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Low Cost Stereo Zoom Scope

 Posted on 3/10/10


Low Cost Stereo Zoom microscopeNeed a Stereo Zoom microscope on a limited budget?
This scope comes complete with stand, transmitted and reflected illumination, both adjustable, trinocular head with 10X eyepieces.
You get a complete solution at a budget price.

The tradeoffs are:

  1. 1. You will need to refocus when changing the zoom factor. Top of the line stereo zoom scopes allow you to adjust focus at maximum magnification and have a focussed image throughout the range, right down to low magnification. Here you will need to refocus when changing the zoom factor significantly.
  2. Illumination will be in some situations a limiting factor on image quality. Then you might need to use add-on illumination.
  3. There are no additional accessories available from the scope supplier, like for example 15X and 20X eyepieces or auxiliary lenses to change total magnification and working distance. But we can help out with parts from other scopes that we tested on this scope.

Since this Stereo Zoom Microscope shares some dimensions with higher end scopes there are plenty of upgrade options. These are not coming from the scope supplier but are essentially parts we are selling for other zoom scopes.
Magnification can be increased with 15X, 20X, 30X eyepieces and - with some reduction in working distance - with 1.5X and 2X auxiliary lenses. You can drive magnification to a maximum of 270X with 30X eyepieces and a 2X auxiliary lens. We tried that and the result is acceptable. The tradeoffs are:

  • Reduced viewing field size with higher magnification eyepieces
  • Darker image with less contrast
  • Magnification does not keep up with resolution

These are problems effecting all stereo zoom scopes to some degree. Magnification of 150X or more is really the domain of compound scopes.
For some work you will need less magnification, 5X or 7.5X eyepieces are an option. Selecting auxiliary lenses below 1X (0.3X, 0.44X, 0.5X, 0.75X) reduces magnification as well. Most importantly, it increases working distance, to a maximum of 250 mm with a 0.3X lens. If you need to manually assemble some small item at the bottom of a 150 mm tall part you will need some 100 mm clearance to get in with your hands and tools, hence the availability of a maximum of 250 mm WD.
External illumination, for example with fluorescent / LED ringlights or fiberoptic light guides can enhance visibility and contrast.
Finally you can do a heart transplant, so to speak, by exchanging the main scope body with a more specialized and powerful one from another manufacturer. You can still retain the extremely low cost stand.

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Part # / Price

Low Cost Stereo Zoom microscope


Trinocular Zoom Stereo Microscope, stand with Dual adjustable illumination, 10X eyepieces

AY11234        US$379

Eyepieces from major manufacturer


Super Widefield Eyepiece 5X (paired)

OMTMA501   US$134

Super Widefield Eyepiece 7.5X (paired)

OMTMA718   US$134

Super Widefield Eyepiece 10X (paired)

OMTMA502   US$134

Super Widefield Eyepiece 10X, per unit

OTSEW10305 22 US$39

Super Widefield Eyepiece 10X, per unit

OTSEW10305 23 US$42

Super Widefield Eyepiece 12.5X (paired)

OMTMA520   US$134

Super Widefield Eyepiece 15X (paired)

OMTMA503   US$134

Super Widefield Eyepiece 15X, per unit

OTSEW15305 US$42

HSWF15X High-eyepoint, Super Widefield Eyepiece (pr)

OMTMA535   US$160

Super Widefield Eyepiece 20X (paired)

OMTMA504   US$134

Super Widefield Eyepiece 20X, per unit

OTSEW20305 US$48

Super Widefield Eyepiece 30X (paired)

OMTMA521   US$160

Super Widefield Focusing Eyepiece 10X (each)

OMTMA519   US$169

Auxiliary Lenses


Auxiliary Lens 0.3X, Working Distance 251 mm


Auxiliary Lens 0.44X, Working Distance 171 mm


Auxiliary Lens 0.5X, Working Distance 148 mm


Auxiliary Lens 0.5X, Working Distance estimated at 150 mm

AL0505075      US$72

Auxiliary Lens 0.75X, Working Distance 97 mm


Auxiliary Lens 0.75X, Working Distance estimated at 100 mm

AL0755075      US$72

Auxiliary Lens 1.5X, Working Distance 49 mm


Auxiliary Lens 1.55X, Working Distance estimated at 52 mm

AL1505075      US$72

Auxiliary Lens 2.0X, Working Distance 33 mm


Auxiliary Lens 2.0X, Working Distance estimated at 36 mm

AL2005075      US$72

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