We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Optical Microscopes?

Mary Elizabeth
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Microscopes are instruments that allow the user to see things on a larger scale by producing an accurate enlarged image of small objects. Microscopes are classed by the way in which the image is enlarged. Types of microscopes include acoustic microscopes, electron microscopes, X-ray microscopes, and optical microscopes—also called the light microscope—the subject here. Optical microscopes use glass lenses to produce the enlarged images. They come in several different configurations: simple optical microscopes use only a single lens, while compound optical microscopes combines two or more arrays of lenses.

A simple microscope is also known as a loupe. It consists of a single or compound lens. Examples of a simple lens are a magnifying glass, a jeweler’s lense or loupe, and a reading glass. Several types of aberration in a single lens are possible. Each of these effects the quality of the image in a different way. Chromatic aberrations distort color. Spherical aberration distorts the focus of the periphery of the image. Distortion produces curves where the image is straight.

A compound lens simple microscope is different than a compound microscope. A compound lens is an array of simple lenses that share a common axis. A compound lens fixes some aberrations that can occur when only a single lens is used, and it can magnify at a higher power, as well.

A compound microscope has at least two lens arrays, which allows for greater magnification than a simple microscope is capable of. One of these arrays is the objective. It is positioned near to the object under examination and has a short focal length. The eyepiece, also known as the ocular, picks up the real image formed by the objective and creates a virtual image.

The basic form of the compound optical microscope is monocular. There are two types made for two eyes. In one case, a single objective is used with a pair of eyepieces, creating a two-dimensional view that can be seen with both eyes, and is therefore binocular. A stereoscopic microscope, however, has not only two eyepieces, but two objectives as well, so that the object appears three-dimensional.

Compound optical microscopes were invented by three Dutch makers of eyeglasses at the end of the sixteenth century. It was this type of microscope that was used about 70 years later by Robert Hooke in his demonstrations for the Royal Society. It was about ten years after Hooke began his demonstrations that Antonie van Leeuwenhoek began to use hand-made simple optical microscopes to observe freshwater microorganisms, and the field of microbiology had its beginnings.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for All The Science, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.
Discussion Comments
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.