Customer Reviews: Celestron 44102 400x Power Laboratory Biological Microscope
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Price:$119.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on October 6, 2009
Due to the lack of informative reviews, this microscope sat in my Amazon shopping cart for nearly a year. When the time came that we really needed to have a microscope for my son's home school science class, I went ahead and purchased it. My only regret is that we didn't get it sooner!

The microscope comes packed very well! Every piece was in place, safe & sound, when we opened it.

It was very easy to 'put together', as we only had to add the 4x, 10x, and 40x objective lens pieces, along with the 10x huygens eyepiece. Too simple. Has a very nice dust cover with it. The thicker plastic, nothing cheap.

As for the durability, it's heavy enough to remain in place as you're using it, just the right weight for moving it around if you need to. The arm is easy to tilt, and it's tight enough to stay in place unless you're intentionally tilting it.

Has a mirror to direct sunlight or your artificial lighting up under the specimen stage. Mirror has both a normal and concave side (to focus more light). It flips, no taking out pieces to switch them.

Now the best part, the magnification. Wow, it really works! And so very easy to focus! We had the prepared slides on the specimen stage right away, and my son was just in awe (as was I!) at how clear we could see the items on the slides. When looking at the intestine slide, my son said, "Mom, this would be gross if it wasn't so cool!" The 4x lens (along with the 10x eyepiece) has so far been enough magnification, but we've tried all three & they're great!

I don't know if the prepared slides are the same with each microscope, but the 5 that came with ours are:
1. Intestine
2. Honey Bee Mouth Parts
3. Corn Stem
4. Year Tilia Stem
5. Winter Jasmine Leaf

I would definitely recommend this microscope. It's at least everything that we hoped it would be, and need it to be!

Sure hope this helps anyone else thinking about getting one!
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on March 26, 2011
I took something of a risk buying these for my science department with my little budget. As inexpensive as these are I was really afraid they wouldn't work and I'd be blowing money I could have spent on fewer more expensive ones that would have certainly worked. Big sigh of relief here now. When they came in they were easy to assemble, and then I put that first slide on there for the moment of truth. After some messing around with the mirror and focus knob, bam! Clear picture of that onion cell! There is no powered light source, just a mirror, and that was a worry until I made it work just fine. Only a single focus knob instead of the fine and coarse focus like you might be used to, but that single knob does the trick. Very solid metal construction and very substantial feel. You know you aren't dealing with a toy. Comes with a very thick dust cover too. It's the real deal. If you are a department head looking for microscopes, buy some of these and save the rest of your budget for other stuff. It's got everything you could want (almost). This thing is an incredible value. When I get a little more budget money next year I'm buying more of these.
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on December 16, 2009
Admittedly, I bought this microscope for an unusual purpose, to turn into a robotic digital microscope. As a result, I've stripped the stage off it and glued a webcam without the lens to the eyepiece. But I could only do that because this is such a high-quality, well built item. The construction is sturdy, with metal parts where a cheaper microscope would be plastic. The optics are great, and components such as the focus rack turn smoothly. I don't know why anyone would buy one of those cheap kids microscopes, when you can get this one for so little money.
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on February 5, 2011
I bought this for my son 2 years ago and it has been a great purchase. I like to use a product for a long time before reviewing it. We had gotten cheaper microscopes in the past and we got what we paid for. This microscope is extremely durable and well made for the price--I was not expecting it to be this nice. It's simple to put together and easy to use. Getting the light just right is tricky at times but that's a user issue. We've made a lot of slides to examine under this microscope and it never fails to amaze. Well worth the money.
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on January 4, 2013
The 44102 microscope is solidly built and operates very smoothly. It provides crisp images and is easy to use. I would expect it to outlive any user, if responsibly treated. I was very pleased to find an item of such quality in this day and age.

The only cons: it has only a mirror, not a separate illuminator light, which I found to be a problem. The mirror is located well beneath the stage, so any light reflected by the mirror must be close to horizontal in front of the microscope. Not so easy to find, as it turns out. A desk lamp is too tall. Sunlight is ok, if you are not working at night. I rigged up a flashlight shining through a piece of paper (serving as a diffuser), and that was workable but clumsy. This was a gift for my two young sons, and they were constantly knocking the flashlight over or knocking the mirror out of alignment. But for a grown-up, this would be a fine microscope, if you can rig an illuminator light.

I'm actually returning this for the 44104, which includes an illuminator lamp as well as a mechanical stage (the mechanical stage is easier for little hands to manipulate than the conventional clip-holder stage on the 44102.) But the 44102 is a good value for the price, if you are willing to work up your own illuminator light.
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on March 11, 2011
I got this for a smart, conscientious 10-year-old and it seems to be perfect. It came with 3 objective lenses and a single eyepiece lens, along with a manual in good English and a sturdy plastic dust cover. One thing I would note is that it did not come with any blank slides, so we will be buying those separately. It did come with 5 nice pre-made slides to look at.
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on November 14, 2011
I got this microscope just to play around with at home. I got an LED book light to use as the light source, which I highly recommend. This microscope has an excellent quality to price ratio. The only real downside is that I have to move the slide around on the stage by hand, which is definitely fine considering the money it saved me. So far I've looked at blood and pond water, both of which are fascinating to look at.

If you're just looking for an affordable microscope to play around with and enjoy at home, this is the one you want.
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on October 7, 2010
Haven't used a microscope before but found this pretty easy to use. Had some difficulty using the 400x zoom because the instructions asked to be careful not to touch the slide with the objective lens but you really had to get the objective extremely close to the sample to see the slide at that magnification. Maybe it is like that with microscopes, I just am totally new so I was afraid to do so and couldn't get it to work until after a few hours.
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on February 16, 2013
As a starter microscope for my 11 yr old daughter this one is great! Brought back childhood memories of the smaller scope I had. Has what is needed to view everything from butterfly wings to cat hairs. Its heavy and not easily knocked off the table or broken. Probably not for professional use...but not to far away from the scopes used in Biology college courses.

The other scopes seemed too cheap. If your goal is to have a basic microscope that will not break with use and discourage the new learner...this is it! My daughter doesnt come home to watch TV, she asks: "When can we use the microscope again!"
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on January 12, 2015
This is a decent basic microscope. It's several steps above the usual "my first microscope" that Tasco sells in a kit. It should last many years without abuse. It's not as solid as a real lab scope but it'll work fine for one or two users.
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