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Microscopes are invaluable to scientific studies of all kinds. Allowing us to see details that are invisible to the ordinary eyes, they’ve come in handy across all fields of science. Over the years, there have been several efforts to tune them for more specific purposes. Hence, we have various types and sizes.

The stereo microscope is popular among scientists and several other professions. You can hardly find a lab without one. But when you hear about the stereo microscope, do you imagine a device that allows you to see beyond the provision of the naked eyes while blasting some music? How do you identify one of these devices, and what should influence your choice when purchasing one from the stores?

Well, as you read on, you will know what a stereo microscope is and how to choose the best stereo microscope from the several types available in stores. Besides, we’ve taken time to review some of these devices to ease your pick. You would find the FAQs section enlightening as well.

What is a Stereo Microscope?

A stereo microscope is an optical device that allows you to see a specimen in a three-dimensional view without seeing through them. Also known as a dissecting microscope, this device magnifies in low power.

Stereo microscopes have a relatively low magnification compare to compound microscopes. Hence, its function is to magnify the details of a sample that you can see. So, with a stereo microscope, you will be able to see the features of a fly, flower, and mosquito without any hitch.

Most stereo microscopes never exceed 50X magnification without some auxiliary lenses, so objects like coins, wristwatches, circuit boards, and opaque biological samples are the targets. Nevertheless, a few add-ons, such as the supporting lenses, can boost the magnifying ability up to twice its initial.

Stereo microscopes offer sufficient working distance, making it possible to work on what you are seeing. Seeing things up close in 3D is another edge the device has over its contemporary. That is why the stereo microscope comes in handy in professions like surgery, watchmaking, forensics, entomology, and several more. You can find them in various sizes and viewing capacities, and stand types.

3 Best Stereo Microscopes Reviews

1. AmScope SE305-P Binocular Stereo Microscope

Easily one of the most popular stereo microscopes around, the AmScopeS305-P Binocular Stereo Microscope makes a good buy for amateurs and pros alike.

The device angles at 45 degrees, making it perfect for classroom and home use. The 10x widefield eyepieces provide comfortable binocular viewing, so you don’t have to strain an eye. Besides, the interpupillary distance is adjustable between 55mm and 75mm, allowing everyone to set it at their custom spacing. Young adults and children would find it pleasurable to use this device to view insects and other specimens wherever there is a flat surface to place it.

Also, you can choose between the 1x and 3x objectives as they suit the type of specimen you wish to magnify. 10W of halogen light provides illumination from beneath and above. The stage has both white and black sides to choose from to contrast between the transparent and opaque specimen.

Lastly, the price pales in comparison to the quality it has to offer. There shouldn’t be a problem getting one, even for the kids.


  • Easy to assemble
  • Comfy Rubber eye guards
  • Adaptable stage clips
  • Interchangeable objectives
  • Reversible black and white stage


  • Limited professional use

2. SWIFT S7 7X-45X Trinocular Stereo Microscope

Adding flexibility to versatility, the SWIFT S7 7X-45X Trinocular Stereo Microscope is a worthy inclusion among the best stereo microscopes.

The device possesses two widefield 10X eyepieces, each able to correct images using their 0.7X-4.5X objective lenses. You can get up to 45X magnification in a fluid and continuous motion.

Meanwhile, the binocular viewing eyepiece is angled at 45 degrees to allow you to view for long times without neck aches. You have the luxury of setting the interpupillary distance between 54mm and 76mm. It’s down to you to decide the perfect spacing for you.

A third viewing port allows a second person to check on your work. If you are please, you could introduce a camera as the third eye to take images and record your discoveries. That means you can relive the moment to derive more details when you are not in the lab.

The single-arm boom can swing around to ensure viewing at any side you choose, so your positioning won’t matter. Providing excellent illumination is its 56-bulb LED ring-light. Even more, the uniform lighting prevents the formation of shadows on a specimen.

Again, the durability of the SWIFT S7 7X-45X Trinocular Stereo Microscope is never in doubt as it has a metal construction.


  • Flexible positioning
  • Allows large specimens
  • Third port for camera
  • Superior lighting without shadows
  • Sturdy metallic construction


  • It doesn’t come with a camera

3. AmScope ZM-4TW3-FOR-8M Stereo Microscope

The AmScope ZM-4TW3-FOR-8M Stereo Microscope is every professional’s dream gadget. A USB port is present, which allows you to project directly in a class as others share the knowledge in real-time. This feature also reduces the strain that arises from peeping through the eye view for a long time.

Also, it comes with an installation CD which makes it very easy to connect to a computer. The option of connecting to your computer means you can carry out diverse activities on the clips and photographs.

Choose from either the EW10x22mm or the EW25x9mm eyepieces and several magnification options. One of these options is the inclusion of Barlow lenses of 0.3X and 2.0X to reduce or increase the zooming power, respectively. So, though its magnifying ability peaks at 45X, you can get a 90X zoom using its auxiliary lens.

As a trinocular view microscope, you can partner with another observer for inspection of results. On the other hand, the gadget comes with an advanced 8MP camera which fits in the third viewpoint to take still pictures or record videos. Editing images on it is also one of the functions you would enjoy from the camera.

