This article will shed light on five of the cheapest microscopes available for microphotography. But let’s began with an explanation of what the microphotography is about.
Microphotography refers to everything with a magnification ratio of 20:1 or higher, making things look at least twenty times bigger on your camera’s sensor as compared to their real-life appearance. It is the least common type of photography and used occasionally.
To capture microphotographs, you have to connect your camera to a microscope. By doing so, the photographer is capable of taking images of substances smaller than a grain or a material of the size of dust particles, that cannot be captured by regular DSLR cameras.
The central aspect of this type of photography is attaching DSLR with a microscope. To attach the DSLR onto the microscope, a T – Adapter is required. T-adapters are flexible and can even be mounted on older SLR cameras.
When mounting the camera, it is essential to note the size and weight of the camera, as this can affect the stability of the attachment. T-adapters can easily be found in camera shops and online stores. These adapters are expensive to purchase, but buying a proper adapter once can be enough for a while.
As the name depicts, the most common difference between microphotography and macro photography is small and big, respectively. Macro photography revolves around capturing the more prominent and more extensive images. Still, in micro one, fine details and with more and sharp focus are involved—both types of photography need separate types of lens.
Best of Cheap Microscopes:
Taking images through a microscope was considered a highly specialized skill that requires a lot of practice and precision. Still, as advancements in digital cameras happened with time, the narrative is somehow different today.
Having a good digital camera, a suitable adapter, and owning a good microscope can lead you to good results even with little experience in microphotography.
It is considered as an expensive hobby, but it might be performed at a relatively low cost and with minimal equipment. If you want to pursue it as a hobby or career, but you think that you cannot do so because massive priced microscopes are a hurdle in your way, then don’t worry.
This article is especially for you. Among many microscopes available in the market, we choose five microscopes which are not only pocket friendly but of good quality too.
Here is the list of these microscopes. Later sections will explain their details, pros, and cons.
- Celestron 44128
- Swift SS110
- Pancellent Wi-Fi digital microscope
- KKmoon Digital USB Microscope
- MAOZUA Handheld Digital Microscope
Let’s began with the details without wasting any further time.
The first one to make into our list is Celestron 44128 CM800, a compound Microscope with 40x – 800x power, 3AA Batteries, ten prepared Slides, 10x, and 20x Eyepieces, AC Adapter and excellent performance. The dimensions, objective, and weight et cetera are written in the specifications section.
Keeping its price in mind, its performance is incredible. Its three-position turret holds the 4x, 10x, and 40x objectives, and the instrument comes with two eyepieces that produce magnifications from a practical 40x to a more powerful 800x.
In case you purchase this microscope, you do not have to worry at all about setting it up or assembling its parts. It is delivered as lab-ready. Not only is it ready to use, but the manufacturer also provides ten prepared slides with the package. Theses slides are complimentary with the packaging and are of outstanding quality.
Celestron 44128 has two power options: universal AC adapter or getting power from AA batteries. Three AA batteries are included with the package. These can be used in the field or the lab. The eyepieces are easily interchangeable.
Eyepieces for this microscope are WF 10x and WF 20x. These interchangeable eyepieces are for 40x, 80x, 100x, 200x, 400x and 800x levels of magnification. The nose piece has three rotatable positions. Each position has a glass of different magnification. Respectively, each position of nose piece has 4x, 10x, and 40x objective lenses.
The controls on the microscope are very user-friendly. For the quick acquisition of images of your object, there is a single dial focus control. It is straightforward to use and responsive. The stage of 44128 can be completely adjustable mechanically.
It is entirely made of metal and uses metal clips to hold the glass slides. The clips make the placing of slides easy and secure. For illumination, there are upper and lower LED illumination sources. Both of these illumination sources are utterly adjustable as per the requirement to view your opaque and translucent objects.
Besides the 10 prepared slides in case there are some other accessories too, i.e., WF 10x & WF 20x eyepieces, AC adapter, 3 AA batteries. We can say that this microscope is cheap but worthwhile!!
- Not very expensive
- Good magnification range from 40x to 800x
- Some users complained about the connection problem with the dimmer knob for the light.
