The SMZ1500 stereoscopic zoom microscope represents Nikon's entry into twenty-first century microscopy. First manufactured in 2000, the Nikon SMZ1500 features new apochromatic objectives that improve resolving power and achieve higher numerical apertures than previous models.
A zoom ratio of 15 to 1 provides the SMZ1500 with a range of magnifications from 0.75x to 11.25x for a total magnifying capability of 3.75x up to 540x, depending on the oculars and objectives selected. Click stops on the instrument's zoom knob allow the microscopist to zoom from 1x to 11x at 1x-intervals without interrupting observations. Other facets of the SMZ1500 optical system include high-eyepoint eyepieces with built-in diopter adjustments, a wide field of view, and a built-in aperture diaphragm for achieving optimal depth of focus and improved photomicrography.
Though the SMZ1500 features an inclined 20-degree observation angle, Nikon provides the options of either a low eye-level viewing tube or a tilting eyepiece tube, with or without eye-level risers. Three different diascopic stands with built-in power supplies may also be utilized with the instrument, or the standard stand that features a low profile for increased clearance may be used. The flexible configuration of the SMZ1500 enables microscopists to utilize various attachments, illuminators, and systems in order to carry out sophisticated observation techniques, photomicrography, or digital imaging. In the depiction of the instrument above, for instance, the SMZ1500 appears with the epi-fluorescence attachment that facilitates simple observation of living cells.