Microscope: How to choose the best in 2021?
It is always very good to have your presence. Today we are going to talk about something capable of getting to the smallest detail: the microscope.
Tools that have existed for centuries, this equipment arose from human curiosity. Their variety of applications and uses make them important tools in any laboratory, or even in the home of an enthusiast.
Whether you are a researcher or just curious, such equipment will take you where your eyes cannot go alone. Follow us to learn about features, models and applications of this incredible technology. And find out how to marvel at it.
First, the most important
- Microscopes are optical equipment (use of lenses) for magnifying and observing small objects. Within this concept, magnifying glasses are also microscopes (we will talk more about this later).
- Since its appearance, microscopes have jumped in terms of magnification and image quality. Electronic instruments can expand up to 100,000x the sample under analysis.
- Not all material can be easily placed under a microscope. Even the instrument itself has its limitations, so some procedures are carried out to have what is called a sample.
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Ranking: The 3 best microscopes
Not only in biology, as we are led to believe, this instrument has its use. Medicine, geology and metallurgy also use them continuously, as does scientific research in general.
If you’re looking for the best microscope on the market, you’ve come to the right place. We have gathered the best models in this ranking below:
The microscope makes tiny particles visible to our eyes. It’s amazing to think that we can even see bacteria with the help of this equipment, isn’t it? Indispensable in research and health laboratories, the microscope is also used in several other professions.
Do you want to know more about them? Follow with us that we will bring all the main features of this device, so that you can buy the best model for your reality.
What is a microscope?
The microscope is an optical instrument (almost in its entirety), which is intended to enlarge small objects for human observation. Such an invention is based on the fact that we do not see things as they really are.
We know about the existence of cells in our body, but we don’t see them. With the aid of a microscope you can see the enlarged image of your own skin, a tangle of connections between small blocks of different sizes.
This is possible due to the magnification system from a cylinder – and the principle is almost the same for the telescope -, where there are at least two lenses. The magnification system with a lens is also considered a microscope, but we have the most common name, magnifying glass.
To understand it even more clearly, the simple microscope has a magnification system through a single lens, also known as a magnifying glass. The compound has an enlargement system from a set of lenses (two or more).
A comparison between them can help you better understand:
What are the different types of microscope?
As we are considering the microscope in its application, which is the magnification, we will talk about the compounds. A system of at least two lenses, one being an eyepiece (where we see it) and the other being an objective lens (the one that magnifies).
Want to see some of what can be magnified with a microscope? Check out this video from the Roni Ficher channel that shows the enlarged insects:
Operation, with some procedures, involves placing the object in front of the lens. Then, with the eyepiece, you adjust the focus using two screws.
Although we see images in books, magazines and on the internet of microscopic objects, the colorings are often artificial. This measure serves to emphasize some points of the sample according to the study.
When it comes to compound microscopes, there are a variety of options. Some do not even use the optical system properly for imaging, but with very specific applications.
Before we talk more about optics and electronics, we will show you other existing types and their main applications. After all, if we’re talking about microscopes, we need to go through as many of them as possible.
As the most common means of using light under microscopy, a few decades ago, the possibility of using sound was raised. After all, sound waves have a wavelength comparable to that of visible light.
Sound is able to penetrate materials that light cannot (opaque, mainly). In this way, they are able to provide internal and surface structures for many objects that cannot be seen by other means.
One of the most complex, produces high resolution images by measuring electrical current, between the surface of the object of study and a probe tip.
It has such specific use that the tip of the probe tip must be of a single atom, and its measurement must be controlled at the level of hundredths of an angström.
In addition to these, there are variations within the most common instruments: optical or electric, which make them the most used. So, let’s move on to the most used in the globe.
They are the pioneers in the line of this instrumentation, invented more than 400 years ago, they are still, today, the most used for cellular studies. Its composition is of two types of lens: the eyepiece and the objective (we have already talked about).
To know how much an optical instrument can enlarge an image, it is necessary to multiply the magnifying power of the eyepiece and the objective. There are microscopes capable of up to 2000x magnifications.
