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Nikon Microphot-FXL

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:06 am
by rs6000
hello there Microbe community
I am trying to find information on this microscope but there doesn't seem to be any PDFs or specs anywhere coming on dead ends almost this model never existed plenty of notes on older Microphot-fx and FXA
I want to know a few bits about this older model
saw it detailed on a nikon post memoir dealing on Michael W. Davidson ... -1950-2015

there is also a interesting website called Silicon Zoo fascinating images :)

Re: Nikon Microphot-FXL

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:13 am
by Scarodactyl
Just from the snippet in the memoir I'd guess it just has a stage with a larger range of movement for wafer inspection (similar to the various optiphot varieties designated by the size of chip they could examine).

Re: Nikon Microphot-FXL

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:32 am
by rs6000
I am unfamiliar with most the model Names as they are hard to interpret Zeiss and Nikon names like axiophot, axioskop and Nikons microphot, Diaphot, alphaphot labophot thes names are very confusing make my head spin
are you telling me the microphot FXL is a special type of microscope different then the Eclipse type

Re: Nikon Microphot-FXL

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:58 am
by Scarodactyl
The -phot series are all finite microscopes based on their cf series of objectives (with the exception of a couple late optiphot models for wafer inspection that were infinity corrected). Eclipse is the later branding for infinity corrected scopes using their cfi series of objectives.

The microphots are a fairly early series iirc. My guess is the FXL was just a minor variant configured for wafer inspection rather than research, perhaps a predecessor to the optiphot or a more badass take on it. Some of these wafer scopes are hard to find documentation on since they wouldn't have been mentioned as much in publications and there weren't a million copies in universities who might have digitized the manual at some point.

Re: Nikon Microphot-FXL

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:51 am
by photomicro
I assume you have seen this on the same MicroscopyU website; ... microscope

I have a PDF of Instructions for the FXA if it is any use, dated 1986.

Literature I have includes the Microphone FX, S , FXA and SA but not the FXL.


Re: Nikon Microphot-FXL

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:18 pm
by rs6000
Yes I have seen that its not the same as the pictures I have seen of the FXL and that museum image is the first generation series early model, However Hooray I FINALLY got a hold of Nikon as they were out for almost a month!! NEW YEARS WEEK and the preceding must be a nice place to work holiday vacation kind of like summer break in school :)
Anyhow the 2 reps I spoke to did not know even of the existence of this model nor have any info other then a price sheet from early 90s on the FXA series don't know how this model relate the the FXL but I am going to forget it at this at this point as there is no info on this scope readily available it seems sadly you can find pertinent data on Zeiss scopes going back over 50 YEARS but with Nikon no support even going back 20yrs very sad state of affairs

Thank you for all your help

Re: Nikon Microphot-FXL

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:45 pm
by Scarodactyl
The microphot line launched 35 years ago. That's a fairly long time I'd say.

There's no guarantee that they made many of the "FXL" variant in the first place. It's described as "a research microscope that featured a large stage that could accommodate semiconductor microchips". The microphot line launched in '85, and the optiphot in '87 if their site is to be believed. The '-L' clearly just stands for 'Large', and it was probably just a normal microphot configured with a larger stage and epi illumination to accomodate wafer inspection. I'd guess that this was an early response to increasing demand for compound scopes for wafer inspection--this was also about the time that Bausch and Lomb put out their microzoom series of compound industrial scopes as the stereozoom 7 no longer had the needed magnification and resolution for higher complexity chips. So my guess would be that as demand for high end wafer inspection scopes started to take off they first configured some of their microphots for that purpose before launching the optiphot line specifically designed for industrial use as a more systematic approach to the problem.

Where did you find pictures of the scope itself?

A similar issue I've had recently (though not quite as thoroughly hard to track down) was on Leica's GZ7. I have found a parts diagram (which is a lot more than nothing) but no brochures, no ads, no mention on their old websites or documents and barely any mention in publications. And that's a scope you can go and buy now on eBay. I imagine the reason is similar to the FXL though--it's an ultimately minor variant on a well-known platform (it seems to just be an ESD-safe version of the classic SZ7, and they also replaced the eyepiece tubes with the newer style) which didn't make a big commercial splash.

Re: Nikon Microphot-FXL

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:48 am
by rs6000
thank you for your comments its reassuring that I am not the only one experience difficulty obtaining any Docs on cleary existing piece of equipment :lol:

in answer to your question;
I gained a interest in the FXL after someone had posted a question on the beast : had some lighting issue I think
I then found another reference to it existence on the silicon zoo website just I stumbled upon ... -1950-2015