Oct 30 2014
5 Tips for Buying Optical Equipment
Optical equipment can be a costly investment, so it’s important to make sure you’re buying the best before handing over your credit card. But how can you make this determination? Here are just five ways to find high-quality optical equipment.
1. Know Your Needs
Do you require micro-video optics for advanced scientific discovery, or will a basic stereo microscope be enough for your middle school students? Does the X-ray machine need programmable motion control? Do you want HD quality in your image captures? These are important questions to ask before you go shopping for optical supplies, especially if you plan on spending thousands of dollars on sensitive projects.
2. Think About Construction
Precision optics are important, of course, but they shouldn’t be your only consideration when buying optical equipment. High-quality microscopes will come with steel bases and cross-roller bearings; good X-ray equipment will be fashioned with micro-focus tubes and digital flat panel image detectors. Don’t neglect construction in favor of technology.
3. Consider Image Capture Options
Most high-tech optical equipment is equipped with image capturing capabilities, but their type of capture can be quite different depending on the make and model. For example, are they using USB cameras or analog video capture cards? How much can they record during a single examination? How are the images organized and stored?
4. Give Yourself A Budget
Basic microscopes cost nothing at all; the more advanced models can run in the thousands. Give yourself a price range before you start comparing and contrasting brands. The first number should be the price you hope not to exceed; the second should be the price you won’t exceed no matter how shiny and high-tech the device.
5. Ask About Support
Who can you call if you don’t understand how to work your new microscope? Or what if you encounter a problem with your top-of-the-line X-ray inspection system? If you’ve purchased your equipment from a third party seller, you’re out of luck, which is why it’s important to buy directly from the manufacturer. They’ll be able to provide parts, products and technical support for all of your scientific needs.
These are just five ways to sift through hundreds of brands of optical equipment. Whether you’re furnishing a new lab or just looking for something to conduct experiments at home, these tips and tricks should be enough to get you started.