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Questar Telescopes LD Surveillance Systems LD Microscopes Accessories

Questar logo from 1990's (27,482 bytes)


Questar QM-100 Long Mount Long Distance Microscope (29,309 bytes) Our Long Distance Microscopes are designed for use only on targets that are very close to the instrument, but not as close as a traditional microscope would require. The Long Distance Microscope is most often employed for research applications, quality control in manufacturing, and for performing periodic inspections of materials under development including new medical materials immersed in saline baths, molten metals splash patterns, process quality control, and more. These Long Distance Microscopes can be employed for the long distance inspection of fine detail with an eyepiece however, these are most commonly used for imaging with an optional CCD integrating or real time video camera, or with 35mm format film cameras. However, if there are any auto focus functions of a Digital SLR or other camera then note, these functions can not be controlled on the Long Distance Microscope by the camera although we do offer some automated Step Zoom models that automatically adjust brightness and focus as magnifications are changed.

Right: QM 100 Long Distance Microscope with lens cover aside at Company Seven (29,309 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (68,546 bytes).

We make four basic optical configurations of long distance microscope: QM-1, QM-100, FR-1, and QM-200. Each is available with the choice of varying degrees of automation or remote control capabilities. The basic QM-1 and QM-100 or FR-1, and the larger QM-200 model are fully manually operated instruments where the operator adjusts focus or changes magnification. The MK III long distance microscopes are offered with the customer's choice of either manual or electronic focus control. The Step Zoom (SZ) versions of the long distance microscopes provide degrees of automation to change focus, field of view, and filtering with continuous automated focus capability so that as one changes magnification the focus and filtering will change automatically to keep from saturating or underexposing a CCD or film camera. The SZ instruments can be remotely or locally controlled by either a person, or they can be controlled from an optional computer.

Our Long Distance Microscope differ from one another in terms of:

  • Useful working distance to target
  • Resolution (ability to show fine detail)
  • Field Of View (area of coverage that may be seen on a camera or CCD frame)
  • Brightness (effective focal ratio
  • Spectral transmission (working with light in the visible and near IR, or deep into the ultraviolet, or deeper into the IR)

Each instrument is constructed around one of four optical tube assemblies: the QM 1, the QM 100, the FR-1, and the QM 200. These models are described in detail in accompanying pages. We do offer specialized versions of each instrument which offer additional unique performance characteristics:

    The Power Pak 100: for use with either the Questar QM 100 or Questar Step Zoom SZ M100, the Questar "Power Pak" consists of an optional Aplanat Lens and our Achromatic 3X Barlow Lens working together in a combination that provides sub micron resolving power at a near focus distance of 10 centimeters (3.94 inches).

    The "Mark III" Series: a specialized barrel design with optimized boresight retention over the full focusing range - a capability necessary for very critical alignment applications. Since the housing of the Mark III is a simplified version of the Step Zoom (described below) the Mark III is available with options including motorized focus, and the spacing of the optical elements may be encoded to provide feed back for measurement along the optical axis. Furthermore, over time it is possible to return the unit to us for upgrade of the Mark III to have full Step Zoom capabilities. Note the FR-1 MKIII differs from the other MKIII instruments in that the FR-1 is provided with an Axial Port, there is no auxiliary visual/illumination port.

    The "SZ M100", incorporate programmable remote control of five magnifications, four in line filters, and focus. A microprocessor will adjust focus of the microscope when required as a result of changes in magnification or filtration. And all control functions can be addressed via an RS-422 port. All motorized functions are stepper driven, and a status report of lens function is displayed in an LCD window on the hand control. The barrel design is based upon the Mark III and shares the focus characteristics of that instrument; it is possible to upgrade a Mark III to full Step Zoom.

The determination of working magnification and resolution depends on many variables including the dimensions and resolution of the CCD or film camera. We invite you to contact us to let us help you choose a comprehensive suitable solution for your requirements.

Questar QM-100 Long Mount Long Distance Microscope atop Camera Cradle and 3-Axis Translation Stage (93,016 bytes) Microscopes

Right: QM 100 Long Distance Microscope set for Co-Axial lamination of target (at left).
The QM-100 is shown with optional Camera Cradle supporting a DSLR Camera, atop 3-Axis Translation Stage at Company Seven (93,016 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (284,148 bytes).

