GT Vision have supplied microscopes to mycologists from the first day we opened our doors for business, we have supplied both organisations and individuals. The microscopes range from stereo microscopes, to biological upright microscopes, phase contrast microscopes and imaging systems.
But first, some here are some links/resources related to mycology that you may find handy:
– Learn from home about plant and fungal science with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Choosing a microscope can be quite confusing; there are many different options for you to choose between and it can be difficult knowing where to start. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you researching all the options and have created this guide to help you through the process.
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a microscope for mycology applications, namely:
We’ll now list the different microscopes available to you for different budgets (please note that all prices listed are excluding VAT), whilst taking into consideration the above points. Jump straight to your budget by selecting from the below:
Less than £100:
There are many microscopes on the market for less than £100, but these mostly have plastic lenses with poor image quality and can do more damage than good when it comes to starting out in the world of microscopy. For viewing spores at high magnifications (400x-1000x), there are simply no microscopes on the market that we recommend at this price bracket.
For viewing fungi at low magnifications (not spores), there is only one microscope that we would recommend within this price bracket and that’s the Dino-Lite AM2111 Digital Microscope. This microscope has no eyepieces; it is a digital microscope that connects to a computer/laptop via a USB cable and the live image is displayed on the computer screen. The Dino-Lite products are an absolutely fantastic range of products that are simple to use, excellent quality and with an absolutely brilliant UK support team. The AM2111 is their entry-level microscope with 640×480 resolution (less than 1MP). The software will open a small dialogue box containing the live image and you simply press a camera icon button to capture the image. The image quality is reasonable when viewing at this stage, but if you wanted to expand the image to full screen mode the low resolution of this model would then show, as the image becomes pixellated (blurry) in full screen mode. The user will need to have basic computer skills but the software is very user friendly and, as long as you don’t mind carrying a laptop with you, this microscope is small and portable. The next model up, the Dino-Lite AM4113T copes better in full screen mode as this has 1.3MP resolution but this falls into a higher price bracket.
GX Microscopes UltraBIO-3:
Our best-selling microscope, the GX Microscopes UltraBIO-3, is the perfect microscope for the amateur mycologist wanting to view spores. Part of our ‘GX Value’ range, this model offers exceptional value for the price and outstanding image quality. This microscope is supplied with four objective lenses: 4x, 10x, 40x and 100x, which when used together with the set of 20x eyepieces that are included with this model, give a maximum magnification of 2000x. Priced at just £208.33 + VAT, this is the go-to microscope for many amateur mycologists. A rechargeable battery version for ultimate portability is also available (£280 + VAT).
Should you wish to take photographs of your samples, you can do so by adding an eyepiece camera to this microscope. We also have our bundle package offer featuring this microscope, featured later in this article.
Please note that all images, unless otherwise stated, are representative examples to show the magnification that you can expect to see with the microscopes, not taken using the microscopes pictured.
GX Microscopes XTX-1C:
For low magnifications, the GX Microscopes XTX-1C Single Magnification Stereo Microscope is a fantastic microscope for this price bracket. With a set 20x magnification (which can be extended with optional accessories), this is the perfect microscope for viewing entire samples. Should you wish to take photographs of your samples, you can do so by adding an eyepiece camera to this microscope.
GX Microscopes UltraBIO-3 Complete Kit Bundle Offer:
Our best-selling high magnification microscope, the GX Microscopes UltraBIO-3, makes a re-appearance as part of our complete kit bundle offer. Part of our ‘GX Value’ range, this model offers exceptional value for the price and outstanding image quality. This microscope is supplied with four objective lenses: 4x, 10x, 40x and 100x, which when used together with the set of 20x eyepieces that are included with this model, give a maximum magnification of 2000x. Priced at just £208.33 + VAT, this is the go-to microscope for many amateur mycologists. A rechargeable battery version for ultimate portability is also available (£280 + VAT).
