How to Use a Compound Microscope
NOTE: YOU WILL NOT BE TESTED ON THIS
Focusing the Microscope
1. Start by turning the revolving nosepiece (turret) so that the lowest power objective lens is
"clicked" into position. The lowest power objective is the shortest one. This objective is the
easiest to focus and center the image in the field of view.
2. While looking at the objective lens and the stage from the side, turn the coarse focus knob so that
the stage moves upward toward the objectives. Move it as far as it will go without touching the
3. Now, look through the eyepiece(s) and adjust the illuminator and diaphragm until you attain the
maximum, comfortable level of light.
4. Slowly turn the coarse adjustment so that the stage moves down (away from the slide). Continue
until the image comes into broad focus. The turn the fine adjustment knob, as necessary, for
5. Move the microscope slide until the image is in the center of the field of view. Then readjust the
illuminator or diaphragm in order to attain the clearest image.
6. Once you have attained a clear image, you should be able to change to a higher power objective
lens with only minimal use of the focusing adjustment. If you cannot focus on your specimen,
repeat the above steps and work from objective to objective until the higher power objective lens
is in place.
1. You should check to see if your microscope has a rack stop. If it does not have one, then be
careful not to allow the objective lens to touch the slide as you may break the slide.
2. When using a monocular microscope, the correct technique is to look through the eyepiece with
one eye and keep the other eye open. Most new users, tend to close one eye. While many
microscopists do close one eye, you will help avoid eye strain by keeping both eyes open.
3. Finally, remember! When you view a specimen through a microscope, you are viewing an image
through multiple lenses. As a result, the image is upside down and back-to-front so when you
move the slide to the right, the image goes to the left and vice versa!
Care & Maintenance of Your Microscope
Your microscope will last a lifetime if cared for properly and we recommend that you observe the following
1. When finished viewing , lower the stage, click the low power lens into position and remove the
2. Switch off the microscope when not using.
3. Avoid touching the glass part of the lenses with your fingers. Use only special lens paper to clean
4. Dust is the number one enemy of a microscope so always keep your microscope covered when
not in use. When not in use for extended periods, replace the microscope in its box.