Selecting a microscope can be a tricky business. There are many models to choose from, and each can provide a valuable examination of the world around you. When it comes to choosing a microscope, users should always ask themselves: what do I want to see? Today with My First Lab, we’ll be boiling down the different models of microscopes, what they’re used for and what they show us. 

Microscope for students

Biology Microscopes 

A biology microscope is usually the model that comes to mind when you imagine a microscope. These microscopes have a variety of ocular tubes, a bottom light and a short stage to objective distance. In professional settings, these can be called Compound Microscopes. They’re great for high magnifications for viewing samples of cells or tissues because in addition to their intense visuals, they also offer clear images – so each detail is brought out to a precise degree. The bottom light passes through the samples on the stage allowing users to see what would normally be invisible to the eye.  

My First Lab Biology Microscopes:  

Some fields that use Biology Microscopes are Biologist, Forensic Science Technicians, Oceanographers, Botanists and Lab Technicians  

Stereo Microscopes 

If compound scopes take the prize for resolution and objectives, Stereo scopes win stage space. These microscopes have lower magnification power, but the space between the stage and objectives makes them perfect for larger 3D samples like rocks, bugs or circuit boards. Unlike the biology microscope, the lighting system on a Stereo Scope comes from the top light, thus highlighting details of objects that are solid.  

My First Lab Stereo Microscopes:  

Some fields that use Stereo Microscopes include Geologists, Gemologists, Engineers, Wildlife Biologists, some Microbiologists and Endocrinologists  

Ocular Tube Count – All the Better to See With 


These types of scopes are perfect for at-home labs or for educational settings, such as the classroom. The model will have a singular eye tube with one eyepiece. These microscopes can also accommodate digital camera ports to view and share sample images.


These models will have two eyepieces and eye tubes. These models can be more comfortable for long observations due to their dual nature. As a result of their long-duration use, binocular scopes are often seen in research or educational settings.  


We don’t have three eyes, so why have three eye tubes? Trinocular scopes are built specifically to be used with a digital camera. Using the third port, a user can put a microscope camera in to view their samples on a big screen or share them across other platforms. This microscope is especially useful for researchers and teachers.  

My First Lab offers several models in the above styles, designed just like the professional scopes scientists use every day. Browse the collection of different scopes and their accessoriesIf you’re new to microscopes and want a catch-all model that captures the best of both types, be sure to check out My First Lab’s Duo Scope. 

My First Lab offers several microscope accessories, including digital microscope cameras. We use them to capture all our slide images – including the ones on this website! Check out our MA88 and MA89 to share your discoveries!

Want to learn more?

My First Lab has been a leader in developing STEM equipment for the past 30 years. With products ranging from microscopes and bundles to prepared slides and accessories, we are sure to have any product for the junior investigator, hobbyist or educational leader. Learn how to create some hands-on experiments through our Maximum Launch, enjoy our blog or browse our award-winning products.