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As an agriculturist, botany student, or nature explorer, having the right microscope on hand will allow you to see the plant hairs or trichomes in great detail. Some trichomes are large enough to be seen with the naked eye, while others can only be seen through a microscope. The ideal microscope for viewing trichomes should have high magnification, yield great image quality, and should have excellent controls.
Best Microscopes for Viewing Trichomes
Below, we take a look at our top five microscopes for viewing trichomes based on their specified features to help you make an informed choice quickly.
The Carson MicroBrite is top on our list and is a very compact, lightweight microscope small enough to fit into a pocket. It comes with a decent 60x to 120x magnification great for viewing plant hairs, great image quality, and features battery-powered LED illumination. Its rubberized armor enables for a comfortable, non-slip grip while outdoors.
- Very compact and lightweight.
- Decent magnification and great image quality.
- Battery-powered LED illumination and ergonomic design.
For much higher power and smaller trichomes, the AmScope T490B packs a 40x to 2000x magnification into a compact, durable unit. It features a trinocular configuration for camera compatibility, halogen illumination, and a 3D movement mechanical stage. It comes with excellent controls, impressive ergonomics, and an overall sleek, durable design.
- Sleek design with high magnification.
- Camera compatibility, illumination, and 3D mechanical stage.
- Excellent controls and ergonomics.
The Celestron Microscope Pro is a compact, handy USB microscope you can easily carry around or mount for stable viewing. With a 5.0 MP camera and an impressive 20x to 200x magnification, this gadget will allow you to view and record images and videos of trichomes seamlessly. It comes with a stand for stationary viewing, a generous 4ft. cable for viewing large surfaces, and is highly compatible with different operating systems.
- 0MP camera with 20x to 200x magnification.
- Great compatibility with a host of operating systems.
- Compact and lightweight, with a viewing stand.
Like the AmScope T490B, the Celestron Pentaview Digital Microscope is ideal for high power trichome viewing, and you will need to pluck the leaves, roots, or petals and place them on the stage. It comes with a 5.0 MP camera backed with an LCD digital display, a powerful 40x to 2400x magnification range, and 4 GB of storage for images and videos. It sports a sleek, sturdy design, excellent controls, and comes with a host of accessories for added value.
- 0 MP camera with very high magnification.
- LCD display, 4 GB storage, and extra accessories.
- AV projection and excellent controls.
Another great gadget from Carson, this pocket microscope comes with powerful 100x to 250x magnification and emphasizes portability. It features LED illumination, a UV flashlight, and a foldable base for improved compactness. It also comes with a smartphone adapter to allow you to take images and record videos of trichomes and plant life in real-time.
- Compact, lightweight, and pocket-sized.
- Decent magnification range, LED illumination, and UV flashlight.
- Comes with a smartphone adapter for microphotography.
Microscopes for Viewing Trichomes Buying Guide
Depending on the plant species, trichomes vary wildly in size but will measure anywhere around a few tens of microns in diameter. With the right microscope, you can identify the types and shapes of the different trichomes, and see more detail than will be normally available to your naked eyes.
When on the market for a microscope for viewing trichomes, there are some deciding factors you want to consider to ensure you buy a gadget that will serve you well.
Our buying guide reviews the best trichome viewing microscopes on the market based on their specified features and outlines the important qualities to look out for before you make a purchase.
The primary function of any microscope is to magnify or enlarge a sample through the eyepiece, and more so for microscopes to view trichomes. Depending on their intended purpose and application, microscopes come with magnifications as low as 20x for hobbyists and as high as 2500x for research-grade models.
To view trichomes, magnifications between 50x to 200x will do just fine. The higher the magnification, the more detailed the image available through the eyepiece. At the same time, the magnification should not be too much. Anything above 500-1000x will start to zoom into the trichome surface and defeat the original purpose.
Regular vs. Camera Adaptable Models
Chances are, you’ll likely want to capture and save images and videos of the trichomes. With a digital microscope, you can easily achieve this. These microscopes either come with built-in cameras that connect externally to a computer or mobile device or come with a dedicated port to which you can attach an external camera.
Digital cameras offer unrivaled convenience as you won’t need to strain your eyes looking through the eyepiece but can see all the action on a much larger computer screen. Some digital microscopes also come with a dedicated LCD screen that will allow you to view projected images right out of the box, conveniently.
Size and Weight
If you’ll be moving around a lot to explore different plant species, then the microscope’s size and weight becomes important. You want a microscope that will be light enough to carry around conveniently and small enough to fit into a backpack or your pocket. Note, however, that the magnifying power of microscopes tend to decrease with their overall size.
For smaller trichomes, you will need more magnifying power and consequently, larger microscopes. To use these, the specimen is placed on the microscope’s stage before it’s viewed.