An important thing to consider when choosing a jewelry microscope is its head type. Monocular, binocular, and trinocular head types are designed differently and suited for particular types of observations.
Monocular microscopes have a single tube that houses an eyepiece at one end and an objective lens at the other. The design means that specimens will appear flat and without depth when you look in the eyepiece. Monocular microscopes are easy to use and ideal for classrooms or as a home microscope for kids and teens.
Binocular microscopes have two tubes and eyepieces, and this can make it more comfortable to examine specimens. Binocular head pieces can be used in educational, research, and commercial settings.
Trinocular microscopes are similar to binocular ones except that they have an extra port for attaching a camera and taking photographs or videos. This makes the trinocular head type ideal for educators or researchers.
Each microscope type will be further defined below in their respective section, however, a very simple way to determine what kind of microscope you need is by thinking of the sample type you want to view. Compound microscopes tend to require samples that you can pass light through to create an image, as the light comes from the bottom of the microscope up through the sample (transmitted illumination).
If you know what you’d like to do with a compound microscope, the following table can assist in getting you started with what you’re looking for with some common suggestions.
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