Advantages and Disadvantages about Infinity tech

Hi, I was thinking which microscope to buy, I researched a lot, learned the basics about microscopy and when finally reaching a point to know what to buy I found some hard points in how to choose one, and is about he Infinity tech that has some microscopes, this topic will be focused there.

In my research, the point of buy a infinity microscope is be able to do things in the infinite space, add new techniques in that space, do it custom, for example, add some particular light filters, use two cameras with different technique or any other weird thing we want.

This tech seems to be great when will use it, but if not can be just extra money we would like to spend in other place of the microscope.

Even after reading a lot about it, I was not fully be able to get a good list of disadvantages and advantages, so I’ll write what I found until now.


  • The threads of the microscope will be brand unique, you will hardly be able to change pieces between them
  • Even if the threads are the same on different brands, is possible to them still have bad images
  • More expensive microscope
  • Excluding expensive brands, for microscopes lower than 1000$ usd, I was not able to found equipment to use the infinity tech, no tubes, light filters, etc, etc! Even I was not able to found the threads to be able to buy or print in a 3d printer the parts… (maybe, the threads for the infinity tech are common, still I was not able to found data about it)


  • At some point more flexible to use one or more technics of light on the infinity space, still there is a limit, a lot of addons will distort the image
  • There is more Plan objectives, found a Non-Infinity microscope with Plan can be pretty hard

I have found, for new ppl choose a infinity microscope has a lot of disadvantages, sadly I was not able to found the specific ones, at the same time I would like to know if there is more advantages on choose an infinity one.

This topic is to add new things to this list, to be able to know better which one is better for some uses. Also would be useful what complements or tools are available for infinity and non-infinity ones.


Hello @latot and welcome to the forum.
Firstly, I would say that for a person to chose a microscope the question of ‘infinity or not’ is not the most important criterion. The choice actually more importantly depends on your intended uses and your budget.
For most professional users in well-funded departments I would say that for most standard purposes it would be best to go with one of the major microscope manufacturers’ modern scope series - and these are ~always going to have infinity optics so that decision has been made for you. If you are in this group take a look at this post for more info:

If you are a private individual wanting to do microscopy as a hobby or have a low budget then maybe a second hand older scope like a Leitz or Olympus BH2 series would be better but I would go with those that use a 160 mm mechanical tube length (so not the older Leitz with 170 mm objectives because they are the ‘odd ones out’).

If you are on a low budget - whether professional or amateur - and are happy to customise your scope and put a lot of time and effort to get exactly what you want to do in a creative way, take a look at my open source microscope, the PUMA system here:

and see some of the instructional videos on my YouTube channel here:

As for your list of pros and cons of infinity optics, I would say your list of disadvantages is very good but would add some more:

  • It is not just the threads that are brand-specific (some of them are actually cross-brand compatible) but the actual design of the tube lens and objective optics are brand specific which means that even if you find an objective from another manufacturer that fits the thread, the image won’t be so good because their objective will need to be corrected by their own brand of tube lens.

  • The ‘infinity’ space does not actually go on for infinity in practice because although the ‘rays’ coming out of the objective are parallel, the image beam is not parallel but divergent. The more ‘add-ons’ you put in the infinity space the more image quality will be lost (because more of the divergent imaging beam will have hit the sides of the microscope tube and be lost to the tube lens - then of course there are diffraction effects). This effect is not really noticeable for just a few standard add ons so it not a huge problem but just be aware that you can’t keep adding modules and expect image quality to be unaffected. If this concept of diverging beam of parallel rays in unfamiliar to you, stay tuned to my YouTube channel because I will be releasing a video on this topic in the coming months.

As for your list of ‘Advantages’ I don’t agree - you can customise the light and develop new lighting techniques with non-infinity microscopes as well (just see some of the videos on my YouTube channel for practical examples of that) and you can buy quite inexpensive generic objectives for 160 mm tube length microscopes with an RMS thread from places like AliExpress and eBay, etc. so that is not an advantage for choosing infinity optics per se.

I wish you all the best in finding the right scope for you.


1 Like

Hi! thx for the answer.

I would like to open a new thread to look for a microscope I would need, to keep the order of this I’ll keep this thread with this.

I would love to do PUMA’s microscope, sadly I don’t have plenty of time, so would be hard to me do it.

From what you are saying, is like there is more disadvantages than a advantage, lets open the next thing, an advantage of a 160mm can be a disadvantage on a infinity one in a low budget case.

From what we know, is like a infinity one is more a disadvantage than a advantage.

I think, how to consider this what will win and loose on choose a infinity tech.
I’m new on this, so this is something I can’t handle very well, I imagine, choose a infinity microscope will allow us all the addons we can buy from the brand, out of it that is the limit of a infinity one.

But what are the options for a 160mm? what can we expand on them? which are the options?

I’ll update the list above of the main post.