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Low cost field scope experiment

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#1 Irate Mormon

Irate Mormon
  • NANFA Member
  • Crooked Creek, Mississippi

Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:05 PM

Every once in a while I check eBay for microscopes because a nice field (dissecting) scope would sure come in handy at times.  So I came across this listing:




50X - 500X was really more than I needed, but hey - $12 and change?!  I got it today and here are my findings.  FIrst off, this is not really usable as a field scope.  It has a fixed focus, and you have to position the camera in order to get the object in focus, which requires a lot of patience.  Second, the magnification is not adjustable, apart from using digital zoom in your photo editing software.  Third, the objective must be so close to the specimen that there really isn't room to manipulate it, plus you would lose your focus anyway. 


Now, having said all that, this thing is a lot of fun!  Here's a photo I took of a dime just now:


Attached File  Dime.jpg   206.1KB   0 downloads


Still looking for something that will serve in the field.

-The member currently known as Irate Mormon

#2 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 30 June 2017 - 02:02 PM

I got a similar one a few years ago - Veho is the brand.  Mine does have adjustable magnification, but its not easy to focus with that crappy stand it comes with.   I made a better stand using a block of wood for a stage with two 6" long machine screws inserted up through the bottom, a pvc connector to hold the scope, and a couple nuts to raise and lower it.  Much easier to use now. 

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#3 swampfish

  • NANFA Member

Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:21 PM

For a decade or two, I've carried a SwissCard with magnifier, https://www.swisskni...-led-mini-light. The lens appears to have about 10x power with excellent resolution, clarity, and minimal rainbow effect. I've never had a problem with the unprotected lens getting scratched in my pocket, but I don't carry my keys in that pocket. I carry it every day with each SwissCard lasting several years before the plastic breaks or I lose one of the other implements in it.


I don't know what magnification is needed for fish work, but I use mine to identify mites, small insects, and tiny parts of larger insects. It is so useful that I typically examine insects brought in for identification with it in my office when my Lieca 100x dissecting microscope is next to me. It's just handier to use and just as useful for most insects.


Phil Nixon

Extension Entomologist 

University of Illinois

#4 Irate Mormon

Irate Mormon
  • NANFA Member
  • Crooked Creek, Mississippi

Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:59 PM

Phil, that reminds me, I do have one of these helping hands things I use for electronics work.  It would serve in an emergency I suppose. Cost about $5.


-The member currently known as Irate Mormon

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