Using the Microscope

Getting the most out of your microscope involves getting to know how to properly illuminate the specimens.  Focusing the objective is easy and intuitive, but operating the substage condenser properly is something that is a little more involved.

Below is a labeled view of a microscope:

Labeled view of a microscope

The parts of interest for this section are:

  • A: Eyepiece
  • B: Eyepiece diopter adjustment
  • C: Binocular head
  • D: Binocular head set screw
  • E: Mechanical stage
  • F: Coarse focus knob
  • G: Fine focus knob
  • H: Forward/back stage adjustment knob
  • I: Right/left stage adjustment knob
  • J: Lamp brightness control
  • K: Lamp power switch
  • L: Lamp lens assembly
  • M: Substage condenser focus knob
  • N: Substage condenser
  • O: Specimen slide
  • P: Objective lens
  • Q: Objective turret (nosepiece)

I will describe how to use each of the main control groups in turn in the next sections.