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Microscope recommendations?

 
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Hi, folks.

Say, I'm about halfway through my copy of "Teaming With Microbes" by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis.  If you've not picked this book up yet I highly recommend it, particularly if you've any interest in soils, organic gardening/farming, microbiology, etc.  The first half is a very readable refresher on basic high school Biology.  As such, it has piqued my interest in what's going on in my soil(s), compost, etc. at a microscopic level.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a microscope they enjoy using?  AmScope (40X-2500X) and OMAX (40X-2000X) seem to be the most highly rated, reliable microscopes on Amazon at the moment.  Is anyone familiar with these brands/models?  I'm looking for a microscope that I can use to identify things like bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, etc. in my soils and the like.

I appreciate any input you're willing to share.  I'd rather not spend a fortune but am willing to drop about $300-400 (give or take) on a decent microscope.  Go big or go home (no pun intended)!

Thanks for your time!!
 
master gardener
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I have an AmSope. I am less than impressed. One piece of the problem is that I have worked with quality scopes.  The other piece is that with microscopes,  telescopes, etc. the stated high end magnification are often more theoretical than functional.  Even with quality instruments, do not expect to get good results at the higher mags unless you have skills in using stains and are familiar with oil immersion.
 
pollinator
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I don't have a specific microscope recommendation, but I got a good one (for what I needed) used on eBay for a very good price. I have noticed that it seems colleges will often get rid of a group of microscopes in order to make room for brand new ones. Good deals on good microscopes seem to be a good possibility on eBay, at least when I was in the market for one a couple of years ago. And the nice thing is that if something were to be wrong with it, eBay's 30 day buyer protection has you covered, including having the return shipping paid for. So it's risk-free, really, and you are recycling! Win, win! :-)
 
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Location: Quebec
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I'm also looking for microscope recommentations, I've found four interesting models on ebay, but I'm unsure which one to take:

This one looks like a winner: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/OMAX-40X-2500X-Lab-Binocular-Compound-LED-Biological-Microscope-Mechanical-Stage/174182787070
This one is pretty similar to me: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/AmScope-40X-2500X-LED-Lab-Binocular-Compound-Microscope-w-3D-Mech-Stage-Slides/381483762355
Cheapest, but doesnt have the power adapter: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Reichert-Jung-one-fifty-150-laboratory-microscope-LOADED-EXCELLENT/273360643500
Most expensive, but has a camera: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/40X-2500X-Binocular-Lab-Compound-LED-Microscope-w-Mechanical-Stage-USB-Camera/121457338686

Is any of these a clear winner ? I guess it mostly depends on how useful the camera is. I guess there are camera attachments that can be bought for the others, but I've no idea what they cost. Also I use linux and openbsd laptops only, so any camera would have to be compatible, but I'm guessing they just appear as regular webcams ?
 
master pollinator
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Dr. Redhawk gave some recommendations and sites on this permies thread:  Microscopes
 
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ive seen some really great deals on world class top of the line microscopes on both govdeals.con and gsaauctions.gov. recently a pallet full of Leica and nikons went for something like a couple hundred dollars but they have postings rom all over country on regular basis
 
Patrick Marchand
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Hey ! Thanks for the help. I ended up buying the AMScope, as per Dr. Redhawks recommendation and this review: https://microscopegenius.com/battle-of-the-microscopes-amscope-omax-compound-microscope-comparison-b120b-cs-m82es/
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