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How to Select A Stereo Microscope?

How to Select A Stereo Microscope?

What is a Stereo Microscope?
Stereo microscope (A2 series) is a microscope that allows eyes to observe the same object through different angles of light to produce "stereoscopic vision". Stereo microscope can provide Erect Images observation, the magnification is generally between 10x-200x, much lower than the maximum magnification of biological microscope (A1 series) 2000x-3000x, it is especially suitable for those objects, which do not need be processed before observe and only need to be viewed under low magnification.

Difference Between Stereo Microscope and Biological Microscope

Working Distance

The working distance of the stereo microscope is long, which can reach 50mm~150mm; the working distance of the biological microscope rarely exceeds 20mm.

Sample Thickness

Stereo microscopes can place taller and thicker objects, such as integrated circuit blocks, larger metal parts, screws, thicker objects, etc., while biological microscopes can only place prepared slides which is only 1.2mm thick.

Depth of Field

The depth of field of the stereo microscope is large, up to 10mm, and clear images can be seen by focusing in a large range, which can produce stereoscopic images. 

The depth of field of the biological microscope is very small, especially when the high-magnification objective lens 40x or 100x is used, it needs to be carefully fine focused to get a clear images


The magnification of a stereo microscope is generally between 10x-200x; 
The max magnification of a biological microscope can reach about 40x-3000x. 

With the rapid development of digital photography technology, stereo microscopes equipped with digital cameras or LCD cameras are more popular in the market, which can display and record photos & videos of observation effects more conveniently. We also have a lot of products of this type for your choice, you can see them here:
A32 Digital StereoA36 LCD Stereo,

Main Usage of Stereo Microscopes

Stereo microscopes have a wide range of applications, including research in zoology, botany, histology, mineralogy, archaeology, geology, dermatology, etc., as well as various industrial manufacturing, chemical chemistry, plastic products, electronic products , textile products, machinery manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, food processing, jewelry inspection, printing industry, colleges and universities, and even criminal investigation identification, archaeological research and many other fields will use it to see more details and truth.

Specifically, typical uses for stereo microscopes include:

●  Preliminary observations on specimens of animals, plants, insects, etc.
●  Surface observation of mineral, geological, jewelry, etc. specimens
●  In the textile industry, the inspection of cotton wool raw materials and fabric fibers
●  Skin, hair and other medical examinations, or surgical aids
●  In the electronics industry, solder joint inspection of circuit boards and transistors
●  Industrial manufacturing, various cracks, pores, corrosion, coating and surface inspection
●  Forensic evidence identification, document coin identification, printing quality inspection 

How to select the right stereo microscope? 

The most important factor for choosing a stereo microscope is what are you going to observe with it? Depending on your application, you can narrow down your choices by choosing a type of microscope first, and then determine which one is best for you based on your price range. 

In the category of stereo microscopes (A2 series), there are some different classifications according to the zoom method, optical structure, base and optional accessories.

Zoom Mode: Step Zoom and Continuous Zoom
Step zoom stereo microscope, 

The A22 Step Zoom is a basic entry-level stereo microscope. Its objective lens magnification is generally 2 steps (1x/2x, 1x/3x, 2x/4x), or 3 steps (1x) /2x/3x, 1x/2x/4x), with WF10x or WF20x eyepiece, the total magnification can reach 80x, generally no auxiliary lens is optional. When zooming, you can just twist the objective housing. 

If you only need to quickly inspect the surface of some objects, the magnification requirement is not high, or the bulk purchase needs to control the budget, the step zoom stereo microscope A22 Step Zoom is an ideal choice, its structure is sturdy and reliable, low price, easy to use, maintenance Convenient, small size, and can be equipped with rechargeable batteries, easy to move or even for outdoor use.

Continuous zoom stereo microscope 

A23 Continuous Zoom, this higher-level microscope, by using more complex mechanical structure and optical design, allows the observer to continuously enlarge or reduce magnification, generally from 0.7-4.5x or more Large, and by matching different eyepieces and auxiliary lenses, the total magnification can reach about 5~250x. The value obtained by dividing the maximum magnification by the minimum magnification is called the zoom ratio, which is an important parameter of the continuous zoom microscope, it can reach up to 1:10 or 1:20. The larger the zoom ratio, the more complex the system and the higher the price.

If you need greater magnification to observe objects, better optical imaging, or need to configure a digital camera for photomicrography, all you need is the A23 Continuous Zoom stereo microscope, in this category, there are many models that fit your budget and requirements

Optical Quality: Greenough and CMO Parallel Light

A23 series stereo microscopes, there are two different designs of the internal optical structure: Greenough and CMO.

The oldest stereo microscope system, named after the inventor Greenough, consists of two identical (symmetrical) optical systems, each containing a separate eyepiece and objective, precisely aligned within a single housing. The intersection angle of the two optical systems is usually 10~12°, the left eye views the object from the left side, and the right eye views the same object from the right side at a slightly different angle, thus forming a stereoscopic image in the observer's eye. 

The design of the CMO main objective stereo microscope is centered on the refraction action of a single large diameter objective through which objects can be seen in both the left and right channels. Each channel operates as an independent optical system parallel to each other, so we also call it a parallel light path microscope. This parallel light path between the objective lens and the head is the biggest design feature and practical advantage of the CMO. This design allows us to effortlessly add accessories such as beamsplitter, coaxial illuminators, photographic devices, etc. into the microscope body and head. The space between the head and body parts greatly expands its application range. 

Both optical systems have their own advantages. Greenough microscopes are often used for routine applications such as soldering tiny electronic components, dissecting biological specimens, etc., especially when purchased in big quantity. CMO microscope cost several times more than Greenough microscopes, cost may be a major consideration for buyers who require tens to hundreds of microscopes. 

