Monday, September 30, 2013

Microscope Resolving Power

A common misconception among amateur microscopists is that more magnification is always better. If offered a microscope with 1000x or one with 1600x magnification, most amateurs automatically believe 1600x magnification is better.

However, there is a point where magnification becomes "empty" and more magnification does not result in a better image - rather quite the contrary. At a certain point further magnification has no specific value and will only result in grainy images that are not clear and crisp.

Student Microscope
1000x magnification microscope.

The capacity of a microscope to reproduce object detail in an image is called resolving power. Every microscope has a limited resolving power, including that of the human eye. When the smallest object detail, resolved in the image formed by the microscope, has been magnified so much that the human eye can see it, further magnification does not provide anything of value.

This page explains in further detail how to determine empty magnification and how to figure out if a microscope advertised as ofering "1600x magnification" might not be the best choice.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Moticam 580 Digital and Video Camera

The Moticam 580 microscope camera is unique in that it allows multiple output methods from the microscope for live viewing.

Microscope camera output options include:
  • USB directly to computer (view live images on the screen and use included software to capture and save images.
  • HDMI output for projection to a large screen or monitor.
  • SD Card captures images and easily allows you to remove the SD card and view them in another location.
Microscope World recently tested the Moticam 580 both by capturing images and video of molded rubber. These images were captured on the computer using the included Motic Images software.

It should be noted that on-screen resolution of the Moticam 580 is only 640x480 (USB). Resolution is much higher (5mp) when using an SD card to capture images.

Microscope Camera Image
Molder rubber captured with Moticam 580 using USB connection.

Moticam 580 Microscope Camera Image

Rubber Under Microscope

The video below was captured with the Moticam 580 - and it is a good indicator of the frame rate that videos from this particular microscope camera provide. Often times movement beneath the microscope appears jerky when using a microscope camera, but the Moticam 580 has a fairly smooth frame rate that provides a good fluid image transition.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Great Ideas for Kids: Stereo Microscope Viewing

A stereo microscope is a low power microscope that typically provides anywhere from 10x - 40x magnification. Stereo microscopes are often perfect introductory microscopes for children - especially those younger kids who may not yet understand the concept of cells. Stereo microscopes are also referred to as dissecting microscopes and are typically used in high school for this purpose - dissecting frogs or other animals in order to learn about the anatomy.

Dual Power Stereo Dissecting Microscope
Dual Power Stereo Microscope

Getting kids excited about science often just requires gathering some interesting items to view under the microscope. These items in particular are perfect (and interesting!) to view under a dissecting microscope.

  • Newspaper
  • A napkin or paper towel (look at the patterns in the weave)
  • Insects found in a window sill
  • Flowers
  • Sand (how different is sand from one beach compared to another)?
  • Bread or grains (oats are perfect)
  • Fingernails - how much dirt can be found under there?!
  • Fabric
  • Grass
  • Coins and stamps
  • Press your finger on to a piece of tape - then view the fingerprint
  • Pet hair compared to human hair
Screw viewed under a stereo microscope.
Screw captured under the MW1-LD2 microscope camera.

Friday, September 13, 2013

WiFi Microscopes

Microscope World is introducing three new WiFi digital microscopes. Each microscope has a WiFi digital camera built-in that provides high-speed, high-resolution images directly from the microscope to any student's iOS or Android device. Students can view the microscope image on their tablet or laptop during class. A free App is available for download for devices that connects directly with the microscope.

WiFi digital microscope
DCX-205-RLED WiFi Digital Microscope
The basic student microscope DCX-205-RLED provides WiFi and digital images, as well as operation without use of a computer.
  • 40x, 100x, 400x Magnification
  • WiFi Ability to live-stream images to tablets and laptops
  • USB connection for live image to a computer
  • Currently on sale for $425
WiFi Digital Microscope
DCX-213-RLED WiFi Digital Microscope
The more advanced student microscope DCX-213-RLED has a mechanical stage and provides WiFi and digital images, as well as operation without use of a computer.
  • 40x, 100x, 400x Magnification
  • WiFi Ability to live-stream images to tablets and laptops
  • USB connection for live image to a computer
  • Mechanical Stage
  • Currently on sale for $679
WiFi Digital Microscope
DCX-214-RLED WiFi Digital Microscope
The most advanced version of the WiFi student microscope is the DCX-214-RLED. It offers the same features as the DCX-213-RLED, but also has 1000x magnification.

  • 40x, 100x, 400x, 1000x Magnification
  • WiFi Ability to live-stream images to tablets and laptops
  • USB connection for live image to a computer
  • Mechanical Stage
  • Currently on sale for $735

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Adhesive Edges

Many times when a solvent or adhesive is used it is important that it is not applied too thick. Microscope World recently had a customer that needed to measure the thickness of an adhesive they were applying in the manufacturing process. Making sure they were not using too much of the adhesive saves money on supplies, and also ensures that the adhesive cures properly to apply a solid bond.

metallurgical microscope adhesive image
Adhesive edge captured at 50x magnification.
Using the MT7100 metallurgical microscope, images of the adhesive edge were captured using the DK5.1P 5 megapixel microscope CCD camera. The included advanced imaging software allowed analysis and measurement of the samples once images were captured.

metallurgical microscope image
Adhesive edge captured at 100x magnification.
microscope image captured at 200x magnification
Adhesive edge captured at 200x magnification.
If you have a similar application and need some help determining how to best measure substances, contact Microscope World.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bacteriology Microscope Slides

Pneumonia 100x microscope image
Pneumonia captured at 100x
Studying bacteria requires the use of a biological microscope.  At the left is a picture of pneumonia captured under a digital biological microscope at 100x magnification. Diplococcus Pneumoniae is the coccus that causes pneumonia. Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung.