In this video we have footage of standing water (in puddles, objects), using an optical microscope:
The way the objects are visualized requires a good illumination of them, if they form that they must be laminated in very thin pieces, because the beam of light must pass through the material and reach the lens.
It is not uncommon to artificially color the analyzed objects, to facilitate their recognition and visualization.
There are two most common types, Transmission (MET) and Scan (SEM). Its operation consists of a beam of electrons to pass through the material and obtain a view of superfine cuts.
Its magnification capacity reaches up to 500 thousand times, allowing you to view incredible details within a cell. Even its “walls” can be seen well.
The Scan system is very similar in terms of operation. However, it is necessary that the object of study (if biological) be dehydrated or frozen. The intention is to produce images of these objects by means of surface scans, producing three-dimensional images.
In doubt about the main advantages of each one of them? We will help you:
Due to the characteristics and types of the product (as we have shown you), microscopes can vary widely in price. Its greatest oscillation is due to the technology and the expansion capacity.
The products start from less than R $ 100 and can reach thousands of reais. It’s a big swing, but don’t worry. With less than R $ 300 you can purchase a telescope with a magnification greater than 1000x.
Where to buy it?
It is important to keep in mind what characteristics you are looking for in the product. There is even a children’s line of this equipment. Once your goal is clear, department stores or the science department will have the product.
A very interesting option for these devices is an online purchase, which will provide you with a wider range of models and options. Stores like Amazon will deliver you in the convenience of home, in complete safety.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to compare the different microscope models
You already have an idea of how microscope models work and their applications. Now let’s give you a little bit of what you need to keep in mind when purchasing one.
In addition to choosing a model, microscopes have certain components that will assist you within your objectives. That is precisely why we are here, to help you a little more.
- Sample type
Below, we will understand the importance of considering each point mentioned to make your choice.
Before defining a purchase, you must think about what you want to observe. For samples fixed on a glass slide, every option is a good choice. As your interest in observation intensifies, you need to be more careful when choosing the device.
An analysis of living cells will require larger culture vessels. The ideal in this case is a microscope with an inverted configuration, with the objective below and the condenser above the sample.
Another issue is that to work with living organisms, you need to have a temperature and oxygenation (or CO²) condition within the sample requirements.
Another feature of great importance is the need for expansion that you have to analyze the objective. To give you an idea, the human eye can see up to 100 micrometers (the unit after millimeters).
In the human body, the largest existing cell is the egg, with 120 micrometers (so we can see it!). Visible to the naked eye, like a tiny speck, and nothing more.
An optical microscope will be able to deliver images with a limit of almost 0.2 micrometers of resolution. Which allows an incredible enlargement of what you want to observe.
When it comes to electronics, they can reach a resolution limit of 0.2 nanometers (the unit after the micrometer). For general knowledge: 1 millimeter is equal to 1,000 micrometers, which in turn is equivalent to 1,000,000 nanometers. Define your need for expansion well before purchasing.
Although it is not a technical detail, the dimensions of the device are factors to be observed. Especially if you have limited space to place the microscope.
In general, this equipment does not take up much space, but the height and width change a lot from one type to another. So, it’s worth checking those measurements.
There are even models to attach to the cell phone that can fit the palm of your hand. Stay tuned, even to not buy a product considering only the image and when you receive it at home, realize that it was smaller than imagined.
Another important point regarding the dimension, especially speaking of the height of the device, is whether it is comfortable for you to work hours on your bench.
As we saw throughout this article, microscopes can have very specific functions. Some just show the image the moment you look through the lens. Others can photograph and film what is being seen.
If you are looking for extra features, carefully read the description of each microscope on the sales websites. Another important point is to check the comments of people who have already bought the device.
The functions are linked to the type of microscope, which you can review above. And it is worth mentioning that they can make the product more expensive, so put on the tip of the pencil what is really necessary, so you will not overpay for features that you will not even use.