It can be difficult to write a good review about ‘Zeiss-style’ slit lamps when they all feel so similar. Most slit lamp microscopes are based on the same diagnostic principles of 30+ years ago, and the examination procedure has remained much the same– with the exception of imaging. So when writing a review on “commoditized” devices, we try to point out the effect or perhaps aspects that are immediately noticeable when using the instrument. The SL-2E is firstly incredibly robust, and it has become one of the best selling slit lamps based largely on this; thanks to an incredibly strong metal alloy frame, and very thick plastic components, knobs, and dials. Drop the SL-2E off the instrument stand base and chances are it still works- perhaps even better than it did prior! That being said, robustness from Topcon comes at an operational cost. The entire microscope feels quite heavy, and doesn’t exactly move as freely (on the base) as we see with Reichert’s ‘feather-touch’ control examples or other competitors. Swinging the ocular arm or the illumination base feels very mechanical and provides feedback that instantly makes you aware that what you’re maneuvering is heavy. We’ve talked to many whom have come to like a slit lamp that feels heavy in the hand– primarily those with large hands that appreciate a heavier and stiffer feel. We can understand that preference, however with 30 patients per day- we’re not sure Topcon’s steel-frame would be our best selling choice.
OUR TAKE: As you’d expect from a ‘Zeiss-style’ slit lamp, with a heavy frame made of very durable metals and plastic knobs and dials.
The Converging binocular tubes combined with the parallel objective lens allow easy fatigue-free stereoscopic examinations.
Galilean-type drum provides three fast magnification changes of 10X, 16X and 25.6X using the standard 12.5X Hi-eye point eyepieces.
The Topcon SL2E is one of the highest sold slit lamps in the US, and is known to last for many years.