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Inverted microscopes are generally used in the Life Sciences for examining living specimens. The design enables specimens to be observed from underneath. They are frequenty used in micromanipulation work, because of the working distance of the condenser, now situated above the specimen, can be very long in comparison to the objective's working distance.

Inverted microscopes, used in the life sciences, divide broadly into three categories, routine for typically looking at tissue cultures, large research with the possibility of fluorescence and interference and multiple image ports and intermediate, frequently offering an economical 'half way house' between the routine and large research.

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It is not recommended to automatically select the longest working distance condenser available. Select the condenser with the minimum working distance, which is useable for the application. The longer the condenser working distance, the usually smaller is its numerical aperture. Larger numerical aperture condensers will give more resolution with higher magnification objectives


Longer working distance objectives are required on inverted microscopes to focus into special chambers. Such objectives are usually corrected to view through thicker walls than the thickness of a standard cover slip. On routine models the objectives are usually corrected for an average chamber thickness e.g. 1mm. On more sophisticated inverted microscopes, the objectives can have an adjustable 'cover glass' correction. Ensure this is correctly adjusted for the chamber being used. An incorrect setting can considerably degrade the image quality