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Handheld 'microscope' for kids?

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#1 zleonis

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 01:19 PM

We'd like to get our 5-year old daughter a handheld microscope for looking at leaves, minerals, different surfaces, etc. I was thinking something along the lines of this product on Amazon (I had something similar growing up that I liked), since the stakes would be low if it meets an untimely end at her hands. That said, if there's a similar product in the <$50 range that would be a step up in durability or optical quality, I'd be open to suggestions. Thanks!


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#2 cmooney91

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 10:16 AM

I have 4 different Carson pocket scope models. That blue 20X-60X is my favorite. 

 

The models with higher magnification are less practical for hand held use.

 

Optically the 20-60 is  decent, no noticeable CA,  sharp flat field to the outer 10% FOV. 

 

Ergonomically its downside is a short 7-10mm eye relief, a narrow 35-50 AFOV, and inverted view .For a 5 year old you will need to coach them on focusing and magnification adjustment. 

 

I think it is definitely a great value for little money A curious kid would have a ball with it, and completely overlook the eye relief and AFOV.  A 7x or 10X Carson loupe would also be a good addition for wider view to augment the pocket scope. 

 

As a curious adult I also have a ball with it. Its tiny size and weight allow me to bring it on hikes. It's neat to explore things in situ, like the  bark of a tree bustling with mites, various fungi on a rotting log, lichens and moss with resident invertebrates,  or neat mineral exposures in exposed bedrock.


Edited by cmooney91, 12 November 2020 - 10:29 AM.

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#3 zleonis

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 10:56 AM

Thanks for the helpful notes on the product. It sounds like this Carson model will be a great way for my daughter to get a closer look at things she comes across in the woods, etc. for a modest investment. Her dad will probably check it out too :)



#4 Rapidray

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 06:27 PM

I bought 3 of them, 2 for the grandkids and one for me lol.gif


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#5 Jon_Doh

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 09:35 AM

I have one and its amazing how good it is.  You can carry it with you on walks and hikes.


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#6 camvan

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 07:34 PM

it may be more than you want to spend, but look at the Pentax Papilio binoculars. they literally are a walking microscope my dad loves his and uses them all the time when he goes on hit walks.


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