Microscopes are a standard laboratory tool, but purchasing the right microscope for a particular application can be a challenge. First, consider how you will use the instrument. Are you looking at slides, dissecting a small animal or performing a surgery? (The application dictates the necessary working distance and power of magnification.) What kind of a stand will you be using? (Boom stand, articulating arm or post stand) Will the microscope be used in a classroom setting? (A trinocular scope offers the option of including a camera.) Will you need a camera? (A camera allows you to project the microscope image on a PC or TV or to take still images.) The answers to these questions help you determine the required working distance, level of magnification, type of mounting stand and hardware required.