Digital SLR Camera Fits Into Nikon's Microscope

Feb 4, 2009
Chiho Matsuda, Nikkei Monozukuri
The "Fabre Photo EX" can be fitted with a digital single-lens reflex camera.
The "Fabre Photo EX" can be fitted with a digital single-lens reflex camera.
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A camera is attached using the "NAS-L1 digital SLR camera attachment."
A camera is attached using the "NAS-L1 digital SLR camera attachment."
[Click to enlarge image]

Nikon Vision Co Ltd will release the "Fabre Photo EX," a portable stereoscopic microscope that can be fitted with Nikon's digital single-lens reflex camera for observation and photo shoot.

The "NAS-L1 digital SLR camera attachment" is used to connect the camera to the microscope. Both the microscope and the attachment will be released Feb 20, 2009, at the price of ¥108,150 (approx US$1,214, including tax) and ¥37,800 (including tax), respectively.

The products are intended for field observations as well as for industrial use including observation, visual inspection and image recording in the processes of inspecting materials and electronics parts.

The Fabre Photo EX is an upgraded version of the "Fabre Photo," a microscope that was released in June 2006 and is equipped with an optical system developed exclusively for digital camera shooting. The optical system uses a prism applied with phase difference correction coating to improve image quality, according to Nikon Vision.

The Fabre Photo can be fitted only with a compact digital camera, but the new model can be used with a digital SLR camera. Also, the rigidity of the base was improved by increasing its size and using die-cast aluminum. Furthermore, a grip is included as standard equipment. As a result of these modifications, operability and toughness were improved, allowing use under severe environments, such as of industrial inspection.

With one AA alkaline battery, the Fabre Photo EX can be operated for about ten hours. It is equipped with a white LED light for observation and photo shoot in a dim environment. The light can be switched between "OFF," "One Light" and "Two Lights," making it possible to adjust shading and brightness.

Magnification can be adjusted in three levels by adding an intermediate tube to the attachment. It supports the Nikon DX format (approx 15.7 x 23.7mm) and Nikon FX format (approx 23.9 x 36.0mm) imaging devices.

With the "FSB-U1 Compact Digital Camera Bracket," which can be shared with a digiscoping (super-telephoto shooting) device and will be released Feb 20, 2009, many of the Coolpix series cameras can be connected to the microscope.

The observation optical system features 20-times magnification, and the actual field of view is 11mm in diameter. The shooting magnification varies depending on the connected camera, but it will be about 45-times without the intermediate tube, 56-times with one tube and 66-times with two tubes when a Nikon DX format camera (A4-size print) is used.

Interpupillary distance can be adjusted in the range from 51 to 72mm. The focus ring is equipped with a torque adjustment mechanism to reduce blurring during observation.