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Review of Professional USB Microscope Eyepiece Attachment

 

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We also have a smaller USB microscope (complete microscope with zoom and light) click here

Contents

Specification
Product Description
Review
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Specification

* The size of a full -size modern microscope eyepiece has been 23mm since 1889, with a microscope tube length of 160mm. Toy microscopes have eyepieces of 21mm or 19mm and a tube length much shorter than 160mm.

Resolution: 1280X1024 pixels = 1.3MP

Power: powered from the computer's USB socket.

Magnification of eyepiece: 10X

For the sake of approximate calculations, the eyepiece microscope has lenses built into it, giving a magnification of 10X, so the magnification will be 10X the objective lens you are using, but since you can then make the resulting image any size on your monitor, these calculations are somewhat approximate.

USB cable: 1.5m

Weight: 100g

Product Description

Powerful but easy to use software enables the capture of stills and live video.

Also suitable for jewellers and watchmakers who want to show customers their repairs; valuers taking a record of diamonds; gemmologists making identifications.

The picture in the store shows a plant (a diatom), it measures 50µ (50 thousands of a millimeter) across and the magnification is 100X. The "100X magnification" is calculated in the standard way, by multiplying the eyepiece strength by the objective strength. But this doesn't quite apply when viewing the image on a monitor - a bigger image on a monitor is greater 'magnification', and you can enlarge an image on the screen as much as you like, but it's only with a high quality eyepiece microscope such as this one, that you maintain the image quality.

The microscope in the picture is trinocular (binocular + extra tube) but the camera will fit any standard, modern, full-size microscope (see SPECIFICATION at the top of this page).

Review

Usually, with new optical devices, I spend a couple of hours playing with them, then spend another hour writing the review, especially with binoculars and telescopes. I am not such an expert on microscopes but I know someone who is - and I happen to know that he researched the subject of USB eyepieces and was very disappointed with the general quality of far-Eastern imports, and that he ended up buying one from Germany for £300.00. And so I gave him one of these for evaluation.

I expected him to say that it was a very nice toy, and no more. Not so! He was so impressed that he was simply bubbling over with enthusiasm and has recommended this to the members of his microscope society.

So what is so good?

Three things.

Firstly, the basic optical quality. As you see from the link at the top of this page, you can buy a complete USB microscope (not just an attachment) with light and zoom up to 200X for £37.50. But, understandably for this price, the image when used at more than 20X or 30X magnification will be fuzzy. THIS, on the other hand, gives a superb image right down to a few microns, as you see from the picture.

Secondly, the software enables real-time video that actually works. His £300.00 has a 'live video' function, but the imaged updates (frame rate) about once every two seconds, which makes for somewhat jerky pictures. THIS one manages live video at about 30 frames per second, enabling you to quite comfortably watch micro-organisms swimming around.

Finally (and, I confess, I haven't tried this) he said that the software was easy to install and very easy to use (unlike his £300.00 microscope which was over-complicated) and overall, he said, it was a delight to use.

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