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Carson portable microscopes

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#1 Swedpat

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 02:11 PM

A while ago I ordered two pocket microscopes. One with fixed 20x and one 100-250x. The light of the 20x model is powered by a buttoncell and the 100-250 model is powered by one AA cell. Later on I ordered a midsized of the same brand and line, which has 60-120x, and is powered by one AA cell as well.

 

o1Pydr.jpg

 

 

The 100-250x model has an built in slide which can be folded up in the side.

 

QRx4bn.jpg

 

escWop.jpg

 

 

The small 20x model is advertised as a mobilecamera microscope and includes a clip for easy attachment to the smartphone.

 

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Even to the 100-250x model a clip is included.

 

uoqcKZ.jpg

 

 

And some shots. This is as close as the smartphone is able to go with the macro on a mm ruler.

 

IX5ZrC.jpg

 

 

And here with 20x microscope attached and the phonecamera at 1x.

 

EpChso.jpg

 

 

And 2x.

 

3MgM5L.jpg


Edited by Swedpat, 24 March 2022 - 03:06 PM.

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#2 Swedpat

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 02:11 PM

A micro fiber cloth with the mobile cameras macro.

 

 

qaszfA.jpg

 

 

At 20x

 

ZMLEb5.jpg

dVjOxe.jpg

 

 

My bed sheet at 20x

 

fR2NH4.jpg

 

 

And 120x.

 

EYJs0r.jpg

 

I have desperately tried to find bed mites, but have not succeeded. So I'm starting to think it's a myth that they're in every bed...

 

 

My old Samsung A5 mobile screen at 20x

 

bIpNjN.jpg

 

 

And at 120x

 

BT1Ozr.jpg

 

The two pictures above is what the eye perceives as white color when it's blended out so we cannot see the details. Physics and optics are really fascinating!

 

 

So what's my opinion about these small microscopes? They are cheap and use plastic uncoated lenses, so the image quality is not very high class. And they provide a significant amount of cromatic abberation, and the higher magnification the more of it, as usual. But they are still very useful. I payed 665 SEK for all three. That's around $70 at this moment.

I find them very good as portable instruments. Of course I don't need all three. The 60-120 and 100-250x versions have the advantage of using common AA batteries. If I would choose only one of them I would likely choose the 60-120x version.The image degradation really is obvious with the 100-250x version. Dimmer and more CA at 250x than 120x. 60-120x is the best compromise here. But the 60-120x version is the only which has no clip included, and it does not work with any of the clips to the other versions. So it's much more difficult to take photos through it.

 

Conclusion: you can definitely enjoy these instruments for nature studies and bed mite hunting ;-)
And these microscopes will be great gifts to children!


Edited by Swedpat, 25 March 2022 - 02:08 AM.

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#3 raa

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 03:14 PM

bed mites more likely to be under any mattress protector, inside the mattress, and anything in between.

 

dead skin flake eaters

 

sheets and other things get washed, other bed covers get flicked and messed about during bed changing

 

and get cooler

 

I don't know whether you do the airing out thing in scandinavia, it is supposed to be a thought in the UK nowadays with all the central heating in the past few decades, just pick a cold day and leave the windows open a lot.  Of course nowadays that's only a good idea when you're in all day, and then you'll end up cold!

 

but it doesn't get that cold here anymore.  we've currently been under high pressure for the best part of a week continuously (and not the traditional scandinavian high either we used to get) and it hasn't gone subzero once, and the nights are of course ~ 12 hour long now it being the equinox.  In fact it felt more like early Summer rather than early Spring today.



#4 xvariablestarx

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 04:22 PM

I have the 250x model, its pretty good for its size.


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#5 Katharine

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Posted 26 March 2022 - 07:55 PM

Cool!  I got something similar (but cheap) for my former partner as a gift once... I still wish I'd nicked it when he never used it.  (Then again, I rarely even use the loupe I have, and I should.  Hm.  Maybe this is my impetus to get it out and carry it with me and look at random stuff for fun...)


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#6 Swedpat

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 10:51 AM

bed mites more likely to be under any mattress protector, inside the mattress, and anything in between.

 

dead skin flake eaters

 

sheets and other things get washed, other bed covers get flicked and messed about during bed changing

 

and get cooler

 

I don't know whether you do the airing out thing in scandinavia, it is supposed to be a thought in the UK nowadays with all the central heating in the past few decades, just pick a cold day and leave the windows open a lot.  Of course nowadays that's only a good idea when you're in all day, and then you'll end up cold!

 

but it doesn't get that cold here anymore.  we've currently been under high pressure for the best part of a week continuously (and not the traditional scandinavian high either we used to get) and it hasn't gone subzero once, and the nights are of course ~ 12 hour long now it being the equinox.  In fact it felt more like early Summer rather than early Spring today.

 

I would like to ventilate my bedding daily but I live in an apartment on the third floor and unfortunately my little balcony is regularly soiled by bird and squirrel feces. So I do not. The outer wall is made of gravel tiles, perfect climbing walls for squirrels. I do not know how the property owner reasoned when they made the decision about exterior walls ...

And since I've been single, I'm not used to washing my bedding every week, in fact not every month either ...

So if bed mites are spreading everywhere I SHOULD find at least some on my sheets. In the published pictures of bed mites, an adult is so large that it embraces a human hair. This means that with the microscope I could definitely see a bed mite and also distinguish the body and legs.
I can see a number of much smaller objects of a size one would expect the feces could have.
But if I had seen the feces, I would also have seen the mites ...
Especially when I read that there can be a MILLION mites in a bed!
I read that mites thrive in humid environments and now in winter in northern Sweden it is dry air. I also always have the ventilation hatch open so I have fresh air in the bedroom. Maybe this means that I do not have any mites, or very few so I have not yet discovered any?


