39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
December 2012 Update: Continue to be Pleased,
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This review is from: Celestron 44104 500x Power Advanced Biological Microscope (Electronics)
We purchased this microscope for exploring freshwater pond life with our grandson. Overall, it is a good value for the price. Our only issue with the design is the eye relief - which is way too short. There is no way to view the entire field - even without glasses. So we have to "move our eye around" to see the full field. With respect to quality as received, the packaging is very good, and the shipment arrived in perfect condition. We did note many "specks" in the field of view during our initial use, though. So, we inspected the main tube, and found the inside walls were literally covered with some kind of dust. After carefully removing the objectives and the eyepiece and cleaning them AND the inside of the tube, we have "speckless" viewing. Also, the mirror was not centered below the condenser, so we disassembled it, straightend the mirror bracket, tightened the rivit end of the mirror "stud" and opened the split end of the stud slightly to snug up its fit in the micrscope frame. Finally, the electric illuminator would not fit in the microscope frame, and we needed to close up the split end in that part's stud just a bit. We've noted earlier comments about the heat generated by the illuminator, and we agree. We'll stick to using the mirror and a separate lamp. So, now all is satisfactory, and given the price, power, and features, we are O.K. Our next updgrade, though, will not be a Celestron product. Probaly either Leica or Zeiss.
UPDATE DECEMBER 18, 2012: We continue to enjoy using this microscope on a hobby basis. In fact, we purchased a second one for our grandson to use for a recent science fair project, and he earned a first place award and is going on to a regional science fair this coming April. This second microscope does have LED illumination that does not get hot as other reviewers have observed. Our older microscope has a 20 watt incandescent lamp which does get hot. We purchased a light dimmer that lets us turn the thing off, and it works great. It lets us simply shut the light off when we don't need it, and it lets us adjust the lighting intensity in addition to using the condenser. We also purchased a 15X wide view ocular lens, and it makes all the difference in the world. First, it makes viewing much easier on the eyes, AND it gives us up to 600X magnification. We'll probably purchase a 10X wide view lens as well. A great source for these lenses is Home Science Tools in Billings, Montana. They have a nice web site, and nice print catalogs. Also very affordable prices. Finally, we also purchased, via Amazon, the Digital Imager by Celestron, and it is also a very good value. Using the imager, the microscope, and a laptop PC, you have a very nice setup for a microscopy hobby, for science fair projects, and basic analytical work.
FURTHER UPDATE; JANUARY 8, 2013. We have added the 10X wide view ocular lens and a the Omax Dry Dark Field Condenser available here on Amazon.com. We also purchased a 32MM filter set of blue, green, and yellow filters that will fit in the filter holder of the condenser supplied with the microscope. All items are excellent and continue to add value to the set up.