is.
- The 40x objective does not seem to gather quite enough light, and it seems a little blurry when used with the 20x eyepieces, but, I understand that at higher resolutions, optics start to show their flaws. It's probably unreasonable to expect much more than what Amscope delivers at this price point. The 100x, when used with oil, delivers light and magnification pretty nicely even through the 20x eyepieces. Totally impressive, but, see this next thing first...
- The immersion oil they send with, is tree oil. Cedar or pine or one of those. If you are new to microscopy, throw that stuff away. It's not worth the potential damage an untrained hobbyist is likely to do if s/he forgets to clean it off the lens! Get some synthetic oil. The good stuff smells like good engineering :) Cedar oil smells nicely, sure, but trust me, spend the extra $5 or $10 and get some good synthetic immersion oil even (or especially), if you will only occasionally use the 1000x and 2000x settings. If the cedar oil crusts up on your lens, you'll need a powerful solvent to clean it off.
There you go. Nice scope. Happy with it. It's not a high end scope so treat it gently.
on October 22, 2011
This is an excellent microscope and does everything that I'm used to being able to do with the microscopes I used during my college and graduate education. It did require a bit of assembly and the manual didn't describe this process very well; it used terms that would be familiar only to people who've used microscopes before and skipped a couple of steps altogether. The manual also doesn't describe how to use the microscope very well - it used technical terms and was very brief in description; again, most appropriate for folks who've used microscopes before and need a quick (very quick) reminder of what to do.
The microscopic itself is excellent and is a very good choice for those who've used them before. If you're just starting out, you might consider this microscope if you're willing to put some time into learning about microscopes and the terminology on the Internet.