Light microscopy has been in use for more than four hundred years. Ever since glass lenses were invented, they have been designed to function as magnifiers. Zaccharias Janssen was the first to use lenses in a kind of a tube to enhance its compounding effect. Galileo enhanced the prevalent design and then Anton van Leeuwenhoek’s came up with a microscope that could magnify an element or object by up to 270 times its diameter. Such lenses and in effect light microscopes have been used to study water droplets, bacteria, blood capillaries and plants.
List of Advantages of Light Microscopes
1. Affordable & Easy to Use
Light microscopes use light, which is free unless you are in an artificially lit environment. Natural light or sunlight to be precise is more than sufficient to use light microscope. There is no special aid necessary for its operation. That has changed over the years for enhancing effects but light microscope still remains the more affordable one among the various options at your discretion.
2. Lightweight and Small
Light microscopes don’t have many unnecessary or excessive components, which mean it can be small and light. These two attributes make light microscopes portable. Most people who have to carry microscopes around with them and to offsite locations will prefer light microscopes.
3. Observation Quality
Light microscopes use the spectrum of light that is cognizable to the human eye and hence the observation is as natural as it can get. Any specimen being studied will respond to natural light just the way our naked eyes would view it so the natural colors get reflected and we get to see a real magnified image but without any alteration to the composition of color or texture. Light microscopes are also unaffected by any kind of magnetic field, which helps in certain situations wherein aberrations can happen due to the presence of some electromagnetic field or some other disrupting factor.
List of Disadvantages of Light Microscopes
Light microscopes can magnify specimens or objects up to fifteen hundred times their actual size. This is amazing if you consider objects naturally visible to the eyes. But when you consider microscopic specimens then the magnification is not very impressive. Also the depth of field is confined. For very specific observations of elements or specimens that are smaller than 0.275 microns or smaller than half the wavelength of white light require electron microscope.