Remote Measurement Systems

Integrated solutions built upon a Step Zoom long distance microscope, with camera, and motorized/encoded positioning stage, all controlled by a PC with PC card interface. These have been developed to facilitate continuous automated studies, or quality control monitoring.

  • Questar QRMS I Remotely Controlled Measuring Microscope

  • Questar QRMS M Portable Measuring Microscope

  • Questar QRMS II Programmable Image and Data Acquisition and Analysis System

History: In 1983 Questar Corporation developed the original Long Distance Microscope, the QM 1. This instrument was distinguished by "Industrial Research Magazine" as one of the 100 most significant new technical products of the year. For the first time microscopic images could be made of subjects or objects in enclosures, in hostile environments, in process, and on-line. Furthermore, the microscopic resolution is achieved from a longer distance and without cluttering the work area with instrumentation.

What began as an award-winning unique lens design has been developed into a comprehensive series of microscopes, optional integrated optics and other accessories.

At a working distance greater than a few millimeters, no optical system will match the resolving power and magnification of these Questar Long Distance Microscopes. In the past years since the introduction of the QM 1, the Questar microscopes and remote measurement systems have received two "IR 100" awards, and a "Photonics Magazine" Circle of Excellence award.

In one of the more amazing successes, during the Fall of 1993 NASA personnel with the on site support of Company Seven staff employed a Questar QM-1 in a last minute efforts at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and at Cape Canaveral to certify the focus of the "Wide Field Planetary Imaging Camera 2". This work was accomplished just prior to loading it into the Space Shuttle for the first NASA Hubble Space Telescope repair mission. This was an effort praised by project evaluators for its implementation of the best commercially available "appropriate technology" to help solve a crisis. The team supervisor commented to Mr. Cohen of Company Seven "an off the shelf $5,000 Questar may have just saved a $127,000,000 space flight component".

Questar QM-100 Long Mount Long Distance Microscope (51,200 bytes)

Right: QM 100 Long Distance Microscope set for Co-Axial illumination with Zeiss AxioCam HRC CCD camera, all supported by the Questar Camera Cradle at Company Seven (51,200 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (159,599 bytes).

All our microscopes optics are manufactured (at a facility very near to Company Seven in Maryland) with hand-figured, matched optics, with final assembly done using the same care that is put into our space-qualified telescopes. All systems are designed for their specific purposes however, they all share some common features:

  • Two Selectable Ports: allows simultaneous mounting of two detectors, or an eyepiece and a detector or camera
  • Integrated Beamsplitter: common to all close focus models allows for coaxial illumination
  • Illuminated Projection Sight: facilitates lining up onto the target, and aids focusing
  • All Internal Focus: microscope barrel physical length does not change with focus
  • Each is equipped with: visual eyepiece, video C-Mount (35mm SLR mounts optional), case
  • All are compatible with our optional mounting hardware and Remote Measurement Systems components.
  • Include Supplemental Optics: allow an 8 to 1 variability in field of view and depth of field
  • Available in motorized, microprocessor controlled, variable magnification versions
  • Optional CCD Imaging Systems including IP based cameras for access and control on a network
  • Optional Rugged Design and Construction: to function in harsh environments
  • Optional Shock and Vibration Rated Construction
  • Optional Hardware: Video cameras and controllers, Lighting, Filtering, Image Storage, and Fixturing.
  • Standard Spectral Transmission: from 330 nm to 2.3 microns
  • Optional extended Ultraviolet* and Infrared imaging response: from below 200 nm to 3.5 microns
  • Optional EXFO X-Cite illumination sources and accessories, including the new high stability X-Cite exacte system.

* Company Seven also offers optional filters and specialized lenses that complement our Long Distance Microscopes for ultraviolet and infrared applications. Our offerings include the famous Nikon UV-105 F4.5 Lens, a limited production conventional and macro lens with high performance spanning from 220nm in the ultraviolet to 900nm in the infrared. Please contact Company Seven for additional information.


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