Types of Microscopes

Updated: Feb 25, 2018

Microscope is the very basic instrument that needed to observe and study the sub-microscopic objects that are invisible to human naked eye. Since the time of invention to today, the microscope has taken multiple milestones in advancement. There is great deal of confusion exists on the types of microscopes and which type of microscope should one purchase to meet the requirements. Here we try to explain you the different types of microscopes and the reasons behind their naming:

Microscopes can be classified different ways based on the number of eye pieces, working principles and industry-in which they have been employed.

The microscopes can be monocular - single eye piece to view objects, binocular - two eye piece to view objects, trinocular - two eye piece to view objects and one for recording the observations using Camera (May be phone camera, Digital Camera, or CCD Video Recorder). The monocular microscope may be compound or stereo or inverted. Similarly, the bi and trinocular microscope can also be compound, stere or inverted. However, the trinocular can be compound or stereo or any other microscope provided it should have one extra eye piece for digital recordings; photos or videos.

The microscopes can be compound, stereo, inverted, bright-field, dark-field, polarized, fluorescent etc. These are the classifications of the microscopes based on their working principles. The compound microscope has a specific arrangement of lenses in hierarchical manner so each of the lens in combination with other compound the power to magnify the objects. The magnification of the compound microscope can go up to 1500x while the distance between object and lens is in micrometers. So such microscopes are used to observe microorganisms that are too tiny to visible to naked-eye. Contrary, stereomicroscopes offer greater manipulation of objects while they are under investigation. They produce stereo pictures of the objects in 3D provides greater depth of understanding the objects. They are generally used as dissection and observation of biological samples, jewels, coins, phone repair or observing electronic circuits, etc. Please see our other posts the explains in details about each of the microscope that falls under this category. Similarly each of the other types of microscopes that were included in this category classified based on the working principle and uniqueness of the microscope design.

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