I’ll probably be one of a chorus here, but yes, absolutely get
yourself a microscope.
I’ve got a couple: one of Otto Frei’s Meiji clones, which works
great, and a Nikon that blows it out of the water, but would have
cost half my car if I hadn’t picked it up at an estate sale.
You’ll be stunned at what you can see when you can dial in to 50x. I
normally work at a little less than 8x, but having a zoom is really,
The one thing you must do, is get one of the GRS acrobat stands.
They let you put the scope anywhere, and they’ve got a headrest which
lets you brace yourself so your neck doesn’t get tired, and you don’t
give yourself a black eye from the eyepieces. The headrest also lets
you move the scope around a little bit as you’re working, in case you
need to slide over to one side or the other a bit.
If I were in your shoes, I’d call around to the local repair shops,
and see if anybody’s got a scope, and if they’d be willing to let
you take a look through it for a couple of minutes. If you explain
why you’re interested, I can’t imagine it’d be a problem.
PS–> Everybody else is going to say this too, but it’s true: if
something looks half-way decent under 20x, it’ll look utterly
perfect bare eyed.
PPS–> get a ringlight as well. Most useful little creatures.