Why use a dual view microscope?
Well, there are times when a parent or teacher may want to show their student a specific structure within the field of view when looking at a sample under a microscope–such as a cell wall, or a bacterium. Doing this can be difficult, as the student doesn’t know what to look for–it isn’t highlighted or pointed out to them. Some units come with pointers in the eyepiece so that when passing the field of view from one person to another, a structure can be pointed to. This gets the job done, however, wouldn’t it be easier if the student and teacher could look into the microscope at the same time without passing the oculars off to each other?
That’s precisely what a dual view microscope is meant for!
AmScope Dual View Microscope Review – Model “D200“
AmScope’s dual view microscope model D200 (as well as their other multi-viewer microscope models) serves this exact purpose of making a teacher’s life that much easier. Essentially, the D200 uses an AmSCope T490 body, with a splitting prism in the head to direct the path of light out for both pairs of eyepieces. This key feature is what differentiates it between a single viewer microscope–otherwise, this would be a T490 or a B490. The beauty of AmScope’s dual view microscope line is that the image quality does not deteriorate from being split into multiple paths of light as much as one would expect, so brightness and image quality is maintained between both ocular heads. Granted, there is no way to preserve the amount of light during any split in a path of light, however the brightness of the light is tuned to a higher degree to help compensate for the split. It’s always nice when microscope engineers plan ahead and such possible weak points in a design!
Feature wise, the D200 does suffer slightly versus other similar single view models, like the T490. The D200 does not have a swappable condenser like the T490 does, so you will only be able to use this microscope in brightfield. It’s a bit of a baffling design choice to me, as the body otherwise is identical to the 490 models, but that’s the plain truth. I’d rate this dual view microscope as a great choice for any K-12 level educational needs, but anything higher that may require advanced microscopy techniques and the unit will fall a bit short. It isn’t future proofed like the 490 is, which may turn some users off, however again, if you’re only going to be using brightfield, then there’s really no need to have the swappable condenser feature.
A camera can be equipped on this unit by replacing an eyepiece, as with almost all AmScope microscopes. The MU300 (talked about in my 490 review) is always a great go to choice for almost all AmScope microscopes, or if the budget is getting tight, the MU130 will get the job done brilliantly as well. Both can be found here (MU300) and here (MU130). My only concern here is that there isn’t too much need for a camera unless showing to more than two users (such as a classroom), so I don’t expect too many users will be wanting a camera solution for home use, but they could indeed be useful for classroom use!
All in all, the dual view microscope model D200 usually sits at a higher price point than similar single view units that sport better features, but if you need a dedicated brightfield microscope for instruction or for having multiple users work simultaneously, the D200 is a solid choice. It’s build quality is quite strong and sturdy–perfect for the classroom where unintentional student abuse is a possibility. Still, I wouldn’t recommend dropping it or storing it out of a safe place under a teacher’s watchful eye, as it’s not indestructible.
For more information or to pick up a dual view microscope model D200 from AmScope, you can check it out here: D200 (Amazon)
As always, if you have any specific questions, comments, or concerns, leave me a comment or send us a message!