Microscopy & Microtechniques

MICROTEC – In the Spotlight
Cost-effective light microscopy solutions

Jun 14 2018 Read 1170 Times

Author: Clive Cowen & Richard Fry on behalf of TEC Microscopes Ltd

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Origins of MICROTEC

Early in his career, Clive Cowen was told light microscopes would not see him through his working life, as no further significant advancements were thought possible in the field. This could not have been further from the truth; with extensive and ongoing developments in incident fluorescence, contrast techniques, digital recording and more. As those who have worked with Clive will attest; he has been driven in search of excellence, at an affordable price for over 40 years.

Having dealt with most of the major microscope manufacturers worldwide, he has been responsible for developing many specialised microscopes. These include an early micromanipulation microscope with Differential Interference Contrast, using water immersion objectives for work on thick brain slices. He invented a microscope rig for measuring the strength of individual cells. He recalls the difficulties in designing a microscope for counting plankton on the nets used to collect them over large tracts of ocean. He also became involved with the Royal Microscopical Society as a teacher on their training courses. In 1989, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Society.
Some years ago, Clive started importing basic school level microscopes from China. The quality was variable, and each instrument had to be carefully checked. In some cases, the microscopes were supplied without even a sub stage condenser. As any microscopist will know, it is essential to be able to illuminate at high aperture. Put another way, wherever a microscope is made, it must resolve what is being looked at. “The laws of physics are quite impersonal and always answer a fool according to his folly.”  - W G Hartley.
Over time, the quality of Chinese manufactured microscopes improved dramatically, with microscopes from several leading manufacturers now being made in China. Cowen decided it was necessary to deal with several factories and establish representation within China. He set out to build an extensive range of microscope equipment to suit the exacting UK market and to ensure the best quality optics and mechanics were incorporated. To do this, it was essential to have a network of the best contacts with the best factories – not necessarily under the same roof.
And so MICROTEC was established. The company now supplies a wide variety of models, to suit the needs of materials and life sciences providing excellent performance at economical prices. Cowen has always considered technical backup vital - users are experts in knowing about the required application of a microscope, but they need the backup of good technical advice in selecting the ideal equipment specification for their application. Put simply, users need to know they can pick up the phone and speak to someone who knows what they are talking about. MICROTEC provides this and more with the supply of microscopes and accessories from stock at their facility in Axbridge, Somerset, often with next day delivery.

MICROTEC - In the Spotlight

The MICROTEC range of microscopes and accessories is comprehensive. It contains microscopes for an extensive range of applications. This enables MICROTEC to supply equipment that precisely fits your needs. The microscopes are economically priced without compromising quality and reliability. Excellent service and support is provided by the technical expertise of MICROTEC staff. This is backed up by a network of carefully selected dealers.
The microscopes all come with a lifetime’s guarantee and stock levels ensure prompt deliveries. While a selection of instruments available is outlined here, visit the company website for our entire range. Our team are always happy to help put together the microscope package to suit your unique needs. The range extends from basic routine instruments to advanced microscopes for research and exacting requirements. The fields covered include life sciences and materials science as well microscopes for inspection, assembly and testing.

The MICROTEC MI-u research microscope comes as standard with an ergonomically-designed head for comfortable viewing. It can be equipped with incident fluorescence and phase contrast. There is a wide of choice of flat field achromat and flat field fluorite objectives.


Choose from many options to suit your magnification, resolution and illumination needs. The MICROTEC stereomicroscope range offers a wide selection of accessories such as a choice of stands and attachments for polarising work.

Microscopes for the life sciences

Microscopes for routine to advanced biological applications are available with a choice of flat field infinity optics, multiple choices for LED illumination and accessories such as phase contrast. Upright and inverted models are available.

Microscopes for the materials sciences

MICROTEC offers a wide range of metallurgical microscopes with options for brightfield, darkfield and polarising ability. Models for specific applications such as asbestos identification and counting systems are supplied to industry-recognised standards.


MICROTEC’s digital camera systems offer exceptional quality and value-for-money while users may choose from a selection of fibre optic and LED illumination systems in various formats.

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