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USB Microscope, are they worth it?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Ikerrilove - Posted August 19 2018 - 5:38 AM

Ikerrilove

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I saw a recommendation on one of the threads here saying they used this so that got me wondering if something like that would be worthwhile or if there was something better for a bit more money. 

 

https://www.amazon.c...node=3322590011

 

I've always been facilitated by microscopic images so I would use it for more then just anting. I know this isn't a high powered type so if you have any recommendations of a fair priced usb type microscope with some fun magnifying abilities please let me know. Even if you could only recommend the specs I should be looking for would be very helpful. I'd like to improve my photographs for identification so something that takes pictures or even video would be great too.

 

Thanks.

Kerri.



#2 Offline BobJ - Posted August 19 2018 - 11:39 AM

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If video is something that you are going to want then most of the cheaper usb microscopes only record VGA (640 x 480) resolution.  Read the specification very carefully and make sure it actually specifies at what resolution the video is actually recorded.   I've noticed some descriptions where they use 1080p in the text description but that refers to the photo resolution and not the video resolution.  Again, it if doesn't specify the video resolution specifically don't buy it, go on to the next one until you find a video resolution you would be comfortable with.



#3 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted August 19 2018 - 12:46 PM

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https://www.amazon.c...scope endoscope

 

This is what I've been using for a while now. I'm able to take sufficient enough photos to ID ants.

 

Here is a Pheidole major I got along with some image stacking.

Y21lLfn.jpg

jNLyfCA.jpg

 

Also a few Strumigenys:

0U2xZuY.jpg

kqYAtTm.jpg


  • AnthonyP163 and DaveJay like this

Currently keeping:

Ants:    Stigmatomma pallipes

            Temnothorax schaumii - Journal

            Temnothorax curvispinosus

            Myrmecina americana - Journal

            Ponera pennsylvanica - Journal

            Formica incerta Journal

            Formica subsericea

            Formica rubicunda

            Aphaenogaster tennesseensis - Journal

            Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

            Myrmica spp. Journal

            Camponotus chromaiodes - Journal

            Camponotus pennsylvanicus

            Camponotus subbarbatus - Journal

            Camponotus sp.

            Strumigenys pergandei - Journal (Discontinued)

            Strumigenys pilinasis - Journal

            Hypoponera opacior

            Tetramorium immigrans - Journal

            Tapinoma sessile - Journal

            Lasius americanus

            Lasius neoniger

            Lasius murphyi

            Solenopsis molesta

            Pheidole pilifera

 

Other:  Millipedes

Isopods

Springtails

Soil Centipedes (Geophilomorpha sp.)

Stone Centipedes (Lithobius sp.)

Mealworms/Superworms

Indian Mealmoth Culture

Dipluras

Some types of mites


#4 Offline sirjordanncurtis - Posted August 19 2018 - 12:48 PM

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From what I've used, the images those usb microscopes produce are extremely choppy, and small details don't really show up. Plus, they have less maneuverability adjustment for distance than you would think, which means that you'll only have one setting for an object.

One thing you'll have to consider is whether you can adjust the aperture on the camera. This is extremely important, because I have a microscope camera, and because of how its lights are placed, there's always a glare whenever you use it on a shiny surface like a test tube.

If you were were willing to spend more money, I would suggest you buy a usb 8mp webcam, which would have higher resolution like this one:

https://www.amazon.c...p-usb8mp02g-sfv

The webcams are slightly more expensive though.



#5 Offline sirjordanncurtis - Posted August 19 2018 - 12:52 PM

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https://www.amazon.c...scope endoscope

 

This is what I've been using for a while now. I'm able to take sufficient enough photos to ID ants.

 

Here is a Pheidole major I got along with some image stacking.

Y21lLfn.jpg

jNLyfCA.jpg

Also a few Strumigenys:

0U2xZuY.jpg

kqYAtTm.jpg

Are you able to take clear pictures of like an entire colony in a test tube? 



#6 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted August 19 2018 - 1:18 PM

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Are you able to take clear pictures of like an entire colony in a test tube? 

Not entire colonies. You could possibly get small portions of the nest or close up of eggs. It would be difficult to get pictures at all through a test tube with it though.


Currently keeping:

Ants:    Stigmatomma pallipes

            Temnothorax schaumii - Journal

            Temnothorax curvispinosus

            Myrmecina americana - Journal

            Ponera pennsylvanica - Journal

            Formica incerta Journal

            Formica subsericea

            Formica rubicunda

            Aphaenogaster tennesseensis - Journal

            Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

            Myrmica spp. Journal

            Camponotus chromaiodes - Journal

            Camponotus pennsylvanicus

            Camponotus subbarbatus - Journal

            Camponotus sp.

