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What is a Stereo Microscope?

Stereo Microscope
  • A stereo microscope is more advanced and is frequently used for dissection and has two separate optical systems for each eye.
  • A three-dimensional image is viewed and the image is oriented the same way it actually is (not rotated or flipped).
  • The specimen is placed on the stage and it is easier to manipulate during a dissection.
How does it work?
  1. Place the specimen on the stage plate.
  2. Turn the power on if there is an illuminator. Select either incident (light shines from the top) or transmitted (light shines from below) or both simultaneously depending on the options available.
  3. Focus the specimen and then take both eye tubes and gently move them towards or away from each other until a single three-dimensional image with both eyes is seen.
  4. One of the eye tubes has a knurled ring. This is the diopter adjustment and is used to adjust the focus to match the eyesight.
  5. Close the eye using the eye tube with the diopter adjustment and focus on one area of the specimen using the focus knobs.
  6. Close the second eye and focus the specimen using the eye tube with the diopter adjustment by turning the diopter.
  7. The image should be in sharp focus for both eyes.
Microscope Options

  1. Eyepieces – most come with 10X eyepieces as standard. 5X, 15X and 20X eyepieces are available.
  2. Objectives – Auxiliary lenses are available for some microscopes to increase or decrease the magnification. Lenses are normally 0.5X, 1.5X, and a 2X.
  3. Illuminations – Dual illumination, incident (top) and transmitted (bottom).
    1. Tungsten – "Incandescent light". Most common and cheapest. Gives off a yellowish color and gives off extra heat.
    2. Fluorescent – Heat given off is very minimal and has a cool bright, white light.
    3. Halogen – Found in most advanced microscopes. It's the brightest light but gives off excess heat.
    4. LED – Newest lighting option. Rechargeable batteries power the LED light. Produces a very bright, white light and less heat than a fluorescent bulb.
  4. Base styles – Standard stereo microscope comes on a post style base. Fixed body or boom stands are available.

More Information
Compound Microscope Diagrams

What is a Compound Microscope?

Microscope Terminology