There are two common types of auto-focus systems for microscopes: slit projection and contrast detection.
Slit projection system projects a slit image and then detects the shift in the reflected light. This system is useful when a large focal range is necessary.
Contrast detection system projects a slit pattern and then detects the contrast of the reflected light. This system is useful when focus accuracy is needed. This is possible because this auto-focus system is less affected by sample surface variation.
Hybrid Auto-Focus combines the advantages of both systems and makes the most of their paired potential.
The controller features the same hardware design as the LV-ECON and has a compact footprint that allows them to be stacked on each other and used anywhere.
Compatibility with LV Series Microscopes
The LV-DAF can be combined with other LV series products. When combined with the LV-ECON, it enables observation under the optimal conditions for each particular sample.
Software Development Kit
Nikon provides a software development kit (SDK) for integrating the LV-DAF into a variety of systems. (Compatibility is only guaranteed for Nikon products.)
The LV-DAF can be controlled from a PC or a DS-L2 digital camera system for microscopes via USB or RS232C.
The Auto-Adjustment Program, included as standard, enables simple and speedy system setup. The program performs immediate auto-adjustment after the user focuses the system and presses the button to start the setup. It is also possible to automatically set/register optimal parameters for each type of sample and recall them in accordance to the sample being photographed.
LED Light Source
The LV-DAF uses a bright LED for the auto-focus light source. And since it also automatically adjusts the auto-focus light volume for the sample, it can support samples ranging from low to high reflectivity.
Multiple Observation Methods
A wide range of observation methods is supported, including brightfield, darkfield, and DIC. Reflective samples and transparent samples are also supported.
Large Focal Range
Focal range is remarkably larger than with contrast detection alone. This means that samples with distortions on their surface, such as a liquid crystal substrate, can be rapidly tracked, thereby enabling speedy focusing.
Hybrid system combining slit projection with contrast detection
Auto-focus light source:
Near-IR LED (λ = 770 nm)
CFI60 objective lens 2.5x-100x (includes extra-long working distance (ELWD), super-long working distance (SLWD), and CR for LCD substrate inspection)
Continuous mode and search mode (single, continuous)
Focal range without searching (brightfield)²
2.5x: 5.5 mm or more, 5x: 4.5 mm or more, 10x: 1.3 mm or more, 20x: 320 μm or more, 50x: 50 μm or more, 100x: 10 μm or more
0.7 seconds or less (20x: 200μm with no search)² ³
Focal precision (repeated reproducibility):
1/2 or less of focal depth² ³
AF offset feature:
Enables observation with precise adjustment of focal position while applying auto-focus
Minimum drive resolution:
RS232C, USB, and parallel I/O
100-240 V AC, 1.0 A, 50/60 Hz
¹ Some limitations for 2.5x and 100x.
² Using Nikon’s standard Cr vapor deposition sample.
³ Using the LV-IMA or LV-FMA.