Inverted metallurgical microscope

The design of current inverted metallurgical microscopes originated in the PMF microscope launched in 1954. Before the Second World War, Olympus marketed the PMC, PMD, and PME as metallurgical microscopes. However, these microscopes with horizontal optical axes and large-format dry plates as photosensitive materials during photography were not said to be particularly easy to use.
The PMF incorporated the following features:

  • Easier observations as a horizontal surface is made simply by placing the the sample (polished metal surface) on the stage.
  • Minimal camera shake as the camera equipment is in a low position on an inverted microscope.
  • More comfortable operation as all the operational handles are located in easy-to-use positions.
  • Easier phase contrast and polarization microscopy through the use of phase and polarizing plates.
  • Compact and easy-to-use microscope with built-in light source.

Olympus then built on the PMF features to develop its inverted metallurgical microscopes further for research applications in metal surface observations or composition and research on ceramics, plastics, and other new materials.
In 1956, Olympus launched the ME Standard Inverted Microscope. The company then launched the high-performance PMG in 1964, featuring an internal photographic light meter, followed by the PME in 1967.