Nikon’s Museum of Microscopy

Multiphot Large-Format Photomacrography Microscope

( Circa early 1980s )

The Multiphot, built during the 1970s and 1980s, was specifically designed for wide-field, large-format photography at low magnifications as well as for other photomacrographic and photomicrographic possibilities.

Nikon Multiphot Large-Format Photomacrography Microscope

Inherent limitations in lens technology, available equipment and even illumination can make photomacrographic work difficult and, at best, imprecise. The Multiphot solves all these problems, assuring clear, sharp, well-defined images. In the 4 x 5-inch format, the Multiphot features a large bellows unit coupled to a vibration-damped, self-cocking shutter. The diascopic base, along with low-voltage focusing illuminator, provides uniform edge-to-edge illumination across the entire specimen plane.

High-resolution Macro-Nikkor lenses, available in four magnifications, produce critically sharp images of the most minute subject structures. Matching condenser lenses that fit into the diascopic illuminator unit are available for each of the lenses.

Other features include a bayonet mount, which accepts a variety of adapter backs: Polaroid 4 x 5-inch camera back for black-and-white or color film, 6 centimeter x 9 centimeter roll film camera back, or 2-1/2 x 3-1/2-inch sheet film, and photo plate holders. In addition to filling the gap that formerly existed between the magnification ranges of a conventional camera and those possible with a microscope, Nikon created a system that would also handle photomicrographic and copying requirements in formats of 35-millimeter up to 4 x 5 inches.

Episcopic illuminators for photomacrography with the Multiphot include vertical on-axis illumination via a half mirror attachment, oblique illumination with flood or spot lamps, and diffused illumination with Lieberkühn mirrors.

Today a number of parallel optics type Nikon stereomicroscopes allow for large-format on-axis imaging.

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