Asked December 19, 2018, 12:48 PM EST
I am interested in purchasing a microscope to exam my insects. Do you have a recommendation?
Spokane County Washington
For most insect, a dissecting scope will work. If you really want to get into it and look at genitalia, you will need a compound scope. As for which brand,, it is hard to say since there are many different models out there now. There are cheap ones made China and expensive ones made in Japan with others from a variety of places.
At one time, there were ones made by B&L which were just fine but that manufacturer gave up their scope branch a long time ago. They were made of metal and lasted decades. Except for the head and lens system, you could maintain them and replace most parts.
New student grade units from Nikon or Olympus with do fine for most work that could cost you over $1500.00. You can find used ones on line or may be able to get older ones from a near by campus or their supplier. They sometimes have ways to sell old scopes or the suppliers take them in trade for new scopes and then sell the old ones.
If you buy on line, buy from reputable people because you can get broken and damaged ones that will be useless since the manufacturers may no longer have parts or will not work on them if they are too old. Third party repair people may help but you may pay a lot of money to get a scope fixed.