There are numerous terms and concepts involved when selecting a microscope.
While it may seem like Dino-Lite is an entirely different type of device compared to traditional microscopes, they actually have a lot in common.
Magnification | Working Distance | Field of View | Depth of Field

The most common factors used to determine which microscope is right for you. Below, you can find an explanation of all of these key terms and how they specifically relate to Dino-Lite microscopes.


Traditional compound and stereo microscope designs provide a limited number of magnifications due to their fixed objective lenses. Dino-Lite microscopes differ by having a wide range of magnification in a single lens.

A Dino-Lite microscope’s magnification can be adjusted quickly with the turn of a dial; there is no need to swap an objective or eyepiece. With multiple magnification ranges available, you can find the perfect Dino-Lite microscope to fit your magnification requirements.

Working Distance

Working Distance (WD) is the space between the subject being viewed and the microscope lens. Dino-Lite microscopes achieve different magnification levels by adjusting the magnification dial, and positioning the Dino-Lite nozzle at the correct working distance1 for the magnification.

Below is an example chart2 that provides different magnification levels and the working distance required to achieve them.

Magnification 20x 50x 100x 200x

Working Distance





1. To achieve certain working distances, we recommend using a stand to assist with camera stability and image capture.

2. Working Distance charts are specific to a Dino-Lite microscope’s Series and Working Distance Type. You can find Working Distance charts specific to each Dino-Lite on their individual product pages.

Working Distance Types

A common misconception people have is that selecting the microscope with the most magnification is always better. Working distance is just as important as magnification when determining which microscope is best for your application.

Dino-Lite offers a variety of models configured with one of several working distance types. Selecting the right type starts by determining the amount of space needed between the microscope and the object being viewed.

Cannot Display Chart

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StandardLongExtra LongWideOther
Range of Magnification20x - 220x10x - 140x10x - 70x5x - 50xSee notes
Range of Working Distance60mm - 4mm235mm - 30.5mm503mm - 108mm182mm - 14mmSee notes

Note: Microscopes in the Other category have specialty magnifications and working distances. You can find charts specific to those microscopes on their individual product pages.

Standard working distance is often selected by users that need the most versatility or prefer to use their Dino-Lite handheld. They often have no specific working distance requirements.

Long and Extra Long is ideal for users who want to:

  • Fit tools under the microscope
  • Look into recessed openings
  • Observe an enclosed or hazardous environment from a safe distance.

is preferred by users who need:

  • A larger Field of View from a short distance
  • Relatively low magnification with room for tools
  • The ability to use two magnifications from the same working distance.
  • Or require a live view with a large depth of field

Microscopes with the working distance type Other are unique in their magnification or working distances. These microscopes often have optical properties such as very high magnification, 700x to 900x, or a fixed magnification, such as 20x.

Field of View

Field of view (FOV) is the observable area that is seen by the Dino-Lite’s camera. Each magnification that a Dino-Lite is capable of has a fixed FoV, meaning the FoV cannot be increased or decreased without changing the magnification, these two values are proportional to each other.

An example of 20x and 50x FoV can be seen below

Magnification 20x 50x

Field of View (mm)

19.5 x 15.6

7.8 x 6.3

When users know the size of an area they want to inspect, but not necessarily the magnification they need, they can use that information and apply it to the FoV.  This can determine the magnification they need from a Dino-Lite.

Depth of Field

Depth of Field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and the farthest objects in an image that are in clear focus at the same time. As magnification increases, depth of field will decrease, this can be a challenge for live images and photography with traditional microscopes.

Non-flat objects generally require more DoF compared to flat objects, object features that are located at different depths in relation to each other can be difficult to capture in a single image.

While it’s not possible to adjust the aperture of a Dino-Lite to increase the depth, there are models with larger DOF available such as our Long, Extra Long or Wide working distance types. Dino-Lite also offers models with Extended Depth of Field, a focus stacking hardware and software feature that creates images with a larger Depth of Field with a click of the mouse. 

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