Buying Guide for Stereo Microscopes

If you are new to stereo microscopes, the many different varieties can make it overwhelming to choose the best microscope for you. If it is your first purchase, you need to know how to tell it apart from the other microscopes.  

You want to buy the right one because it is an investment, and purchasing a  subpar microscope will be a waste of money and effort. Therefore, you should know what to look for and understand the different considerations.

What Is a Stereo Microscope?

Dissecting or stereoscopic are the other terms used to refer to stereo microscopes. What sets it apart is its two paths of light that allow a three-dimensional view of a specimen. 

This microscope is excellent for good depth of field, due to its low magnification characteristics.

Stereo microscopes are helpful for accurate viewing when performing dissecting, inspecting insects and fossils. The typical specimens viewed with stereo microscopes are visible to the eyes. 

It is unlike the compound microscope. Compound microscopes allow you to have a magnified look of small specimens, which you can view up to 1000x. These microscopes are an excellent choice for studying microscopic specimens and microorganisms.  

How a Stereo Microscope Looks Like

Stereo microscopes are commonly binocular, which are essential for a 3D view, and either has dual power or zoom configurations. Dual power provides two magnifications, 20x and 40x such as the Optico ASZ-200B Stereo Microscope

Whereas the zoom configuration such as the Optico ASZ-600T Greenough Stereo Zoom Microscope offers a magnification range from 8x to 50x range. 

Stereo microscopes can also be available in trinocular configuration, an excellent feature for getting still images. They are also available in modular parts that need assembling. 

How to Buy a Quality Stereo Microscope

Suppose you decided that you need a stereo microscope to view your specimen. In that case, consider the following to guide your purchasing decisions.

Optical Quality

You can tell if your stereo microscope has an excellent optical quality through the objective lenses and the eyepieces. 

As for the eyepiece, if possible opt for the wide-field or super-wide field type. It provides you with a more wider field of view. 

Construction Quality

When buying a stereo microscope, never sacrifice the construction quality for the price. You will end up spending more because you will have to buy another one. 

To get a quality microscope at a reasonable price, know the features of what you are looking for and know the correct type of microscope you need. You can also save more if you find a merchant that directly stocks the microscope you want without a middleman involved.

As for the construction quality, choose the one with quality prisms and lenses.


It is best to buy a microscope with LED Illumination lighting. It provides a solid, bright and flicker free white light.

Previous article Fun microscope experiments for children #1