5 Best Microscopes Reviews Brands – [Buying Guide 2017]

The Best Compound Microscope for Students

Need help finding a good solid Compound/Stereo Microscope that will last?

Let me help you and show my picks for the Top 5 Microscopes brands that are good 😉👍Logo Red

These tools is designed for low magnification purposes and uses two objective lenses and two eyepieces to provide slightly different viewing angles to each of the viewer’s eyes, thereby producing a three dimensional effect.

It’s very cool and fun! 😄

Spoiler these are my top 5 picks!

centralOMAX 40X-2000X Lab LED Binocular OMAX$
brandAmScope SE400-Z Professional Binocular StereoAmScope$
centralAmScope B120C-E1 Siedentopf Binocular CompoundAmScope$
centralOMAX 40X-2000X Digital Lab LED Binocular Compound OMAX$
centralAmScope M150C / M150C-I 40X-1000X All-Metal Optical GlassAmScope$

Heres a video on how to use and some good tips


Ever since the first simple invention of it by Anton Van Leeuwenhoek during his lifetime in the intervening 100 years between 1623 and 1723, preparing and using a single
biconvex lens to magnify microorganisms, attempts have been made for better magnification and resolution of images.

The next version was the natural successor to the first simple one, with a combination of two lenses. Other types such as the stereo, interference and phase-contrast also works on light, but light is treated differently and the specimen is analyzed accordingly.

The phase contrast and the interference microscopes make use of the differences in the index of refraction on the components of the specimen under observation, which are translated into observable contrast differences in the specimen’s makeup.

The electron microscope works on a beam of electrons directed at the specimen rather than light and so is in a different league.

For now we will concentrate on the most common ones and get some valuable information on them from it’s best compound microscope brands and their reviews

What is the principle of a working one?

These usually consists of a set of two convex lenses. The first is facing the object and has a short focal length and aperture. This is called the objective lens. The other lens is closer to the viewer’s eye and has a longer focal length and is called the eyepiece. Both these lenses are mounted coaxially at the two ends in a tube, with the eyepiece closer to the viewer’s eyes. There are also other types like stereo microscopes and electron microscopes.

The item to be magnified is placed between the focus and the center of curvature on the objective lens. It forms a real, inverted magnified image on the opposite side on the objective lens. This is used as the object by the eyepiece lens, which gives a final even further magnified, virtual and erect image.

This being the basic principle, here are the parts of a microscope – you may come across some of these terms:

Eyepiece tube – which holds the eyepiece lens

Nose-piece – which houses the objective lens, which may be a combination of many lenses.

Focus knobs – used to focus the camera objective

Stage – where the specimen is placed

Illuminator – is the light source for the device, usually at the bottom of it – usually a low voltage halogen bulb.

Condensor – used to collect the light from the illuminator and focus it onto the specimen

Condensor focus knob– use to adjust the condenser position ( up or down) in relation to the lighting focus on the specimen.

Iris diaphragm – used to control the amount of light reaching the specimen. It is located above the condenser and below the stage.

Aperture– the hole in the stage through which the base light reaches the stage.

Microscope Camerathese digital cameras are good definition USB imaging systems that can connect to your computer and transmit live images and video to it. Accompanying software is also included.

We have selected five brands in no particular order and picked out the good ones with reviews for your reference. Some features like adjustable interpupillary distance,  dioptric adjustment, coaxial coarse and fine focusing, NA1.25 Abbe condenser and iris diaphragm are common to all except the last, these also my picks for best microscope for kids. 😃

The Microscope Reviews

The OMAX 40X-2000X Digital Lab LED Binocular (MD82ES 10 Biological)

This one Omax with a digital binocular swivel head (360 degrees) and revolving quadruple nose-piece has a 1.3 MP USB camera built in that can capture images and video and has advanced software applications-compatible with Windows versions 7, 8 and 10 (software included) and Mac Software.

It has eight levels of varying magnification from 40X to 2000X with the help of 4 objective lenses (including one oil immersion lens) and two pair eyepieces. It has a Double layer stain resistant
mechanical stage whose lock protects the objectives and slides. The condenser is Abbe NA1.25. There is LED illumination of variable intensity.

Users having extensive experience in microbiology, bacteriology etc.  reported this to be a high-quality instrument with clear images at 1000x magnification. The software was found to be user friendly. Its property of moving slides on two axes without touching it was appreciated. It was felt by most to be a budget microscope and great value for money

More than one user complained that there was no printed manual accompanying it. The CD provided for this purpose was defective. Some Windows software drivers were reported to be missing or sketchy. Some users found it too small. One user could not view diamonds facets using it. But all in all this is a good well-known brand. 👍 You can buy it below.

Check the current price here!


The Amscope SE400-Z Professional 

This one from Amscope shows objects in a three dimensional image, comes with a boom arm (12”) allowing for large working surfaces, like circuit boards. It has two sets of eyepieceswidefield (WF) 10x and 20x. The vertical inclination is 30 degrees and fixed, while the working distance is 9”.  One objective lens with low magnification ensures a longer focal length to inspect

large scale specimens. The LED comes attached to a gooseneck cable to direct the light wherever required.

