Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Magnification Do I Need?

Working with microscopes, we often get asked what magnification is needed to look at a variety of specimens. Here are some common items that are viewed under the microscope and the magnification required to view them.

  • Blood - a minimum of 400x magnification is best for viewing blood cells. The nucleus of a blood cell can be seen at 400x magnification, but more detail can be viewed at 1000x.
  • Bacteria - 400x magnification is required in order to identify bacteria.
  • Coins - it is best to view coins anywhere between 10x-30x magnification.
  • Stamps - stamp collectors most commonly use 20x magnification.
  • Printed circuit boards - between 10x-40x zoom magnification typically makes viewing details and flaws on printed circuit boards easier. The stereo zoom function is helpful.
  • Insects - anywhere between 10x and 30x magnification is best for viewing spiders, ants and insects.
 Human blood under the microscope at 400x magnification.