Fenwickfield's picture

Advice on microscope

I have recently bought a (microscope discovery)which you plug into the computer only to find that you cannot see any spores through it or other microscopic detail for identifying fungi.I think it is more of a glorified magnifying glass.It was £80 and money not well spent but can take close up photo's with it I suppose.
I have no knowledge about what type model I need to help me advance in identifying fungi and cannot really afford to keep making mistakes by buying another one that is of no use.I would like a bit of help on what I need to by or which models are used for spore identification.I had a look on the web and there was so much that I was rather confused and they are expensive so don't want to buy the wrong one.



anonymous spotter's picture

I'm not familiar

with the modern generation of PC-friendly microscopes.
I have an old optical (student) scope that I virtually never use: it's not PC or camera friendly though. You'd be welcome to borrow it (from Teesside) to see if the magnification is what you need.

miked's picture

There is some discussion on

There is some discussion on the subject of microscopes for mycology here:

this web page also looks interesting although USA:
it has perhaps more material than some want but has more detail on lenses etc.

again has quite a lot of detail and how to investigate the different parts of the fungus.

Fenwickfield's picture

Happy to

I think this is a very kind offer Roger and would love to have a look at it and distance isn't a problem as it's not that far.I can give my e-mail address for you to contact me to get further details.

Also thank you Milked I have had a look at the sites you put on and they are very useful and maybe in the future can upgrade as the prices are rather a lot will have to save up.


anonymous spotter's picture

Contact me-

via my Facebook page (Roger Robinson).
Picture of identical beast:

Fenwickfield's picture


Thanks for the advice Roger I am now going to see if I can pick one up on ebay



anonymous spotter's picture

Still welcome -

to try mine first. Any money is a lot if the object isn't what you need...

gardener's picture

Compound microscope

For lichen and fungi spore identification you'll need a compound microscope - Brunel is one supplier but there are others.

You can get either binocular or trinocular but if you want to add a USB micro-cam you'll need the trinocular version.

People using a compound microscope for spore identification usually also have a dissecting microscope so they can clearly see the very thin section they're cutting with a very sharp razor blade!

Martincito's picture

I'm feeling the need for a

I'm feeling the need for a microscope too and have been looking at this http://www.fungi4schools.org/Reprints/Mycologist_articles/Microscopy/FM0... as a guide for what I might need...

Fenwickfield's picture

have looked

I looked at the sites that milked put on plus had a look on the British Mycology site.It seem's that we need 1000x magnification.It is a bit of a minefield when you look.Have you thought of what your going to go for.They say that the new Chinese stuff is not that good and your better off with a second hand good make.


Martincito's picture

I gave my son a Chinese

I gave my son a Chinese microscope for his birthday about 20 years ago and have just bought it back. I revisited the supplier this morning - just up the road it was - Northern Biological Supplies - for slides/coverslips/advice maybe even a 100x objective lens, and I was disappointed to find that it is now a car dealers!! :-( lol

anonymous spotter's picture

Used lab equipment

There are several used equipment dealers, including one at Peterlee - not too far from your location.
They have a web site (google "used lab equipment"), but prices are generally not shown up-front.
I used similar suppliers - not this one - many years ago as a researcher on a very limited budget. The phrase "caveat emptor" is appropriate - try before you buy!