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The SL 120, by a nose


Jason Booth
Principle Optometrist, Optometry, Flinders Vision Optometry Clinic

SL 120 Slit Lamp
SL cam 5.0



With the increasing quality of slitlamp images that colleagues are able to capture by simply holding a smartphone up to the eye of the patient, some might ask: ‘What is the advantage of a dedicated slitlamp imaging system?’ At Flinders Vision Clinic we have taken delivery of an SL 120 with SL cam 5.0 from Zeiss and to answer that question, I’ll share some of our experiences.

All Zeiss slitlamps feature the SL Imaging Module, which consists of two components: the SL cam 5.0 (a compact 5-megapixel camera) and the SL imaging software. Being a Windows-based platform, it’s easy to navigate the software and it integrates well with our image management system, allowing us to document and archive all of the examinations. The capture software has some solid default settings that are appropriate most of the time, and it provides the flexibility to easily turn off the default settings to make adjustments for more complex shots.

The real strengths of the system are its ease of use and the quality of the images. As part of the clinical training at Flinders University, the students have to image certain structures of the anterior eye as an assessment task, soon after their first instruction on the slitlamp examination.

Lieu Nguyen, a student, took this photo (below) of corneal endothelium as part of that assessment task. This demonstrates to me the ease of the system when a new user of an instrument can capture a shot of this quality, given this is a difficult structure to image.

E14 SL 120 Figure 1
Image of corneal endothelium demonstrates ease of use by an optometry student

Control of the settings projected via the image is visible on the screen, which makes photo-documentation a simple extension of the slitlamp examination.

Setting aside premium optics, versatility and first-rate mechanics, the SL120 offers an excellent ergonomic advantage over the smartphone. Just having the option of a foot pedal, keyboard or mouse to capture the image is far superior to the experience of using your nose on the smartphone to take the shot.

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