What is Microscope Nosepiece and its Function?

Microscope Nosepiece

What is Microscope Nosepiece?

The microscope nosepiece, also known as the revolving turret, is an important part of a standard optical microscope.

The microscope nosepiece sits below the head of the microscope and locks the objective lens into position over the stage aperture by rotating in either direction. The microscope nosepiece can house anywhere from 3 to 5 objectives depending on the type of microscope.

If you’ve ever seen or used a revolver you know the cylinder contains the bullets which are lined up with the barrel and fired by the firing pin. In any action movie with a revolver you see the person spinning the cylinder and locking it into place in preparation for firing the gun. The nosepiece plays a similar role to the microscope.

A user of an optical microscope should learn about the revolving nosepiece in order to properly use the microscope.

Microscope Nosepiece

Where Is the Nosepiece Located in the Microscope?

A microscope user will find the revolving nosepiece between the ocular lens (the eyepiece) and the stage (where the microscope holds slides and other objects for viewing).

On most models, the revolving nosepiece attaches to the lower portion of the microscope’s arm. The revolving nosepiece is round and generally has three or four cone-shaped lenses attached to it. The revolving nosepiece may have a serrated edge to assist the user in gripping and turning the nosepiece.

Microscope Nosepiece Function

Nosepiece houses the objectives. The objectives are exposed and mounted on a rotating turret so that different objectives can be conveniently selected. Standard objectives include 4x, 10x, 40x, and 100x although different power objectives are available.

The main purpose of the revolving nosepiece of the microscope is to easily and systematically interchange objective lenses. Objective lenses come in increasing magnifications and depending on the microscope, the nosepiece can hold anywhere from 3 to 5 objectives.

Sophisticated microscope nosepieces lock the objective lens into place which such precision that the objective stays in alignment and completely centered with the specimen. This precision eliminates the need to re-position a slide and reduces the time to focus.

How to Use Microscope Nosepiece?

The revolving nosepiece revolves by grasping the objective along the etched grip section of the objective lens and rotating it either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on which objective you are trying to lock into position.

Some larger microscopes have an etched grip right on the revolving nosepiece so if the microscope you are using has the grip there you should use that to turn the nosepiece.

Before you begin observing an object with the microscope, You should start with the lowest power objective. When you need higher magnification, the user turns the nosepiece to the next highest level.

When you are changing the objective from lowest magnification to higher magnification ensure that the objective is locked into place by listening for the auditory click sound.

Once you find focus with a low-power objective the next step is to rotate the nosepiece to the higher-power objective. Then once you find focus again you will rotate the nosepiece again to the higher power objective and repeat this process until you reach the desired magnification.

What To Do When your Microscope Nosepiece is Loose?

There are times when I have found that my nosepiece has become loose and the rotating mechanism is not rotating in a controlled manner. If you find that you are experiencing this problem one thing to check is the nosepiece screw. If it’s too tight you can loosen it a bit or if it’s too loose, which is normally the case, you can tighten it.

How to remove Objective from Nosepiece?

There are many reasons you would want to remove your objective lenses from the nosepiece but the most common is removing an objective to clean it. To remove an objective, you just twist the objective to the left just like a screw, and unscrew it with your hand.

To put the objective back, it is sometimes easier to twist the objective left to find the threading and then begin twisting the objective lens to the left.

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