            Strumigenys pergandei - Journal (Discontinued)

            Strumigenys pilinasis - Journal

            Hypoponera opacior

            Tetramorium immigrans - Journal

            Tapinoma sessile - Journal

            Lasius americanus

            Lasius neoniger

            Lasius murphyi

            Solenopsis molesta

            Pheidole pilifera

 

Other:  Millipedes

Isopods

Springtails

Soil Centipedes (Geophilomorpha sp.)

Stone Centipedes (Lithobius sp.)

Mealworms/Superworms

Indian Mealmoth Culture

Dipluras

Some types of mites


#7 Offline Ikerrilove - Posted August 19 2018 - 6:09 PM

Ikerrilove

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Thanks for the input. 

 

From what I've used, the images those usb microscopes produce are extremely choppy, and small details don't really show up. Plus, they have less maneuverability adjustment for distance than you would think, which means that you'll only have one setting for an object.

One thing you'll have to consider is whether you can adjust the aperture on the camera. This is extremely important, because I have a microscope camera, and because of how its lights are placed, there's always a glare whenever you use it on a shiny surface like a test tube.

If you were were willing to spend more money, I would suggest you buy a usb 8mp webcam, which would have higher resolution like this one:

https://www.amazon.c...p-usb8mp02g-sfv

The webcams are slightly more expensive though.

 

That's just a webcam right? That not a microscope? I'm more interested in the magnification then the video really. Thanks for the help though



#8 Offline Ikerrilove - Posted August 19 2018 - 6:12 PM

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If video is something that you are going to want then most of the cheaper usb microscopes only record VGA (640 x 480) resolution.  Read the specification very carefully and make sure it actually specifies at what resolution the video is actually recorded.   I've noticed some descriptions where they use 1080p in the text description but that refers to the photo resolution and not the video resolution.  Again, it if doesn't specify the video resolution specifically don't buy it, go on to the next one until you find a video resolution you would be comfortable with.

 

Video would be a bonus but but I'm more interested in the microscope idea but this will be something to research this fall.

Thanks for the help.



#9 Offline DaveJay - Posted August 20 2018 - 9:27 PM

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https://www.amazon.c...scope endoscope

This is what I've been using for a while now. I'm able to take sufficient enough photos to ID ants.

Here is a Pheidole major I got along with some image stacking.
Y21lLfn.jpg
jNLyfCA.jpg

Also a few Strumigenys:
0U2xZuY.jpg
kqYAtTm.jpg

That's pretty cool! Not a bad price, of course more in AUD but still not bad, Amazon is generally not worth buying from if you're in Australia as the postage is usually more than the item. Recently our Amazon site moved from being mostly books to being more like the American/International site so hopefully it'll be listed there.
With the image stacking does the subject have to be immobile for it to work?

#10 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted August 20 2018 - 9:40 PM

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With the image stacking does the subject have to be immobile for it to work?

 

 

Yes.


Currently keeping:

Ants:    Stigmatomma pallipes

            Temnothorax schaumii - Journal

            Temnothorax curvispinosus

            Myrmecina americana - Journal

            Ponera pennsylvanica - Journal

            Formica incerta Journal

            Formica subsericea

            Formica rubicunda

            Aphaenogaster tennesseensis - Journal

            Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

            Myrmica spp. Journal

            Camponotus chromaiodes - Journal

            Camponotus pennsylvanicus

            Camponotus subbarbatus - Journal

            Camponotus sp.

            Strumigenys pergandei - Journal (Discontinued)

            Strumigenys pilinasis - Journal

            Hypoponera opacior

            Tetramorium immigrans - Journal

            Tapinoma sessile - Journal

            Lasius americanus

            Lasius neoniger

            Lasius murphyi

            Solenopsis molesta

            Pheidole pilifera

 

Other:  Millipedes

Isopods

Springtails

Soil Centipedes (Geophilomorpha sp.)

Stone Centipedes (Lithobius sp.)

Mealworms/Superworms

Indian Mealmoth Culture

Dipluras

Some types of mites


#11 Offline DaveJay - Posted August 21 2018 - 8:24 AM

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With the image stacking does the subject have to be immobile for it to work?

Yes.
Thanks. I assumed it probably did. Great pictures though, I think I should get one if I can.

#12 Offline PaxxMantid - Posted September 22 2018 - 12:54 PM

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The depth of focus is so poor on those, why not go for a macro lens instead?

#13 Offline Ikerrilove - Posted September 24 2018 - 8:19 AM

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The depth of focus is so poor on those, why not go for a macro lens instead?

 

I have that already, I just like using microscopes to look at things so maybe I'll just get a more traditional one for playing around with.



#14 Offline Shaye - Posted September 24 2018 - 3:23 PM

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I know this isn’t my topic, but I thought it would be better to ask here than create a new topic with the same purpose. Sooooo, does anyone have any experience with a usb microscope similar to this one?
https://www.amscope....ditional_tabbed

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?





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