Are you in the process of shopping around for your first microscope? Congratulations! A microscope can allow you to experience our world from a fascinating new perspective. But before you decide which microscope to buy, it’s important to make sure you find the one that’s best suited to your needs. During your search, you’ve probably noticed that there are two distinct categories of microscopes—stereo microscopes (also known as stereoscopes) and compound microscopes. Today we’ll help you understand what distinguishes these two types of microscopes from one another, and decide which one is right for you.
As their name implies, stereo microscopes use two objective lenses to generate a three-dimensional image. This type of microscope offers a relatively low magnification power and deep depth of field that is ideal for viewing objects such as insects, fossils, flowers and mineral specimens.
Whereas stereo microscopes are well-suited for viewing relatively large specimens, compound microscopes are designed for viewing specimens at the cellular level on glass slides. Chances are, this is the type of microscope you used in your high school biology class. These microscopes offer a much greater magnification power than stereo microscopes, but they have a much shallower depth of field. That’s why this type of microscope is also known as a “flat field” microscope, which is a term you may remember form our earlier blog entry about microscopes for educational applications. Compound microscopes are also usually equipped with multiple objective lenses that can be rotated to adjust their magnification power.
Still have a few lingering questions about which microscope is right for you? Feel free to give us a call or contact us online to speak with a representative at Absolute Clarity & Calibration today!