The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Compound Light Microscope: Pros, Cons and Limitations
We are living in the 21st century – the age of science and technology. And a microscope is one of the byproducts of technological advancement that has been a boon for us. From pathology labs and forensic settings to chemical laboratories and educational centers, a microscope is used in several ways for several different purposes.
What is a Compound Light Microscope?
The term ‘compound’ refers to the fact that this microscope has more than one lens. Typically, it has two optical components: the objective lens and the ocular lens.
The word ‘light’ refers to the process by which light transfers the image to your eye. A compound light microscope has a light source of its own at its base. Considering this, it is also known as a ‘bright field microscope’.
Before we move on to the pros and cons of a compound light microscope, let’s discuss its core specifications.
Magnification is defined as the ability to view an object larger than its original size. However, a good magnifying power alone is not enough to produce a good image. It is also important to have an increased amount of specimen detail.
When using a compound light microscope, the magnification of the specimen under study is the eyepiece magnification times the magnification of the objective lens. Typically, the magnifying power of the objective lens is 4x, 10x, or 40x and while that of the eyepiece is 10x.
Image Text: Meiji compound microscope
Image Description: Meiji MT4200LV 40X-1000X high-quality compound light microscope on white background
Using a Stained Prepared Slide:
Using an Unstained Wet Slide:
And it becomes even more challenging when you don’t use natural pigmentation, as it may help you view the object clearly by providing some contrast.
A compound light microscope is very easy to use and handle
It is compact and thus, easy to store
It is an invaluable tool in the field of biological sciences and medicine
It allows you to view live samples of specimen
It is less expensive as compared to an electron microscope
The magnifying power of a compound light microscope is limited to 2000 times
Certain specimens, such as viruses, atoms, and molecules can’t be viewed with it