How to Calculate Magnification Factor

Written by andrew youngker | 13/05/2017
How to Calculate Magnification Factor
Two ocular lenses make an image three dimensional. (microscope image by Fotocie from

Light microscopes are the most common piece of lab equipment in classrooms today. Modern microscopes use two lenses in a tube to magnify more than a magnifying glass. Lenses are found at both the eyepiece and the objectives. The two lenses combine the magnification to allow a sample to be magnified for detailed observation. A simple calculation is used to find the total magnification factor.

Locate the eyepiece and objective lens on the microscope. The objectives rest above the stage on an adjustable disk.

Find the magnification power on each lens. It will be a number followed by "X."

Multiply both of the magnification factors together to calculate the total magnification factor. This factor is how much the image is magnified.

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