If you’ve got a growing interest in biology, then you may be interested in buying a microscope for yourself.
Like a scientist in a lab, you can then examine all sort of biological material in extreme detail, allowing you to see things and features that the human eye would never be able to make out alone.
However, there are lots of different microscopes on the market, and it can be difficult narrowing the list down to find the one that will suit your needs best - and fits into your price range. How much does a microscope cost?
We’ve got the answers for you. In our helpful guide below, you’ll find a large list of different microscopes that you can buy online, along with their individual prices and details on the features that they’ll offer you.
Find the one that is best for you by reading on.
How Much Does A Microscope Cost?
Before we begin, let’s have a look at what the general price of a microscope is.
If you want to buy a compound microscope, which is different from a stereo microscope in that it offers much higher optical resolution due to the better magnification range, then the price can be high.
If you’re getting one from the best manufacturers, then the cost can vary anywhere from $900 to $1200. However, there are beginner ones available with limited features that will be around $100+.
A big factor in the higher prices is the objective. This is the name given to the optical element that takes in light from the object that you’re observing and then focuses the rays of light in order to give you a clear, magnified image.
The better the objective, the bigger the price. Obviously the cost can also depend on who made it and the other features included, but this will be the biggest determining factor.
In our list below, you’ll see all the features that come with each microscope, and you will see that they cause the different prices.
The Cost Of Different Microscopes
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This model from the Swift is perfect for beginners and students, offering an extremely affordable and straight forward microscope.
It has a good range of features for its price, and is one of the absolute cheapest you’ll find. You can get it from Amazon.
In terms of magnification, you get an impressive range from the prices: 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X, and 1000X.
These are achieved through three aberration-correcting objectives, which have their sizes as 4X, 10X, and 40X. On top of that, you get two eyepieces, which are 10X and 25X.
It has a dual illumination system that will allow you to look at both solid and transparent specimens. Sadly, it is monocular, rather than binocular like a lot of the later microscopes on this list.
What We Love
Our favorite thing about this one is the price. It’s incredibly cheap for what is advertised as a beginner microscope, yet actually has an impressive range of magnification levels and glass objectives.
Additionally, it comes with a 1.3 MP camera and some software to edit your findings on.
The megapixels offered by this camera may not be very high, but it is better than nothing, and some microscopes don’t even include the camera to begin with. To get a camera and still pay little is a bonus.
With that being said, you can actually get this model without the camera. If you do, the microscope is even cheaper, typically knocking about $40 off the already-cheap price.
It is nice to have the option to have a camera or not, and it only serves to make the microscope even more affordable for beginners.
This really is a model that is terrific value for money, whichever version you get, and it offers a fantastic opportunity for anybody to learn.
As you can tell from the title, this is a compound microscope that is deliberately angled towards younger people looking to get into biology and examining objects under magnification.
This means that it has fewer features than other models we’ll go on to discuss, but also means that it’s cheaper to buy. You can see that for yourself on Amazon.
Since this is a more inexpensive microscope for young people (therefore beginners), it doesn’t have quite the range of features and abilities that many of the other microscopes have on this list.
This begins with the smaller range of different levels of magnification. While the later ones will often have six, this has three: 40X, 100X, and 400X.
As you can see, even the highest of these levels isn’t anywhere near the magnification of the 2500X that so many other microscopes will offer, and it won’t allow you to get a very enlarged image.
On top of that, this only has one eyepieces, which is a 10X. Other microscopes have interchangeable eyepieces, offering you different levels, but this is limited to just one.
With that being said, it keeps it nice and simple for beginners who may not know how to properly use a microscope.
What We Love
Though it may not have as many features as other microscopes listed later, we think it’s a great starting point for people who are just beginning to use microscopes and get to grips with magnification.
It won’t overcomplicate anyone. On top of that, it has a three year warranty included.
The extremely reasonable low cost is the selling point here, and allows people to try out microscopes without committing to the expensive models later - which could be a mistake if you then find out that it isn’t really your thing.
This is a good quality compound microscope from a respected manufacturer, and it even typically comes at a reasonable price. You can check it out for yourself at Amazon.
Where you’ll note the inexpensive price - not quite a beginner microscope, but far from the expensive heights of the most scientific on the market.
The microscope has six different levels of magnification, giving you a wide range. The lowest is 40x and the highest is an impressive 2500X, with ones like 250X and 1000X in between.
As for opticals, it comes with four achromatic objectives, and an easy to use knob will allow you to switch between fine and coarse focusing levels.
On top of that, there are two pairs of widefield eyepieces included, helping to give you magnified views.
What We Love
One of the best features of this compound microscope is the inclusion of a 5MP USB digital imaging system.
