Female bayonet mount similar to the one of Nikon Eclipse upright microscopes

Dear all,
I am looking for the female part of bayonet mount that would host an illumination system normally mounted into a Nikon Eclipse upright microscope (i.e., the male part is similar to Thorlabs piece SM1A26, Adapters for Upright Nikon Eclipse Microscopes). I haven’t been able to find such a mount anywhere; does anyone have a reference to suggest?
Thanks in advance,

The female portion is an integrated part of the epi-fluorescence light train on the Eclipse - and this is true of most other microscopes. You’ll not likely be able to find a part like this piecemeal.

Maybe if you can provide some additional information about what you’re trying to do then someone could be of further assistance.

Good luck!

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My microscope setup has both a Nikon Intensilight illuminator, and a HiLo system (Sparq - BLIQ PHOTONICS) which connects to the same port (i.e. both have a male bayonet mount). Currently I have to unplug one and replug the other in to switch between them, but I was hoping to build something to combine both illumination systems. Any other suggestions on how to achieve this would be most welcome as well. Thanks!

There is something called TE-AT for the epi illuminator on the FN1. It splits the port in two with a mirror the user flips back and forth.


But I don’t know how much Nikon will charge. It will change the length, but will work with your Nikon illuminator. But I don’t know enough about the other device you mentioned or if there are collimating lenses, etc (check with them first). If you have lots of Thorlabs parts or kits, it might be better/cheaper to ask have they or can they make as a custom adapter with threads and the mount you can use. It seems like something that some other people might need even though its not common.

I might also point out that before Bell&Howell created the C-mount…there was A and B mount. Gradually mounts got more complicated. If you think that trying to determine a particular mount is difficult based on Thorlabs own nomenclature, try finding the mechanical dimensions by searching the Japanese patent database (as opposed to measuring with a caliper). :joy: In a similar fashion Thorlabs used to make Acerra, then Bergamo, then Cerna. So the A-scope made use of many parts from the FN1. The Cerna originally used many Nikon parts, which were gradually phased out for functionally similar parts (epi lightpath). But because the parts are not easily found on the website, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You would have to know the specific Thorlabs part number to search for discontinued parts. That would require having an old catalog or “mind map” laying around the lab or talking in detail with someone from a specific department at TechSupport.

This is another view of Nikon TE-AT I found.

@jasonkirk is right about being piecemeal. It might be possible to get a similar flange from somewhere (either a second hand part or from some other generic parts manufacturer), but it will still require having the ability to machine all the other parts to finish the assembly.

Good luck! It might be useful to post pictures of the parts and specific setup you have. I would be interested in the collimation (not on the link or in their reference papers they provided). Our university, the Nikon Imaging Center in the Systems Biology Lab has a whole collection of Nikon microscopes (besides a plaque and a discount) and 3rd party accessories (can post photos to share or compare).

ASI has some stock of these parts which we haven’t actively sold for years. The outer ring is sourced from Nikon I think and the inner metal part is machined metal (so we could make more). A quick glance in cabinets shows 17 of the outer rings and one of the inner metal parts, and I could have easily missed something.

Ben is ASI’s expert for this sort of thing: +1-541-461-8181 x108.

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Thanks for all the references! I should be able to get something out of them.

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So there is an older paper which better describes the original system from some of the authors mentioned in the Sparq references:

mertz_Quasi-confocal_2005.pdf (uba.ar)

Fig.1 might be useful. First, it tells me the authors are using an Olympus microscope (180mm tube lens). The lens f2=300mm is part of the microscope. The lens f1=100mm is the lens of concern…its not part of the microscope. Since they are using an inverted microscope, I imagine f1 is in a lensmount on a breadboard/optical table, with a few mirrors for beam steering. It is important to note the reference paper is using a free space laser and a diffuser (while the pictures of the Sparq appear fiber coupled - they may only be referencing the algorithms).

If you can find out from Sparq the lens they use and if it is possible for you to remove the collimation adapter (unscrew the fiber? the NA)…you may be able to use generic parts. Simply use SM1A26 and a bunch of other Thorlabs parts to build something that can work. The Nikon illuminator, you would have to remove the light guide from the bayonet mount and change for generic parts.

Hope that helps.

For now I have managed to ask Nikon to send me a demo TE-AT illuminator, so I’ll see whether it works “as is”, which should save some work… If not, I’ll look into building something myself (thanks for your suggestions.)

It will work “as is” but probably not as well. Its relatively straightforward to prototype this sort of thing on an optical table, if its a single wavelength, and you are only worried about the back aperture of a single objective. Optimizing it for more than one wavelength and objective and across several different microscope brands to turn it into a product is more involved. Nikon has incorporated some adjustment mechanisims into their lamphouses and illuminators to accommodate for the TE-AT. I would implore you to get as much information and help from Bliq-Sparq. That’s what’s great about buying a turnkey system to just use it for your research…you don’t have fiddle around and you can get support. :wink:

Two relevant papers from the days before personal computers and digital cameras:
335.pdf (silverchair-cdn.com)

Second one on the list:
A fiber-optic phase-randomizer for microscope illumination by laser - CORE Reader

Please post your results and more information about that system as you find out. It’s appreciated.

We got our hands on the TE-AT illuminator. Honestly, it’s quite good enough for our needs :slight_smile: everything works just fine with it.

The image quality winds up exactly the same (particularly output power)? Is there some sort of focal adjustment mechanism/knob on the Sparq collimator? I was afraid you might wind up with something like this (a mess occupying a rather large optical table):

The intern working on this specific project has left, so I won’t be able to provide you with any precise quantifications. But certainly, the image quality is satisfactory and there isn’t any obvious degradations.
There’s no adjustment on the Sparq collimator whatsoever.
Also, the TE-AT is actually quite compact, probably close to the smallest thing you could build with the two ports we want…

The previous photo is a first year student in our lab is working on some sort of setup for a microfluidic project. It seems he is trying to do the mode scrambling with an Optotune liquid lens (as opposed to rotating diffusers or fiber ‘squeezing’ with a piezo) as well as combine different light sources at the lamp port. I agree the TE-AT is probably the most compact. For now, he is relegated to just using whatever unused parts we have laying around, and we’ve two racks of Thorlabs optomech kits. I just suggested the TE-AT as an alternative, if you didn’t have lots of optomech laying around. The TE-AT is probably easier and more economical, especially if you are just trying to use the system as opposed to building one.

Honestly, I thought there would be some adjustment mechanism. Please if you can, share some images of what the Sparq device looks like. There aren’t many images online.