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#7 Katharine

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Posted 29 March 2022 - 10:17 PM

I had a look for my loupe and discovered that what I have is one of these (obviously had not used it... I got it at a gem and mineral show a couple years ago and then forgot I had it until now, hence why I misremembered and thought it was a loupe that I had bought.  Pretty sure I have my mom's loupe somewhere too though).

 

So it went to work with me today, where luckily no one saw me examining my money, my own hair, a cat hair I picked off my clothes, the dust on my desk, my chair, my computer screen, my phone screen, my fingernails, under my fingernails (I'd gotten a blob of ink under one and it left a stain), the skin on my hands, my sweatshirt, my jeans, a CD, a spot of dried coffee on my desk, the fabric weave of my chair, various papers on my desk and the print or pencil or pen writing on them, the fabric wall of my cube, a Ritz cracker and the salt on it as well as a Nutrigrain-type bar*, the foam inserts in a case for electronics (two different types of foam), the tips of a ballpoint pen and a permanent marker...

 

*Pro tip: maybe don't look at any food with your magnifier if it's of the type that looks oily or moist.  It's a bit gross-looking that close up.


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#8 Katharine

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Posted 02 April 2022 - 01:00 PM

I'm still playing with my little scope, lol.  If I were to get one of the Carsons in future, which would you recommend?  The 60x-120x or the 100x-250x (Like you, I don't see the need for both)?  I want to look at everyday things as I've been doing, and also crystals/minerals*... not sure what else.  I like my little pocket microscope but might like something with more magnification also.  You said you preferred the 60x-120x, which is also my inclination as the 100x-250x might be a bit of overkill, but I'm trying to think if there's any reason I might later wish I'd bought the one with more magnification.  I've already got the 60x covered, so I'm not sure how useful the lower end of the 60-120 microscope would be and whether I wouldn't just be spending all/most of my time at the higher end of the magnification range anyway, so maybe I should go with the one where that is the low end and it would give me more options in conjunction with my existing 60x?

 

*I attended a short lecture a few months ago about "microminerals" and have since wanted to have a look at all of mine.  Never even considered a pocket microscope for the task until now.



#9 Swedpat

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Posted 03 April 2022 - 09:52 AM

I'm still playing with my little scope, lol.  If I were to get one of the Carsons in future, which would you recommend?  The 60x-120x or the 100x-250x (Like you, I don't see the need for both)?  I want to look at everyday things as I've been doing, and also crystals/minerals*... not sure what else.  I like my little pocket microscope but might like something with more magnification also.  You said you preferred the 60x-120x, which is also my inclination as the 100x-250x might be a bit of overkill, but I'm trying to think if there's any reason I might later wish I'd bought the one with more magnification.  I've already got the 60x covered, so I'm not sure how useful the lower end of the 60-120 microscope would be and whether I wouldn't just be spending all/most of my time at the higher end of the magnification range anyway, so maybe I should go with the one where that is the low end and it would give me more options in conjunction with my existing 60x?

 

*I attended a short lecture a few months ago about "microminerals" and have since wanted to have a look at all of mine.  Never even considered a pocket microscope for the task until now.

 

If you want to regularly take photos through the microscope 100-250x version is to prefer. Otherwise 60-120x version. 

It's actually a pity that the 60-120x version is not made to be attached to smartphone!


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#10 Katharine

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Posted 03 April 2022 - 10:39 AM

If you want to regularly take photos through the microscope 100-250x version is to prefer. Otherwise 60-120x version. 

It's actually a pity that the 60-120x version is not made to be attached to smartphone!

Thanks!  I don't foresee the need to take photos (though that may be famous last words, but I can't think what I'd need them for), so the mid-sized 'scope should be fine for me.  (Maybe I should write to them and suggest a smartphone adapter for that size, though.  Because you're right, it doesn't make sense that every other size has them except this one...)


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#11 Katharine

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Posted 17 April 2022 - 06:37 PM

Took my microscope for a walk today and found that I can kind of use my phone with it carefully.  I had a look at flowers, tree bark, leaves, all kinds of things.

 

Here are a couple shots; a flower seed pod and some lichens on a tree (and it looks like I got some kind of insect or larva in the shot as well)

imagejpeg 0
imagejpeg 2

 

.

 

 


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#12 Binojunky

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Posted 30 April 2022 - 10:14 AM

I have one of these, the middle model as shown by the OP, on sale for less than $10 Canadian, lots of fun,Dave.



#13 charlie g

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 01:04 PM

   Fantastic, swedpat.  I bought two $30 USD models for Christmas presents to my son and his gf...sort of silly 'stocking stuffers'...they still have not tried them.  Thanks for your sharing the performance of your series of these scopes.

 

   I too am getting skeptical about 'ubiquitous tiny dust mites'.  A few years ago in a microscopy forum at least a dozen   of we members started a 'mission to image capture dust mites from our homes...nada were found,

 

   Perhaps you, swedpat, might start a thread here with a quest for image captures of dust mites from our homes>  Err, I nominate you the 'thread starter'!!!

 

   Again, thanks for sharing the performance of these three scopes.  BTW..what was their cost?    all the best, charlie g



#14 Katharine

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 08:03 PM

I'm seeing the medium-sized one (the one I'd probably get) on sources that aren't Carson's site at around $13.99 (Carson's site has it for $15.99), the larger one for around $19.99, and the small 20x scope for around $9.99-$13.99.  Plus shipping unless, unlike my local stores, you can find it locally.




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