Compound Microscope Versus Stereo Microscope

There are basically two types of microscopes which include the compound and the stereo microscope. Both these devices vary on the basis of a number of factors. Nevertheless, both these instruments depend on the manipulation of optical light for visual amplification. Microscopes are chosen according to individual applications and different instruments have different set of features.

The structural elements of these two types of microscopes are more or less identical. Both these devices include a head or body which holds the optical units. It also includes an arm which joins the head and the base of the apparatus. The base holds the entire apparatus and the illuminator.

Common Differences:

The compound microscope function with three to five lenses. It is available in single and double eye-pieces. The specimens can be viewed from atop through a single vertical view. A single optical path system is followed for magnification of the objects. In some of the compound microscopes, a camera can be mounted on the third tube.

Stereo Microscope

Stereo Microscope

The magnifying lenses are mounted on a nosepiece that can be rotated easily. The compound microscopes are generally used to view small objects such as bacterium and cells. The device offers two dimensional images.

The stereo microscope is another type of microscope which is also known as the dissecting microscope. It has two similar magnification eye pieces which can be used to examine the specimens. It is quite similar to two compound microscopes which are set independently. These microscopes are available with have extra zooming capabilities. It is widely used by biologists to perform dissections, paleontologists to clean and examine fossils and so forth.

Compound Microscope

Compound Microscope

These microscopes also include built in light sources from below and above. However, there are some models which have no light sources at all. The power of magnification is less in stereo microscopes although it provides 3D viewing powers. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to the other types of devices.

Compound microscopes are used in clinical laboratories, educational institutions, biology and various medical fields.

Stereo microscopes are generally used for examination of documents, hair grafting, metallurgy, geology, dentistry and so forth.


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