The Apophot universal table microscope represented the first attempt by Nikon to create a large stand research instrument. The approximately 75-pound apparatus shared many interchangeable parts with the S series microscopes, but also featured exclusive accessories, such as an epi-illumination system.
Within the Apophot microscope, a zoom lens system adjusts the image of the light source on the conjugate plane at the condenser diaphragm, while a centering device focuses the image on the objective back focal plane. An optical path changeover mirror allows the microscopist to rapidly switch between an episcopic illuminator with either a mercury or xenon arc burner and a diascopic illuminator with a 30-watt tungsten lamphouse. The instrument also possesses a six-position, substage filter box and a trinocular head, which may be fitted with a phototube and the Microflex AFM, EFM or PFM photomicrographic attachments.
In the illustration above, the microscope's table, or large stand, features three meters for monitoring illuminator voltage and an ammeter for reading the current of the input power source. Beneath the front of the tabletop, there are separate adjustment knobs for the instrument's two illuminators. Not shown, however, are the innovative built-in receptacles and electric contacts for the fluorescence unit, the illuminator power sources, the flash synchronization, and the Microflex photomicrography system, which function in a manner similar to a docking station for a modern laptop computer.