180 of 181 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2010
This microscope was a great surprise for me. I am a microbiologist and have worked with very expensive microscopes in the lab. I purchased this for a field microscope for my daughter to take bug hunting on hikes. It is battery operated and small and I was just hoping she would be able to see the objects clearly through it. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it out. Yes, much of the body is plastic, but the optics are very good for such a cheap price. It is not up there with the higher priced microscopes, but I feel that it does a very good job. Our entire family has had a good time using it and it has held up to supervised use by a four and six year old for over a year and a half. (Since we have had ours a while and the picture looks slightly different than ours I am hoping the quality has not gone down.)
79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2010
I bought this scope for my 4 year old after buying the dou-scope for my 5 year old. Being a physician, I like love exploring science with my kids. This scope was really surprising. The construction is solid, it is easy to focus, the optics are sound but most importantly, the kids love to use it. Anything can be thrown under the scope and a whole new world is available to them. We have looked at leaves, dead bugs, hair, moss, anything they want. At first I kept it put away for fear they would damage it but it is well enough built, I can leave it out. I often find them looking at all manner of things under it on their own. In fact, the dou scope is not getting used right now since this one is so easy. Highly recommend it, for $65 you cannot go wrong.
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2010
This microscope is just the ticket. Either for a young scientist or for anyone who needs a basic, 20X stereo microscope. Coin or stamp collectors, for example.
Most importantly, the glass optics deliver a clear, sharp image. The focusing is smooth and damped. The stage can be flipped to black or white, or left open for taller objects. The illumination is adequate; it's a battery powered white LED, so the microscope is portable. The inter-optical distance is adjustable. The focal distance and field of view are determined by the magnification, so they will be the same for any 20X 'scope.
All the bases are covered -- for a great price. Don't let the "My first" turn you off. This microscope does what it needs to do; it's more than just a toy.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2013
I've used a couple of these scopes in summer programs for kids over the past 3 or 4 years. It isn't a college level stereoscope but the optics are clear and it provides a 20x 3d stereo image with reasonable depth. In our summer programs we have used it to look at critters that live in river and pond water and in soil. A stereoscope is not what you need for looking at Paramecium and other critters much less than 0.5 mm. You need a compound scope for that. A stereoscope is great for arthropod larvae and other critters > 1mm. Even for large bugs it allows one to see amazing detail that most kids find fascinating.
Some of the negative reviews suggest an ignorance of what a stereoscope is. It is not like a compound microscope with which one can view tiny things like protozoa and bacteria. A compound scope is fiddly, though, with essentially no depth of field and very little width. If you are going to watch paramecium and rotifers swimming around with a compound scope (a marvelous sight) you've got to know how to make slides that will allow it. If you want to see bacteria you need even more fiddly knowledge, You can buy prepared slides for a compound scope but you might as well just look up photomicrographs on the internet.
The whole reason to give a kid a microscope is to let them explore. If you know how to use a compound scope then a parent-child interaction is a good way to set them exploring. In contrast a stereoscope is easy to use by anyone over about 6 years old (or smart 4 year olds). Some of the reviews suggested that their kid got bored because there wasn't much to look at. This just about broke my heart. Kids (and some adults, it seems) often need curiosity stimulation to get them going. "Wonder what a pillbug looks like at 20x?." "What do flies eyes look like (pretty amazing, actually)?" As to the comment that an 11 year old needs something more sophisticated, I don't totally agree. Sure a $500 scope would be better (and more durable), and a $5000 scope has optics that would knock your socks off. But this little scope opens a window on the world for kid or adult--a window that might just introduce to them to scientific curiosity in a way that classroom activities cannot. It is definitely worth $50.
I don't work for C and A Scientific or anybody else. I used to be an infectious disease investigator/researcher at Washington State University, but now I'm just an old, crackpot naturalist who enjoys the enthusiasm of kids.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2011
I have to agree with the other reviewers-- this is a great beginning microscope for small children. Unlike a regular microscope, a dissecting microscope has lower magnification but allows you to reflect light off of the subject. This means that your samples don't have to be razor thin, the way they do for a regular microscope. The I explore microscope is great for examining bugs, feathers, rocks, coins-- you can even look at your own finger if you can hold still long enough. My 7 and 5 year old kids are able to focus the scope themselves and love this scope-- it has not had a day without use since we received it a week ago. The focus is a simple knob that raises or lowers the lens. The eyepieces move separately, so you can change the width to accommodate different sized faces. There is a small button that turns on the light which illuminates the specimen. At first I wasn't crazy about this scope being battery powered (two AA batteries), but now I think this is even better because there's no cord for the kids to trip over or pull. I considered a lot of microscopes before purchasing this one (almost all the others more expensive), and I think this one is a great place to start. In a few years, we'll probably purchase a regular microscope but for now this one suits our needs admirably. Highly recommended.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
I was using the device for assembling circuit boards. The optics are quite good, but the scope is very light and fragile. With steel eye pieces and a plastic base, most of the weight is at the top of the scope, making it far too easy to tip over. Mine took a tumble off of a table, instantly becoming a monoscope instead of a stereoscope. If you can, add some weight to the base.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
My First Lab dissecting scope is an excellent toy to interest youth in the biodiversity of our planet. In addition, it is a useful tool for the professional entomologist with a cluttered desk, being much smaller than the standard, expensive 'scopes. Although not adequate for mosquito identification, it is a useful tool for identification of larger insects and many plant problems.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2011
The optical quality and brightness of the LED light on this microscope are surprisingly good. Given the price I was fuzzy optics and a dim light, but the field is crisp, sharp, and bright. I am going to try and post pictures I took with a digital camera just pointing it down the eyepiece to show what the magnification looks like. I was looking at chocolate milk powder last night and you could see all of the components from sugar crystals, cocoa, and the perfect little white spheres of the dried milk substance. Very cool. The scope is smaller than the fixed lab kind, but I would not say it is a mini or even really a toy. This is a small lightweight battery operated microscope. I bought it for my four year old's birthday and have not given it to him yet, but I had to try it out and am very impressed. I will supervise his use of it as I do not think it should be thrown around or handled roughly, but it does not feel flimsy or particularly fragile. 20X magnification makes the tip of a plastic eye dropper fill the entire field of view, and the ripped edge of a piece of paper shows a weave of glossy fibers.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2010
I bought this microscope for my 5 year old grandson and I was pleasantly surprised with the quality at such a reasonable price. The binocular eyepiece makes it very easy for a child to view without squinting and the clear magnification allows for close examination of all kinds of specimens: insects, flowers, rocks and even prepared slides. Because it uses batteries to illuminate, it is very portable and can be transported and used anywhere.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2011
Read the positive reviews so i bought this microscope for my son on his 9th birthday. it's a great piece of gadget! even my teenage daughters have fun using it, looking at everything from hair, bristles of the toothbrush, bugs, leaves, etc. it really works! the only thing is that it is difficult to use it with both eyes open so we tend to use one eyepiece only to get a better view (maybe it takes practice.) and we keep a small distance from the eyepiece to avoid getting shadows. with regards to durability, i can't say much as i just purchased this 2 weeks ago. other than that, i am happy with it and would recommend it as it really makes an awesome gift.