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Best electronics stereo microscope???

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I want to buy a stereo microscope off amazon for between $200-$300 for electronics work. Trouble is, they seem to be mostly for biology and have a light coming from the bottom that is supposed to shine through the (translucent) sample. For electronics I don't think this is really suitable because the light would need to be from above or something. What are some other aspects I should be considering when looking at microscopes for this purpose? Any suggestions you might have?

That shouldn't be the case.  Stereo microscopes which have two objectives and two eyepieces so that each eye sees a separate image are almost always designed for top illumination: sometimes exclusively and other times they have the option for both.  In biological circles they are sometimes called dissection microscopes.  Binocular microscopes with a single objective present the same image to both eyes and are often only usable with bottom side illumination.

However, many microscopes don't actually come with any illumination at all.  You buy your illuminator separately.  The most common options for a stereo microscope would be a halogen fiber optic gooseneck illuminator or an LED ring lamp.  The ring lamp attaches to the objective mount and is designed for the specific line of microscopes.  They provide nice uniform illumination and are very convenient.  Low quality ones may have poor color rendering due to low quality white LEDs.  The fiber optic illuminators are less convenient but more versatile -- they can be pointed anywhere you need a bit of extra light, provide excellent color rendering while blocking the heat output of the lamp.  Both tend to be expensive.  On a tight budget you might have to make due with a desk lamp or an LED flashlight clamped into a vice.

Don't expect to buy the best stereo microscope for $200 - $300.

One recommendation is to buy one with continuous zoom, I really don't like the ones that zoom in steps.


There is very nice microscopes on ebay with a camera and VGA output (no eyepiece) if that would suite you

what power are the eyepieces and objectives typically? (for assembly/rework/etc.) 


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