Advice on Buying a Microscope

I'm looking to buy a microscope for my girlfriend for her birthday. I'm basically looking for something that she can view insects and leaves and stuff through. Not exactly sure what kind of magnification would be required for that? I've done a little bit of research and from what I've heard a bifocal lens might be the way to go.

Are there any brands I should seek or avoid? I don't really want to spend a fortune, ideally under $300. Are there any other things I need to consider? I was thinking of perhaps buying a 2nd hand microscope from a school-lab if it would be suitable.

Any help appreciated.

Comments

  • +26 votes

    I'm looking to buy a microscope for my girlfriend for her birthday.

    There is a joke here but I will refrain myself.

  • +1 vote

    Interesting and thoughtful gift. You can get microscope attachments for smartphones which might be of interest so she can take pictures of her experiments too.

  • +1 vote

    There's also USB microscopes that display the image on a PC screen.

  • +1 vote

    She will like this gift? If so, sounds like you've got an awesome girlfriend! I'd go for a USB compatible one :) Can project the image onto a laptop.

  • +1 vote

    Will she be using it after you've gone swimming?

  • +1 vote

    A microscope as a present is becoming a thing. You should look into it

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    As someone who uses a microscope fairly regularly, I can't fathom why anyone would want one.

    Even kids grow bored of them after they looked at a couple of leaves and the included slides. Unless she means to be a pathologist, then 40X is sufficient, and even 100x microscopes are dirt cheap online. Might be a cute gag gift, but expect it to gather dust once the novelty wears off.

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      Curiosity, wonder, fascination maybe? Perhaps the fact that you use one fairly regularly might be the reason you find them boring and mundane?

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        I received one as a kid, I've even seen them gifted, and the novelty wears off very quickly. Seen one desiccated leaf? Seen em all. Once she goes through the included slides (insect wing, onion) and maybe a wet prep of pond water, 99% it'll gather dust. She probably won't be checking body fluids, and histo requires sampling equipment and ideally, stains. If you want to get a scientific doodad gift she might actually use, how about a telescope?

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