Users typically inspect electronic smd (surface mounted devices) with this. The 10x magnification is good for micro soldering work – there is adequate room for the soldering iron between the eyepiece and the board – while the 20x for inspection. Optics and lighting were found to be satisfactory. It was found to be good value for money.

Some users regretted that it was not equipped with a camera like other competitors. The lenses did not provide much range (only 2 eyepiece magnifications and no magnification with the objective lens) and‘widefield’ seems misplaced as only part of the circuit can be viewed. The 10x magnification seemed too much to provide a good wide field view. 3x would have been better, suggested a user

Check the current price here!


The Amscope B120C-E1 BinocularSiedentopftype

This unique one coming from the manufacturer Siedentopfheaded  has magnification options of 40X,250X, 100X, 400X, 1000X and the not very common 2500X with four objectives DIN 4X to 10X to 40X (S) and 100X (S, OIL)  – all achromatic and two pairs eyepieces with magnification of WF10X and WF25X

It is equipped with a 360 degree Siedentopf pivoting head which adjusts the interpupillary distance without changing the focus of the lens objective. It is inclined at an ergonomic 30 degrees.

LED Illumination with dimmer, Abbe Condensor and 3-D two-layered Stage below which there is the optical components the iris diaphragm and the blue or green color filter.

1.3Mega Pixel camera which is Windows, Mac OS X and Linux friendly. It is compatible with Windows 10,8,7 as well as XP and Vista. The software for processing and editing in Windows has special features like Extended Depth of Focus EDF capabilities as well as Stitching functions. Video recording, measurements, etc. are also possible.

A good product, easy to setup and easy to use software and PC interface. The Siedentopf  head is a special feature. In magnification, 2500X is more than what other competitors have to offer. It offers much more than what the price indicates! The lenses give a sharp picture, the mechanical stage operates smoothly. For the price, it is an excellent purchase and makes a very good microscope for students and kids. 🙂

Directions for getting it operational are not very clear. The camera is also not that good. A case could have been provided for eyepieces not in use to prevent them from getting dusty. One user had difficulty with the AmScope not able to resolve the fine structures like white blood cells with the camera making things worse.

Check the current price here!



OMAX 40X-2000X Lab LED with Double Layer Mechanical Stage w Blank Slides Covers and Lens Cleaning paper(M82ES)

This one got the award for best compound microscope 2016. A total number of 8 magnification settings (40x to 2000x) with the help of the following eyepieces -WF10X  and WF20X;  and objectives – achromatic DIN4X, 10X, 40X (S), 100X (S, Oil)

The nose-piece is a revolving quadruple, with a double layer mechanical stage that can be moved along the x, y and z planes, and is provided with scales. This one doesn’t have a USB camera attached  

Power supply specs: AC/DC Adapter – 7.5v/7.5w; input 100-240v

It comes with 100 blank slides, covers and 50 sheets of lens cleaning paper

This makes an ideal device for home use. This suits all ages and be can learn to use it under supervision and it is also suitable for college students studying microbiology. Many users said the optics were excellent and was the top product in its price range.

One user said that the 2000x magnification was only a number was not practically achieved. It requires an immersion oil that other devices don’t require. More than one customer said that two of the objective lenses were defective worth noting.

Check the current price here!


AmScope M150C/M 150C-I

This has five magnification settings from 40X through 1000X.

It has an all metal sturdy framework

It has a 360 degree rotatable monocular head with a locked-in eyepiece and inclined at 45 degrees.

Optical Glass Lenses

Plain stain resistant stage with clips

Single lens condenser and Disc diaphragm.

Dimmable LED system uses batteries or an outlet (adapter is included)

Comes with a five year factory warranty and is built to ISO 9001 QC specs

This student gadget was awarded  the #1 among the 6 best student microscopes 2016. It is very good for the price and the magnification is quite impressive. As the LED can work on 3 AA batteries, it can be carried around. It is relatively cheap and students can play around with it till they move on to something more sophisticated and expensive.

A negative about this is that the registration number needed to download the manual is not provided in the box. Some users complain that the glass parts were very dirty and full of imperfections so much so that viewing through it was impossible. Some people misunderstood that it came with a USB camera when it did not. 

Check the current price here!



So there we have five good brands and products, all these are a good choice. Today we’ve have come a long way and I think many are high quality stuff on the market today so whatever you choose it will probably work great for you. Now go and explore the whole new world that happens at a microscopic level, it’s truly fascinating. Hope you find anything useful from my best microscope list


Thanks for reading, if you have anything to add please leave a comment 🙂

Feel free to share this blog 😇

Also read

Best USB Microscope Reviews – Ultimate Buying Guide 2017


What is a Microscope and How it works

Leave a Reply