Dissecting Microscopes and Supplies
A dissecting microscope is an invaluable tool for students learning about biology and anatomy. Outfit the labs in your school or lab today with new dissecting microscope models and get volume pricing on large orders to stretch your budget as far as it can go.
Dissecting microscopes are the centerpiece of a lot of fun in your classroom or lab. Students get to explore biology in an engaging way - learning what makes living things work. Your department probably needs a lot of them, and that's why the instruments below are built to be friendly to your budget. They're built with smart features, not frills, so you get the best value for the practical application you need. Features like:
A binocular head or trinocular head
Dissecting is a 3-dimensional job, so you need both of your eyes to do it right. If you're working with a traditional dissecting microscope, choose a binocular head. If you want to work with a Dino-Lite, every model below is built for dissection.
LED or halogen illumination
LED bulbs last longer and emit less heat than halogen, but the color is less rich than the halogen you're used to. A Dino-Lite dissecting microscope allows you to change the temperature of the light you use so suit your fancy.
Portability and durability
A good combination of light weight but sturdy construction (like all Omano microscopes) is ideal for classroom work in high school and college. And, of course, the Dino-Lites can fit in your pocket.
Shipping's on us!
Orders over $150 get free shipping anywhere in the continental United States. Only 1 dissecting microscope in our catalog doesn't hit that minimum order threshold. We suggest adding a few accessories to your order, if you're ordering the single unit, so you pay for things you can actually use - not the shipping to get your dissecting microscope to your door.
Volume pricing is now available.
Educational institutions and businesses serving other businesses qualify for volume pricing. Ordering more than a couple units? Request a quote here for the best pricing available.
A dissecting microscope goes by many names. It's also called a stereo microscope, a stereo zoom microscope, or a stereoscopic microscope.
Dissecting microscopes are used in high schools, universities, and professional biological labs for specimen dissection. The relatively low magnification power is excellent for dissection because you can still manipulate the specimen in a 3-dimensional plane. These microscopes use two light channels (one for each eye) to visualize fine details of a specimen and give you a greater working distance than a compound microscope.
A dissection or stereoscopic microscope is best for examining:
Samples you can see with the naked eye
Samples that are opaque
Samples you want to interact with while you're observing them
And because of its functionality, a dissection or stereoscopic microscope is commonly used by:
So, if you're looking to examine super small objects or need a wide magnification range, you'd probably be better off with a compound microscope.
Need to brush up on the basics? Check out 5 Things You Should Know About Stereo Microscopes.
How do I use a stereo microscope?
Using a stereo microscope/dissection microscope is easy.
Put your specimen on the stage plate (and contain it in a glass petri dish if the specimen is live).
Switch on the light source.
Adjust the eyepieces to a degree that's comfortable for you to look through.
Adjust the zoom if needed.
Examine your image.
What sets a good dissection microscope apart from a not-so-good one?
Most of the answer depends on what you want (not exactly what you wanted to hear probably. But it's the truth!).
The first part - a compound light microscope is no good as a dissecting microscope because the zoom range is too great. A compound microscope uses a compound of lenses, resulting in a magnification power that would be too strong for dissection. You aren't dissecting skin cells with your hand tools. You're dissecting things you can see with the naked eye, and you just need a better look at them while you do it.
You could use a compound microscope for dissection, but you would have paid for features that give you no benefit in the work you're doing.
Likewise, an inverted microscope is no use as a dissecting microscope. You aren't dissecting the specimen from below.
So, for dissection, you will almost always use a stereoscopic microscope.
And because you work in 3-dimensions a binocular stereo microscope is a good place to start.
A binocular microscope has a double ocular lens, like the Smithsonian binoculars you use for birdwatching. One lens for each eye, so you see small objects clearly and can manipulate them delicately.
A plan objective is best when working at any magnification factor, because it eliminates visual distortion around the edge of your field of view. If you plan to use a digital camera to convert your dissecting microscope to a digital microscope, a plan objective makes sure you get the best use of your digital display.
Dissecting microscopes also work best with a bright LED light source. When you work under higher zoom magnification, you require stronger light to reveal important details. When you scale back your zoom ratio, you scale back your light - otherwise, everything you see through the microscope objective lens will be blown out and impossible to manipulate.
A note on illumination: the type of illumination a student works with at the beginning of their microscopy career is likely to be their preferred illumination long into the future. Halogen light creates a warm image that many experienced users prefer in a stereo zoom microscope. LED light is cooler (both visually and in actual temperature) and the bulbs last longer.
What other microscope parts matter in a dissecting stereo microscope?
You can add a special eyepiece to complement the magnification of your objective lens, increasing (or in some cases, decreasing) your total magnification.
Generally, a stereo microscope comes with a 10X eyepiece (the standard for any optical microscope). A 5X, 15X, or 20X eyepiece can be useful in some applications.
Because you are working with fine details, the focus knob should be smooth and precise at every point in your stereo microscope's zoom range.
To increase your working distance, an auxiliary lens such as a Barlow lens is an excellent addition.
A camera is also valuable in many scenarios, as it can capture sharp still images and videos at any magnification range. These can be used for collaboration, documentation, teaching (like showing students how to achieve the right balance of light, or demonstrating how to work at different magnifications. A digital microscope camera also makes long hours of dissecting a lot more ergonomic, allowing users to analyze images on a screen rather than hunching over an eyepiece.
Dissecting microscopes are powerful tools for learning. Just remember to stick to stereo microscope levels of magnification, and don't go into the 1000X a compound microscope can achieve. It's magnification you won't use, and your money can be better spent on features that aid your application.
You can find the perfect dissection microscope below.
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