I was googling around today, looking for low magnification lenses to interface with a 35mm camera sensor, and I came across this interesting looking modular optical system from Qioptiq. It’s essentially a modular low magnification microscope, with optional motorized focus and zoom options, with an NA up to 0.18. If you use their 4x / 0.18 NA lower lens, combined with a 2.5x tube lens, you get 10x magnification overall, and can fill a 35 mm sensor, achieving a field of view of 2.4 x 3.6 mm. Combine that with a camera like the Nikon DS-Qi2, and you get a Nyquist sampled, 16 megapixel image with 1.7 um resolution. If you had a camera with slightly smaller pixels you could go down to 8x overall magnification and a slightly larger field of view.
For low magnification, large field of view imaging, this system looks pretty interesting, particularly given its modular nature and the fact that there are motorization options and options to add fluorescence illumination. I have no idea about pricing, and wonder how it compares to more conventional microscope options. If it’s cost effective, though, it could be a nice option for certain types of imaging – I’m currently rebuilding a Nikon AZ100 into a low-magnification, low-resolution light sheet system (about which, more later) and we’ve gotten very nice images of cleared mouse brain with a 2x / 0.2 NA lens and an extra few-fold magnification from the zoom system.
If anyone has any experience with this system, or anything similar to it, I’d be very curious to hear about it.