Can you use a microscope without an eyepiece?


closed as off-topic by David, kmm, theforestecologist, Amory, Bryan Krause Feb 14 '18 at 22:52

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean without a camera too and looking straight into the tube? $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Feb 8 '18 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ yes I do mean that. $\endgroup$ – Scrump Feb 8 '18 at 16:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, sort of. I tried it just now - take the eyepiece out and look down the tube. However, the view area is smaller, and you lose the magnification of the eyepiece. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Feb 8 '18 at 19:57

Yes, you can. I have a microscope where the data can be transferred to a screen on a computer instead of going to the eyepiece. This microscope has both an eyepiece and the option to redirect the image to a screen. However, I also have a microscope with a screen only. So, I suppose you can have a microscope without an eyepiece.

I have never come across a microscope that has neither an eyepiece nor a camera but I don't know whether it's possible or not.

  • $\begingroup$ You might want to edit your answer to address the OP's answer to my comment under the question. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Feb 8 '18 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Surely you have taken the eyepiece (or the camera) out of your microscope? I think with most the eyepieces just slide in - mine works that way. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Feb 9 '18 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf I have not taken the eyepiece out. It arrived without an eyepiece, just with a screen. $\endgroup$ – charlesdarwin Feb 11 '18 at 13:05

A microscope composed of a single lens is called a simple microscope. In fact you can use an objective or just the eyepiece, as a magnifying glass. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek's microscope's were simple microscopes.

Leeuwenhoek Microscope
Source: Wikipedia

In contrast, compound microscopes (by far the most common type nowadays) are composed of two or more lenses. I would argue that their benefits compared to simple microscopes include:

  1. Multiplicative magnification arising from the combination of lenses.
  2. Ease with which the objectives can be interchanged independently of the eyepiece offering different magnifications.
  3. Easier to achieve an ergonomic design.
  4. Advanced illumination setups, such as phase contrast.
  5. Cheaper to provide stereoscopic vision and achieve parfocallity with two low-magnification lenses that are able to be focused independently than having two high-magnification lenses.
  6. Some eyepieces additionally correct for aberrations.

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