You’ll find the double-arm boom enjoyable as it allows three-dimensional movement of the microscope head. You can choose the angle that suits your viewing. The device boasts superior lighting with a rheostat to control the degree of illumination. That makes it suitable for samples that are highly sensitive to heat.


  • Easily view large objects
  • Comes with a camera
  • Connects camera and PC
  • Auxiliary lenses to adjust magnification
  • Cool-light halogen lamp


  • Double boom stand occupies much deskspace
  • Doesn’t comes with a stage plate

How to Maintain a Stereo Microscope

The stereo microscope is a piece of delicate equipment. Knowing how important precision is to its functionality, parts must be in good condition. Here are some tips for maintaining your stereo microscope.

1. Cleaning

You can wipe clean only the exterior part of the lens using a solvent designed for lens cleaning. Note that you must maintain a circular motion while cleaning the lens and other glass pieces. You will need a specialized type of lens duster to clean the inner part of the lenses. Use a soft brush or dry blower to remove dust from the hard-to-reach part of the microscope.

2. Energy Preservation

Turn off the microscope lights when you are not using them. By doing that, you are preserving the life of the bulbs as it has a projected life span measured in hours.

3. Carrying

The best place to lift a stereo microscope to prevent it from falling is the base. While you may hold the support arm, the weight must be on your palm at the bottom and not the portion you are gripping.

4. Storage

Ensure the slide and or specimen is no longer on the stage. Unplug the power cord, and focus the scope inward to avoid exposure to objects that can damage it. Ensure enough distance between the stage and objective lens before storing. That’s to prevent the objective lens from getting damaged in case of a sudden bump. Cover the lenses with their cover and pull dust cover over the microscope. Lastly, avoid storing the device in an enclosure that may be too hot or cold.

How to Select the Best Stereo Microscope

There are several stereo microscopes, all with great features. Here are some factors you must consider when selecting one.

1. Application

Your profession or application would ultimately decide which one to buy. Would the work be repetitive or varying? What level of magnification would you need for the job? Do you intend to record your discovery by video covering or penning it down? These and other factors all depend on your work.

2. Zoom

Unarguably, this is one of the most crucial features of any microscope. The purpose of a stereo microscope is to magnify objects, so how well it can do so should be the topmost priority. Most stereo microscopes have their maximum magnification or zooming at 40X. While that is often enough, your job may require a little extra. Take, for example, watchmaking. In that case, you should go for one with a Barlow lens above 1X to increase the magnification.

3. Lighting

While some have multiple light sources, others have just one. The positioning of the light and its intensity determines the level of illumination it would provide. We have LED lights, fluorescent lights, and halogen lights as options for lens illumination. All-round brilliance is ideal for you, especially when you are dealing with temperature-sensitive specimens, as shade from shadows can cause some modifications in them. Consider one with lighting underneath and above the stage plate or one with several light bulbs.

4. Stand

There are two stand options, namely the static and swiveling types. The former is more compact and suitable for small and flat specimens. On the other hand, the latter allows for larger samples, and the boom making it usable in different focus areas. The drawback of the boom stand is its bulkiness, especially when you have to store it away.

5. Ergonomic features

Working with microscopes can be strenuous to the eyes and neck over a period. If your work requires using the equipment for a prolonged time, consider getting one with the angling of the eyepiece at 45 degrees. Also, those with a rubber eye guard will provide a softer and comfortable connection between your eyes and the eyepieces. See that the microscope is usable while you are in your most comfortable posture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What can you see under a stereo microscope?

The general use of a stereo microscope is to see some hidden details of an object that you can see with your bare eyes or handle with your hand. Items that we can view under the stereo microscope are opaque and solid objects. Examples include flowers, electronic components, stamps, and lots more.

2. Is the boom hand important at all?

Boom microscopes allow more flexibility of use as you can rotate the microscope head in quick time. A single boom makes an XY movement possible, while the double boom allows vertical and horizontal steps (XYZ). Hence, boom stands are crucial for anyone needing space due to the large specimen size.

3. What is the difference between a Binocular and a Trinocular microscope?

There are not so many disparities between the two. They both have two eyepieces. However, a trinocular microscope allows you to mount a camera to support the eyepieces, unlike the binocular.

4. How much magnification can a stereo microscope possess?

Stereo microscopes can have as high as 100X magnification with the aid of supplement lenses. However, most stereo microscopes do not naturally exceed 50X magnification. Judging by the task it should perform, that is usually sufficient.

5. Do stereo microscopes invert images?

Yes, stereo microscopes invert images like all other microscopes. Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear so when you look through the eyepiece because of its additional magnification system. The system corrects the image and makes it appear upright. If the images appear inverted, it would be tricky to work with the display when dissecting a specimen and doing some manipulations.

6. Can Stereo microscopes work on transparent samples?

No! By its mode of functioning, stereo microscopes do not work with transparent objects. Stereo microscopes work with the reflected light from the surface of the sample. Consequently, it has a low power magnification and is ideal for solid objects with opacity and thickness.

Final Thoughts

The sheer variety of stereomicroscopes in the stores can get you confused. So, while stocking for one, ensure you choose the ones that have satisfied our guide on how to select the best stereomicroscope.

Besides, you don’t have to break the bank before you get the best. There are always less pricey alternatives that would do as much as their counterpart. Our picks have passed through this consideration. You would have no regrets choosing one.

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