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Inverted Metallurgical Microscope

The design of current inverted metallurgical microscopes originated with the PMF microscope launched in 1954. Before the Second World War, Olympus marketed the PMC, PMD, and PME as metallurgical microscopes. However, these microscopes had horizontal optical axes and large-format dry plates that served as photosensitive materials during photography, making them difficult to use.
The PMF incorporated the following features:

  • Easier observations since the sample (a polished metal surface) could simply be placed on the stage to make a horizontal surface.
  • Minimal camera shake as the camera equipment is in a low position on an inverted microscope.
  • More comfortable to use since the controls are located in easy-to-access positions.
  • Easier phase contrast and polarization microscopy through the use of phase and polarizing plates.
  • Compact and easy-to-use microscope with a built-in light source.

Olympus then built on the PMF microscope's features to develop its inverted metallurgical microscopes further for research applications in metal surface observations or composition and research on ceramics, plastics, and other 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.

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