Pro Pick: AmScope SM-4TZ-144A Review Trinocular Stereo Zoom Microscope

The AmScope SM-4TZ-144A Professional Stereo Zoom Trinocular Microscope is our number one pick for budget-minded professionals.

Overview

The  AmScope SM-4TZ-144A Stereo trinocular microscope is our number one pick for professionals and serious hobbyist seeking the best blend of value and quality. This trinocular microscope unit offers a wide range of magnification options and features commonly found on more expensive units.

The trinocular microscope design of the AmScope SM-4TZ-144A is a welcome feature for the budget-minded professional or serious hobbyist. This trinocular microscope has a stage-less design and features double-boom arms allowing for adjustments to by made in the X-, Y-, and Z- axes. 

The double boom arms measure 20 inches in length and the pillar is 17 inches, offering 360 degree swivel capability. This stereo trinocular microscope is well suited for applications ranging from electronics repair, engraving, sodering, PCB work, and any usage in which low magnification power and superior viewing angle is desired. 

The  AmScope SM-4TZ-144A stereo trinocular microscope features a magnification range of 3.5x to 90x, with 10x "super-widefield", high eyepoint eyepieces. The interpupillary range is 55mm to 75mm with a 45 degree inclination to increase viewing comfort. 

The entire unit is anchored by a solid steel-cast base and the trinocular microscope features a bright and configurable 144-bulb LED ring light. 

Trinocular Microscope

Trinocular Microscope Feature

A trinocular microscope is equipped with two eyepieces similar to a stereo microscope, yet also includes a third eye-tube enabling the user to mount a microscope camera. 

Trinocular microscopes offer several advantages for a variety of applications.

By photographing or capturing video of a given specimen, the user gains benefit from repeat inspection of the specimen image after the initial examination.

The ability to digitally share specimen images allows professionals to collaborate and provide tangible consulting analysis. 

Trinocular microscopes also serve as the perfect teaching microscope, allowing instructors to broadcast their view and images to students for demonstration and analysis.

Microscope photography is plain cool for professionals and home hobbyists alike. Check out our recent favorite microscope photography images here.

It should be noted that the AmScope SM-4TZ-144A is not a traditional trinocular microscope. The AmsScope SM-4TZ-144A does not employ the use of an image splitting prism or third optic. The user must engage the left side eyepiece to the camera optic which effectively disables the left eyepiece. The camera must also be focused independently because the view will differ from the user's view when using the binocular eyepiece. 

Design

This trincoular microscope unit is well-packaged and well-constructed. The SM-4TZ-144A has a solid steel-cast base and a stage-less design allowing the user to manipulate and examine large specimens and samples. During normal use and with the double boom arms fully extended, we were not able to tip the microscope in any direction. 

The double boom arms are 20 inches in length and allow for an impressive range of adjustments allowing the user to accurately and precisely adjust the X-, Y-, and Z- axes. The 17 inch pillar feels solid under all use conditions and we expect it will last a very long time. The pillar provides 360 degrees of swivel allowing the user to share the microscope in a laboratory or work-place setting. 

As with microscopes twice its price, the AmScope SM-4TZ-144A's bi-lateral adjustment knobs, (providing comfort to left and right handed users alike) adjust and turn smoothly.

The same can be said for the the focus adjustments in the eyepieces - very smooth and fluid. 

The quality of the construction and machining is superb and we had no difficulty in achieving our desired adjustments. 

The 144 LED light ring light is certainly class-leading in terms of brightness, adjustability and usefulness. The ring light has an inner diameter of 64mm and an outer diameter of 100mm. The LED nature of the bulbs means that the emitted light is very cool which is a major plus when examining heat-sensitive specimens. 

The ring light has four adjustable zones allowing the user to control brightness in each zone independently. We were particularly impressed with this feature because it made achieving the perfect lighting balance on our specimen quick and easy. 

We were disappointed with the quality of the light control box.

The text and lettering appear cheaply printed and we expect it will rub off over time. 

Trinocular Microscope

Optics

We loved using the super-sharp 0.7x to 4.5x zoom objective.

The AmScope SM-4TZ-144A offers an overall magnification range from 3.5x to 90x. This is achieved through the use of 0.5x and 2.0x Barlow lenses which are included in the package. The 0.5x lenses reduce magnification while improving the working distance while the 2.0x lenses do the opposite, increasing magnification at the expense of working distance. 

We found that this trinocular microscope unit had very sharp and clear optics across the board, however we had to keep our eyes and head in the perfect viewing position to ensure the depth of field was accurate while viewing.

It was very easy for our view to come out of focus with slight movements of the head and eyes.

The 45 degree inclination of the eyepieces offered comfort while having to maintain our head in the perfect position. The higheye point eyepieces will provide much desired comfort to glasses wearers. 

The optics of the AmScope SM-4TZ-144A trinocular microscope are well suited to a range of low-magnification application such as PCB examination and repair.

 

Trinocular Microscope
AmScope SM-4TZ-144A Specifications
Head Trinocular
Magnification Range 3.5x - 90x
Zoom Objective Power 0.7x - 4.5x
Eyepieces (DIN, 30mm) WH 10x20mm high-eyepoint
Trinocular Port C-Mount or 23mm
Field of View 2-1/2"
Optical Working Distance Up to 8"
Microscope Stand Double-arm boom stand
Head Movement X-, Y-, and Z- axes
Illumination type Episcopic (reflected)
Light source Four-zone 144-bulb LED ring light with rheostat
Power 110V-240V

Trinocular Microscope
Trinocular Microscope

What's in the box

  • AmScope SM-4TZ-144A stereo zoom microscope with double-arm boom stand
  • WH10x20mm eyepieces, 30mm, one pair
  • 0.5x Barlow lens
  • 2.0x Barlow lens
  • 0.7x-4.5x zoom objective
  • Four-zone LED ring light (LED-144A)
  • Focus rack
  • Eye guards, one pair
  • Instructions
Lots of Features
Double boom arms, multiple zoom and magnification options
Class-leading 144 LED Light
4-zone adjustable
Not a True Trinocular Microscope
Allows mounting of camera but without third optic

Final Thoughts

The AmScope SM-4TZ-144A trinocular stereo microscope is our top pick for budget-conscious professional and serious hobbyists alike. While the SM-4TZ-144A will not replace a microscope two to three times in cost, it offers the same features at a very similar build quality. 

While not a true trinocular microscope due to the lack of a third optic, the SM-4TZ-144A still allows users to mount a camera for photographing or capturing video of their specimens. 

The SM-4TZ-144A trinocular stereo microscope is perfect for those that like to photograph their specimens on occasion or for those looking for a starting point in microscope photography.