GX Microscopes UltraZOOM-1 Stereo Zoom Microscope:
For low magnifications, the GX Microscopes UltraZOOM-1 Stereo Zoom Microscope offers amazing value for money. This microscope offers a magnification range of 7x – 45x as standard (expandable to 3.5x – 225x with optional lenses) and features a trinocular head ready for attaching a camera (with the relevant camera adapter). Note, however, that light is drawn from one of the eyepieces to put light through to the camera, so one of the eyepieces will appear black when you’re using a camera. If you need to view down both eyepieces at the same time as using a camera, you’ll need the UltraZOOM-2 (see below). With prices from just £409.32 + VAT for a complete system, this microscope represents exceptional value for money and is a perfect first stereo zoom microscope.
GX Microscopes UltraBIO-5 Upright Biological Microscope:
With Infinity corrected optics and a set of Plan Achromatic objectives offering a flat field of view, the GX Microscopes UltraBIO-5 is a great high magnification microscope offering a good image quality. The go-to choice for many universities, this microscope is popular amongst students and has proven itself to be robust and user-friendly. This microscope features a trinocular head for attaching a dedicated microscope camera (not suitable for DSLR’s – you’ll need the L2800 for this) and is supplied with four objective lenses: 4x, 10x, 40x and 100x, giving a maximum magnification of 1000x (expandable to 1500x with optional 15x eyepieces). Priced at £754.92 + VAT, this is the go-to microscope for many amateur mycologists. A rechargeable battery version for ultimate portability is also available (£280 + VAT).
The image below is of spores taken using the UltraBIO-5 microscope with a GXCAMU3-5 microscope camera (plus image stacking software):
GX Microscopes UltraZOOM-2 Stereo Zoom Microscope For Dissections:
For low magnifications and versatility, the GX Microscopes UltraZOOM-2 Stereo Zoom Microscope is your microscope! This microscope offers a very workable magnification range of 8x – 50x as standard (expandable to an impressive 4x – 300x with optional lenses), along with a long working distance of 115mm offering a fantastic amount of space for using tweezers or any other tools under the microscope. The UltraZOOM-2 features a trinocular head ready for attaching a camera (with the relevant camera adapter) and the light remains through both eyepieces as well as the camera, so you can view down both eyepieces whilst also using the camera. With prices from £837.90 + VAT for a complete system and vast range of different stand and illumination options, this microscope is perfect for any dissection work and amateur photography.
GX Microscopes UltraZOOM-3 Stereo Zoom Microscope For Top Quality:
The UltraZOOM-3 microscope rivals other models on the market for over £4000. It is hands-down the best stereo microscope that we’ve seen in terms of image quality and specification for under £1000.
With an incredible magnification range of 7x – 63x as standard, expandable to a massive 3.5x – 350x, it has the largest zoom and magnification range of any of our UltraZOOM collection. The superb quality coated optics provide a bright, crisp, high resolution image in beautiful 3D through to the eyepieces and also to a camera which can be attached on the trinocular head (via an adapter).
If you’re looking for quality, this is your microscope!
GX Microscopes L2800 Upright Biological Microscope For High Magnification DSLR Photography:
For those keen to snap some shots of spores or other samples on slides with your DSLR camera, you’ll need the GX Microscopes L2800 upright biological microscope. With Infinity corrected optics and a set of Plan Achromatic objectives offering a flat field of view, plus options for a quadruple or quintuple nosepiece (where you get an extra 20x objective as well as the usual set of 4x, 10x, 40x and 100x oil), a trinocular head and high quality adapters available for attaching a DSLR, this is one of the most versatile models in our range.
ultraBIO-6 Phase Contrast Microscope For The Ultimate Contrast:
To get the best images of spores – in particular unstained samples – you need a phase contrast microscope. This leads us to the ultraBIO-6 Phase Contrast Microscope. Featuring Infinity corrected optics, five objectives as standard (4x, 10x, 20x, 40x, 100x oil, with the 10x, 20x, 40x and 100x objectives being suitable for phase contrast) and an adjustable height condenser and adjustable field diaphragm offering Koehler illumination setup for the best image quality, this microscope offers top quality images. It also has a trinocular head for attaching a camera, but is only suitable for use with dedicated microscope cameras. Note that this microscope can also be used for high quality brightfield imaging applications.