Review of Labomed Compound Microscope models CxL, LX300, LX400

March 24th, 2015

Labomed-modelsLABOMED MICROSCOPES: We have chosen Labomed as our entry level microscope line. They have several very nice compound microscopes, including the CxL, new LX300, and LX400 models. One unique feature of these microscopes is that the LED versions that we sell have an internal rechargeable battery so that the microscopes can operate cordlessly. This makes them ideal for field microscopes, and makes it easy for students as well (as long as they are plugged in overnight to charge the batteries). The fact that we now have a Martin DSLR adapter for the LX300 / LX400 trinocular models make these even more capable for field work.

The CxL is priced from about $450.00 to $650.00 depending on configuration. It’s available with a Monocular or Binocular Head, and with or without the 100x oil objective. The CxL has a 45 degree head with 23mm eyetubes that rotates 360 degrees; a forward facing quadruple Nosepiece with Semi-Plan Achromat objectives, a plain stage with attachable mechanical stage; and a focusing condenser with iris. This model has proven to be very reliable and is popular with high schools and freshmen biology labs. We think it’s the best microscope on the market in it’s price range.

The new LX300 costs from $850.00 to $950.00, and differs from the CxL in that it has a 45 degree Siedentopf Binocular Head that “butterflys” to a high or low position. This is a nice, unique feature in a microscope in this price range. The binocular head has standard 23mm eyetubes. The trinocular head for this model is 30 degrees, and seems to be borrowed from the LX400. This is a good thing in that the photoports are the same, so they take the same camera adapters, but the trinoc head has odd 28mm eyetubes and it doesn’t rotate or have the “butterfly” feature. Beyond that, the eyepieces are similar to the CxL (10x/18mm), but the quadruple Nosepiece is Reversed, and the mechanical stage is a full double-plate type. The objectives are also a step up to EP2 Plan Infinity. The LX300 is brand new for 2015, and should prove to be very popular.

The LX400 sells for about $1,000.00 to $1,250.00, is available with Binocular or Trinocular 30 degree Siedentopf Head, and has non-standard 28mm eyetubes. The eyepieces are 10x/20mm, so a bit wider field than the CxL and LX300, but not unusual in this price range. Another difference from the LX300 is the mechanical stage. It features a “rackless” mechanical stage that uses a screw-drive in the X-direction that allows it to have no sharp edges protruding from the sides of the microscope. This is a nice feature, but in the LX400 it means that the stage’s X-movement is backwards from other microscopes. This is not necessarily a problem in a student microscope, but is something to be aware of. Other rackless stages from Motic and Olympus use a pulley system that does not reverse the X-movement. The objective set is again a step up from the LX300, but it’s not easy to see much difference in optical quality between the two, other than the wider field of view in the LX400. While the LX400 is a good microscope, and popular with some of our customers, the price, odd eyetube size, and stage movement lead us to rate the LX300 or Motic BA210B Elite LED more highly.

LINKS:  CxL / LX300 / LX400 / MDSLR-LX