What is a Stereo Microscope?
A stereo microscope is a type of optical microscope that's designed for examining 3D objects at much lower magnification. They use light reflected from the surface of an object, rather than light shone through it (like a compound microscope does). It's often called a stereoscopic or dissecting microscope.
You can read more about what a stereo microscope is here.
Why Choose a Stereo Microscope?
Stereo microscopes are used for examining larger specimens in 3D that are unable to fit on a slide. The specimens are usually opaque (light cannot pass through them). They can be used to view insects, crystals, plant life, circuit boards, and other samples. This is compared to a compound microscope, which is designed when specimens can fit on a slide.
Types of Stereo Microscope Explained
Zoom Stereo Microscopes - for Hobby, Education, or Light Industrial
Zoom stereo microscopes are already equipped with a stand, viewing head/pod, eyepieces, and illumination. They’re ideal for education or hobbyist use, but can also be appropriate for light industrial use.
Modular Stereo Microscopes - for Customization, Advanced Application, and Industrial
This type of system will allow one to configure stands, illumination systems, and with the proper microscope, supplemental lenses and eyepieces, magnifications approaching 400x can be achieved.
Digital Inspection Microscopes - Live Video for Inspection and Quality Control
These are stereo microscopes combined with a digital microscope camera, to be used for inspection and quality control, offering a live video and/or computer screen, that’s fully equipped with comprehensive software.
Stereo Microscope Price
A basic stereo microscope starts from around $79, but the price range changes if you add features, and at the high end a Stereo Fluorescence Microscope can cost upwards of $23,000.
Best Stereo Microscopes
Here we go over our top picks for each type of Stereo Microscope.
Best Stereo Microscope for Hobbyists and Education
The ACCU-SCOPE EXS-210 Stereo Microscope represents excellent value and ease of use. It offers sharp images, rechargeable LED illumination, and effortless focusing. The stand is sturdy and has a built-in handle for easy portability. This is a great choice for students of all levels and light industrial inspections.
Best Stereo Microscope for Advanced Applications
The Meiji EM-60 Binocular Stereo Zoom Microscope consists of a 10" pole stand, 360° rotatable head, and 16" dual arm LED illumination. It offers 7x-45x magnification with a zoom ratio of 6.4:1 and working distance of 100mm (4"). The flexible design and quality construction makes this microscope a great choice for a variety of applications.
Best Stereo Microscope for Live Video
For live video and image capture, the Scienscope SSZ-II Stereo Zoom Microscope is a cost-effective solution. The microscope features a dual arm boom stand, 1080p HDMI/USB camera, high intensity LED ring light, and 23" HD monitor. Every component is designed for high performance and durability.
Stereo Microscope FAQ’s
Here are some common questions you may also have when buying a stereo microscope:
Stereo Microscope vs Compound Microscope
The difference between a stereo and compound microscope comes down to magnification level and sample type. A compound microscope is usually used for samples that you can’t see with the naked eye, displayed on a slide. Whereas a stereo microscope tends to use a large sample that’s often opaque, and is used to see 3D objects in more detail.
What is the smallest thing a stereo microscope can see?
You can achieve a magnification of 400x if you configure a stereo microscope the right way.
How does magnification work with a Stereo microscope?
There are two types of magnification systems in a stereo microscope, Fixed and Zoom.
Fixed magnification is achieved using a paired set of objective lenses with a set degree of magnification.
Zoom magnification is capable of a continuously variable degree of magnification across the set range of the microscope.
You can also adjust magnification by changing the microscope eyepiece.
What magnification do you need on a stereo microscope to see bacteria?
To see bacteria on a stereo microscope you need to achieve a 400x level of magnification.
What kind of lenses does a stereo microscope use?
A stereo microscope consists of the ocular lens (the eyepiece that you look through), and the objective lens (the main optical lens that’s closest to the sample).
What are the limitations of a stereo microscope?
The main limitation of a stereo microscope is the low level of magnification when compared to a compound microscope.
Can I take a picture through a stereo microscope?
If you have a stereo microscope that can connect to a microscope camera than it can be used to take a picture of your sample.
Custom Quotations for Stereo Microscopes
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