Microbiology is an important branch of science that studies microorganisms to analyze their characteristics and behavior. Microorganisms can only be studied through a microscope as they are invisible to the naked eye.
Microbiologists and many other professionals like biologists use microscopes to understand the physiology and pathology of disease-causing microorganisms. Various kinds of microscopes, including the light microscope, electron microscope, x-ray microscope, and digital microscopes, are utilized in research labs to study the properties of these microorganisms. They are widely used in research labs, pathological labs, and school science laboratories according to need. Finding the top microscope for microbiology can be a tiring process but here are reviews of the most suitable models to help you out.
Most microscopes for microbiology labs use a magnification of up to 2500 to study the specimens in detail. You can examine eukaryotic cells, tissues, blood cells, and bacteria for as less as 400x, but a 1000x magnification allows you to observe the details of these cells deeply. Microscope not only enables students to learn about bacteria and other microbes it is also highly useful in examining and observing bacteria, organs, tissues, germs, blood, and stool samples.
Compound microscopes are excellent for cellular-level observation, whereas electron microscopes confirm the presence of viruses in the sample. Phase contrast and darkfield microscopes are sometimes preferred over electron microscopes as they can study live cells along with cell organelles like mitochondria.
Light compound microscopes are the most widely used microbiology and biology microscopes. Here is a list of the finest microscopes used in microbiology and biology for students and researchers.
Quick Comparison Table
|OMAX 40X-2500X||2500x||5 MP|
|AmScope M150C-E||1000x||0.3 MP|
|Celestron – LCD Digital Microscope II||1600x||5 MP|
|Elikliv EDM11||2000x||12 MP|
|Swift SW350T||2500x||1.3 MP|
|AmScope B120C-E1||2500x||1.3 MP|
|Swift SW380B||2500x||5 MP|
|AmScope M149C-E||1000x||0.3 MP|
Best Microscopes for Microbiology
OMAX – MD827S30L
|LED light||Metal body||The 45-degree angle of view|
|2000x magnification||3 MP camera||240 volts|
OMAX is a well-known name in the microscope industry, and its light microscopes are widely adopted in the educational and research sectors. It has a 40x to 2000x magnification to observe all the cells and tissues in detail. Overall magnification ranges are 40x, 80x, 100x, 200x, 400x, 800x, 1000x and 2000x. This wide magnification allows you to study various bacteria and fungi under the microscope. The head of this microscope is inclined at a 45-degree angle to save your neck from tiring, and it is 360 degrees rotatable. It has an adjustable dioptre lens and revolving quadruple nosepiece for convenient usage.
Most microbiological observations require oil immersion, and this microscope allows you to examine the specimen using oil emersion. Oil emersion microscopes involve adding oil to the specimen and observing through the lens. The lens dips into the oil to give a clear image of the specimen.
Besides oil emersion, it has an NA 1.25 condenser which makes it a suitable choice for studying microbiological specimens. OMAX – MD82 has transmitted illumination to study the objects in areas with low light. The built-in 3.0 megapixel camera gives pictures that may not be the best but provide a clear enough image for observation. However, the only drawback is that you may find microscopes with a better camera resolution.
OMAX 40X-2500X LED Digital Trinocular
|2500x magnification||Metal body||LED illumination|
|5 MP in-built camera||The 45-degree angle of view||7.09 x 14.17 inches|
If you are looking for a high-quality microscope to study cells and tissues for biological and microbiological purposes, the OMAX 40X-2500X LED Digital Trinocular microscope is one of the best OMAX microscopes. It is a sturdy microscope weighing 8 pounds to use at home and in schools by students. It is completely made of metal with an LED light source to illuminate the specimen.
This microscope is one of the best biology microscopes with multiple magnifications of up to 2500x, ranging as less as 40x, 100x,250x, and as high as 400x, 1000x, and 2500x. While you can easily observe fungi and bacteria at 400x along with blood cells, high magnification enables you to study these in detail.
