Stereo Microscope
Magnification

Field of View or Field Diameter

Many people ask the question "How much magnification will I get with a 10X or 30X low power (stereo) microscope?"   As a result, we took some shots of a penny at various powers.  What you see below is the approximate field of view and relative magnification that you will see when using a low power or stereo microscope.  Approximate field of view is the distance (from left to right) that you should see in your eyepiece and relative magnification is the size relationship between the images. 

Magnification is a relative term, especially in this day of digital and video imaging.  For example, a penny is actually about 20mm wide (diameter).  If you took a metric ruler and measured the size of the penny image below, you would get a larger number (depending on your monitor size and characteristics, let's say you measure 10cm or 100mm).  The amount of magnification is then the ratio of those two numbers.  In our example, 100 divided by 20 is 5X.  If I displayed this same image on a wide screen projection TV then I could make the penny much larger, say 1 meter wide (1000mm).  Now the magnification would be 1000/20 or 50X.

So, the power you should choose is dependent mainly on your applications.   Find out how big your specimens will be and think about how much of the field (field diameter) you will want to see at one time

Field of View
at 10X
Total magnifying power

Field of View
at 15X
Total magnifying power

Field of View
at 20X
Total magnifying power

Field of View
at 30X
Total magnifying power

Field of View
at 40X
Total magnifying power

Learn more about Field Diameter here

 
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