Home and Hobby Microscopes and Supplies
There's no doubt in our minds that Omano microscopes are the best home and hobby microscopes on the market today. They're the best mix of value and features for hobbyists with interests spanning beekeeping, coin collecting, entomology, and more. What do you get with your Omano purchase?
A lifetime warranty
If something unexpected goes wrong with your microscope next week, next year, or when your kids go off to college, we'll fix it.
A great return policy
If you want to send your microscope back for no reason at all, just do it within 30 days. We'll take it, no questions asked.
The best support
Maybe something isn't working like you expected. Or maybe you need a lot of advice before your next purchase. We're happy to talk microscopy all day long.
Shipping's on us!
Orders over $150 get free shipping anywhere in the continental United States. If you're not quite at the minimum order, pay for another accessory, not shipping.
Volume pricing is now available.
Educational institutions and businesses serving other businesses qualify for volume pricing. Ordering more than a couple units? Request a quote here for the best pricing available.
Hobby microscopes and microscopes for home use come in a wide array of models, with features that span the entirety of optical and digital microscopy.
Hobbyists interested in amateur microscopy, or those hoping to get their kids into science at an early age, have a lot of terminology and features to sort through.
And this is the right place to do it. Below you'll find all the terminology that matters and recommendations from the experts so you can go all-in with your hobby.
First things first. Why we recommend hobbyists use Omano
Unless you have your heart set on a Dino-Lite digital microscope, we strongly encourage you to invest in an Omano microscope. We manufacture them - and of course, that's one reason we recommend them. But because we manufacture them, we offer two unique benefits.
A 30-day no-questions-asked return policy. So if you get yours and you just don't like it. It doesn't feel right in your hands, you don't like the color, or any reason at all, send it back. You won't get a hard time from us.
A lifetime limited warranty. So if you have a problem with the lens or eyepiece, or the light starts to flicker, or the mechanical stage gets inexplicably stuck, we'll fix it 15 days from now or 15 years from now. We don't expect you'll ever have to use it though - warranty claims are very rare.
Next. The important terminology
Stereo microscope or compound microscope. Both are types of light microscope or optical microscope that use a visible light source like LED illumination to look at a specimen at some level of magnification.
Stereo microscopes work at lower magnification. They are used for looking at solid surfaces - think coins, gems, stones, bees. A stereo microscope is also called a dissecting microscope. Metallurgical microscopes also fall under the stereo category. Stereo microscopes generally achieve a maximum magnification of 45X, although some have optics that achieve up to 70X.
A compound microscope is meant to look at cells. Usually, the specimen goes on a slide or in a petri dish and you look at an image that's far too small for the naked eye. You're interested in looking at invisible creatures in water samples, or getting a super close-up look at butterfly wings or other tiny structures.
You'll read about a scanning electron microscope or fluorescence microscopy. Those aren't hobby technologies.
How about the head type?
There are three head types - monocular microscopes, binocular microscopes, and trinocular microscopes. Monocular has one eyepiece, and you can probably guess the other two.
One of the things you can do with a binocular head or trinocular head is attach a digital camera. With that camera, you can stream everything you see through the objective to a computer monitor, TV screen, and some even straight to your smartphone. That's pretty cool for sharing your collection with your hobby group, or for your kids sharing an image of their microscopic creatures with the family.
What about a portable microscope?
Lots of good quality microscopes are portable. Probably the most portable are Dino-Lite digital USB microscopes. A Dino-Lite is a powerful pocket microscope with magnification that falls somewhere between a stereo microscope and a compound microscope. They're used by:
Home cannabis growers
...and so many more
You can even set yours up with a stand and a bunch of accessories to use it just like a traditional optical microscope with an objective lens. And the built in camera, illumination and included software make it easy to capture a sharp, magnified image of your prepared slides or other specimen.
Starting a new hobby is exciting. And if you aren't sure exactly what microscope will do the best with your new endeavor, we'd love to share the excitement and point you in the right direction.
Give us a call to talk working distance, illumination, and a bunch of other microscope stuff that matters!
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