The present invention provides a sample observation device capable of acquiring high-contrast sample images while out of focus. This sample observation device 100 comprises an illuminating optical system 110, an observation optical system 120, and a sample holder 6. The illuminating optical system 110 includes a condenser lens 4 and an opening member 5. The observation optical system 120 includes an objective lens 8, a dimming member 14, and a focus lens 10. The opening member 5 is arranged at the location of the pupil of the illuminating optical system 110 or at a location conjugate to the pupil of the illuminating optical system 110. The dimming member 14 is arranged at a location conjugate to the pupil of the observation optical system 120. The opening member 5 has an opening area 5a. The dimming member 14 has a dimming area 14a. A drive mechanism 16 moves the sample holder 6 and/or the observation optical system 120 to bring the same into a first prescribed state. In the first prescribed state, the position of a sample 7 and the focus position of the observation optical system 120 do not coincide.