Zeiss OPMI

22 March 2005

Dear George,

First of all, I love your Website. You have some great pictures of microscopes and specimens for sure. I especially like the Fuess petrological microscope and goniometer accessory. It looks exactly like the one in my living room. :<) You will be happy to know I have rid the scope of the wrong aluminum ringed mirror and found a perfect size and antique brass one. It was the final thing that needed to be done. I appreciate all the pictures you took of the instrument and its accessories. We are very happy to have them.

Regarding the Zeiss scale model. This model was built by Zeiss as a promotion and advertisement for their new S3 and S3B fully motorized operating microscope stand, which is one for the model. About one in 50 had a foot control panel with the model, this one does not. Why they all didn't have a foot control panel, I do not know as all S3 and S3B stands required it to make it work. All instruments had motorized focusing, gross and fine The microscope attached to it is really somewhat odd and not true. The microscope stand, while having a plug for a tungsten illuminator, was really and totally meant, at the time, for the newer halogen fiber optic illuminators that all the newer microscopes had and the micro surgeons insisted on.

The oddity is that the microscope on the scale looks like an OPMI 1, which was a manual operating microscope for ENT surgeons and never used on this stand as it was too big and clumsy for the ENT doctors. On top of that the microscope model shows a tungsten illuminator and not even the newer OPMI 1 with fiber optics that everyone wanted. The stand even has two fiber optic cables supposedly coming down to the microscope. Very strange.

At best the microscope could be called an OPMI 6 on S3B stand. The illuminator on the back of the microscope, again though, says tungsten illuminator and it is the wrong instrument for the stand.

The stand was very popular with neurosurgeons, plastic and hand re-constructive surgeons and eye surgeons. We sold a lot of them with completely motorized microscopes like the OPMI 6S (fiber optic version) MD, CS (both neuro and eye) and 6S PH for re-constructive surgery. As more microscope bodies came to market they all went on this stand or a version of it. Initially we gave away a model to each surgeon who ordered a system. In reality it never mattered, I guess, that the model made no sense, but many doctors would ask why it didn't look "like their real one" and we had to explain it. We used to have so many of these we didn't know what to do with them all. Then eBay was developed! Now you and the other members know more about this model than you could ever have wanted to know. Good to hear from you. Take care.

Best Regards,
Ron E.

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