Categories of Light Microscopes The Stereo Microscope

The stereo microscope is a valuable tool for general magnification of botanical materials as well as sample selection and preparation of plant sections (Figure 5.1)—hence, the alternative name of dissecting microscope. A stereo microscope comprises two compound microscopes that focus on an object from different angles, providing a three-dimensional view of the item. The image is upright, showing the true right and left, in contrast to the upside down and reversed image that is seen through a compound microscope. Stereo microscopes provide low-power magnification of 100x or lower, in comparison to compound microscopes (40-600x). This level of magnification is sufficient for the work of sample selection and section preparation. A stereo microscope used for botanical microscopy should have a zoom optic and a total magnification of 3-40x.

Stereoscopic Microscope Exam
FIGURE 5.1 Stereo microscope used in the examination of crude plant materials for selecting specimens and preparing sections for microscopic examination. (Image courtesy of Prof. Dr. Reinhard Länger, AGES PharmMed, Vienna, Austria.)

Diopter ring

Eyepiece

Eyepiece

Revolving nosepiece

Iris Diaphragm

Stage motion control knobs: Y-axis X-axis

Field lens

Field diaphragm ring

Centering screw

FIGURE 5.2 Compound microscope. (Image courtesy of Prof. Dr. Reinhard Länger, AGES PharmMed, Vienna, Austria.)

Revolving nosepiece

Objective

Stage motion control knobs: Y-axis X-axis

Field lens

Field diaphragm ring

Centering screw

FIGURE 5.2 Compound microscope. (Image courtesy of Prof. Dr. Reinhard Länger, AGES PharmMed, Vienna, Austria.)

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