Such high magnification is achieved by 4x, 10x, 40x, and 100x objective lenses combined with 10x and 25x widefield eyepieces. The stage has a double mechanical layer with a revolving quadruple nosepiece for added convenience. The trinocular is 360 degrees rotatable with a 45-degree tilt to provide a complete field view. It is a top rated microbiology microscope to observe specimens like nematodes, bees head, ameba, and protozoa. It is also utilized for cytological studies and in veterinary observation.
OMAX 40X-2500X microscope uses LED light as a transmitted light illuminator with coaxial coarse and fine knob focal adjustments on both sides. The microscope has a 5-megapixel camera to capture images and save them on your computer. You can use the camera on Windows and Mac OS as it comes with a USB cable for a swift connection. However, there are no slides with it. According to a few reviews, some eyepieces have been seen to have a black dot in them that may cause trouble viewing the specimen but the good thing is that this microscope has a 5-year warranty if any manufacturing defect is reported
M150C-E Digital Compound Monocular Microscope
|1000x magnification||Single-lens||Metal body|
|Brightfield LED illumination||0.3 MP Camera||Achromatic lens|
To view bacteria and living cells under a microscope, it is important to have a microscope that gives enough magnification for proper viewing. Digital compound microscopes like the AmScope M150C-E Digital Compound Monocular Microscope come with a built-in camera that captures images that you can share as well. It has a monocular head that enables you to change the eyepieces according to your need.
The microscope has a 10x and 25x eyepiece to observe the specimen. It gives a maximum magnification of 1000x, which is good enough to observe cells and blood components in detail. The monocular headpiece is 360 degrees rotatable, making it easy to see through the whole field of view with a 45-degree real-view angle to avoid strain on your neck. The forward-facing nosepieces with up to 40x objectives provide high-resolution images that you can view on your monitor or computer.
Besides the high magnification lenses, the stage with stage clips and stage stop help save your slides from damage and offer distinct images. The illumination of this microscope is through LED light and offers brightfield illumination along with a fine focus for clear observation.
This digital compound microscope comes with an in-built 0.3 MP camera to capture and view images on a computer screen. The USB 2.0 cable allows you to connect the microscope camera to the output device and study the microorganisms in detail. This camera also has image editing software and a CMOS color sensor to provide you with the best colors in view. You can also record videos through the camera to see on the projector or monitor. It serves as an excellent choice of a microscope to use in biology and microbiology school labs to show cellular and organelle levels of cells to students.
Celestron – LCD Digital Microscope II
|1600x magnification||3 objective lenses||LCD screen|
|5 MP in-built camera||Adjustable mechanical stage||One GB SD card|
If you are a one-stop-shop or one-click-solution person, like another biological microscope by Celestron, this Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II is definitely the right microscope choice for you. It does not only come with an in-built camera but also saves you from the trouble of arranging a monitor or screen for display. This microscope has a full-color LCD screen with inbuilt software to view the images without any external attachments.
This digital microscope for students, teachers, and laboratory workers has a high magnification of up to 1600x to study the cells and cell components in detail. You can choose from multiple lenses and try various magnifications for different samples to see which one gives the best results. The nosepiece has three objective lenses of 4x, 10x, and 40x magnification that can be rotated to achieve the desired magnification.
The camera’s sensor has replaced the eyepiece and adds 10x magnification to the objective lenses to give 40x, 100x, and 400x images. It is unique to this microscope as most have an eyepiece lens and objectives. Another distinct feature of the Celestron microscope is the measuring reticle for determining the size of the sample being studied. While the camera sensor acts as the eyepiece, the dual-LED illumination offers well-lit, clear images to observe opaque samples as well.
Also, the light and the mechanical stage are adjustable according to the requirement. The fine position control knobs allow moving the slides on the stage to adjust them properly.