This allows you to capture your own still images of the magnificent objects on a computer, as well as record live video of your findings too. This is extremely useful in saving your results.
On top of that, it comes with simple to use editing and processing software. Speaking of simplicity, we also like the inclined and swiveling binocular sliding viewing head, which makes viewing your objects an easy pleasure.
This compound microscope from AmScope has a good range of features and keeps a relatively average price usually, although it is often more than the previous microscope we just spoke about. You can buy one on Amazon.
Like the Omax microscope we spoke about before, this also comes with six different magnification settings. Similarly, they’re also the exact same ones, ascending: 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X, 1000X, and 2500X.
The first of these up to 1000X are accessed through the objective turret, and are good for observing minute details, however extra 25X eyepieces expand the potential magnification up to 2500X.
On top of these, it argues that it has advancements that some other microscopes lack: enhanced LED lighting, Siedentopf head adjustments, and a centerable condenser.
What We Love
Like the other microscope, this also comes with a 5MP USB camera that will allow you to record and preserve whatever you study under the microscope, saving your collection of results on your computer with ease.
On top of that, we like that they include 50 blank slides and 100 coverslips with it, meaning that you won’t have to buy your own separately - and can begin observing straight away.
And what can you observe with it? Bacteria, plants, water samples, soil, and fixed or live cells.
Another OMAX compound microscope, this typically costs a fair amount more, and is approaching the more expensive side of things. However, it has a good variety of features for the price, and you can buy it on Amazon.
It has the same range of magnification as the previous OMAX microscope we listed. These start at 40X and go up: 100X, 250X, 400X, 1000X, and finally a maximum of 2500X.
As for objectives, it has four. The fist is a DIN 4X, the second a 10X, then 40X (S) and 100X (S, Oil). It has two widefield eyepieces to allow you to look, the first being a WF10X/18 and the second a WF25X.
What We Love
Once again, this has a USB digital camera built into it that can connect up to your computer. This means that you can record still images and even videos of your magnified objects.
On top of that, the microscope comes with a five year warranty. This means that, if for whatever reason it should break, then you can get a new one at no cost to you.
A more inexpensive option than the previous listing, this usually goes for around just over half the price. You can get one for yourself at Amazon.
It’s perfect for young people with an emerging interest in science, university students studying it, or even clinicians - or just people enjoying biology as a hobby.
The body of the compound microscope has a very sleek design that looks very dynamic. It uses a Siedentopf head.
Which is one of the best that you can get, and allows for the two eyepieces to be altered like you would with binoculars - without needing to refocus. It’s a great design that makes it a lot more practical and usable.
Like the other compound microscopes, this offers the same six different levels of magnification. They begin at the low 40X and go up to the impressive 2500X, with a good range in between for all your viewing needs.
These magnification levels are achieved with the inclusion of 4 DIN achromatic objectives which have been mounted in a revolving turret.
On top of that, you can easily adjust the focus with the extremely precise focusing system, going between coarse and fine focus.
What We Love
The head is fully rotatable, which allows you to share use with somebody else. They say that two heads are always better than one, and that will certainly be true when it comes to examining the magnified image of your object.
Another person will be able to make out extra things that you may not have noticed, and vice-versa.
The microscope has been designed to accept an extra eyepiece, which is great if you want more.
Additionally it can also have a microscope camera attachment added. However, the unfortunate thing is that it is not included, unlike the other microscopes. This helps to examine the cheaper price.
If you loved the design and functionality of the previous listing, also by Swift, but were disappointed that it didn’t come with a built-in camera already, then this is the choice for you.
This is essentially the same but better, and comes with a 5.0 MP camera included. You can buy it at Amazon.
As for the price, it obviously costs more than the version without the camera. Typically, the difference is quite sizable, about a hundred dollars or so more - but it can always vary.
Everything you liked about the previous Swift model is here. The good range of different magnification levels is available, with six as usual.
Similarly, it starts at 40X and goes up as high as 2500X. On top of that, it also shares the fully rotatable Siedentopf head, and comes with interchangeable widefield eyepieces (10X and 25X respectively).
What We Love
This Swift version is better than the other because it comes with the USB camera. At 5.0 MP, you get a good capture quality for still images and videos of your object magnifications.
And it even comes with easy to use editing and processing software for your computer to view them on.
We also like that the interchangeable eyepieces are fixed at such a degree that you won’t suffer neck strain while viewing your objects, which can be a problem with other microscopes.
Another Swift one here, and it’s actually exactly the same as the previous two. However, there is a key difference, and that’s the quality of the camera.
We’ll get into that in a moment, but you can buy the microscope from Amazon if you like the sound of its features. However, it is significantly more expensive than the other Swift models, because it’s the best of them.
