Nikon Introduces SMZ1500 Stereo Microscope with Highest Optical Performance, Largest Zoom Range Available

Juli 28, 2000

Microscope users can prepare to bring new things to light when they peer into the Nikon SMZ1500 stereo microscope. The microscope delivers exceptionally clear, bright, true images, unparalleled ergonomics, the largest zoom range available (15x), and a host of features and benefits so unique, there are six patents pending.

World's largest zoom ratio, superb optical performance The culmination of Nikon's leading-edge optical technologies, the SMZ1500 features the world's largest zoom ratio, covering a range from 0.75x to 11.25x. This allows the operator to see and document any sample, from macro views to high-magnification micro visualization without the use of auxiliary

lenses. Depending on the eyepiece and the objective selected, the SMZ1500 offers total magnifications from 3.75x to 540x.

Nikon's legendary skill for creating the world's finest optical systems is visible in the new microscope. Nikon has a new series of high resolution (HR) Apochromatic objectives, which have been completely redesigned to deliver higher resolution than ever thought possible in stereoscopic images. The new objectives provide the sharpest, brightest, highest contrast and most flare-free images available. The HR Plan Apochromat 1.6x objective, for example, offers an unparalleled numerical aperture (NA) of 0.21 and a resolving power of 630 lines per millimeter.

Also available are high-performance HR Plan Apo 0.5x and 1x lenses.

With the newly designed objectives, Nikon has addressed the distortion, chromatic aberration, and curvature of field that are the traditional problems of stereo microscopy. Both spherical and chromatic aberrations are minimized while simultaneously correcting for distortion. The result is superior image quality.

Comfort like never before

Nikon's SMZ1500 stereo microscopes have been engineered to maximize user comfort and minimize fatigue, even after long hours of continuous use. High eyepoint eyepieces have a diopter adjustment to help prevent eyestrain. The

standard binocular tube is inclined 20 degrees, and can be customized to allow the widest range of operators to use it for hours at a time.

The new coaxial coarse/fine focusing unit features a patent-pending anti-backlash mechanism for smoother and more accurate handling than ever before. The new microscope focuses easily, with no "settling" once optimal focusing is achieved. The anti-backlash feature means that torque doesn't affect the focus after optimal focusing is achieved. Users can also focus easily and comfortably with one hand, gliding the knob smoothly without having to reach forward.

Each of the diascopic stands available for the SMZ1500 has an additional fine focus control located in front of the stand, down low by the sample work surface. There is no need for users to take their hands away from the specimen area when using the up-front focus control. In addition, the zoom knob features click-stops at 1X intervals from 1X to 11X, eliminating the need to look away from the eyepieces while changing magnification.


There are several illumination options available from Nikon. They include new NI-series fiber optic illumincators, including both the NI 150, a high intensity 150-watt halogen light source with a heat blocking filter included; fiber optic light guides with two ring lights and either double or single goosenecks, or the NI-30, an economical 30-watt system complete with a single gooseneck.

The coaxial illuminator is perfect for observing semiconductor samples, wafers, completed chips, and more. The coaxial illuminator gets its light from the provided fiber optic fiber, which plugs directly into the NI-150 light source.

Nikon also offers other illuminators for specialized needs. A new four-position fluorescence illuminatorallows easy observation of fluorescent materials such as photos resist. The illuminator provides for brightfield and accommodates three fluorescence cubes. Switching between fluorescence and normal observation is quick, and the illuminator is provided with a photo port.


Versatility has never been easier, thanks to new Nikon illuminators and accessories. The large, streamlined plain stand ensures smooth operation. A variety of new diascopic stands are also available to allow users to accurately observe and photograph specimens all the way out to the edges of large samples. The transmitted light stands features a design that controls heat radiation to adjacent parts, making it possible to work with specimens under the strictest temperature controls. In addition to a wealth of new accessories, the SMZ 1500 can use the vast array of existing accessories available for Nikon's stereoscopic zoom microscopes.

By using a beamsplitter and adapter, an FX-III series photomicrographic system, a CCTV camera, or a digital still camera can be attached. A dual beamsplitter allows one photomicrographic system and one CCTV camera to be mounted at the same time. Light can be split between the observation port and the photo port in 100:0, 50:50, an d0:100 ratios.

For teaching purposes or when two or more colleagues are working as a team, a side-by-side teaching head stand and a pointing device are also available.