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Magnification for binocular microscope

For those members who use binocular microscopes for fine detail work such as stone setting, what is the best range of magnification to go for? Thank you.


Helen- Good to hear from you! I hope the “spring” is finally coming on at your place- still in the dreary wet of the 'tween seasons here in VA.

-The answer to your question is a mixed bag- the higher the magnification the smaller your field of view (Think up/down/left/right) and the more shallow the depth of field (think front to back or top surface to bottom).

In all honesty- it is what works for you- for me doing flat work or filing a 7x optivisor is great for a wider field but when I shift to my Bausch and Lomb Stereozoom its 7, 10x and up… and more limited field of view. I can gain some depth of field by decreasing my magnification (or even taking the headpiece lens off and just using the eyepieces with a simple no magnification lens/filter. My scope has the ability to use screw in 52mm camera lens filters- your scope may be different.

It also depends on your own eyes- each lens you add to the lens series for magnification reflects and absorbs some light- so good/balanced light for your work-station is paramount. I use 5200K balanced LED ring light for my scope mount and its assisted with 2 “Daylight” balanced work station lights. Adding proper lighting really improved my ability to see- I was shocked at the difference it made!

I get by for most work at 4x or 7x and for detail wax and ring work cleaning filigree or examining solder lines and stones . For appraisal and repair inspections as well as examining casting defects I hit 10x or greater to get the detail.

Hope this helps- another thing I gained a LOT of good info about my scope and its uses was joining a “Microscope forum” and reading about improving cytology slide examination (a FAR cry from jewelry)… dry and boring… but a lot of tips and tricks there that helped like “proper” lens cleaning, storage and lighting. (And I was able to locate wide field lenses to buy to boot!)

Hope all is well and I havent bored you to death- be safe and as always- at peace! If the rain stops I can finally till my garden to get the beans started!