Microscopes

Microscopes are magnifying optical instruments used to study objects that are too small to view with the naked human eye, instead placed in a slide to be viewed through the microscope. Microscopes are able to magnify objects to hundreds or thousands of times their original size, allowing the user to make detailed observations. You can find out more in our microscopes guide.

Key Types of Microscope

  • Optical Microscopes: These are the most common type of microscope. Optical microscopes work by using light and a lens or series of lenses to magnify a sample. It can be as simple as a single lens working as a magnifying glass, or a compound microscope where a system of lenses increases the magnification to a higher resolution.
  • USB digital microscopes are compact, portable and can plug directly into your laptop or PC. They do not feature eyepieces, but display the image onscreen for you. These are ideal for image capture and many come with their own bespoke software.
  • Electron Microscopes use beams of electrons and electron lenses to produce an image of the sample that is being magnified. Electron microscopes have a far greater resolution and can show greater magnification than an optical microscope. Electron microscopes can be further split down into the SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopes) and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopes). SEMs return a 3D image in black and white, while TEMs return a 2D view.

Who uses microscopes?

While microscopes were initially predominantly used for chemical and medical applications, their uses are now incredibly broad and span numerous fields. They are used in forensic science, geology, botany, pharmaceuticals, and quality control applications among many others.

Medicine and other biological careers, such as biochemistry, biophysics, forensic science and microbiology, are perhaps the most expected fields to use microscopes. Microscopes in these fields can be used to study a plethora of objects and samples, such as cell specimens, clothing fibres and other evidence, and much more.

Geoscientists use microscopes in a similar vein as biologists, in that they are often used to study rock, flora, soils or water samples, allowing for a detailed analysis. Jewellers and gemologists also use microscopes to study the purity and authenticity of stones, metals and gems.


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Description Price Magnification Power Frame Rate Resolution Illuminated Illumination Type Interface Type Battery Operated Battery Type Weight Dimensions Diameter Length Model Number p Plug Type
RS Stock No. 899-7996
Mfr. Part No.OBE 111
BrandKern
£435.32
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40 X, 100X - - Yes LED - - - 5.5kg - - - OBE 111 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 899-8104
Mfr. Part No.OZL 453
BrandKern
£617.64
Each
Units
0.75 X, 5 X - - - - - - - 5kg - - - OZL 453 Europe, UK
RS Stock No. 899-8100
Mfr. Part No.OZL 451
BrandKern
£590.11
Each
Units
0.75 X, 5X - - Yes Halogen - - - 3.5kg - - - OZL 451 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 899-8107
Mfr. Part No.OZL 445
BrandKern
£406.30
Each
Units
0.75 X, 3.6X - - Yes LED - - - 4.5kg - - - OZL 445 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 899-7999
Mfr. Part No.OBE 112
BrandKern
£522.39
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40 X, 100X - - Yes LED - - - 5.5kg - - - OBE 112 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 899-7993
Mfr. Part No.OBF 121
BrandKern
£725.55
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40 X, 100X - - Yes Halogen - - - 6.5kg - - - OBF 121 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 899-8062
Mfr. Part No.OSE 417
BrandKern
£246.68
Each
Units
2 X, 4X - - Yes LED - - - 2.3kg - - - OSE 417 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 181-1158
Mfr. Part No.OZM 952UK
BrandKern
£1,292.75
Each
Units
0.7 → 4.5X - - Yes LED USB 2.0, USB 3.0 Yes - 11kg - - - OZM-9 Type C - European Plug
RS Stock No. 136-3482
Mfr. Part No.OBE 104
BrandKern
£570.77
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40X - - Yes LED - - - 5.5kg 180 x 320 x 365mm - 180mm OBE 104 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 136-3477
Mfr. Part No.OBS 106
BrandKern
£270.88
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40X - - Yes LED - Yes LR6 AA 3kg 130 x 300 x 310mm - 130mm - Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 136-3483
Mfr. Part No.OBE 113
BrandKern
£590.11
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40 X, 100X - - Yes LED - Yes Rechargeable Battery 5.5kg 180 x 320 x 365mm - 180mm OBE 113 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 136-3488
Mfr. Part No.OBF 132
BrandKern
£938.38
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40 X, 100X - - Yes Halogen - - - 6.5kg 200 x 395 x 380mm - 200mm OBF 132 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 136-3493
Mfr. Part No.OBL 145
BrandKern
£1,373.70
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40 X, 100X - - Yes Halogen - - - 6.7kg 200 x 395 x 380mm - 200mm OBL 145 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 205-9605
Mfr. Part No.OBT 103
BrandKern
£237.02
Each
Units
4 / 10 / 40 - - Yes LED - - - - - - - - Type C - European Plug
RS Stock No. 136-3478
Mfr. Part No.OBE 101
BrandKern
£357.93
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40X - - Yes LED - - - 5.5kg 180 x 320 x 365mm - 180mm OBE 101 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 136-3501
Mfr. Part No.OCM 161
BrandKern
£3,076.30
Each
Units
10 X, 20 X, 40X - - Yes Halogen - - - 13.5kg 304 x 530 x 599mm - 304mm OCM 161 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 136-3489
Mfr. Part No.OBF 133
BrandKern
£919.02
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40 X, 100X - - Yes LED - - - 6.5kg 200 x 395 x 380mm - 200mm OBF 133 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 136-3507
Mfr. Part No.OZL 463
BrandKern
£483.70
Each
Units
0.7 → 4X - - Yes LED - - - 4kg 240 x 300 x 420mm - 240mm OZL 463 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 136-3494
Mfr. Part No.OBL 155
BrandKern
£1,480.11
Each
Units
4 X, 10 X, 40 X, 100X - - Yes Halogen - - - 6.5kg 185 x 394 x 377mm - 185mm OBL 155 Type C - European Plug, Type G - British 3-pin
RS Stock No. 205-9606
Mfr. Part No.OBT 104
BrandKern
£314.41
Each
Units
4 / 10 / 40 - - Yes LED - - - - - - - - Type C - European Plug