The Slime Mould Collective

An international network of/for intelligent organisms

Hello all, I recently got into slime molds and was quite pleased to stumble across this forum. Excited to be here, and looking forward to posting more as I start my own slime mold projects. I'm planning to start up a terrarium in October after returning from some trips this next month and can't wait ^_^

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for decent starter microscopes? I don't have a huge budget for it - under $100 would be great (if possible) or somewhere around that range (if not, I could go up to $200, it'll just be a next year purchase probably). I recognize that I won't be able to get anything impressive for that price, but I would love to not be limited to the macroscopic.

Also, is there a good/best Field ID book people recommend? Currently working my way through some of Prof Bonner's books, but would love something to take with me out on hikes. I'm located in New England, specifically Maine, but it doesn't have to be limited to my region.

Thanks so much, and glad to be here!

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Hi

Sorry I only just noticed this. Honestly for budget I'd go for one of the Wifi microscopes at around 30 quid - it gives you a reasonable image quality and with a little ingenuity ( like using an auto screen clicker app ) you can use it to shoot time lapse. For something a bit more sciency I'd keep an eye on Ebay or similar, you can pick up a Swift monocular for around the £60 mark, Amscope are ok too. 

There aren't many good field guides, I've got Myxomycetes: Handbook of Slime Molds - Stephenson, there are some photographic guides but the last one i saw was £200 each for 2 volumes! There's a few old books on Libgen.fun ( use Tor! ) and plenty of scientific papers on Sci-Hub

No worries! And thank you for the info - I wasn't sure if the Wifi microscopes would work well enough, so I will look into those. I also discovered my local library lets you check a microscope out...not sure how great it will be, but was glad to find that!

Oh wow! I will check out Sci-Hub & libgen. Hopefully some more guides will start to crop up as interests in the molds grows.

I can't put my finger on it at the moment (might have been a Youtube video), but somewhere there is an analysis and reviews of the type of microscopes that Ian mentions with recommended models.  It pointed out that most of the magnifications in the Amazon / eBay adverts are somewhat fanciful. 

Oh yeah the mags are wildly overstated - but they have been since I was eight and bought my first microscope - up 1000X!!!! - if you don't mind the lack of immersion lenses, and a field of view so small it doesn't cover a whole bacterium....

But even so these little wifi ones are great at around 50x and very handy in the field. 

If you want really good image quality I'd look for an old manual microscope, a second hand camera ( Eos-M work really well ) and an adaptor ( which you can 3d print ). 

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