Monday, August 23, 2010

Versatile Microscope Tool

There are some tools that are almost as useful as the hairpin, paper clip or tweezers.  Yet, very few people know about them.  One of these is called a Stereo Microscope or, alternately, a Dissecting Microscope.  In past years, they were so expensive that no matter how useful they might be they were simply beyond the average person's budget.

The SMZ-04, for instance, that I showed in an earlier article sell for over $700 at the linked URL.  I would NEVER suggest someone buy an SMZ-04 as a crafting tool.  The good news is that as expensive as that high end scope is, it is NOT my favorite Stereo Microscope.  Nor, do I think the optics are all that much better than my favorite Stereo Microscope.

Here is my favorite Stereo Microscope and I DO recommend it for crafting and just about about everything else around the house.  It gets used a lot.  It's the 20 power My First Lab iExplore Stereo Scope.

I use the CA Scientific version of this microscope.  But, I just found another source with an excellent price.  BH Photo sells the Ken-O-Vision version of this same Chinese manufactured scope.  I think it's fair to assume that they probably come from the same supplier.

At BHPhoto they sell the Ken-O-Vision 20x Stereoscope for just $67.50.  And, believe me, that is a bargain.  First, it is a great thing to have around if you have children and grandchildren.  And, it's also a great thing to have around if you want to inspect things, like the condition of your blades.  The following pictures were taken with the predecessor of the iExplore or Ken-O-Vision.  The iExplore's and Ken-O-Vision's optics are better.  But, we can clearly see that while there is some wear at the very tip, in a pinch I can re-use this blade.

And, at different angle...

Suppose I'd come to the end of all my new blades and my new supply had not arrived yet.  I have 20 used blades.  But, which ones are hopelessly dull or broken and which ones might have a little more life in them.  You won't have to guess with this versatile microscope.

By the way, if you are looking for a present for a child and your are thinking about a first microscope, this is the microscope I would recommend.  A child can explore coins, printed images, their fingers, bugs, dolls, flowers... just about anything and everything.  A Compound Microscope will be used less than a Stereo Microscope over the entire lifetime of the child.

Both of these scopes use a battery powered long-life LED lighting system.  So, there is no need to plug it in to view your blades and bugs.


henryp said...

Thanks for mentioning us. We appreciate this.

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

Tom Meeks said...

How could I not mention your company. Over many years and countless orders you've always come through with flying colors... even when something had to be returned. But, how in the world did you spot this so fast??? LOL!

peter said...

Great thanks to sharing....
Stereo Microscope makes use of transmitted light, phase content and fluorescence to discover microbes, plants and animal tissues.
Stereo Microscope

Tom Meeks said...

And, broken blades.

I've come to believe that the stereo microscope is THE most versatile scope and I can't imagine NOT having one.

Thanks for the comments!

Peter said...

waiting for more updates..
Microscope is a Really amazing device for observations, thanks for sharing.
Laboratory Microscopes