One or Two Eyes? The Binocular vs. Monocular Microscope

The Binocular vs. Monocular Microscope

Having a microscope in your laboratory or clinic is like having another pair of eyes working for you – but this time, the eyes are so much clearer and more superior than your own. In fact, these eyes work so well, they can show you cells and organelles, even chromosomes, if you know exactly how to make your microscope work! Now, choose: would you rather have an extra one eye or two eyes? Would you rather have a binocular or a monocular microscope?

As implied by the designations, the binocular and the monocular microscope differ only by the number of lenses that can be used in their respective eyepiece objectives. You might have seen the binocular microscope in your laboratory or clinic: these kinds of microscopes are fairly common, and they allow you to look through the objective lenses using both your eyes. On the other hand, monocular microscopes are an older version of microscopes that allow you to use only one eye when viewing a specimen under the microscope.

mistakenly think that a monocular microscope

Some researchers mistakenly think that a monocular microscope is of low quality compared with a binocular microscope. However, you must remember that the convenience of using either one or two eyes to look at specimens under the microscope is something that is considered subjective: some researchers will prefer using one eye only, while others will prefer using both eyes to look at a specimen. There is no difference even in technology, because manufacturers still make monocular microscopes today, and have even created models that have cameras attached to allow for documentation of specimens, more information.

Digital monocular microscopes can allow this technology to be put to good use, whether in the lab or in the clinic, or even in the field. The digital monocular microscope will have a digital camera that can be connected to a computer, and that operates on software that you can use to capture an image in its best color and under the best illumination, measure dimensions of a specimen through your computer screen and a software-generated micrometer scale, and analysis of your specimen.

So, what kind of microscope will be good for your laboratory or clinic? If you prefer to use both your eyes when viewing specimens, and if you do not have to do many things at the same time or have to keep your eye on other duties while looking through the microscope lenses, then you might want to get a binocular microscope. On the other hand, if you prefer to use only one eye when viewing specimens, and if you have to keep your eye on other things that are happening at the same time as your specimen examination, then you might want to choose a monocular microscope.

If you compare the digital binocular microscope to the digital monocular microscope, the digital binocular microscope will usually be more expensive. Even in the non-digital world, a binocular microscope will be cheaper than a standard monocular microscope. This is because the prism system of binocular microscopes is more complicated than that of the monocular microscope. The images you will obtain, however, will not necessarily be better for the binocular versus the monocular microscope. Image quality, moreover, depends on how well you prepared your slides as well, so not everything rests on the microscope.

If you are considering getting a non-digital microscope, but you are working on a budget, then consider a monocular microscope. However, if you will be using the microscope a lot, and if you do not want to strain your eyes, you may also consider investing in a binocular microscope.

If you are using the microscope for a large class with young students, then you might want to consider getting non-digital monocular microscopes. Young students might not be too careful with the more expensive binocular microscopes, and you cannot risk destroying expensive digital one with frequent use. Of course, if you have an advanced college class or a group of doctoral students, then you can use binocular microscopes, and digital microscopes especially if you have to write out laboratory reports or come up with a research paper at the end of the course.

monocular microscope

If you are interested in finding out more about your binocular or monocular microscope, or if you want to either upgrade or downgrade your microscopes, then visit You can find a wider range of digital monocular microscopes that can help you meet the needs of your classroom or research laboratory. If you know exactly what you want, and if you know the exact amount of your budget that you want to allot to these microscopes, then you can get the right microscopes for your needs and not have to worry about other class or lab expenditures.