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At 03:48 PM 10/27/1999 -0400, MBCREATIVE at aol_com wrote:
>I am interested in buying a decent microscope --not just to look at algae
>other cool things floating in our tank with the kids. But I have no idea
>to look for. I was thinking of buying one on ebay maybe for $200  or so, or 
>from a mail order, but I need advice. What should I be looking for? How do 
>you tell a good microscope from a bad one? What are the good brands?

Very low cost microscopes are not very good.  I got a Leitz binocular worth
about $2K for $650 from a guy in AZ who sells mics from closed or upgrading
JC labs.  It won't do dark field but it will do most of the rest.   The
best place to start is probably a book.   An older Leitz or Nikon or Zeiss
is probably a good choice.  If you really need to keep the cost down look
at Bausch and Lomb too.   A 20-30 year old mic is just fine for what you
want to do.   A binocular is much easier to use and you don't need a
trinocular unless you want to do photos.  An oil immersion is very nice to
have, you need to learn how to use it but it's easy.   I would suggest you
do what I did, it is one of the few decisions I have made that was
undoubtedly correct (for me).
Dave Gomberg, San Francisco            mailto:gomberg at wcf_com
For low cost CO2 systems that work:  http://www.wcf.com/co2iron 
Tropica MasterGrow in the USA:      http://www.wcf.com/tropica