Illuminator for epi-illumination during fluorescence microscopy with Zeiss IM/IM35 microscope

This is the illuminator I have obtained which fits on the epi-illumination port at the back of the microscope: Zeiss part 46 72 59 – 9901. This is the illuminator which is meant to be used with a mercury lamp for fluorescence microscopy.

It is quite a heavy bit of kit and like everything that fits on these microscopes made of metal and built like a tank!

The following link opens a manual which seems to work for this illuminator, although I am not sure whether it is exactly the right one:

Zeiss Illuminator 100 user manual (PDF file)


The next picture shows a small Allen head screw in the central depression on the bottom of the illuminator. Loosening this (does not need to be completely removed) allows the lamp and its base to be slipped easily out of the housing for examination +/- replacement:

The next pictures are of the lamp that is in the illuminator – this came with it when I purchased it from ebay:


I think this is a new version of the lamp above:

100W appears to be the correct rating for this illuminator as noted on the underside of the lamp base:


Can you work out what this is? Seen through Zeiss IM microscope by epi-illumination

Epi-illumination is where light shines onto the object rather than through it (trans-illumination) & is useful for looking at solid objects through the microscope. One way to achieve epi-illumination is by a system that projects light through the objective onto the object – a difficult thing to achieve and usually requiring a good quality lab microscope. First success today with this on my Zeiss IM microscope.

Can you work out what the following object is?


32x objective = ca. 320x magnification:

Pictures above show the object has radial marks from a circular structure on the left and second picture shows irregular dents in the structure. Are these features related or unrelated to each other?

x20 objective = x200 magnification:

Regular linear markings appear in the first picture at this lower magnification, giving a tile-like appearance to the object. However, photograph 2 shows a hill-like structure.

x4 objective = 40x magnification:

This picture reveals that the hills come in fours (see top left) and form part of a fort-like outline. What could cause this?

The culprit is shown below……

x1 magnification:

A Malaysian coin.

The microscopic images are of a small cross at top of the central peak on the crown.