Andy used a scope like this one at a previous job: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-10x-40x-Binocular-Stereo-Microscope-w-Boom-Light_W0QQitemZ370346425279QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item563a5dfbbf
He watched people hand-solder 0.5mm and smaller pitch devices with that scope. IIRC it had a ring light and a 2x objective lens taking it to 20x-80x rather than 10x-40x, but the extreme end of magnification was unusable. The ring light is way better than a bulb light, but workbench light is good enough for a start.
Looks like less awesome stereo scopes are available as cheap as $150 used on EBay.
Spearhead of microscope purchase: (Your Name Here)
- Andy $50
- Rachel $50
- Tomm $25
- Miloh $50
- Mikolaj $50