Field vs Lab Work

When we talk about magnification in biology we usually think of light or electron microscopes found in labs. Fieldwork usually does not need this much magnification. If you are studying or identifying insects, plants, seeds or molds for ecology, horticulture, beekeeping or even farming, a much simpler method of magnification is all you need.

What Magnifying Glass Do I Need?

For just about everything you are likely going to look at, 5 or 10X magnification is enough. If you need to identify really tiny things like insect eggs or mold spores, then perhaps 15X.

If you are a botanist, gardener or horticulturist, many of the defining details of flowers such as pistil & stamens can be viewed clearly at just 5X. If you look closely at the image below you can see the pollen in the daffodil flower. However, some people might prefer the flexibility of 5/5=10X botany hand lens.

Daffodil Flower

This image was photographed with approximately 5 times magnification. If you click your “Ctrl +” keys, you can increase this to 10X & see even more details.

This next picture of a caterpillar also illustrates how much more detail you can see with just a 5X insect magnifying glass. The coloration of the body & other details such as eyes & legs when enlarged even this small amount can be enough to confirm the identity of one insect species versus another.

Caterpillar on Leaf

Here is another picture taken at approximately 5X showing a caterpillar on a leaf.

Details on smaller structures such as insect eggs, plant seeds, or mold spores can be hard to detect with the naked eye. Determining what species or stage of development may need as high as 15X but this still does not require a complicated or expensive magnifier.

4 Inexpensive Magnifiers

Plastic Hand Lenses

Top left, counterclockwise: 5X, 10X, 15X & 10X in a larger size.

The three smaller magnifiers have lenses of 30mm (1.25″) each of which has a magnifying power of 5X. When 2 such lenses are used together you get 10X magnification. When 3 such lenses are combined you get 15X. The larger magnifier has 2 50mm (2″) lenses which produce 10X magnification over a larger field of view. Great for quickly scanning larger areas for small details. All of these make great field magnifying glasses.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to see a lot of detail. Feel free to call us if you have any questions or want to discuss how to add your logo. See our blog on Metallic Gold Logos for some ideas.

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