Guide to Stereo Binocular Microscopes

For the most intricate repairs of jewellery, miniature paintings; for inspection of PCBs, prints, photographs, stamps, coins, medals; for identification of gemstones, plants and insects.

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Contents

Magnifications, Depth of Field & Working Distance
Magnification, Dimensions, Weight, Comments
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Photographs: a very approximate idea of what you will see through the eyepieces

Magnifications, Depth of Field & Working Distance

 

8X

10X

20X

30X

40X

Product ref.
Price includes VAT

Field of view (20p. coin)

Depth of field.
Working dist.

Field of view (20p. coin)

Depth of field.
Working dist.

Field of view (20p. coin)

Depth of field.
Working dist.

Field of view (20p. coin)

Depth of field.
Working dist.

Field of view (20p. coin)

Depth of field.
Working dist.

micr-stx-20X

 

 

 

 

1/5

1mm

  175mm

 

 

 

 

micr-8X
£95.00

All
+ a bit more

10mm
   229mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

micr-10X-30X

 

 

All
(Just!)

3mm
  100mm

 

 

“TWE”
maybe 10th

A bit less than 1mm

 

 

micr-10X

 

 

½

5mm
11”  289mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

micr-gem

 

 

 

 

 

 

“TWENT”
maybe 8th

2½”  60mm 

“TW”

a fraction of 1mm

 

FIELD OF VIEW: how much of a 20p coin you can see without having to move it. The letters refer to the word TWENTY on the coin.

DEPTH OF FIELD: how much stays in focus without having to re-focus:

  • the 8X stays in focus as you move the item up to 10mm closer / further way, so you can hold an item in your fingers, move it about, and keep it in focus.  
  • at 10X (depth of field 5mm) you can manoeuvre an item in your fingers and keep it in focus, providing you have a steady hand.
  • at 20X the item has to be kept flat, good for inspection, OK for untangling a hairspring, too powerful for general work on watch movements.
  • at 30X or more the item has to be flat to stay in focus, so for gemstones you must refocus to see the surface of a stone or to see an inclusion.  

WORKING DISTANCE: the maximum distance from the objective lens to the table. Also think about the general format of the microscope. Would a "swan-neck" arm (micr-8X) give you enough space to work? Or maybe the long-arm version (micr-10X) is better for large or 'lumpy' objects.  Or if you are working with small flat objects, then any of the other models would be fine.

Magnification, Dimensions, Weight, Comments

 

Product ref.

Price includes VAT

Size, mm

H - W
D

Weight, g

Item weight not posting weight

Magnification

Comments

micr-stx-20X

 260 - 110
137

720 

20X

As a ‘miniature’ microscope, this is good to use in place of a 20X jewellers loupe. Although the optical quality is not as good as our other microscopes, it’s better than any 20X loupe, it’s small enough to carry around in a bag and the light is battery-operated. I would rate the quality, being a) good and b) stereo, as being better than the £89.00 Zeiss lens...though, of course, it won't actually fit into a pocket.

micr-8X

420 - 150
160

4,200

8X

Good for general inspection. The best for repair jobs on the smallest of items, but I mean really small, e.g. miniature paintings, PCBs, very tiny jewellery repairs, and fine work on watch movements, e.g. untangling a hairspring, oiling a jewel (it’s too powerful for general work). It has the same superb optics as the other microscopes, below, but the price is kept down by having a simple swan-neck instead of a rack-and-pinion mechanism, and by not having its own light (use a table light).

micr-10X-30X

300 - 120 
180

 2,950

10X

30X

10X magnification is the standard magnification for stamps and coins, postcards and paintings, paper and printing, fabrics and any other sheet material. 10X is also the absolute maximum you can actually ‘work under, providing the items are relatively flat, e.g. for untangling a very small hairspring or oiling a really tiny jewel in a watch movement. 30X is good for very fine inspection work, e.g. to check the condition of the edges of a jewel in a watch movement. The light is mains-powered.

micr-10X

465 - 130
260  

7,350

10X

Everything I say about 'working under' a 10X, above, applies to this microscope too. This one has the advantage of of a tall stem to keep the lenses high (allows you to work with large objects), and a long arm you can position it over awkward objects (e.g. PCBs or paintings). It's more comfortable for working on movements, it positions easily over a lathe. The light is mains-powered.

micr-gem

310 - 150
200 

 3,750

20X

30X

Best optical quality and sophisticated lighting for gemstones, see item description.

All of these microscopes are binocular (two eyepieces, you use both eyes) and binocular (two objective lenses for stereo vision). 
Stereo vision is comfortable, seeing in 3D means you can spot detail more easily, your eyes don't tire, and it's essential if you need to 'work on' items.


Photographs

THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS give a very approximate idea of what you will see (find a 20p coin for reference).  I took them by placing the camera to the eyepiece, really not the best way to take a photograph through a microscope! In reality, you will see a far greater area than shown in these photographs (see 'Field of View' above); in reality the image will be spectacularly stereo, something you cannot appreciate by looking at a picture on a monitor.


20X


micr-8X




micr-10X

micr-gem  Left: at 20X. Right: at 40X

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