Interchangeable parts made the Model S microscope a versatile tool for studies in biology, medicine, and metallurgy during the 1960s and 1970s. Depending on the user's needs, the microscope could be equipped with various combinations of eyepieces, eyepiece tubes, objectives, condensers, and stages.
The model S was equipped with a wooden accessory cabinet that could later be used for storage when the microscope was not in use. A two-sided reflecting mirror provided illumination for the basic microscope model. One side had a plane surface, which was used with the condenser. The other side had a concave surface, which was used without the condenser when employing an objective with a magnification of 20X or less. Illumination could also be provided by an ordinary 60-watt light bulb, with a daylight filter in place, or by the Köhler method with a Nikon universal microscope lamp. Nikon also provided built-in illumination alternatives. A small 15-watt substage lamp was available as a replacement for the mirror and the S-Ke model was equipped with a built-in Köhler illuminator.
There were four selections of eyepiece tubes available for the model S: inclined monocular, binocular, and two versions of trinocular. Four interchangeable stages provided a choice of surfaces for examining specimens and included a rectangular mechanical stage and a graduated, circular rotatable stage. The nosepiece could hold up to four objectives. A variety of achromatic and apochromatic objectives were available, designed specifically for either metallurgical (episcopic) or biological/medical (diascopic) studies.
Today Nikon offers a number of upright microscope options.