The built-in digital camera provides high-resolution images and 30 fps videos of the specimen on the full color 3.5″ TFT LCD screen whether you are observing a bacterial sample, fungi, or studying blood pathology. It can store up to 600 high-resolution images. You can edit, share and save these videos and pictures on the 1GB card that comes with the microscope. Besides the SD card, the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II package also has a carrying case, dust cover, international AC adapter, prepared slides, and an AV out cable.
|2000x magnification||LED illumination||Plastic + metal body|
|12 MP resolution||Digital and microbiological lens||Manual focus|
Elikliv has one of the most advanced technologies in Microbiology microscopes, allowing you to study specimens more deeply. This microscope has a dual-lens system in which Lens 1, the digital lens, has a magnification between 50 and 500x, while the microbial lens comes with a 1000x to 2000x magnification. Lens 1 is the digital lens, while Lens 2 is the microbial lens. The digital lens makes it a suitable microscope for botany that helps you study plants that you typically need the perfect high magnification stereo microscope to examine. At the same time, the microbial lens is suitable for human and animal cells, protozoa, and algae because of its high magnification. They help you observe more than one type of object.
This dual-lens system is excellent for a wide variety of objects without multiple types of equipment. It has a 10-LED light to ensure the specimen gets enough light to brighten the specimen even in darker areas. It is one of the microscopes students must choose from as it does not cost highly.
It is an advanced technology microscope with a large 7-inch LCD careen for a clear display of your sample. It is easy to operate, focus, zoom, capture, and save the image on the screen while using the 75-degree rotatable design for easy viewing. It also allows you to record high-quality 1920×1080 MP videos.
Connect the microscope to your windows or Mac PC to see the images on widescreen for precise studying. You can also save the data on a TF card through the LCD screen. While most high magnification microscopes show blood components, the Elikliv EDM11 cannot detect blood cells.
|2500x magnification||LED illumination||The 30-degree angle of view|
|1.3 MP camera||Adjustable brightness||Metal body|
The Swift SW350T is multi-purpose microscopy in cell biology used to study parts of the cell and microorganism. It is a perfect choice for university and school students, clinicians, researchers, and hobbyists who love to examine microbiological specimens. It has a high magnification of 2500x ranging from 40x, 100x, 250x, 400x and 1000x to 2500x. Such high magnification compound microscopes allow you to study nail fungus, cancer cells, live human blood, and fecal samples. Microscopes with high magnifications are also popular for histology.
It transmits the LED light through the Abbe condenser, ensuring enough brightness to the sample. You can adjust the brightness and create darkfield images according to need. The double-layered mechanical plate and slide holders enable clear viewing of the slide without moving. The microscope has a trinocular head to examine the specimen with details using different lenses. It contains 10x and 25x wide-field interchangeable glass eye-pieces in the main body with a 30-degree tilt to prevent neck strain and focus when working with various interpupillary distances. The objectives are 4x, 10x, 40x, and 100x with the 100x being an immersion lens. Immersion lenses are preferred when studying microbiological samples. It also has a 360-degree rotatable head for easy viewing of samples. One of the best features of this microscope is that the light source does not emit much heat.
You can connect the microscope to the Swift 5 MP camera to examine the specimen on a widescreen. The heavy body gives it a very professional feel while it is easy to use, making it an excellent choice for schools and microbiology labs.
|2500x magnification||1.3 MP in-built camera||The 30-degree angle of view|
|LED illumination||Two-layered mechanical stage||X 11.81 x 9.06 inches|
AmScope microscopes are a popular name in the microscope world and offer high-quality microscopes at low prices, like the AmScope B120C-E1. It is rated #1 in Lab Compound Binocular Microscopes.
This microscope is excellent for use in scientific and educational labs as you can observe the cells and tissues on various levels as it comes with multiple magnifications. The widefield magnification setting obtained through objective lenses and eyepieces ranges between 40x, 100x, 250x, 400x, and 1000x to 2500x. The smaller magnifications are suitable for observing the surface of the specimen, while higher magnifications like 400 enable you to detect bacteria. The 2500x magnification is excellent for observing the cellular details of fungi, bacteria, sperm cells, and blood cells.
