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Nikon introduces new Research Stereo Microscopes SMZ25/SMZ18

May 13, 2013

Nikon Corporation (Makoto Kimura, President; Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo,) is pleased to announce the introduction of our newest Research Stereo Microscopes SMZ25/SMZ18, featuring “the largest zoom range”1, “extremely high resolution” and “exceptionally bright Epi-fluorescence”.

The SMZ25/SMZ18 is ideally suited for both industrial tasks as well as bioscience and medical applications.  The extremely large zoom range and high resolution allows users to image the sample from its entirety down to its microscopic details.

1With SMZ25 (as of May 2013).

Product information

Product name: Research Stereo Microscope SMZ25 / SMZ18

Brochure: Download SMZ 25 & 18 brochure

Available from June 3, 2013

Research Stereo Microscope SMZ25
Motorized Epi Fluorescence set
Research Stereo Microscope SMZ18
Episcopic Plain Stand set

Background of Development

Industrial fields including material research, crack&failure analysis, optics and electronics inspections, micro-manufactured assemblies, etc. have increasing needs for imaging systems that span large spatial scales, whilst maintaining the wide field of view, highest resolution and fluorescence transmission. With these demands in mind, Nikon has developed two new stereo microscopes, the motorized SMZ25 and manual SMZ18.  Both feature extremely high resolutions and exceptional fluorescence transmission capabilities.  SMZ25 also features the largest zoom range on the market2

2 As of May 2013

Key features

1. The largest zoom range3 (25:1) and exceptional resolution

The new Nikon stereo microscopes incorporate a newly developed zoom system (Perfect Zoom System).  The Perfect Zoom System is a breakthrough in stereo microscope design, enabling both an incredible zoom range of 25:1 (0.63-15.17x) and a high numerical aperture of 0.156 (for SMZ25, 1x Objective, at the highest zoom), which allow researchers to image both the entire sample as well as its microscopic details using just a single instrument. 

Especially, the SMZ25 boasts a 35mm field of view at the lowest magnification of 0.63x (using 1x objective, 10 x eyepieces), enabling users to image the entire 35mm dish. At the high magnification range, Nikon’s newly developed high performance objective lenses allow imaging of microscopic structures once considered too small to visualize on a stereo microscope.

3 With SMZ25 (as of May 2013).

SMZ25 watch
Image of a watch using the 1x objective lens with SMZ25

2. A breakthrough in Epi-fluorescence imaging: stunningly bright images and high contrast

The new epi-fluorescence attachment employs a fly-eye-lens that enables brighter and more uniform illumination across the entire field of view even at the low magnification range.  In addition, the signal-to-noise ratio has been improved by the incorporation of a short wavelength, high transmission lens in the zoom body.  The result is clear, high contrast fluorescent imaging.

3. Wide range of accessories

A wide variety of accessories such as illuminators, bases and stands are available to accommodate the wide-range of research needs in the biomedical and industrial fields.

Nikon’s imaging software,  NIS-Elements (sold separately), can be now be used to operate the SMZ25 to capture multi-channel, time-lapse images, and Extended Depth of Focus (EDF)4 images. By combining the SMZ25 or SMZ18 with Nikon’s stand alone control unit DS-L3 (sold separately), researchers can easily visualize critical information such as magnification and diascopic illumination intensity on the LCD monitor and also configure camera acquisition settings using the touch panel.

4a single extended depth of focus image created from a stack of images taken at different focal depths)

4. More ease of use

The thinner LED diascopic illumination base increases the efficiency and ergonomics of sample manipulation and exchanging of samples. The new base also features Nikon's unique built -in OCC (Oblique Coherent Contrast)5 illuminator that produces high-contrast images of transparent samples such as ITO film and zebrafish.

The SMZ25 also boasts an easy-to-use remote controller. The new remote controller with focusing knob enables the researcher to change focus, zoom, and intensity of the diascopic LED light with ease, and can also be used to capture images. 

5The OCC stands for Oblique Coherent Contrast. The OCC method uses the slide diaphragm located near the position of the entrance pupil of an objective to shield luminous flux and applies coherent light to samples diagonally.  This gives shades to colorless transparent samples so they can be observed with contrast.


  SMZ25 SMZ18
Total magnification
(Using 10x eyepiece) 
(Depending on objective used)
(Depending on objective used)
Zooming Body Optical system Parallel-optics (zooming type) Parallel-optics (zooming type)
Zoom range 0.63-15.75x 0.75-13.5x
Zoom range 25:1 18:1
Zoom Motorized Manual
Aperture diaphragm Zooming body built-in Zooming body built-in
Controller Remote controller -


NA / Working Distance (mm)

0.5x 0.078 / 71 0.075 / 71
1x 0.156 / 60 0.15 / 60
1.6x 0.25 / 30 0.24 / 30
2x 0.312 / 20 0.3 / 20
Tubes Tilting trinocular tube / Low eyelevel trinocular tube
Epi-Fluorescence Attachment Motorized / Manual filter cube turret (4 filter cubes mountable)
Bases / Stand LED diascopic base / Fiber diascope base
Episcopic plain base / Episcopic plain stand
Episcopic illuminators Coaxial Epi illuminator / LED ring illumination unit
LED ring fiber illumination unit
Flexible double arm fiber illumination unit
Diascopic illuminators LED dark field unit / Polarizing attachment