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What kinds of microscope heads are there?

Found in: Microscopy Basics

The microscope head carries the eyepieces. There are monocular, binocular and trinocular heads.

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  • Monocular heads: Here you can only use one eye for viewing. Many educational microscopes have monocular heads, as they are the cheapest of all types.
  • Binocular heads: These are standard for stereo microscopes. Compound microscopes can also have them, but the image produced is not stereoscopic. Binocular microscopes are much more comfortable for long-term viewing. The inter-pupillary distance can be adjusted by moving the eyepieces either apart or together. Binocular microscopes also have a possibility to do a diopter adjustment, in case the two eyes are not equally good.
  • Trinocular heads: These have a third tube for the attachment of a camera. You also need a camera adapter in order to do photography.
Types of microscopes heads

Stereo microscopes (left) have a binocular head. Conventional compound microscopes (center and right) can either have monocular or binocular heads.

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