Celestron Labs S20 microscope review

Everyday objects are transformed with this budget stereo microscope.

Celestron Labs S20 microscope
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

There's no doubt this microscope will elicit a sense of wonder in any hands. Any small objects become viable specimens and it requires no prior skill or experience to view them up close. The image is clear and sharp and focusing is easy. This is a great addition to any child's backpack or bedroom.


  • +

    Very quick setup

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  • +

    Easy to focus

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    Fairly good lenses


  • -

    Fixed light

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    No control of LED power

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    No diopter control

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The world of microscopy can sometimes seem inaccessible to beginners, who aren't ready for slide preparation, staining and other technical setups. Stereo microscopes (also known as dissecting microscopes) solve this by lowering the magnification and increasing the working distance, meaning you can drop any small object onto the stage and instantly see close up details. 

Celestron has a long-founded association with optics, having started in the 1950s as Valor Electronics, specialising in telescopes. The Celestron Labs S20 is their budget stereo microscope, ideal for observing everyday objects like coins, insects, rocks, leaves and fossils, blurring the line between macrophotography and microscopy.

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Eyepiece(s) Magnification:10x (2)
Weight454 g
Height190mm (highest magnification) – 230mm (lower magnification)
Magnification Range: 20x
Eyepiece(s) Diameter:30mm
Focus Travel (per rotation): 33mm
Power Source: AA battery (2)
Included Items: 2 bug specimens (encased in clear plastic)
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FeaturesThe two insects included in this kit show off the best features of the microscope, but you don't get much else – it would benefit from a cover and protection for the eyepieces and tubes.★★★
DesignThis microscope is simple and lightweight, perfect for someone to pick up and go.★★★★
Performance Focusing is easy and the image is sharp. The light is a little too bright at times and the eyepieces can fall out.★★★★
ValueFor the cost of this microscope, you get a lot of fun for your buck.★★★★

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Matt Smith
Microscope expert

Matt is DCW's microscope expert - after completing a BSc (Hons) in Biology, Matt received a Masters in Biological Imaging, going on to work at Rothamsted Research, CABI, and the NHS. He progressed into photography and video production and now works in the publishing industry for Future Publishing.