This microscope has a 360-degree swiveling Siedentopf head with a 30-degree tilt to ease use while providing a complete field view. The specimen is illuminated through a single bulb LED illuminator that you can increase or decrease per need. It has a sturdy framework with an Abbe condenser, color filter, double-layer mechanical stage, and focusing knobs to help you adjust the specimen accordingly. The AmScope B120C-E1 has an in-built 1.3 MP camera with easy-to-use software for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 9, 10, Mac OS, and Linux. You can record videos, measure the specimen details, and experience EDF through Windows software.
|2500x magnification||5 MP camera||Ergonomic handle|
|Ultra-focus||Glass made||Built-in power supply|
The Swift SW380B is one of the best light microscopes for microbiology and is used in research labs to study biological and microbiological specimens. It has a sleek yet sturdy design that enables researchers and biologists to examine the study objects properly in high magnification. The Swift SW380B has multiple magnifications; 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X, 1000X, and 2500X obtained by the combination of 25x glass eyepiece and 10x widefield lens. The binocular head of this Biology microscope is 360 degrees rotatable with a 30-degree tilt for detailed viewing without straining your neck.
The microscope is illuminated through an LED bulb that transmits light by using an Abbe condenser to brighten the sample from below. SW380B illumination is adjustable to provide the right amount of light per need. While Swift SW350T and SW380B are quite similar, the focus of SW380B is unparalleled. The ultra-precise fine focusing knob enables you to make exact adjustments to obtain clear and accurate images. The microscope comes with metal stage clips and a slide holder to keep the slide in place on the double-mechanical stage for easy movement.
It also has a built-in handle that makes it easy to move and helps you keep control over the microscope to avoid movement. The Swift SW380B comes with a 5.0 MP camera that you can easily mount in the microscope and observe or edit the specimen images on your computer. The software is compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10, along with Mac OS X. The best part about this microscope model is that it comes with a built-in power supply, so you do not have to worry about finding an electricity supply to use the microscope. It also has 100 slides, 100 coverslips, and 50 lens cleaning paper to save you from the trouble of buying them. You can observe blood samples, fungi, protozoa, and moving bacteria on this microbiology microscope.
|2500x magnification||Dual lens||LED illumination|
|5 MP camera||Battery-powered||8.66 x 6.3 inches|
The TOMLOV DM11 is a modern functional digital microscope for microbiology that helps study microbiological samples at a magnification as high as 2000x. Besides microbiology, it is also a suitable choice for a microscope for biology students as it has dual lenses; digital and microbiological. The digital lens serves to observe macro objects in the range of 50-500x like rocks and plants and is also used as a microscope for electronics repair.
On the other hand, the microbiological lens allows you to examine microorganisms at up to 2000x magnification. This microscope is widely used to examine marine microorganisms and blood cells.
The specimens are illuminated through 8 LEDs lights around the lens and one base light that provide enough light to the sample for observation. The images can be displayed on the 7” IPS 1080x display to get clear, accurate images of the specimen. The standard color display makes it possible to give you high-quality images with black and white, warm, cool, reserve, standard, green, and over-exposed colors.
Besides taking high-resolution pictures on the 12 MP camera, you can also view them on a computer or a projector and save them. You do not need to install any extra software; only run the Windows Camera for Windows and Photo Booth for MacBook. Using the camera with the software, you can capture images, record videos, save them on the SD card, and share them with friends and family.
|1000x magnification||0.3 MP camera||LED illumination|
|White body||CMOS sensor||Low-cost|
The AmScope M149C-E not only has a sturdy structure but also looks eye-pleasing in its gorgeous white color. The body is made of metal which gives toughness to this most preferred microbiology microscope and increases its durability. The maximum magnification of the AmScope M149C-e is 1000x, which is not as high as a few others but suitable for biology and microbiology students to study cell specimens. It has three objective lenses of 4x, 10x, and 40x, with 10x and 25x widefield eyepieces for accurate observation. The 0.65 NA single-lens condenser helps focus the light from the LED light source of the microscope. It is among the most suitable choices for students as it is a reasonably priced microscope.
