Stereo microscopes or Dissecting Microscopes provide lower magnification than compound microscopes. Total magnification of a typical stereoscope ranges from 5x-80x which can be extended from near 2x to 400x range. The images seen are always three-dimensional rather than flat or 2D images.

A Stereoscope normally has reflecetd light for opaque samples and transmitted light for trasnparent sample visualization. 

When using stereo microscopes in industrial setting for inspection and quality control, the zoom feature on the stereo microscope is incredibly useful, as it allows quick change in magnification and the ability to zoom in or out to see greater details on the sample. 

What to consider before buying:

Magnification: a typical  magnification is 7x-45x which can be extended ujsing a 15x, 20x, 30x eyepieces and /or 1.5x / 2x aux lenses

Working distance: a typiscal stereoscope has 80-90mm WD.

illumination: Reflected for opaque sample and transmitted light for transparent samples.  

Stereo Microscopes: Tips and Tricks

Thanks Brian Kloepfer, Carolina Biological Supply Co.