LOMO R15 Overview

I recently got this LOMO R15 (ЛОМО Р15) as I wasn’t satisfied with the accessories my Hertel & Reuss microscopes have and the virtual non-availability of further accessories for those on eBay. So I decided to go with a microscope I can get more easily upgrades for.

As visible from my earlier posts regarding this:

There was some cleaning and mechanical maintenance required, to get it back into operation.

Phase Contrast KF-4U4.2 (КФ-4У4.2)

The phase contrast kit comes with a condenser with a filter turret, that has predefined opening rings, objectives specifically for each of those rings (10x, 20x, 40x, 90x im) a green filter and an adjustment ocular microscope "MIR" (МИР).

Basic usage

To setup phase contrast, the condenser and objectives will need to be installed, as well as the ocular microscope MIR be inserted.

  • Then the desired objective and matching filter is to be selected on the objective and filter turret.
  • The sample needs to be focused.
  • Now the MIR is focused and two rings should be visible, using the adjustment screws on the condenser the two rings need to be lined up
  • Remove the MIR and insert the ocular of choice and you’re done.

It takes quite a lot of light to work properly.

Phototube MFN-12U4.2 (МФН-12У4.2)

MFN Phototube
The MFN-12U4.2 phototube allows the mounting of any camera with a M42 or T2 lens mount. I'm not really sure, it looks more like T2 and my M42 adapter doesn't quite screw in all the way, however the problem could also be the aforementioned adapter not being up to standard. Anyhow I mount my Sony Alpha SLT-A37 on it, the biggest challenge is focusing. There is a small ocular for focusing in the tube, however it assumes that the film or lens is flush with the M42 screw thread, whereas on modern digital cameras the CMOS or CCD sensor is mounted slightly further back. Meaning it is necessary to focus with the camera viewfinder or display, which can be challenging.

Non-LOMO Accessories

NIKON Model S Microscope Condenser

NIKON Model S condensers happen to be 37mm just as LOMOs, so those can be used. There are several other condensers with a diameter of 37mm from other manufacturers who will also fit, unfortunately the diameter is usually not specified anywhere.

LOMO R15 Condenser

Carl Zeiss Jena 1Q NG Objective Turret

Objective turrets that fit Carl Zeiss Jena 1Q NG microscopes also happen to fit on LOMOs. However one thing to mention here is that LOMO turrets have a screw that stops the turret at the correct position (and allows small adjustment), Carl Zeiss Jena 1Q NG turrets don’t have this screw and can end up in a position where the internal lenses don’t end up matching up.

LOMO R15 Objective Turrets Carl Zeiss Jena (left) and normal LOMO (right) objective turrets


Most LOMO BIOLAM objective turrets have normal RMS (DIN EN ISO 8038-1, DIN 58888) threads, as such pretty much all objectives going by this standard fit. I use both Hertel & Reuss as well as Carl Zeiss Jena objectives when the standard LOMO’s I have don’t happen have the right magnification.

Test Photos

I didn’t get the focus quite right on all of these. All of those were taken with my Sony SLT a37 on the MFN.

Lymph Node sec, Lungs sec, Corn seed with endosperm l.s., Rubber leaf c.s.

See also