Stereo Microscopes

Stereo Microscopes are typically used in work or study environments that require users to work with the specimen with their hands or with tools under the microscope. They operate at lower magnifications to most other microscopes but still many times higher than a macro lens however, some models can achieve 300X with decent resolution if you pay enough!  These microscopes are probably the best type of commonly purchased microscope for amateur microscopists to use.  They are ideal for all lumpy subjects such as insects, rock, plants etc.  The quality of the image is very closely related to the price you pay with this class of microscope.  Images projected to the camera (especially) from microscopes costing 3,000-4,000 GBP are very significantly better than those costing 700GBP or less.  Images to the eyepieces generally look good at any price point above 500GBP.  These microscopes give a 3D image to the eyepieces, this is why they are called stereo. 
Stereo Microscopes always have binocular or trinocular heads.  Cameras are best attached to the trinocular versions  - you will still need a microscope specific camera adapterin order to attach your camera and each type of camera has a camera specific connection at the camera end of the adapter, there are other considerations such as magnification and parfocality - it is easy to get this bit wrong - Ultramacro are experts in this field and manufacturers of adapters, we will be happy to advise.
There are 4 fundamental types of Stereo Microscopes:
  • Single Magnification Stereo Microscopes - change magnification by changing objective cartridges and/or eyepieces (lowest cost microscopes).  These are the cheapest and never have a trinocular version.
  • Dual Magnification Stereo Microscopes - change magnification between two levels by rotating the 'nosepiece', typically 10x/30x and 20x/40x. This type almost never have a trinocular option.
  • Zoom Magnification Greenough Design Stereo Zoom Microscopes - by far the most popular type of microscope where you change magnification using a zoom control knob.  Every manufacturer has trinocular versions of these microscopes.  Greenough design are the most common and lower cost type of stereo zoom microscope.  Magnifications to 300X can be achieved but mostly you will get best results in the 5X-70X range.
  • Zoom Magnification Common Main Objective/Parallel Optics Design Stereo Zoom Microscopes - a research grade microscope where you change magnification using a zoom control knob but the optics are generally superior and modules can be inserted into the lightpath if needed.  Every manufacturer has trinocular versions of these microscopes.  Parallel Optics design are the most expensive type of Stereo Microscope.  Magnifications to 450X can be achieved.
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