- Dimensions: L: 6.0 x W: 5.0 x H: 11.0 inches / L: 15.2 x W: 12.7 x H: 27.9 cm (Microscope) whereas,L: 3.5 x W: 3.5 inches’ / L: 8.8 x W: 8.8 cm (Specimen Stage)
- Weight: 2.4 lb. / 1.2 kg
- Battery: 3 x AA
- Power: 110 VAC, 60 Hz
- Head: 45° Inclined Monocular
- Nosepiece: 3-Position Nosepiece
- Objective: 4x, 10x, 40x
- Eyepiece: 10x and 20x
- Focusing: Coarse
- Illumination Type: Bottom LED
- Dimmer: Yes
The target market for this compound molecular microscope was kids who need it in labs, but it works well one way or another for every type of microphotography. SWIFT SS110-25B-5PBC microscope set has many things to talk about, such as Slides, 40X to 1000X magnification power, Glass Optics, WF10X/25X Eyepiece, Cordless structure, and compatible camera design.
As it is designed for school kids, it is effortless to use and lightweight. Designers of this microscope focused on ergonomics and gave importance to reducing neck and eye strain. Swift’s SS110 design promotes upright posture when seated.
It has 45° rotating inclined monocular head swivels a full 360°, which makes shared use very easy. Due to its small dimension and low weight, it is very portable and can also be used as a travel or field microscope.
SS-110 features a 4x, 10x, and 40x objective and comes with two eyepieces: 10x and 25x, respectively. Objective lenses are placed in a rotating nosepiece. Three Quantum Achromatic objectives of 4X, 10X, and 40X objectives provide up to 1000X magnification, and magnification results are very crystal clear even when the object is zoomed at maximum capacity of the microscope.
At the full magnification of 1000x, you will be able to see 0.180mm, or 180 microns. It has a built-in mechanism to correct aberrations and edge blur. It can be considered as best-in-class for image clarity and sharpness without any second thought!!
Precision offered by SS-110 is another positive thing about this microscope to talk about. It uses the Precision coaxial focusing system. There are some knobs for different purposes. These knobs are stacked for easy and efficient adjustments to the slides. There are smaller blue knobs for fine adjustments and larger black knobs for coarse adjustments.
To illuminate the object, there is a powerful LED light source. There is an adjustable bulb shade with LED. It gives the user full control over illumination. This light also protects the eyesight and specimens. With package also comes a back-up bulb is so you’ll never lose light mid-experiment. In the section of specifications, you can see all but to the point information about SS-110.
- Suitable for beginners to hobbyist
- Fully rotatable monocular head
- Powerful LED light as a source of illumination
- Strong metal arms and base
- Up to 1000x magnification range
- The manufacturer should have considered adding original accessories in the package, such as an adapter for connection to the PC, cloth to clean, etc.
- Item Package Dimensions L x W x H: 35.4 x 25.8 x 17 cm
- Package Weight: 1.88 Kilograms
- Brand Name: swift
- Model Number: SS110-25B-5PBC
- Microscope Type: Compound Monocular
- Specialized Features: Bright-field
- Optical System: Finite optical system, 155mm
- Observation Tube: Monocular 360 degree rotatable
- Inclination: 45° Inclined
- Eyepieces: WF10X/16mm, WF 25X/8mm
- Nosepiece: Triple revolving
- Objectives: 4X/0.10 (WD 16.4mm), 10X/0.25 (WD 6 mm), 40X/0.6.5/S (WD 0.35mm)
- Head Magnifications: 40X, 100X, 400X, 250X, 1000X
- Objective Mounting Thread: W3/5″ x 1/40″
- Stage: Plain stage with clips
- Stage Size: 96x96mm
- Upper Limit Stop: Preset but adjustable
- Condenser: Single-lens condenser
- Diaphragm: 6-hole disc diaphragm
- Focus Mechanism: Coaxial coarse and fine, fine is graduated.
- Fine Focus Precision: 0.028mm minimum increment
- Z-axis Movement: 15.5mm
- Material: Metal base and body
- Illumination: Bottom 0.06W LED with intensity control
- Transformer: External adapter, output 5V 300MA
- Accessories: • Prepared Slides x5 • Blank Slides x5 • Cover Slips x100 • Lens Cleaning Tissue x1
Pancellent Wi-Fi digital microscope
It is one of the best wireless digital microscope, which is not pricey at all. This digital microscope has 1080P resolution with 50X to 1000X magnification microscopy with 8 LED, a USB handheld camera, which is light compatible with the operating systems of iPhone, Android, iPad, and Windows Mac.