Microscope World offers a prepared slide kit for bacteriology that contains bacteria that is both useful and dangerous, depending on where the bacteria is residing. This kit contains the following eight prepared slides, all of which can be viewed here:

  • Bacillus, Coccus, Spirillum
  • E Coli
  • Lactobacillus (Yogurt Bacteria)
  • Helicobacter Pylori
  • Pneumonia
  • Staphylococcus
  • Strep Throat
  • Tuberculosis 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Student Microscopes

School is starting and if you are in the market for new student microscopes, browse the selection Microscope World has available before making your purchase. The student microscopes are categorized according to age groups to help you make an informed choice that provides the magnification and illumination that is required, with durability and longevity built in for years of student use and enjoyment:
Microscope World offers student microscopes that are ruggedized to take everyday classroom use, yet allow your students to observe a range of objects. The easy-on-the-budget, student-proofed microscopes are also equipped to prevent the loss of parts so you aren't constantly ordering replacements. Choose a digital microscope with student and teacher software which will allow students to view a specimen via an attached viewing screen (Android tablet cameras are available!) or attach the video output to a PC for classroom viewing.

Kids microscope
Elementary Student Microscope

Cordless student microscopes are also available with battery operated LED illumination and rechargeable batteries. Microscope World's dissection microscopes for students are available in cordless, single or dual magnification as well as stereo zoom microscope models.

For help choosing the right student microscope within your budget, contact us to speak with a knowledgeable microscope representative.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Top 7 Uses for Digital Microscopes

Digital microscopes are the combination of a standard light microscope with a digital camera and accompanying software. The beauty of a digital microscope is the ability to display images of the specimen on a computer monitor or TV screen and then save them as either still images or motion video to a hard drive or other storage device. Here are the top 7 uses for digital microscopes:

  1. Images captured with a digital microscope allow you to accurately measure, manipulate and study the subject matter on a much larger scale. Accurate measurements are extremely important for comparing or contrasting one specimen with another, or in industrial quality control decision making.
  2. Images or video captured from digital microscopes can be used in reports, presentations, or assessments. They can easily be shared through email, across the web, or in lectures with colleagues or students.
  3. Cost savings in the classroom. One digital microscope eliminates the need for one microscope per student because the same image can be viewed by the entire class when it is projected onto a screen. Further, the image can be copied as part of an assignment and distributed to each individual student.
  4. Depending on whether you choose a high power digital microscope or a low power stereo digital microscope, each can be used in many fields of scientific study including biology, chemistry, and earth sciences. Low power digital microscopes are used frequently in manufacturing, oil well digging and gemological or dental work.
  5. Digital microscopes are relatively inexpensive in comparison with many other types of microscopes and especially in the classroom, limit the amount of parts that might be removed or lost from the microscope (since the camera is built into the microscope system).
  6. Digital video microscopes provide the ability to view small parts on large screens thereby reducing eye fatigue. These are extremely useful for Quality Assurance departments and printed circuit board (motherboard) repair or manufacturing. Video microscopes are perfect for any inspection services where constant examination of small parts is necessary.
  7. Digital stereo zoom microscopes, also known as industrial stereo microscopes, are preferred by quality control labs and in fields of study such as petrology, gemology, and even numismatics. The focus of these fields is the surface of the object rather than its interior.
    HD video inspection miroscope.
    Video Inspection Microscope
    Whether you are an instructor, a jewelry, a lab technician or a hobbyist, contact Microscope World for assistance in choosing the right digital microscope for your needs.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Most Popular Elementary Student Microscopes

We are often asked what the most popular first microscopes for kids are, and why. Below you will find a list of the most commonly purchased children's microscope products, and why customers prefer these microscopes.

1. MW1-L1 Basic 20x Microscope
  • This microscope has no light, which makes it easy to use both indoors and out. There are no cords to trip over and no need to ever replace a light bulb.
  • This microscope is perfect for very small children. Kids can view anything from around the house or out in the yard - leaves, flowers, insects, toy cars, etc.
child microscope 20x
MW1-L1 20x Kids Microscope
  • The most popular version of this microscope is the cordless, rechargeable battery version. The microscope can be run off the charger (plugged in), or off the included rechargeable batteries.
  • This microscope is made for viewing slides - kids can make their own (such as viewing cheek cells from inside their mouth), or view prepared slides. At 400x magnification kids will be able to see bacteria, blood cells and protozoans swimming in pond water.
MW1-HB1 first microscope
MW1-H1 40x, 100x, 400x Kids Microscope
  • This handheld microscope camera is perfect for children. Rather than taking turns to use the microscope, kids can sit around a computer screen and view the magnified object all together.
  • Magnification varies depending on how close the camera is placed to the object and how large the object is. Camera includes software for capturing images.
kids microscope camera
MW1-LD2 Digital Microscope
  • This digital children's microscope offers the same magnification as the kids microscope listed above, but also includes a built-in LCD monitor for viewing a live image.
  • Microscope includes prepared and blank slides for viewing right out of the box.
MW1-HD2 Digital Children's Microscope