Illumax Pocket Microscopes

These inexpensive, portable microscopes are great for viewing objects up close and would make great devices to take to the field. They work great to view liquids, shallow objects, bugs, thin plant sections, and anything else you'd care to take a close look at, and make a great "older" microscope when junior moves on from his bug viewer. The 100X microscope consists of a light, plastic microscope body that slides into a base and can be used with the enclosed plastic slides, or removed to look at larger objects or surfaces. The 30X microscope does not contain a base, with the viewer meant to be placed over the object meant to be viewed for a close-up view. Both microscopes use 2 AA batteries, although, to be honest, I had a very difficult time in getting them in. The microscopes worked fine, but I couldn't quite line up the batteries in the slot and close the compartment. Maybe the sample I looked at was just a fluke, but I wanted to mention it in case you find the same difficulty. Being an inexpensive microscope/viewer, you may have some slight difficulties getting them to stay focused, although this rarely happened to me, and I was impressed at the relative sharpness of the images. Both include detailed instruction booklets. - Jess

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