Crest X-light V3 spinning disk confocal reviews

Hi all,

I’m wondering if anyone has used or owns a X-light V3 spinning disk? They are very competitively priced against the Andor Dragonfly and Yokogawa W1 but I’m a little skeptical. I’d love to hear experiences and opinions.

Following! We are in the process of purchasing a spinning disk! All three models are in are consideration. Not very familiar with the X-light v3.

Yes, since V3 is so new I think there are not many units out yet.

I’ve tested out a few other fast confocal options including the Andor Dragonfly, Yokogawa W1 and Nikon A1R HD25. I’m hoping to see a demo of the V3 soon and then can report back myself here. The A1R was surprisingly good for a point scanner. The resonant scan mode makes a big difference.

If I go with a more traditional spinning disk I’ll attach two Hamamatsu ORCA-Fusion cameras to a spinning disk for low-light/high speed imaging.


Hi Andrew, my two cents: I’ve seen the crest v3 in action. It performed to my expectations and seems to be a fairly good instrument. I haven’t done extensive comparisons with other spinning disks though. From my point of view the advantage of the V3 is its price considering is just the core spinning disk unit vs more flexible and versatile systems like the dragonfly. The company is local so a near by institute is flooded by those spinning disks and they even co-develop things, systems work very nicely.

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Hi Alvaro,
Thanks for that feedback. Nice to hear that the V3 performs as expected. One follow up question: when you used the V3 did you run it on microManager or something like Visiview?

You’re completely right about the advantage on the price. On the other end of the spectrum, I tried out the Zeiss Lattice-SIM for a whole day. It truly is a spinning-disk killer. I could easily image @15 Hz, dual camera, at a resolution of ~120nm xy. The problem is that it costs both kidneys so I’ll have to get something else for my own lab of course.


What sample did you prepare for the Zeiss Lattice-SIM? Leica introduced their new Thunder Imager to me as a cheaper alternative. Starts up from 150,000. We have not tested it yet, But maybe you want to demo it for individual lab purchase. We are a core lab, I’m going to look into the Lattice-SIM. Thanks for the info!

Hi Meatball,

I’m actually demoing a Thunder imager next week. I’m a little hesitant as it it seems to just be a widefield system with image processing. I’d be happy to be proven wrong though and can let you know my experience.

I did a couple of things on the lattice-SIM: timelapse imaging of SiR-Hoescht stained DNA + other markers simultaneously in human cells and Z stacks of various IF stained human cells. Bleaching was not an issue at all and the system is super fast. This was all done on a pco.Edge camera.

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Great to know! Thanks! That’s also what I thought when they told me how the Thunder works. Looking forward to hear from your experience!


I would be very interested in your perspective after testing the Thunder, as that was my first impression too. Though there was a certain lack of much specific information (that I could find) on their website.

Answering my own question from above, I got a chance to see an x-light V3 in action and I’ll share my thoughts on it here. I also tried out a Leica Thunder system and I’ll start a new thread about that.

The x-light I saw was attached to a Nikon TiE body being run by VisiView. This system had the LDI-7 from 89North which has 7 discreet channels. For whatever reason the 555 diode is larger and comes out of a separate fiber which is connected to the disk unit by a bifurcated fiber. The output at 470 is 1 watt which is definitely enough. The V3 has two camera ports. This unit had a single Hamamatsu Fusion attached.

The scope was run with VisiView which has really improved a lot since the last time I used it. All automatic functionality was there including things like sliding out the disk for WF mode or changing filters etc. I know that you can also run this with micro-manager. I believe that Nikon is going to support the V3 soon as well.

Image quality was great (see example below). I didn’t take a PSF on this system but the confocality was definitely up to the standard of what I expected to see. I didn’t see any immediate downside to this system; the demo was smooth. I did some photobleaching tests; it behaved as I would expect for a spinning disk. The field of view is also flat. I didn’t see any shading in my images.

I was expecting to see some major flaw since this spinning disk is considerably cheaper than others. It leaves me wondering why the system is so much cheaper. It may be that this disk doesn’t have microlenses. I presume they get over this by having the 1 watt laser. If I could have stayed longer I would have liked to measure how much light is lost through the disk optics.

Overall, I don’t have anything negative to say about the x-light V3 + LDI. It seems like a great spinning disk and laser combo.

Fun with the LDI!


Thank you for the update! Going to read your other post.

Thanks for the info. We’ve got the V2 LFOV with a Celesta, and with the disk in, it’s a total light hog. I think that I’ve got power output measurements from the objective kicking around somewhere, comparing widefield vs. confocal mode. I’ll share them when I can lay hands on them.

This is good to know. I decided to purchase the V3. It would be interesting to compare them to see what kind of improvements have been made.

Hi Andrew, it used metamorph, but I know as a fact it can run with micromanager. I m happy to hear about the comparision about the zeiss sim, we’re getting one in a few months ;-). Have you thought about the Mizar’s TILT, light sheet module? You will not have any super-resolution but imaging should be milder than a spinning disk. We’re going to be demoing one TILT in about a month.

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Hi Alvaro, I’d be curious to hear how the TILT is. I was also was looking at the iSIM instead of a spinning disk. It’s not really like a traditional SIM since there is no image reconstruction. It’s more like a swept field multipoint confocal that gets super resolution. It’s out of my budget at the moment but it certainly looks as good as a traditional spinning disk.

For now I’ve ordered an x-light V3 with the LDI from 89North, two Hamamatsu Fusion cameras, all the optics I need, a VisiView license, a second hand Zeiss Observer 7 body and a table for ~$200k. I’m hoping my system works as well as the demo unit I saw.


@Andrew_Seeber, can i ask you an aprox price to the xlight v3, please?

Hi Jorge,

The Crest V3 is around $100k. It comes (standard) with 2 camera ports.



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Hi Andrew,

I’m just checking in to see what your thoughts are on the Crest V3 after owning it for a few years? We are currently thinking of buying one.

Dear all,

We also have a V3 with LDI and primeBSI. Our application is fast imaging contractions of heart tissue. We are happy with the speed and usage of the V3. We do struggle sometimes with bleaching but this might be due to the high speed imaging we try to do (200-400fps). The variable excitation aperture in the V3 is very useful to minimize phototoxic effects (yes, illuminating culture medium contributes in phototoxicity at high laser power 50-100% LDI 470nm)

We use Nikon Ti2 with NIS-AR and having the triggered synchronized camera and lasers is very useful.

Has anyone tried the new CICERO spinning disk from Crest? This looks even more budget friendly but I wonder what the compromises are.