Stereomicroscopes, also called dissecting microscopes, are really two compound microscopes which focus on the same point from slightly different angles. This allows the specimen to be viewed in three dimensions. As opposed to compound microscopes, the image is upright and laterally correct (not upside down and backwards). Stereo microscopes are relatively low power compared with compound microscopes, usually below 100x. They can have a single fixed magnification, several discrete magnifications, or a zoom magnification system. Working distance is much longer than with a typical compound microscope as well, allowing work to be done on the specimen while it is being observed through the microscope (hence the name “dissecting microscope”). Many stereo microscopes are modular in design allowing a variety of stands, eyepieces, objectives, and lighting techniques to be implemented depending on the intended use.

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