See Clearly with the Nikon Ci Microscopes in the Eclipse Series

The Nikon Ci microscopes in the Eclipse series (Ci-L, Ci-S) were designed to offer a combination of affordability, durability and quality in a compact footprint. The architecture of this microscope series blends form and function, combining a comfortable ergonomic design with the high quality optical system for which Nikon is known.

The Nikon Eclipse Ci series uses the CFI60 optical system. This is Nikon's proprietary optical system, which features a 60 mm parfocal distance.

**This series is no longer available new, but can be found on the pre-owned selling platforms.

A longer working distance allows for greater resolution, easier use, and the ability to place accessories such as filters and reflectors into the optical path.

The Nikon Ci-L and Ci-S series makes full use of this excellent optical system! (The S model uses a halogen bulb in place of the LED system.)

More advanced models include the Eclipse Ci-E (fully automated motorized magnification switching and automatic intensity reproduction) and the Eclipse Ni-U (improved optics.)

Nikon Ci Microscope Review

The models in the Eclipse series product line come with some nice features:

Nikon ci Microscope Review (Eclipse)

  • Nikon's CFI60 optical system

  • IR Free (minimizes eye strain) High luminescent White LED Illuminator that is 3x brighter than older Nikon models

  • Ergonomic in-line eyepiece and microscope design

  • Refined stage adjustments

  • Easy access controls

  • Accepts up to five objective lenses

  • Compatible with many Nikon accessories

  • Image capture button on microscope base

One thing that sets both of these Nikon microscopes apart is that they were designed with comfort in mind. The tube and eyepiece can be altered between 10 to 30 degrees and extended to 40mm in order to maximize comfort level.

The controls were also designed for comfort, and are placed in a convenient location. The field diaphragm and illumination intensity both sit on the lower right hand side. The stage automatically refocuses, which eliminates the need to physically readjust the focus between each specimen. The stage handle also has the stay-in-position feature.

Lighting is always important with Nikon microscopy, and the Ci-L model has it covered. One of the big differences between the two models is that the Ci-L comes with an LED illuminator. This feature produces an amazing image and does not generate heat, eliminating the need to adjust both the voltage and the color balance filter. Even the brightest light shouldn't damage any specimens. The LED has the bonus of a long lamp life.

These models were designed to aid in user comfort for the laboratory environment; so average users may find that they're too much equipment for their needs. The Nikon 50i microscope is typically priced around the five hundred dollar mark. It isn’t the most expensive microscope on the block, but it can burn a big hole in the pocket book.

Pros and Cons of the Nikon Ci Microscope


  • Produces excellent images

  • Comfortable to use

  • LED illumination is very bright (Eclipse Ci-L model only, the Ci-S model uses a halogen lamp light source).


  • Price tag may be a little steep for some users

  • The resolution on the scope is better than the resolution in a Nikon attached camera


The Nikon Ci-S microscope merges style, function, and usability into a great optical package. It has awe-inspiring optics that can make the microscopic world zoom to life. It's also very comfortable, and no matter what the user’s physique they will find the Nikon 50i/55i microscopes to be some of the most ergonomic fits around.


Recommended for: These Nikon microscopes were geared toward serious scientists. Laboratory environments will get the most out of them, such as any lab that looks deals with pathology, live cell biology, forensic science, cytology and genetics. The amateur or student level user can certainly appreciate the features of these microscopes, but may find them to be out of their budget.

The Nikon Ci-L and Ci-S can be affordably purchased on Ebay or other marketplaces for pre-owned lab equipment.

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