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Pollen microscopes

Phil Stinard pstinard at uiuc.edu
Tue Aug 24 14:07:38 EST 1999

Based on Dave Weber's recommendation, we recently purchased the
Forestry Suppliers scope, and compared it to the Edmund Scientific
scope.  The field of vision on the Forestry Suppliers scope is much
smaller, about 1/2 the size of the field of the Edmund scope, so if
you want to score a lot of pollen grains, you have to move the scope
around more.  The focus might be a little sharper on the Forestry
Suppliers scope, but the focus of the Edmund Scientific scope is more
than adequate.  The clear plastic at the base of the Forestry
Suppliers scope appears to let more light onto the stage and gives a
brighter image than the Edmund scope at the same level of ambient
light, but I've never had problems using the Edmund scope in the
field, even on cloudy days.  The body of the Edmund scope is
completely metal, and very rugged.  We've been using some of them for
many years with no problems.  The body of the Forestry Suppliers
scope is more like a ball-point pen, skinny, made of light metal and
plastic.  I do not know how well it would hold up under field
conditions.  The Edmund scope is also half the price of the Forestry
Suppliers scope.

In summary, I much prefer the Edmund Scope to the Forestry Suppliers
scope, mainly for the durability of the body and the size of the
field of view.  The Forestry Suppliers scope has better optics, but 
does not compensate for the attributes of the Edmund scope that make 
it better for my

Phil Stinard
Maize Genetics Cooperation - Stock Center

>I just checked in the 1998 Forestry Suppliers, Inc Catalog 49 on page 304
>and found the scope that appears to be identical to the one we felt was
>excellent for pollen classification in the field.  It is a SPI 50x Portable
>Microscope, catalog number 61028 and lists for $87.90.
>I also looked in the 1998 Edmund's optics and optical instruments catalog and
>found a scope that Edmund sells this under their own name.  It is
>catalog number D30,013, has a green body, costs $45, and is a 50x
>scope.  We have purchased this one and found it to be far inferior to
>the one I described above.
>David Weber

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