Instruments, Microscope

Dissecting Microscope (Stereo Microscope) Definition, Uses, Parts, Principle.

THIS BLOG INCLUDES: hide 1 Dissecting Microscope Definition 2 Principle of Dissecting microscope 3 Parts of Dissecting microscope 4 Magnification of Dissecting...

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This article writter by SouravBio on July 17, 2020

Writer and Founder of I am from India and my main purpose is to provide you a strong understanding of Microbiology.

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Dissecting Microscope
Dissecting Microscope

Dissecting Microscope Definition

    • Dissecting microscope also known as stereo or stereoscopic microscope.  It is an optical microscope that is designed for low magnification observation of a specimen.
    • It uses the reflected light rays from the specimen surface instead of transmitted light rays.
    • It provides low power magnification as compared to compound microscopes.
    • The magnification power of a Dissecting microscope ranges from 5x-80x.
    • It produces a three-dimensional image of the specimen rather than a flat image.
    • Dissecting microscope contains two separate objective lens and eyepiece, which creates two separate optical paths for each eye. As a result, it creates a 3D image of the specimen.
Dissecting Microscope
Dissecting Microscope

Principle of Dissecting microscope

A Dissecting microscope is an optical microscope that allows the viewers to see a 3D image of the specimens. This microscope differs from the compound light microscope because they have a separate objective lenses and eyepieces. This creates two separate optical paths for each eye. 3D images are produced by the different angling views for the left and right eye.

This microscope uses reflected lights from the specimen instead of transmitted lights. The specimen to be studied dissecting microscope it should be Opaque, thick, solid.

Most of the dissecting microscope contains two light sources, one from the upper portion of specimen which is reflected in the eyepieces, and the second one from the below portions of the sample for illumination through thinner samples. 

The wavelength of light and the numerical aperture of the objective, determines the resolution of the image.

Parts of Dissecting microscope

Parts of Dissecting microscope
Parts of Dissecting microscope

1. Light source:

Most of the dissecting microscope contains LED illuminators, which work as the main source of light.

2. Stereo head:

The stereo head is located at the top portion of the stereo microscope, it is movable and contains two adjustable eyepieces.

3. Eyepieces:

Stereo microscope contains two eyepieces with its own magnification power.

4. Diopter setting:

It controls the focusing differences between the left and right eye.

5. Objective Lens:

It consist of different objective lens with different magnification powers. 

6. Focus Knob: 

Dissecting microscopes have one focus knob, which moves the head portion of microscope up and down.

7. Specimen Stage:

It is located under the objective lens, and the specimen placed over it.

8. Stage clips: 

These hold the specimen slide.

9. The Optical system:

The Optical system offers fixed-focus lensing

10. Digital camera:

Most of the dissecting microscopes contain a digital camera, which records or captures the images of the specimens.

Magnification of Dissecting microscope

The total magnification powers of a Dissecting microscope or stereo microscope is referred as the combination of both magnification power of eyepiece and objective lens.

For example; If a Dissecting microscope comes with 10x eyepiece and 4x objective lens, then the total magnification power will be;

10 X 4 = 40x Magnification.

Auxiliary lens

Auxiliary lens used to alter the total magnification power of Dissecting microscope. The magnification power of an Auxiliary lens will be multiplied with the total magnification power of a stereomicroscope.

For example; if a stereo microscope with 10x eyepieces, the zoom knob is set to 5x and you also have a 0.3x auxiliary lens on the microscope.

The total magnification would be determined with the following formula 10 x 5 x 0.3 = 15x magnification.

Types of Dissecting Microscope or Stereo Microscope

1. Stereo Zoom Dissecting Microscope:

    • It is a trinocular or binocular Stereo Microscope.
    • It has a zooming range of 6.7x-45x.
    • It also contains digital camera which captures photos of the viewing images.
    • It contains a rotatable (360 degree) dual-LED illuminator.
    • The total magnification power can be changed with the addition of an auxiliary objective.

2. Stereo zoom boom stand microscopes:

    • It comes with a larger stage and base.
    • It contains optional dual-pipe lighting.
    • It has a magnification power of 6x-45x, which can be changed with the additions of an auxiliary lens.

3. Digital Tablet Dissection Microscope:

    • It is a high-end Stereo Microscopes.
    • It contains a touch screen LCD tablet and camera.
    • The camera comes with a magnification power of 6.7x-45x.
    • It also contains an auxiliary lens to increase or decrease the magnification power.
    • It contains a 5.0-megapixel digital camera to capture the image.
    • It also contains inbuild LED lights both at the top and bottom of the microscope.

4. Dual Power Dissecting Microscope:

    • It has a magnification power of 10x and 30x.
    • It has 360° rotation ability.
    • It contains dual objective pair, parfocalled, parcentered, and achromatic.
    • It contains a high LED intensity light ring.

5. Single Power Stereo Dissection Microscope:

    • It contains a magnification power of 10x-40x.
    • It also contains diopter adjustments of  50mm to 70mm.

6. Single Magnification Handheld Pocket Microscope:

    • It is a single powered handheld Stereo Microscope.
    • It has two magnification powers without any light.

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Application of Dissecting microscope

    • Used for Microsurgery in many hospitals.
    • In Paleontology, it is used to clean and analyze fossils.
    • It is also used for biological research purposes.
    • In Entomology, it is used to study insects.
    • In Botany, it used to study flowers and other plant structures.
    • It also used to repair circuit boards.
    • It is used in industries for quality control.
    • It is also used in pathological laboratories to examine the infections.
    • Watchmaker also use Stereo Microscope.

Advantages of Stereo Microscope

    • It creates a 3D image of the specimen.
    • A Stereo Microscope is portable and easy to carry.
    • The whole specimen can be observed using a Stereo Microscope.
    • Stereo Microscopes contain a digital camera, which can record or capture the image.

The disadvantage of Stereo Microscope

    • It is expensive.
    • It contains low magnification power.


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Writer and Founder of I am from India and my main purpose is to provide you a strong understanding of Microbiology.

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