My New Computer Microscope
Dr. Bott's ProScope by Scalar
If you are a fan of CSI, CSI Miami, or Crossing Jordan, you have probably seen the scientists in the lab using a neat little hand-microscope with their Apple iBooks (laptop computers). The standard lens that comes on this little beast digitally magnifies 50X, all with the help of a built-in ring of LED lights, so you never have to worry about proper lighting.
Additional lenses are also available at 100X, 200X, and 30X Polarized (for reflective items like jewellery, gems, crystals, coins, etc.), as well as a variable 1X-10X lens that can take shots at life-size up to 10X, or also substitute as a webcam, if you like. The latter variable lens is the only one that does not come with its own built-in lighting system. When using this lens, the software, which comes for both Apple Macintosh OS X and Windows XP, allows you to select the type of light being used, whether natural, incandescent or fluorescent. It will also take real-time or time-lapse video of whatever you focus it on (bugs, plants, etc.).
Other accessories include a beautiful weighted, extendable stand to free up your hands while working, a die-cut foam-filled carrying case, and an adapter that allows you to attach your ProScope to a regular microscope, or even your telescope. By the way, it attaches via a USB cable, through which it also draws its power, so there is no need for a clumsy power brick to worry about.
I have found it works beautifully for photographing/scanning great close-ups of re-entries. So if you see scans on my site accompanied by the notation '50X' it was taken with the ProScope.
Below are some other photos of the ProScope and accessories, along with a data sheet at the bottom of its specifications. You can read more about the ProScope by going to its website, http://www.theproscope.com. A search on Google will also take you to a number of sites showing the ProScope in use in various types of surroundings, particularly school science classes. Free lessons are also available for download at the ProScope website for teachers to get started.
I know of at least two other philatelists who have purchased a ProScope following my hearty recommendation. Check out the photos on my site and the information on the web and perhaps you will too!