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Microscopes are made of various components, each with a specific function. However, while some of them are easily recognizable and most people know what they are, there are microscope elements that are not too well known. That doesn’t mean they’re unimportant, but sometimes, it’s easy to underestimate certain microscope elements as others don’t mention them enough.
One of those elements is a stage, which is very important for your microscope to function correctly. A stage on a microscope is the platform where you place the slide. That’s why we wanted to educate people who use or have an interest in microscopes about this component.
A stage on a microscope is a platform where you place the slide to observe your subject. It has clips on the side that hold the specimen in place and allow movement from side to side and front to back to obtain the focus of the object you’re observing.
Of course, the type of the stage and its function will depend on the type of microscope you own. Cheaper microscopes typically don’t have all the stage movement options like some more expensive models.
Microscope stages can differ in terms of lighting, features, and travel. The maximum X distance represents the most significant distance a stage can travel in an X direction. In contrast, the maximum Y distance represents the most significant distance a stage can travel in a Y direction.
When it comes to lighting styles of microscope stages, there are two different styles:
There’s a microscope stage for every field of work that uses microscopes, so it’s all about your needs and wishes to make your observation successful. As for the stage features, some microscope stages have the hardware to measure the specimen you’re observing. Others allow you to have circular motions, tilt the specimen at multiple angles, etc.
Some microscopes have specifically designated purposes, and they can have stages with auxiliary equipment, measuring systems, and other features that make them distinctive from other microscopes. Below are some common types of specialized microscope stages.
Using the microscope stage is essential as it will allow you to have a better overview of the specimen and make microscope handling easier. When using a stage, you have better control of the slide, and it’s easier to focus on your subject. It also allows systematic scanning of the slide to see the whole specimen.
Microscope stages also have higher magnification because you can move the specimen at different angles and sides.
Without the stage, the whole microscope handling process would be more challenging. While this might not bother amateur or recreational microscope users, that could be tricky for people who use microscopes for serious projects.
There’s an array of different microscope stages, so depending on your work and the specimen you’re observing, you can use microscopes with different stages to achieve desired results. You can refer to the types of microscope stages above if you’re unsure about which stage would work for your next project or experiment.
The stage is typically located under the microscope and either lowered or raised for observation. It holds the specimen in place and allows different movements that help you observe your subject better. Depending on your type of microscope, the stage might have different functions, as they frequently have various add-ons that help you with your experiments.
The stage on a microscope is an extremely important component; without it, you wouldn’t be able to observe your desired specimen properly. Remember to select a microscope with a suitable stage for your projects, as that will save you a lot of time and effort while observing your specimen.
Featured Image Credit: Anamaria Mejia, Shutterstock
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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