Pancellent Wi-Fi digital microscope, 1080P 50X to 1000X USB, is a portable Wi-Fi electronic microscope, and the best thing is that it supports almost all major types of operating systems.
The equipped Wi-Fi hotspot equipped can connect it to iOS/Android system phones and tablets (compatible with Mac 10.8 and later, Windows 7/8/10, iOS 9.0 and later, Android 4.4 and later).
At the same time, to connect it to your PC, the microscope also supports the USB interface. Typically, when you are observing microphotographs on the large screens, you have to sacrifice pixels or quality sometimes.
But the case with this microscope is opposite, attach it to the computer and larger the screen, the better the display and image quality. Wi-Fi can be connected not only to a mobile phone but also to a computer via USB, which is easy to use and look pleasing to the eye.
It uses the lithium-ion battery as a power source. This battery is rechargeable. There is also an 8 pieces bright LED light as a source to brighten and illuminate your object. These LED lights brightness can be adjusted manually so you can have the desired light and results as per your requirements.
It has a built-in 2.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor. This sensor is a capable microscope to capture pictures at 1920x1080P (1080p is limited to images only. Video is recorded in 720P). You can incredibly magnify your specimen with 50x to 1000x magnification zoom.
This exquisite and compact microscope also has 360° rotation capability to maximize your observations and results effectively and efficiently.
There are also random 12 colored slides that are delivered with the package. These are made from plastic, not as good as glass one still useable and a safer option for kids.
- Wide compatibility
- 8PCS LEDs & Rechargeable Battery
- Easy to operate
- Equipped with a Wi-Fi hotspot
- Supports USB interface to connect to the computer.
- The focus wheel is stiff.
- Super sensitive in some cases
- Pixel: 2.0M pixels
- Multiple: 50-1000X
- Photo Resolution: 1920 x 1080P
- Focal Length: Manual Focus (0-40mm)
- Wireless Connections: 10m (in Open Environment)
- Image Format: JPG
- Video Format: MP4/AVI
- USB interface type: USB 2.0
- Wi-Fi compatibility: compatible with Mac 10.8, Windows 7/8/10, iOS 9.0, Android 4.4.
- Package Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.7 x 1.9 inches
- Item Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion batteries required. (included in package)
- Manufacturer: Pancellent, Inc.
KKmoon Digital USB Microscope
It is an excellent low-budget equipment for microphotography and the second last microscope in our list of 5 best performing but cheap microscopes. KKmoon digital USB microscope comes with 3.5 inches LCD, with 5MP Image Sensor, 10x to as much as 300x Magnification, Digital Camera, USB Connectable Portable, Professional multi-use features, and some other aspects.
Though it has a content of stainless steel in its built with ABS plastic, it is still the most lightweight compared to the previous three microscopes and weighs only 751 grams, which makes it easily portable. It’s dimensions are 149 mm * 104 mm * 227 mm / 5.87 inches * 4.09 inches * 8.94 inches with 3.5 inches good quality LCD.
The Digital Microscope has a 5M image sensor. The image sensor is sharp, but the image results are not very impressive. Results are bland on high magnification. KKMoon should address this issue.
The Magnification ratio is 10x to 300x, which can go up to 1200x in digital manners. It is a little behind in resolution games as compared to expensive digital microscopes. The still Image resolution is 12M, 9M, 5M, 3M, 1.3M, VGA, and the same is to capture the video.
To save the data, you have to insert a micro SD card in it. It supports Storage Card slot up to 32GB SDHC.
For the illumination of the subject, there is a light source of 8 LEDs. These lights are bright, and the brightness can be controlled. You can adjust them using the control wheel. This microscope gets its power from rechargeable Li-ion 3.7V 1050mAh battery (it can be recharged by adaptor or USB).
It also supports a wide range of operating systems such as Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win8/Mac 10.7 and above. You can download many files and share them on your PC using the USB cable in the USB port of the microscope.
