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  • Stephen Wilkinson

Stereo Boom Stand Microscopes - What are these used for?

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

A boom stand microscope consists of a microscope head (viewing unit) mounted on an apparatus that allows it to be moved easily into various positions, to examine objects of different types.

With the traditional and more familiar compound-type microscope, the microscope optics (lens and eyepiece) and viewing “stage” are relatively fixed, and the viewing area is quite limited. An object must be carefully prepared, positioned and adjusted to bring it within the zone where it can be viewed. To view an object’s different parts, the object itself must be moved.

In a boom stand microscope, the microscope head is mounted on a boom or arm, or an articulated (jointed and movable) set of arms, so that the viewing head can be easily moved to different positions. With this arrangement, the microscope’s viewing apparatus can be brought to the object, and moved to different positions to view different parts of the object (or to view it from different angles), as needed. This makes the boom stand microscope very useful for many working applications – that is, where an object (such as a watch, electronic circuit or other device with tiny parts) is to be inspected or repaired.

Dual Arm Boom Stand

Boom stand microscopes are also stereo microscopes. That is, rather than the single viewing setup found in a compound microscope (one objective lens positioned close to the object to be viewed, and a single eyepiece) a stereo microscope has two objective lenses, and two eyepieces. It really amounts to two complete compound microscopes which focus at the same point, from slightly different angles. Similar to a pair of binoculars, the objective lenses and eyepieces are precisely positioned so that when the user looks through the eyepieces, each eye sees the same object, but from differing angles. When processed by the observer’s brain, the dual images result in a stereo (three-dimensional) effect. Rather than a “flat” view, the images are resolved into a single image in which depth can be perceived.

This stereo effect is another feature that makes stereo microscopes particularly well suited for repair and other working applications, where perception of depth is necessary.

Boom Stands

Articulating Arm Stand

Today there are a wide variety of boom stands available for microscopy work, from the simplest single fixed pole, to complex arrangements of articulated arm stands and dual arm booms, either manually or electronically controlled and adjusted. In some applications, such as in medical and dental settings, it’s ideal to have the microscope mounted on a rolling stand. This allows the instrument to be moved into and out position in an operating room, patient’s room or lab, as needed.

Zoom Magnification and Fixed Magnification

Stereo boom stand microscopes offer two main choices in terms of magnification.

First, there is fixed magnification. In this arrangement, the objective lens and eyepieces offer a single magnification (power) usually offering 20x & 40x magnifications. Some models have several different fixed-magnification objective lens pairs to choose from. The lenses are mounted on a turret, allowing the user to change magnifications simply by rotating the turret and bringing the different-powered objective lenses into position for viewing.

The second main magnification option is the zoom stereo microscope. In this type, the optics are designed to allow the user to smoothly increase or decrease the degree of magnification (“zoom”) while viewing. Because of its simplicity and convenience, zoom magnification is the more popular option for most applications. Zoom microscopes are generally more expensive than fixed-magnification models, though – a factor to be taken into account.

Working Distance

Another important consideration in choosing a boom stand microscope is the instrument’s working distance. This refers to the distance between the objective lens and the object being viewed.

Single Arm Boom Stand

For some applications, where objects are only to be examined and not worked upon, working distance is not a significant concern. Where work is to be performed while the object is being viewed, working distance becomes important indeed. A few examples are soldering tiny electronic circuits, watch repair, and dissecting biological or medical specimens.

Where soldering is to be done, there also needs to be enough space that fumes do not foul the lenses, or enter the microscope head, where they could cause damage.

Microscope Photography and Video

Some users wish to be able to use their boom stand microscope to produce photographic or video images. Trinocular microscope heads are available for this purpose. Such heads have an additional port for connecting imaging equipment. Images may be captured as photographs, as full-motion video, or for viewing with monitoring equipment.


Quality is always a concern when buying an industrial or scientific instrument such as stereo zoom boom stand microscopes. While German and Japanese optics have long been regarded as the finest available (and normally command the highest prices), the options are continually expanding. Today, instruments meeting the strictest standards of quality and precision are available from a wider and wider choice of manufacturers.

Common Applications

Here are some common applications for stereo boom stand microscopes:

  • PCB circuit board inspection

  • Watch and clock repair

  • Soldering

  • Fine engraving (wood, metal, firearms, etc.)

  • Forensic document examination and comparison

  • Jewellery repair

  • Art, photo and document restoration and preservation

  • Fossil preparation and restoration


Our single boom microscope stand feature a sturdy design and unparalleled quality, making it the perfect choice for your stereo microscope. These boom stands feature a heavy duty base plate and C-clamp mount with hanging bar to facilitate angled viewing.


The Dual Arm Boom Stand Microscope has dual linear ball bearings for support of its dual horizontal arms, which creates a smooth and efficient gliding motion. Combined with our ASZ400 Optical Head in either binocular or trinocular configurations offers resistance to tip-over and vibration.

  • Base - 25.5cm x 25.5cm

  • Pole Height - 54cm

  • Boom length - 61cm

  • Maximum reach from centre of upright pole to centre of optical head - 51cm


This high quality desk mountable microscope with a strong table G-Clamp mount is both lighter in weight than most other stands of its type leaving the bench area clear immediately under the stand. It is designed for looking at large specimens or specimens that need to moved significantly. Available in either a binocular head or trinocular head configuration (if using an optional digital camera)


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