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Seeking OMAX M837ZL series microscope manual

Posted at age 28.

It took me a while to locate the manual for my new microscope. I was not surprised to have trouble since the lone Amazon review warned of no manual being provided and a broken link, but it was more difficult than I thought it would be to find the manual online.

This is part of a series:

I tried to download the manual via the URL printed on the sheet that came with the microscope, but due to a typo on my part, got an error page. The address is, but I typed “TYX” instead of “TXY” accidentally. Next I checked if there was a directory listing at, but that just showed an access forbidden page. I perused looking for a support or downloads section, but found none.

I next tried locating the microscope’s product page, assuming there would be a link to the manual there. Since they have 223 microscopes listed under general purpose trinocular microscopes, it took me a while to figure out which one I ordered. The product number on the sheet in the box didn’t exactly match anything shown. I viewed the HTML source of the product listings and extracted the microscope models using the regular expression <a[^>]+>[-,\.&~+\w\s\d]+</a>. On the off chance the resulting list of microscopes might be useful to someone, here they are:

[SPOILER=List of 223 OMAX trinocular microscopes]


To digest the list, I did the following:

  • extracted the bare text
  • sorted alphabetically
  • removed “OMAX” from the beginning of the roughly half the product names that listed the brand
  • removed the peculiar listing for one of supposed competitor AmScope’s scopes (AmScope 40X-2500X Infinity PLAN Laboratory Trinocular Kohler Compound Microscope)
  • removed the four duplicates at this point
  • changed “Trinoclar” to “Trinocular”
  • changed “40-2500X” to “40X-2500X” for six of them
  • added missing “40X-” to 15 of them
  • changed “40x~” to “40X-” for 10 of them
  • moved the magnification to the front for a dozen of them
  • fixed a bunch of magnification capitalization inconsistencies
  • extracted the magnifications
  • removed the duplicates at this point and after most of the following steps
  • extracted the camera information using the regex ([\d\.]+MP| |Digital|Camera|USB3|3\.0|Super Speed|USB){2,}; this produced 66 unique camera strings from which I standardized the megapixel count, removed “Digital”, “Camera” and “Super Speed” (which I took to mean USB 3.0),
  • removed “Laboratory”, “Lab”, “Research”, “Biological”, “Trinocular”, “Advanced”, “Compound”, “Microscope” and “Professional”, as these didn’t seem to indicate differences based on those words alone
  • extracted “LED” and “Super Bright LED
  • extracted accessories “Aluminum Carrying Case”, ( |Prepared|Blank|Slides?){2,}, “Covers”, “Lens Paper”, “Book”, “Cleaning Kit”, “Vinyl Carrying Case”, “Vinyl Case”, “Vinyl”, “Slide Preparation Kit”
  • extracted options “Reversed Nosepiece”, “Double Layer Mechanical Stage”, “Mechanical Stage”
  • extracted “Kohler Illumination Device”, “Kohler Illumination Attachment”, “Kohler Illuminator” and “Kohler”
  • extracted objective descriptors “PLAN”, “Infinity”, “Plan”, “Plan Field Objectives” and “Infinity-Corrected”

I eventually surmised all those trinocular compound microscopes are permutations of a small number of options:

  • Objectives

    • standard DIN set of 4X, 10X, 40X and 100X
    • Plan DIN set of 4X, 10X, 40X and 100X
    • infinity corrected DIN set of 4X, 10X, 40X and 100X
    • Plan infinity corrected DIN set of 4X, 10X, 40X and 100X
  • Magnification and eyepieces

    This is the range of the products of the magnifications of the lowest eyepiece and objective lens combo and the highest combo. Since most microscopes come with four objectives ranging from 4X to 100X, the magnification listed for the scope generally indicates the magnification of the highest eyepiece. “40X-1000X” probably indicates just 10X oculars are supplied, whereas “40X-2500X” probably indicates both 10X and 25X oculars are supplied.

    • 40X-1000X
    • 40X-1500X
    • 40X-1600X
    • 40X-2000X
    • 40X-2500X
  • Stage

    • double layer mechanical stage
    • mechanical stage
  • Head

    • trinocular
    • trinocular Siedentopf

      According to a page:

      The term Siedentopf refers to a method of changing the interpupillary distance without changing the focus of the microscope.

  • Cameras

    • 1.3MP USB 2.0
    • 2MP USB 2.0
    • 3MP USB 2.0
    • 5MP USB 2.0
    • 5MP USB 3.0
    • 8MP USB 3.0
    • 9MP USB 2.0
    • 10MP USB 2.0
    • 10MP USB 3.0
    • 14MP USB 2.0
    • 14MP USB 3.0
    • 18MP USB 3.0
  • Illumination

    Of the scopes I checked, the normal LED is 3 watts and the super bright one is 5 watts. All seem to be adjustable, and most seem to be replaceable but it wasn’t always specified. I’m also not certain if the Kohler device is just an accessory with the light part, or if it implies a different type of microscope head as well. See the Wikipedia entry Köhler illumination.

    • LED
    • super bright LED
    • LED + Kohler device
  • Other options

    • 9.7 inch touchpad screen
    • aluminum carrying case
    • vinyl carrying case
    • blank slides
    • prepared slides
    • covers
    • slide preparation kit
    • cleaning kit
    • book
    • lens paper

Now that I understood all the options, I found the scope I was pretty sure I bought, OMAX 40X-2500X Super Speed USB3 14MP Digital Compound Trinocular LED Lab Biological Microscope. In retrospect, I see that name matches exactly the name of the product on Amazon, so I could have just searched for that. But it was worth understanding the options.

As an aside, I assume OMAX produces all those seemingly random microscope combinations for quicker shipping once orders are placed, but it adds so much confusion, especially for someone not familiar with microscopes yet. It doesn’t help OMAX is quite inconsistent in their labeling, which made it hard for me to know if an omitted keyword was significant or could be ignored. It would be really nice if they had more of a customization based interface where you can see all the options for a particular part in one place instead of having to scan for that part in the product titles across many listing pages!

At this point I resumed unpacking the microscope, and I was amused to find the CD supposedly containing the software and manual was damaged.


My OMAX M837ZL microscope came with a broken CD, but luckily I was still able to get the files off.


My OMAX M837ZL microscope came with a broken CD, but luckily I was still able to get the files off.

I describe how I finally got the manual and software and am collecting my calibration sample images in “OMAX software and micrometer sample images“. I’ll also be posting more general comments in “First impressions of OMAX M837ZL series microscope“.

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