My first microscope.
After about 5 years studying mushrooms I decided to purchase my first microscope.  Here is a copy of the diagram in my high school botany lab book that shows the scope I used when I studied botany for three semesters.
Microscopes came a long way since then.  After studying what is available and what I could afford, I decided on a 3090 Digital Microscope by Accu-Scope from Great Scopes.

Great Scopes has a very good guide for buying a scope.  It is a 273kb PDF document.  It answered all my questions about the modern microscope.  I like the idea of studying the image on my computer screen instead of squinting into the eyepiece.  Pictures at a click of the mouse also attracted me to this scope.  No more sketching what I saw as I had to do with my high school scope.  I will be now able to get more information about the mushrooms I find, and share it with others.

Here are the complete specs of the scope:

I had problems with the software and support but eventually I was connected with Accu-Scope rep and he gave me instructions as to how to save what I saw to disk.  My first picture that I observed and saved is of my own blood.   Red blood cells magnified at 400X.