The main objective is more light-gathering than the Greenough design and is generally more corrected for optical aberrations and can be equipped with a variety of advanced optics, lighting and photographic accessories, so is more commonly used in experiments requiring high resolution or complex applications Chamber studies, as well as observation and photomicrography are best performed using a CMO microscope. Stereo microscopes with CMO parallel light path structure are generally large in size, high in zoom ratio, many optional accessories, high-level models with complete upgradeable functions, and the price is relatively high. 

The following models with CMO parallel light system have very good optics Quality and design, very popular in the market.

Optional Accessories to Extend the Application Range
Eyepiece and Objective 

After selecting a stereo microscope model, if a larger or smaller magnification is required, we can achieve it by matching objective lenses and eyepieces. 

The eyepiece tube of the stereo microscope is generally Dia.30mm. In addition to the standard configuration of the most common WF10x eyepiece, we can also provide more optional eyepieces, such as WF15x, WF20x, and even WF30x. 

Continuous zoom microscopes, including Greenough and CMO, there are usually auxiliary lenses to choose from. Selecting the 0.5x additional objective lens can reduce the magnification and enlarge the field of view, while selecting the 1.5x, 2.0x additional objective lens can obtain a larger magnification and a smaller field of view. For specific magnification changes and field changes, please refer to the webpage of each microscope product.


Most Greenough configuration Continuous zoom stereo microscope lenses, adopt the standard bracket size of Dia.76mm. For this standard size, we have 35 kinds of bases A54.3630 to choose from.

Choose a different base, you can get a larger working distance, which means that the distance between the top of the sample and the front lens of the objective lens is larger, so you can manipulate the sample more easily and flexibly during use; or you can get a different built-in light source, focusing hand Wait for the configuration you like. 

Digital Camera 

Depending on whether you need to measure and take pictures at work, or share and discuss observations with colleagues in real time, you can choose a digital camera, or an all-in-one digital stereo microscope. In addition to taking pictures and videos, this type of microscope can also be equipped with professional microscopic measurement and analysis software to quantify observation results and output inspection reports.

First, you can choose a trinocular stereo microscope + C-Mount, and a digital camera. We have many A59 Digital Cameras to choose from, from ordinary USB output to HDMI output, as well as the latest WIFI output and autofocus, depth-of-field composite cameras, all can work perfectly with your choice of trinocular stereo microscope.

Or you can also choose a digital stereo microscope that integrates a camera and a microscope. The built-in digital camera of this model is generally relatively fixed, but fortunately, the structure is simple, easy to use, and easy to maintain. A32 Digital Stereo microscope View optional models can be seen here

A36 LCD Stereo Microscope is a good choice if you need to share images in real time for your colleagues to watch, or to display the teaching environment. This type of microscope integrates a digital camera and an LCD display. , It can take pictures and videos and can be easily measured. It can be used for mobile phone repair circuit detection, jewelry identification and other different needs.

Lighting Source

In addition to the built-in upper and lower light sources of the stereo microscope itself, we also have a variety of external A56 Microscope Light Sources to choose from. Choosing a good light source can illuminate the entire desired contrast uniformly and accurately reveal the true color of the sample . 

Special Purpose Stereo Microscope 
Jewelry Microscope 

A24 Jewelry Microscope, jewelry and diamonds and other samples generally need to be equipped with jewelry clips and darkfield workbenches. The following microscopes can meet your needs and have excellent imaging results. 

3D Spinning Monocular Microscope

The angle of observation of the microscopic world has expanded from a single frontal observation to a 3D omnidirectional multi-angle observation, which greatly improves the detail of the observed sample. Real-time high-resolution dynamic images of all sides of the sample can be observed in 360° omnidirectional and large depth of field without tilting, with a strong sense of three-dimensionality and layering, and the rotation speed can be changed to observe positions that cannot be displayed by traditional lenses, such as PCB parts below chip components, inside metal holes, side walls, etc. A21 3D Microscope series can be widely used in SMT, PCB, BGA and other surface mount industries. 

Professional Cell Phone Repair Stereo Microscope

Stereo microscope, equipped with LCD display + handheld USB microscope, or a large rubber base for mobile phone repair, is our most popular microscope A36.5102, A23.1503 for mobile phone repair. The latest A36.5101 integrates High-definition screen and monocular zoom body, compact body with powerful functions, very suitable for mobile phone repair shop owners. 

In order to store and use tools conveniently, you need a large anti-scalding bottom plate with tool storage, then A23.1503 will be your best choice.

Beauty Industry Skin and Hair Detection Microscope

The convenient and compact handheld USB microscope A34.4191, or the handheld WIFI microscope A34.4199 can meet the needs. The observation results can be perfectly displayed on the mobile phone or computer through the output method of USB and Wifi, and the inspection can be carried out anytime, anywhere. In addition, our exclusive designed professional microscope A34.4902 for skin and hair inspection, equipped with various accessories and charging functions, is very popular in the European market. 


As a traditional optical instrument, the microscope has been one of the most important tools for human beings to explore the microscopic world since its birth. With the continuous integration of modern photography technology, a variety of models suitable for various industries have been developed. At present, the entry-level low-end to some high-end microscopes in the international market are mostly produced in China.

As one of the most professional microscope suppliers in China, Opto-Edu collects almost all types of microscopes and products from domestic manufacturers. As you can see, there are more than 2000+ microscope models on our website. We understand that customers may encounter difficulties in choosing a suitable microscope, that’s why we launched a series of articles on How to Select Microscpe, hoping to let customers know how we classify and select microscope models from the perspective of practical application and selection

For any further questions and suggestions, you are very welcome to contact at any time, our professional product managers will be more than happy to help you choose the most suitable product.


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