Control of Leica motorised stereo microscopes in micro-manager

Hi all,

I think the answer is probably no as it doesn’t say on the website there is any support for them but has anyone tried controlling Leica motorised stereo microscopes with Micro-Manager? E.g MZFLIII or later models M205FCA and M165FC?

Thanks for the help,


The answer is probably yes, if you want to control stuff like focus and zoom. Leica uses an ascii based protocol via virtual serial port for this, and they have apparently not changed that protocol for years. I have a M205 available so I can in theory test this, but I am using that lab rarely so I do not know when I would get around to do it.

But for image capture, the answer is most likely no. Only very old cameras using the FireWire protocol are supported by MicroManager. If anyone has got MicroManager to communicate with recent USB3 Leica cameras I would be very interested in this.

Hi Stein,

Sorry for the delay on this i posted then it slipped my mind and it doesn’t email you when replies come through which would be a very useful feature! Yes it would primarily be to control shutters in the stereo microscope and the fluorescence filter turret. Its a Leica M 205. We’re not so bothered about software control of zoom or focus. Most parts are also encoded so if MM could read that info that would also be useful. Yes Leica cameras would be a problem, we would potentially try to use one that is supported if the motorised bits on the Microscope will run in Micro-Manager. If we can’t get the required functionality then we will have to use Leica LAS-X software, its easy to use but but like many we don’t want more software packages than are necessary especially now when its harder to teach new things.



Hi Matt,
We are about to acquire a Leica M205 fluorescence stereo which sounds the same as yours. I’m just wondering if you were successful in controlling it with MicroManager? I’m interested because it currently has a Leica camera but we might want to try an alternative.

Leica cameras are unlikely to work in Micro-Manager. Ask your sales rep for a MM compatible camera instead. They will probably not like that request and if they offer something it will be a lot more expensive. Still worth a try though.

Some of the Leica reps are better than others, mine was happy to sell a PCO camera along with our M205. Running MM2.0g on a tiny surface go makes for a very nice touchscreen utility for snapping routine images, but if there’s hope for controlling / reading parameters off of our frame too I’ll have to give it a try!

In case it’s of use to anyone we went with a PCO Panda 4.2.

I may get my hands on a M205, so I’ll ask them for an SDK;)

Very curious about your Surface Go setup. Enough juice to grab data from the Panda through its USB C? Sounds like a neat setup!

Plenty enough juice! Live view at full resolution and 10 ms exposure is able to easily draw frames at 40 fps.

Thanks Nico, we have a Nikon camera on our other Leica stereo but that doesn’t look like MM supports it either, otherwise it would be a good option as we could share it between the 2 scopes.

Pavak, we have a PCO camera that was on another system before. We might be able to try using that.