The S-Ke was the first Nikon microscope equipped with a Köhler illuminator built into the microscope base, enabling convenient and perfect photomicrography when a camera was mounted and used with one of Nikon's Microflex adapters. A reflecting mirror was provided as an accessory and could replace the illumination field lens to provide light from a source outside the microscope.
Like the basic Model S, interchangeable parts made the Model S-Ke microscope a versatile tool for studies in biology, medicine, and metallurgy. Depending on the user's needs, it could be equipped with various combinations of eyepieces, eyepiece tubes, objectives, condensers, and stages. This microscope, built during the 1960s and 1970s, was provided with a coaxial set of coarse and fine focusing knobs, which were located near the base. A preset device allowed quick refocusing after the stage was lowered for changing a specimen or applying immersion oil. A wooden cabinet was also available for storage when the microscope was not in use.
There were five selections of eyepiece tubes available: inclined monocular, inclined monocular with an inclined phototube, binocular, and two versions of trinocular. Four interchangeable stages provided a choice of surfaces for examining specimens: a rectangular mechanical stage, circular floating, graduated, circular rotatable, and a plain square stage. A variety of achromatic and apochromatic objectives were available, designed specifically for either metallurgical (episcopic) or biological/medical (diascopic) uses.