Microscope Buyers Checklist

Use this checklist when requesting a quote for a customized upright compound microscope.

What magnification eyepieces should I choose?
You should always choose 10x eyepieces unless your specific end use/analysis requires otherwise. 10x is the industry standard. As the magnification of the eyepiece goes up, the field of view (amount you see through the eyepiece) goes down.
  • 10x
  • 15x
  • 20x
What “field number” should my eyepieces have?
The field number determines the width of your field of view under different magnifications. The wider the better. (Formula: Filed Number/Objective Magnification = Field of View)
  • 18mm
  • 18.5mm
  • 20mm
  • 22mm
What power objectives should I order?
Your objective power (in conjunction with your eyepiece power) determines your total magnification. Chose how many objectives you need and what power magnification each objective should be to meet you needs.
  • 1x
  • 2x
  • 4x
  • 10x
  • 20x
  • 40x
  • 50x Oil Immersion
  • 60x
  • 100x Oil Immersion
Which grade of objectives should I chose?
Plan Achromats are the standard choice. The more expensive Fluorite objectives are typically reserved for fluorescent microscopy or other microscopy that requires color and spherical correction above and beyond plan achromats. Apochromats are reserved for need specific analysis where chromatic and spherical corrections are required with high numerical apertures. .
  • Plan Achromat
  • Fluorite (More Expensive than Plan Achromats)
  • Apochromats (More Expensive that Fluorites)

Which Microscope Head Should I Choose?

A trinocular head will be required if you intend to mount a camera. If you don’t need a camera, you will be using a binocular head. You can chose between standard binocular and the more expensive ergonomic binocular.The Ergonomic head can greatly increase the price of your microscope as it is one of the biggest cost upgrades.

  • Binocular
  • Ergonomic Binocular
  • Trinocular
  • Ergonomic Trinocular
  • 3 Position Trinocular
How many holes should I chose for my nosepiece?
You will chose your nosepiece based on the number of objectives you will be using. If you intend on using an object marker, you will chose a nosepiece with an additional hole.
  • Quadruple (4 Hole)
  • Quintuple (5 Hole)
  • Sextuple (6 Hole)
  • Heptuple (7 Hole)
What type of stage should I chose?
You should choose from the following options for a stage.
  • Mechanical – Right Handed (Standard)
  • Mechanical – Left Handed (Special Order)
  • Fixed (For slide manipulation with your fingers. Typically Pathologist)
What type of condenser do I need?
Your going to choose your standard Abbe condenser unless you require a specific condenser for special observation.
  • Abbe Condenser
  • Slide Out Condenser (Required if using a 1x Objective)
  • Flip Condenser (Required if using a 2x Objective)
  • Phase Turret Condenser (Combo condense for Bright field, Phase, and Dark field)
  • Darkfield Dry
  • Darkfield Oil
Variable Illumination System

Always choose LED over Halogen unless you have a specific need requiring halogen.LED is safer on your eyes and this green technology is more cost effective over the long run.

Which Modules are available? 
The following Microscope Modules are available for Laboratory Microscopy and should be used based only on need as the price of the microscope will increase with each module.
  • Simple Black and White Polarization
  • Color Polarization
  • Face to Face Teaching Head
  • Side by Side Teaching Head
  • Multiple Teaching Heads (3, 5, 7, 10)
  • Camera
  • Fluorescent Microscope System/Filter Sets/Cubes
  • Phase Contrast Package
  • Object Marker
Additional Standard Items for Consideration? 
The following should be included in all new microscope purchases from a reputable vendor.
  • 5 Year Warranty or better.
  • Instruction Manual in Digital Format
  • Power Cord
  • Dust Cover

Microscope Manufacturers:

The list below includes the major microscope manufacturers. If you do not see a particular microscope manufacturer on this list, they did not meet our standards.

The list has the premium microscope manufacturers who we judge to have the highest quality control in regards to their optical components. We have also listed several reputable companies for their economical qualities for those laboratories where budget pricing supersedes highest quality.

Chose a microscope manufacturing company. 

Nikon (Premium – Recommended)
Olympus (Premium)
Leica (Premium)
Zeiss (Premium)
Accuscope (Economical)
Labomed (Economical)
Meiji (Semi-Premium)
View Solutions (Stereo)
Ken A Vision (Educational)
Other _______________


                                                                                            Buyers make submit questions to us using our Contact Us feature.

* Make sure you use a reputable microscope vendor for your purchase. Seek out a company who offers free consultations.

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How to calibrate a stereo microscope.

How do I complete the initial focus set up on a stereo zoom microscope

 1) Center your specimen on the stage for observation.

2) Adjust your lighting so that the specimen is properly illuminated on the stage.

3) Set your adjustable eyepiece(s) to 0. Your dot (marking) on the eyepiece collar should match up with the 0.

4) Set your zoom to the highest power.

5) Use the focus block to bring your specimen into focus.

6) Using your right eye only, look through the eyepiece on the right side and focus it so that the image is at it’s sharpest.

7) Using your left eye only, look through the eyepiece on the left side and focus it so that the image is at it’s sharpest.

8) Rotate your zoom knob to the lowest power. Your microscope should now be calibrated so that your specimen is in focus throughout the entire zoom range.


How to calibrate a line micrometer

A straight line micrometer (sometimes referred to as a reticle) is a measuring device installed in the eyepiece of a microscope. The  ocular micrometer consists of a straight line numbered 1 through 10 divided into one hundred divisions. The metric between each division changes based on the different powers of magnification used.


An example of how to calibrate an eyepiece micrometer can be found at the following link: Calibrating an Eyepiece Micrometer