Everything we spoke about in the previous Swift ones is the same here. From the six different levels of magnification to the interchangeable widefield eyepieces and the 4 DIN achromatic objectives.
They’re all good features still, which will allow you to get a fine range of magnification points.
What We Love
The big difference here is that the camera is far better than with the previous Swift model. While that one had a 5.0 MP camera, which means 5 megapixels (equivalent to over 5 million pixels), this has an impressive 18 MP.
This means that the images you’ll be capturing on the camera and storing on your computer will be a much greater quality, with better crispness.
This is pretty essential when it comes to microscopes and magnifications, because you want to capture every small detail in your image.
However, the typical cost of this microscope is significantly more than the model with the 5 MP camera. It will often cost a couple of hundred more dollars, which seems like a lot when the only difference is that the camera is much better.
We’ve included this microscope on this list, even though it’s so similar to the previous ones, in order to highlight the fact that the quality of the camera attached to the microscope can often be a big determining factor in the cost.
You should keep this in mind when you’re looking at different microscopes.
One of the earlier microscopes that we looked at was by AmScope, which is a good company and makes good quality microscopes.
This is a more expensive model by them, however, which is primarily down to a few of the features that it has extra. If you want to buy one, they are available on Amazon.
This has four different DIN achromatic objectives: 4X, 10X, 40X (S), and 100X (S, Oil). These help with the magnification, which has levels ranging from 40X to 1600X.
You may have noticed that this doesn’t quite go as high as the other microscopes, which would go from 40X and go up to 2500X. This is certainly a shame, especially when considering the higher price of it against some of those.
It also uses Brightfield, halogen illumination for its light, while the other microscopes have gone for LED light.
What We Love
This AmScope microscope comes with an 8 MP camera, while the other came with a 5 MP camera.
It may not be the biggest of differences in quality, certainly not the heights of the 18 MP camera included with the previous Swift model, but it does make a difference.
Images with this microscope will be clearer and better, which is part of the reason that it costs more than the other AmScope microscope mentioned earlier.
This compound microscope is a sturdy choice. If you like the sound of it, then you can buy it from Amazon. It is one typically one of the more expensive microscopes on this list, occupying the high-end range.
The microscope offers a range of different magnification levels that are similar to many of the others in this list. They begin at 40X and go as high as 2500X, which is impressively high.
It comes with four DIN objectives: 4X, 10X, 40X, and 100X. If you ever want to work out the different levels of magnification that a microscope can achieve, you do it by multiplying these objective numbers with the power of the eyepiece.
As for eyepieces, you get two pairs, which are 10X and 25X respectively.
What We Love
All the features here are some of the best that you could expect, which goes some way to explaining the typical high cost. It’s all easy to use and allows you to adjust simply between coarse and fine focus.
However, there is no camera that comes with the microscope, which is annoying considering how expensive it is.
You can attach one yourself, and it is easy to do so, but it would cost you more money on top of what you’ve already paid for the microscope.
As the name tells us, this is a high-end microscope that is made for scientists and proper research. This means that you’ll be getting extremely good features, but it also means that it costs a lot more.
This is one of the most expensive microscopes that you can buy online, as you can see for yourself at Amazon.
The usual six levels of magnification are on offer, from 40X to 25000X, along with four multi-coating objectives. There are two pairs of widefield eyepieces which are interchangeable, and their specifications are 10X and 25X.
You may be noticing that this is offering a lot of the same features as other, cheaper models and that’s true.
This actually comes as a bundle, and the microscope itself is one of the averagely priced microscopes you would usually get. The other part of the bundle is the camera, which we’ll cover next.
What We Love
The camera that comes with this is the reason that it costs so much, and would cost several hundred dollars on its own.
This is because it’s 20 MP, which is a very high amount of megapixels. This means that your captured images will be extremely good quality.
This is another one of the most expensive microscopes that you can get, typically costing over a thousand dollars. You can buy it in Amazon.
Once again, you get six different magnification levels here, ranging from 40X up to the high 2500X - as you would expect from an expensive microscope.
On top of that, there are also the usual four DIN objectives, although they are infinity objectives in this case and slightly more complex.
Another big difference is that the eyepieces this time are super-widefield, which means that it has outstanding field correction.
What We Love
All the features are top quality, and we like that it includes a camera too. However, the camera is only 5 MP, which is the lower end of the picture quality spectrum.
For the phigh price that this microscope is, we would expect a better camera to be included. With that being said, at least it does include one.
If you’re looking to get into microscopes and observing magnified objects, it can be difficult to narrow down the sheer choice.
Use our list to help inform your purchase, finding the one that has the features you want - and an affordable price.
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