The early years in the development of ophthalmic instruments at Carl Zeiss were strongly influenced by the inventions of Allvar Gullstrand. In the early 1900s, he developed the large ophthalmoscope for reflection-free observation of the fundus oculi and, one year later, his famous slit lamp, which was subsequently combined with Koeppe and Henker’s corneal microscope. At the beginning of the 1930s, Comberg devised a redesigned slit lamp with a more compact form and a common swivel axis for the microscope and illumination. It became the archetype of all modern slit lamps. This was further developed in 1950 under the influence of Hans Littmann’s design with Galilean magnification changer and swivel-mounted slit lamp projector.
Further important innovations included the fundus camera (1955), the photocoagulator devised by Gerhard Meyer-Schwickerath (1957) for the treatment of retinal detachment and the Ophthalmic Workstation (1985). The firm Humphrey, which now belongs to Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, launched the Field Analyzer (HFA) in 1984. After German reunification, the IOLMaster for the precise and non-contact measurement of the eye prior to cataract surgery was presented in 1999. The MEL 80 excimer laser in 2003 was the first refractive laser system to be created under the Carl Zeiss umbrella.
Allvar Gullstrand developed the large ophthalmoscope for reflection-free observation of the fundus oculi.
Gullstrand's slit lamp
Combination of slit lamp with corneal microscope from Koeppe and Henker (original design of the slit lamp)
Nordenson’s reflection-free retinal camera for photographing the fundus oculi
Slit lamp according to Comberg’s design, with a compact form and common swivel axis for the microscope and illumination (origin of all modern slit lamps)
Keratometer for distance-independent measurement of corneal curvature and refractive power
Slit lamp based on Hans Littmann’s design with Galilean magnification changer and swivel-mounted slit lamp projector
Fundus camera based on Hans Littmann’s design with telecentric beam path enables exact measurement of object on the fundus
Xenon photocoagulator based on Meyer-Schwikerath’s design, the world´s first instrument to use light as a surgical tool and therefore a forerunner of ophthalmic lasers
Optical coherence tomograph (OCT): a new imaging method that allows non-contact, high-resolution sectional images of the eye to be generated
IOLMaster®: innovative biometry device for the highly accurate, non-contact measurement of the eye and for the determination of the refractive power of intraocular lenses during cataract operations.
MEL 80 laser for refractive cornea surgery; for treating visual defects
The history of microsurgery instruments from Carl Zeiss began in 1953 with the OPMI® 1. It was developed together with leading surgeons Horst Wullstein and Heinrich Harms. The system was a great success and was increasingly used in operating rooms. Carl Zeiss continually modified the system to meet the requirements of the users: In 1965, the OPMI® was fitted with an optical beam splitter for co-observation. The OPMI® 2, the first zoom microscope with 5x magnification, was developed one year later. The 1970s and 1980s brought additional innovations, including continuously adjustable magnification, wide-angle optics and a voice control system. The OPMI® Lumera 700 set standards for ophthalmological surgery. Since 1990, Carl Zeiss has been producing many microsurgery systems in addition to the OPMI®.
The EndoLive®3D has been used for laporoscopic abdominal surgery since 1993. Ten years later, the INTRABEAM® marked the advent of intraoperative radiotherapy and radio surgery.
OPMI® 1, the first surgical microscope, was developed in cooperation with leading surgeons Prof. Horst Wullstein (ENT) and Prof. Heinrich Harms (ophthalmology).
Optical beam splitter for OPMI® for co-observation and photography; OPMI® 3 modeled on Barraquer design principle for eye surgery; OPMI® 4 with Barraquer design, a "movie microscope".
OPMI® 2, the first zoom microscope with 5x zoom system; dual microscope featuring Harms design: OPMI® 5 for two ophthalmic surgeons
Surgical microscopes with a 5x zoom system with continuous magnification adjustment throughout the entire range.
Wide-angle optics for OPMI®.
Voice control system for OPMI®
OPMI® CS for ophthalmology with new suspension system and a new interface for observation and illumination optics
EndoLive® 3D video laparoscope for minimally invasive surgery
INTRABEAM® enables intraoperative radiotherapy and radiosurgery by means of pinpoint tumor irradiation
The OPMI Pentero® surgical microscope for neurosurgery provides comprehensive digital visualization possibilities
OPMI® Lumera 700 improves visualization of transparent media and is especially suited for use on the eye’s lens and vitreous body
VISALIS® 500 for removing the natural lens with cataracts