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I study physics but I have got interested about biology too. Surfing around the web, I have found out that in buying microscopes one needs to decide between the cheaper no-name brands vs. the four big ones: Zeiss, Nikon, Leica, and Olympus.

From the four big ones, only Zeiss delivers directly to my country. The price for Primo Star with phototube and Full-Kohler illumination is 1.8k euro or 2.3k usd. It has only bright-field optics but dark-field (if I got it correctly) is easy to add, as well as phase-contrast.

Anyway, I was wondering how much I would get out of the scope as a home user. I would probably do plant biology. I would also like to learn some staining techniques.

How difficult it would be to run some mini-studies at home? Do research? I would know about imaging quite a lot..

(There was some other similar questions but they did not mention home use.)

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closed as primarily opinion-based by David, canadianer, another 'Homo sapien', AMR, Rory M May 25 '17 at 20:02

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ What kind of research are you thinking about? You might find the magnification/resolution of a bright field microscope limiting. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Nov 24 '14 at 18:53
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    $\begingroup$ It doesn't matter whether you're using your microscope in a 2 billion dollar building or a garden shed, a microscope is a microscope. Either way you'll want a clean work area, isolated from the rest of your living space (especially depending on what you plan to stain with). You'll get out what you put in. Is the opportunity worth $2300 USD to you? $\endgroup$ – Luigi Nov 24 '14 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ I have the Primo Star. Very sturdy and wonderful optics. Search the net: many university studies are made with the Primo Star! You cannot go wrong. $\endgroup$ – user20631 Dec 14 '15 at 17:49
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I'm defenitly no fan of the Primostar. It's made to order for Zeiss, probably by Meji.

It's a fine microscope allright, but compared to the gray and beige Standards, it's a toy.

And those gray and beige Standards were already kind of toys, compared to the former black GF stands...

Being a "home user" there are far better and at the same time much cheaper alternatives availlable on the second-hand market.

In Europe, a Standard 14, basicaly equipped (4,10,40,100 achromats, 0.9 condenser, build in 6V/10W HAL illuminator, binocular) can be bought for anything between 100 and 200 Euro.

This is a universal platform, designed with flexibility regarding applications such as DF, FC, DIC, fluorescense... in mind. The same can't be said to that extend regarding the Primostar.

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