Scurvy Sea Horse
Joined: Jul 18, 2005
Posted at 11:00 pm on Aug 8, 2012
We use the SAF3's from greatscopes.com at our school. They do everything I need them to do, and then some.
The 1000x time magnification is really not necessary, and doesn't perform well on lower price microscopes.
For $ 179, it's been a great scope - not one of the 10 microscopes has developed any kind of problems. We haven't even had to replace a light bulb yet!
A binocular reduces eye strain if you are going to be using it for very long periods of time, but for the 20 or 30 minutes at a time we tend to use our scopes it's really not an issue, and it's not worth the extra money to me.
Make sure you don't end up with a stereo scope which outwardly looks similar to a binocular, but is only for lower magnifications (geology/dissection type purposes) and in spite of hefty price tags is not a good all purpose scope.
One minor peeve is that I wish that the fine and coarse focus were separated the way they are on the 2088 school series scope, since the students sometimes forget they aren't supposed to move the coarse focus on high magnifications, so I've ended up with some cracked hydra (and other thick prep) slides. For that reason I might buy the 3088 if I had to do it over. But again, I love the scopes I have!