slit lamp with person

Slit Lamp Marks the Beginning of Medical Technology

Slit lamp historical drawing

Carl Zeiss developed the first slit lamp together with Swedish doctor Allvar Gullstrand. This development laid the foundation for medical technology at ZEISS.

The slit lamp was also vital to ophthalmology as it considerably expanded the diagnostic possibilities of eye care professionals.

Carl zeiss sl130

Nowadays, Slit Lamps are Standard Tools

This diagnostic tool has been repeatedly enhanced over the years, beginning with a Comberg design in 1933, which had a common swivel axis for the microscope and illumination, and the Littmann design in 1950 which featured a magnification changer. Nowadays, slit lamps are standard tools in every ophthalmology practice.

Slit lamp book

Future Applications

Dr. Marcus-Matthias Gellrich, an ophthalmologist in Kellinghusen, Germany, sees a future application for slit lamps in videography: "Ophthalmic videography makes it possible to use the slit lamp to capture practically any diagnostic findings in the form of images, including retinal and squint conditions."


In his book "Die Spaltlampe – Konstruktionsgeschichte Untersuchungsmethoden Videografie" ("The Slit Lamp – Design History, Examination Methods, Videography") written together with ZEISS, Dr. Marcus-Matthias Gellrich describes a number of unknown applications for the slit lamp and demonstrates the sustainability of the device.