Scientific Laboratory Microscopes – Binocular and Trinocular

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Binocular and trinocular microscopes are both compound microscope systems. They have two and three viewing eyepieces respectively. Binocular microscopes are the standard microscopes widely used in scientific laboratories across the world. Trinocular microscopes have the same technology with the only difference of the extra eyepiece that can be used for photographic viewing. Let us now discuss on these two types of laboratory microscopes in detail.

What is binocular microscope?

Binocular microscope is a microscope having two eyepieces. Most compound microscopes offer two eyepieces for viewing the images produced by a single powerful objective lens. With these microscopes the produced images for viewing are flat, 2-dimensional in character. Thus apart from the two eyepieces for viewing this compound microscope is very similar to single eyepiece compound microscopes (www.ehow.com/about_7216977_importance-compound-microscopes.html) as far as the image quality is concerned.

What is trinocular microscope?

Trinocular microscope offers three ports for viewing, respectively two for eyepieces as in binocular microscope and a third additional viewing port for microphotography or video recording of the magnified microscopic specimen. The dedicated third viewing port for camera application will allow the operator and lab technicians viewing images on a separate screen. Basically this microscope helps the operators to view the images free from the constraints of the eyepieces. With a trinocular microscope the microscopic images can be viewed more freely allowing ease of laboratory collaboration. Thanks to ease of viewing these microscopes are widely used in an array of clinical, lab and research applications.

How to use binocular and trinocular microscope?

Now let us offer below a detailed guide for using binocular microscope.

•  First fix the objective lens with the lowest power into its place. Always begin with the lowest power objective lens to view your specimen.

•  Now this is time to place the specimen on the microscope stage. Make sure that over the stage the slide is held in a clip while the specimen is in side up condition. While moving the slide always keeps an eye on the micrometer readings indicating the position of the stage.

•  Now by adjusting slowly raise the stage until you cannot raise it anymore. Make sure by watching from the side that lens does not touch slide bottom.

•  Have a look through one eyepiece and by adjusting the coarse knob continue focusing by lowering the stage from the lens. Never ever raise the stage while focusing through lens. Rather you should just do the opposite.

•  Now when you have found the specimen for sharper and clearer view adjust the focus a bit.

•  Now it is time to make the binocular eyepieces ready to ensure viewing with both eyes.  Move and adjust the eyepieces to facilitate viewing with both eyes simultaneously.

•  Now you need to adjust the focus for both eyepieces. In most binocular microscopes the right eyepiece remains fixed while the left one has telescopic capacity. You can adjust focus for both eyepieces, respectively by covering the left eye while viewing with right eye while adjusting the right knob for focusing and then doing the same with left eye while adjusting the left telescopic knob. Now you have a clear and sharp view of the specimen watchable for both eyes.

•  You can always adjust the stage forward, backward and sideways through respective knob for a better view of all areas of specimen.

•  To ensure a better and consistent lighting you need to adjust the diaphragm now. Begin by closing the diaphragm as much as possible by rotating diaphragm ring. This is done to prevent distracting light sources to a minimum.

•  Now by moving the condenser up and down gradually you can see pebble like surface. By adjusting the condenser knob further you can see it disappears offering a constant light.

•  Once you have adjusted the condenser you can open the diaphragm a little until the light provides constant illumination. Further adjusting the fine focus now you can see the sharpest possible image of the specimen.

Differences between binocular and trinocular and stereo microscope.

Binocular microscope offers a single optical path. This optical path is divided into two paths bringing the image to both of your eyes. Any microscope with two eyepieces and single optical path is a binocular microscope. For viewing the specimen, you have two separate eyepieces offering the view for both eyes and so you do not need to cover one eye while viewing the specimen as happens in microscope with singular eyepiece. Binocular microscopes with ease of viewing through both eyes offers more comfort, especially for extended viewing periods.

Trinocular microscope has also one optical path and works in the same fashion except that the optical path here is divided into three ways, respectively two for both eyes and a third for viewing port used for camera application. Apart from the third viewing port for large screen view or camera app, trinocular and stereo microscopes offers no major technical difference.

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