The microscope is an incredible gift of science. It makes you look at this world with a whole new perspective. If you are looking for one, then you should know that there are two basic types of microscopes, a Compound Microscope, and a Stereo Microscope.
While a lot of people wonder which one is the best, a stereo microscope or a compound microscope. Finding the right was harder as both are used to magnify an object, but the uses of both are entirely different.
This blog describes the differences between Compound microscopes and Stereo microscopes. Want to know which one is the best for you? Yeah! You’ll surely make the right choice after knowing the comparison between compound and stereo microscope.
Keep on reading…
Difference Between Compound Microscope and Stereo Microscope
|Specification||Compound Microscope||Stereo Microscope|
|Magnification||Up to 50x||up to 1000x|
|Depth of field||Shallow||Deep|
|Specimen||Thinly sliced||Opaque/ solid|
|Illumination||Transmitted light illumination||Incident light illumination|
|Image type||Cells||3d image|
Magnification: A compound microscope is also known as a biological microscope. It has a high magnification power and uses a compound lens system with transmitted light illumination.
Zoom: The eyepiece lens has the power of 10x or sometimes 25x, and the four objective lenses have the power of 4x, 10x, 40x, and 100x. The product of the power of eyepiece and objective lens gives the magnification power, which is 40x, 100x, 400x, and 1000x.
Lightening: A compound or Biological microscope has a single light source in the base. A condenser focuses the light on the slide placed on the stage. A diaphragm controls the amount of light reaching the specimen.
Resolution: You will love the process of slide making and dying with different stains for color contrast. The resolution power of a compound microscope is impressive, but it has a shallow depth of field.
Usages: Due to the high magnification power, Compound microscopes are used to observe cut sections of large objects. The specimens that can be viewed should be thinly sliced so we can observe cells. It is used to observe minute details in smaller specimens.
The compound microscope is mainly used in high school laboratories, hospitals, and research facilities. It is the right choice for students. The compound microscope is the best choice for you If you are a hobbyist and want to explore the micro world. You can go for budget friendly microscopes If these don’t match your budget
Magnification: If you are someone who is into the details of macro objects, then Stereo Microscope is for you. It is also known as Dissecting Microscope. The magnification power is usually low, which is up to 50x.
Viewing the object: Unlike Compound Microscope, Stereo Microscope has two separate optical paths as they have two different objective lenses and eyepiece. The image is produced at slightly different angles and can be viewed at the same time.
Lightening | Illumination: The object is lightened by two light sources, one present above the stage and the other beneath the stage. The illumination is referred to as incident light illumination.
Imaging: Spatially-separated optical paths and the illumination are essential as they create a 3D image of the object and provides excellent depth of field and working distance.
Best for: The stage is big enough to occupy solid, opaque objects as compared to that of a compound microscope. Jewelry, coins, insects, minerals, Electronics, etc. can be viewed in it. So it is best for coin collectors, entomologists, high school dissection and inspection, and quality control.
The stereo microscopes are binocular, making them perfect for children. It satisfies the knowledge cravings of the children as live creatures can also be observed in it.
Compound VS Stereo Microscope: Which one to choose?
Now when it comes to which one you should choose. I would suggest considering two things; age and purpose. Analyze what features you specifically want in your microscope and then decide.
When it comes to age, I would specifically talk about children. They will love to explore the world using a Stereo Microscope. All they want is a quick inspection of what they are looking at.
For example, say a butterfly wing. Kids will be amused to see a closed view of those colorful wings.
Also, the stereo microscope is very quick to set up. You have to place the object and observe a magnified 3D view. A compound Microscope is not easy to use, which you can learn with this guide. The whole process of slide making and the viewing of different powers of objective lenses will be very engaging and fun.
If you are someone who wants to observe cut sections of large objects or tissues or identify cells like bacteria, viruses, fungi, if I say more precisely, then go for a compound microscope. They have higher magnification power and are a good source of illumination.
There are a lot of differences between compound and stereo microscopes, but both of them are used widely. Each has its own importance and is used for different purposes.
If you are looking for higher magnification power, then go for a compound microscope. If you want a 3D image of an opaque object, go for a stereomicroscope.
So I hope by now you will be having a clear idea of what you want. Just keep your head sorted and start your hunt.