You might make the decision to buy a microscope for a number of reasons. It could be for work, for students you teach, or just for amateur use at home. Whatever your reason for buying one, looking at the different options can be confusing. Rushing into purchasing a microscope can lead to you wasting money on a piece of equipment that doesn’t suit your purpose. Here are ten of the things I wish I had known before I made the leap to buy my first microscope.
Microscopes Are Optimised for Different Purposes
It may or may not be obvious to you, but microscopes aren’t a one-size-fits-all product. Before buying one, it’s important to think about what you’re going to use it for. Certain industries will need microscopes that do very specific jobs. For example, laboratories that specialise in testing materials or the asbestos industry require specific asbestos microscopes.
Microscope Lenses Are Most Important…
When choosing a microscope, it’s essential to consider the lenses. One of the things you could do is buy high quality plan or plan apo objectives, which is an industry standard. This will ensure you get high quality, crisp, flat images.
…But They’re Nothing without Great Focusing
While lenses are important, they don’t mean anything without a decent focusing system. There are different types of focus, which I wish I had known before buying my first microscope.
Resolution and Magnification Are Separate
You might think that the primary purpose of a microscope is to magnify something. However, some people say that the magnification is the least important feature. You need to have excellent resolution too, or all you will get as you magnify is a blurred picture.
Microscopes Always Need Servicing
Much like any other piece of equipment, microscopes don’t just keep themselves going. It’s a good idea to buy your microscope with a warranty, and from a company with excellent servicing and support.
Sometimes It’s Necessary to Buy Accessories
A microscope doesn’t automatically come with everything you need all the time. For example, of the most important things you could need is camera adaptors or spare lamps to use with it. I wish I had factored these accessories into my budget when purchasing.
You Can Save By Buying Reconditioned
When trying to limit your spending, you don’t have to buy a brand new microscope. A reconditioned one can save you money, especially when it’s your first purchase.
Binocular Microscopes Will Save Your Eyes
You can choose between a monocular or binocular microscope. If you’re going to use it frequently, a binocular one is the best choice. It will be much more comfortable.
The Lighting System Matters
You can get much better lighting for microscopes than you once did. It’s important to consider the lighting installed in the microscope and the other illumination systems you can buy.
Using a Microscope is Addictive
Another thing I wish I had known is that I wouldn’t want to put my microscope down. Once it was available to me all the time, I wanted to use it for everything. Beware before you make your purchase!