If what you need is a digital microscope for your microphotography, but at a low price, you should consider this option seriously!!!!
- Can be easily connected to a computer for downloading and sharing
- 5M image sensor
- Environment friendly
- Support USB and almost all common operating system
- Eight lights LED system for illumination
- Digital zoom makes a lot of noise. It also has average quality results
- Image quality could be better
- Item Size: 149 mm * 104 mm * 227 mm / 5.87 inches * 4.09 inches * 8.94 inches
- Item Weight: 751g / 26.49oz
- Color: Black + White
- Material: ABS + Stainless Steel
- Input: 100-240V 50/60Hz
- Output: 5V 1A
- Image Sensor: 5 Mega Pixels (true resolution)
- Focus Range: Manual focus from 10mm to 40mm
- Card Slot: Support Storage Card slot up to 32GB SDHC
- PC Interface: USB 2.0, USB 3.0
- LCD Panel: 3.5 inches TFT panel, 4:3 ratio
- Magnification Ratio: 10x to 300x, up to 1200x by digital
- Still Image Resolution: 12M, 9M, 5M, 3M, 1.3M, VGA
- Video Capture Resolution: 12M, 9M, 5M, 3M, 1.3M, VGA
- Frame Rate: Max 30f/s under 600 Lus Brightness
- TV output: Available (to any monitor with TV in)
- Measurement: By software (Portable Capture with OSD language)
- OSD Language: English, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese
- Bundle Software: Portable Capture Pro with measurement
MAOZUA Handheld Digital Microscope
Last but not least, Maouza’s USB microscope is the 5th reasonably priced microscope in our list of cheap microscopes for digital photography. It is a 5MP USB Handheld Digital Microscope with 20x-300x Magnifier supported with the Professional Base Stand for Windows, Mac, Vista as well as it has eight controllable LED lights for illumination.
It is effortless to use and has straightforward controls. It comes with a 5.0-megapixel sensor inside to capture images. Supported video format is AVI with a maximum resolution of 2592×1944, whereas images are captured in JPEG format. The minimum magnification is 20x, and the microscope can magnify up to 300x. It can be used for coins, hair, card, plants, and a lot of other small objects depending on their size.
You can connect it easily with your computer. Upon connecting it to your computer using the USB port, you can directly observe the objects on your computer display rather than watching them via eyepiece of microscope. Using this USB port, you can also transfer images and video files to your computer.
Usually, it won’t cause any trouble when you try to connect it with a PC as it can be used on most computers and tablets supporting Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win8/Win10/Mac 10.12 or above.
It is powered via a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, but it has some trouble as the previous microscope. Battery life is very little. For lighting, there are eight bright LED lights. They are attached in a way forming a circle.
These lights do their job well in brightening the specimen, and their brightness can be controlled. There is a unique dial on the side of the microscope to adjust the light as per your requirements.
For the price of the microscope, it offers pretty good stuff. If you don’t want extra money on an expensive one, you should consider this option too.
- perfect for electronics hacking, rework, inspection et cetera
- 20x to 300x magnifier
- 8 LED for lighting
- Microscopes with better magnification ratios are available in the same price range
- Image Sensor: 5.0 megapixel(Real Resolution)
- Manual Focus from 0 mm to 150 mm
- Video Capture Resolution: 1280×960
- Still Image Capture Resolution: 2592×1944,2048×1536,1600×1200,1280×960
- Video Format: AVI
- Photo Format: JEPG
- Light Source: 8 LED(adjustable by control wheel)
- Magnification Ratio: 20x – 300x
- USB port powered (5V DC)
- Bundle Software: MicroCapture Pro
- Operation System: Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win8/Win10/Mac 10.6 or above
- Size: 110mm(L)x33mm(R)
- Professional stand: 165mm(L)x118mm(W)x12mm(H)
- On-Screen Display (OSD) language: English, Deutsch, Spanish, Russian, Italian, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese
You don’t have to empty your pocket to fulfill your desired hobby, such as microphotography. The list we compiled can be beneficial for you in deciding to buy a reasonably priced microscope. If you used to think that owning a microscope to pursue microphotography is an expensive thing, hope so you had a change of mind after reading this article!