Microscope Components ï Reflected light is used for the study of metals. ï Transmittedlight microscopes are used to study minerals and polymers, which can also be examined using reflected light. ï Optical microscopes are also classified as "upright" or "inverted"; these terms refer to the orientation of the plane of polish of the specimen during observation. ï Figure 1 illustrates the light path in the two designs. ï The simplest optical microscope is the bench type (usually upright). ï Photographic capabilities can be added to some units depending on the rigidity of the stand. Figure 2 illustrates basic bench microscopes, and Figure 3 shows research-quality bench microscopes suitable for photographic work.