The resolving power of a microscope is the ability of the devise to distinguish between two objects. A light microscope can only resolve two objects that are bigger than 250 nanometers because objects smaller than this fall well below the size of a wavelength of visible light (500 – 650 nanometers). Non lens system can ever resolve two dots that are closer together than half the wavelength of the light that is used to view them.

This means that the maximum magnification possible with a light microscope is x 1500. The total magnification is calculated by multiplying the magnification of the two lenses together. For example, if an eyepiece lens has a magnification of x 10 and the objective lens has a magnification of x 50, the total magnification of the microscope is x 500. This microscope would have difficulty focusing in on a cell – you would need one with an eye piece lens of x 10 magnification and an objective lens of x 150 magnification.

This means that the maximum magnification possible with a light microscope is x 1500. The total magnification is calculated by multiplying the magnification of the two lenses together. For example, if an eyepiece lens has a magnification of x 10 and the objective lens has a magnification of x 50, the total magnification of the microscope is x 500. This microscope would have difficulty focusing in on a cell – you would need one with an eye piece lens of x 10 magnification and an objective lens of x 150 magnification.