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How to Calculate Magnification Factor

Updated May 31, 2017

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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About the Author

Based out of Reno, Nev., Andrew Youngker has been writing since 2007. He writes articles for various websites, covering cooking and education. Youngker is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.