Buyer's Guide

Stereo Microscopes

Types of Microscopes:

Stereo Microscopes are used for inspection and work usually involving non-microscopic activities, such as inspection of coins, insects, electrical and machine components, rocks and gems, etc. They are also used for dissection. They are often referred to as "low power microscopes". These Microscopes provide enough magnification to see and manipulate the fine details of specimens and objects. Objects are seen in 3-D through dual objectives.

Compound Microscopes are made with education in mind and generally offer higher magnification than stereo microscopes. The typical magnifications are of 40x, 100x, 400x, and even 1000x.They are primarily used for viewing microscopic items, such as cells, cell structures, bacteria, microscopic creatures, etc. They are often referred to as "high power microscopes".

High Power Professional and Industrial Microscopes offer advanced optics and capabilities required in medical and research professions. These Microscopes offer superior optics and performance required for demanding applications. Features generally include binocular heads, trinocular heads for photography, variable halogen illumination, built-in mechanical stage, semi-plan, plan, and infinity optics, dark field, phase contrast, koehler illumination, and more.

Microscope Features:

To ensure that you are getting a quality microscope, it is important to look for the following features in the microscopes that you are comparing. These features are a testament to the integrity of the manufacturer with regard to their products and services.

  • State of the art DIN objectives (now the standard, and are easier to repair).
  • Parfocality, Parcentrality enables the user to switch optical powers and keep the specimen still within the field of view with minimal fine focus adjustment.
  • Student-Proof features like locked-on stage clips, eyepieces, locked-in or one-piece eyetube, slip clutch focusing system to protect the gears from over-focusing.
  • Adequate plate on bottom (make sure edges are not sharp and wires are not exposed).
  • UL-Approval not only guarantees safe operation for the user, but is a well-reputed quality and the standard for electrical instruments.
  • Smoothness of rotating head (no grinding, sticking).
  • Spring-loaded 40 + 100X objectives (necessary to protect cover glass and slide from damage).
  • All-metal internal parts are what will guarantee that a microscope can withstand the wear and tear of constant use.
  • Patented features assure that the manufacturer is willing to invest in their product designs.
  • Warranty - on defective parts and workmanship for the natural life of the instrument.
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