An excellent pocket microscope for classifying maize pollen
--Dave Weber and Marti Schneerman

We lost all of our pocket microscopes (as well as numerous other items) when our field building burned to the ground in October, 1993. We examined pocket microscopes from several vendors prior to purchasing replacement scopes. We found one we prefer for pollen classification in the field.

We have always used pocket microscopes from Fisher, and they have been satisfactory. We compared 50X Peak Pocket microscopes (stock number C39,117) from Edmund Scientific Company, 101 E. Gloucester Pike, Barrington, NJ 08007-1380 (phone 609-573-6250) with pocket microscopes from several vendors, and we feel that the Peak scopes are far superior for pollen classification. They have a much brighter image and better resolution than other scopes we have examined. The Peak scopes are very light, and small (about the size of a Sharpie pen), and they have a pen clip so they can be easily carried in a shirt pocket. We were concerned that they might get moisture or other material in them because they are a sealed unit and cannot be cleaned out. However, we have now used these scopes in two winter nurseries and one summer nursery, and no detectable foreign material or moisture has entered the scopes. In fact, the Fisher scopes (in our hands) needed to be disassembled and the lenses cleaned every few days if they were used intensively. Although the Peak scopes have a smaller field of view than the Fisher scopes, the field is reasonable for pollen classification.

Thus, the Peak scopes give a crisp bright image, are small and light, and never need to be disassembled and cleaned. We highly recommend these scopes for examining pollen in the field. 

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