Different Types of Compound Microscopes

Compound optical microscopes can also be called compound microscopes, light microscopes or optical microscopes and come in a number of varieties. These include electronic, inverted, stereo, monocular and binocular.

All work on the exact principles and deliver an enlarged image to the viewer. They have some differences though, which will be detailed here. If you are really interested in buying Bright-field microscopy then you can browse online websites.

These are probably the ones you think of if  microscopes come to mind. Using a single light as a sample illuminator and compound lenses for magnification, these have a single eyepiece. This is somewhat uncomfortable, as you want to close one eye to get a clear picture of what you are looking at on the slide.

The eyepiece has a power of about 10X and the objectives or lenses on the nosepiece range from 2X to 50X based upon your particular microscope.


Binocular microscopes are becoming more common. You may tell a binocular style microscope by the dual eyepiece. Simply put, you use both eyes to look at the sample image. This makes them more comfortable to use and thereby more popular. Binocular microscopes have all the same features as the monocular ones over. You can also browse online resources to get more details on Using a Dark Field Microscope.


Stereo microscopes bring a whole new dimension to the picture, literally. Whereas the normal light microscope generates a two-dimensional image, the stereo system uses two light sources functioning independently to make a three-dimensional picture to the viewer. The sample on the slide will have height, depth and width. Using all of the same features and characteristics of the other optical microscopes, stereomicroscopes stick out among their counterparts.


This is where things go differently in the realms of microscopy. Standard optical microscopes use light to light up and lenses to magnify something that you couldn’t see with the unaided eye.

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