The eyepieces are held at an angle of 45 degrees by the monocular head to reduce the strain on your neck while viewing, with a 360-rotation to get a complete field view. Such microscopes for homeschool biology are used when looking for two-dimensional images at home or in school labs. You may use this microscope for soil biology as well to study organisms and microorganisms found in soil. It comes with a built-in 0.3 MP camera having a CMOS color sensor and editing software. You can capture clear images, save, edit them and share them with your family. This microscope also allows you to record videos and connect the microscope to a computer or projector through a USB 2.0 output. You can use three AA batteries or a 110VAC adapter to power this microscope.
Whether you are looking for regular microscopes or top quality microscopes for microbiology study, research, or test purposes, it is important to understand critical details regarding microscopes that can help you choose the right one for your need.
Here are the factors to consider when buying the right microscope for microbiology, biology, or other similar applications.
Ensuring that you get a microscope with the right magnification significantly contributes to the degree of observation details. If you have to observe blood samples, a microscope with 100x or 400x magnification is not the right choice for microbiology.
To examine cells, tissues and bacteria clearly, you must select a microscope with at least a 400x magnification. In contrast, 1000x and 2000x are highly suitable for closely observing blood cell samples, fungus, protozoa, and stool samples. High magnification microscopes are also suitable microscopes for histology, genetics, living cells, virus, and bacterial research.
When studying samples in the microbiology lab like bacteria, immersion lenses help increase the resolving power to get a clear, in-depth image of the specimen. Immersion oil is used on the specimen in which the lens is immersed to observe and capture the image of the object under study. It helps increase the numerical aperture of the objective lens because of its high refractive index. You may also observe them through a simple glass lens, but an immersion lens improves the quality of the image and is an essential part of the consideration before making a decision on the best microscope model for microbiology.
Modern biological microscopes have an in-built camera to take images, record videos, edit and save them to share with the students or friends and family. A high-resolution such as a 5 MP or 12 MP camera gives high-quality images of microorganisms that a 0.3 MP camera might not be able to produce. If you do not require a camera, you may ignore the resolution and consider other features of the microscope. Yet, if you have to share images and videos, we recommend choosing a microscope with a high-resolution camera to examine the samples properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which kind of light microscope is used to study viruses?
Viruses cannot be studied through a light microscope as the magnification is not as high to examine viruses. Typically, electron microscopes are used for viewing viruses.
Which objective lens is also called the oil-immersion lens?
The 100x objective lens is also called the oil-immersion lens, as oil immersion is used between the 100x objective lens and the slide. It is also utilized in the diagnosis of malaria.
Can I use small-pocket sized microscope for microbiology observations?
It depends upon your selection. There are a few pocket sized microscopes with great magnification and zooming capacity. However, most of them are good for living cells.
Can a stereo microscope be as good as the above-mentioned?
Leica EZ4 is an educational stereomicroscope that helps examine details on objects that can be seen with the naked eye, like leaves, coins, etc. It offers a three-dimensional view of the sample with 8 to 35x magnification.
On the other hand, Leica A60 offers 5x to 30x magnification to observe similar specimens. Both have their particular pros and cons with varying overall magnification, and you may choose any of these according to your needs.
Which biological microscopes do students prefer?
Students usually prefer microscopes that are simple to use and do not cost much. The M150 by AmScope are among the favorites as they provide high magnification to examine human cells, tissues, and bacteria.
The Bottom Line
When you are looking for the best microscope for microbiology, it is essential to keep note of all the critical details like magnification, lens, and resolution. Most microbiology microscopes now come with a camera and a display screen that holds importance when you have to share the images with students or colleagues. All the above-mentioned models are among the best choices and you can choose the one that suits your preferences.