Veatch Instruments
Your Complete Ophthalmic Source
for Equipment, Service & Supplies
Toll Free: 800-447-7511

Ophthalmoscopes: The Basics



Used by general practitioners and specialists alike, ophthalmoscopes are small but powerful instruments allowing healthcare providers to observe the interior of a patient’s eye.

These instruments are used for ophthalmoscopy tests, which allows practitioners to see inside the fundus, as well as other components of the eye.

The ophthalmoscope directs a small beam of light through the patient’s pupil, which helps the medical practitioner detect any abnormalities on the lens of the eye, optic disc, vitreous humor, and the retina.

View Veatch’s Direct Ophthalmoscope Inventory Here.


Then and Now: A Brief History of Ophthalmoscopes

Believe it or not, the first ophthalmoscope was invented in 1847. English physician Charles Babbage created the first model, giving it to a fellow physician for testing before it was promptly set aside and forgotten.

In 1851, a brief four years after Babbage’s invention, Hermann von Helmholtz—a German physician and physiologist—created an identical instrument, without knowing Babbage’s model existed.

Helmholtz’ ophthalmoscope used a mirror to shine light into the patient’s eye, while the practitioner looked through a small opening in the mirror.

Because looking into the back of the eye resulted in a red reflection, Helmholtz attached a condenser lens, which produced a much sharper image that had to be magnified five times. This combination of a mirror and condenser lens was referred to as an

indirect ophthalmoscope.

Now, ophthalmoscopes are hand-held with a small battery-powered lamp. The beam of light is directed with a mirrored prism. And of course, ophthalmoscopes magnify the image and have focusing options for the viewer.

View Veatch’s Direct Ophthalmoscope Inventory Here.


Indirect Vs. Direct Ophthalmoscopes

There are two main types of ophthalmoscopes: direct and indirect.

Direct ophthalmoscopes are simple hand-held ophthalmic instruments consisting of a concave mirror, a light source, an eye piece for the ophthalmic professional conducting the examination, and a simple handle. Almost everyone in America who has been to a standard medical practitioner or had an eye exam has encountered a direct ophthalmoscope.

Indirect ophthalmoscopes are then broken into two subcategories: including binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes and monocular indirect ophthalmoscopes.

Monocular indirect ophthalmoscopes offer a high level of magnification and a wider field of view than a traditional ophthalmoscope, but they only offer one view of the interior of the eye. To accurately assess a patient's fundus and ocular condition you'll probably have to have them look in multiple directions.

Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes project three elements into the eye, rather than one, allowing the optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist to get a three-dimensional rendition of the interior of the eye which allows for a more thorough examination.

Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes are typically head mounted and some are designed as teaching aids so that lead ophthalmic practitioners can show procedural and diagnostic information to students while conducting the ocular examination.

Learn more about direct ophthalmoscopes vs. indirect ophthalmoscopes here.


Veatch: Direct Ophthalmoscopes

As the leading ophthalmic equipment provider, Veatch offers state-of-the-art direct ophthalmoscopes, including:


01. Heine Beta 200 AV LED Ophthalmoscope

The BETA200/200 S Ophthalmoscopes are crafted with an aluminum frame, allowing for shock resistance and eliminating misalignment. Optical components remain clear and precise with no maintenance due to the dustproof design. The BETA200 S LED illumination allows for around 100,000 working hours with no need to ever replace a bulb.

  • LED with continuous brightness control
  • Aluminum frame system
  • 27 single lenses (ranging from -35D to +40D)
  • No pinhole macula aperture
  • Recessed windows prevent stray light escaping to minimize distractions
  • One-handed control for ease of use
  • Able to examine small and undilated pupils.
  • Eliminates corneal reflex
  • Ideal for small pupils
  • Dustproof


02. Heine Beta 200S AV LED Ophthalmoscope

The BETA200 S Ophthalmoscope is comprised of 28 single lenses (ranging from -36D to +38D) Rekoss Disc and a 74-single step design on a non-continuous wheel, which avoids extreme diopter jumps.

  • Recessed windows prevent stray light escaping to minimize distractions
  • One-handed control for ease of use
  • Able to examine small and undilated pupils.
  • LED with continuous brightness control
  • Aluminium frame system
  • 74 single diopter steps
  • Eliminates corneal reflex
  • Ideal for small pupils
  • Dustproof


03. Heine mini3000 Ophthalmoscope with Handle

The Heine Mini 3000 ophthalmoscope is a top-quality ophthalmoscope with fixation star aperture in pocket format. Ideal for rounds and house calls.

*Can only be used with the mini 3000 handle system.

  • Attachment clip with integrated on/off switch
  • Switches off automatically when returned to the pocket
  • Enhanced XHL Xenon Halogen Technology
  • Concentrated white light for perfect illumination and a brilliant image
  • 5 different apertures
  • Full-function instrument incl. fixation star
  • Range of lenses: -20 D to +20 D
  • 2-piece handle and head—easy to maintain and flexible
  • Chrome-finish upper section/ refined plastic handle (shockproof, sturdy, non-slip)
  • Replaceable batteries (size AA)


04. Welch Allyn® 2.5v PocketScope™ with Handle and Rechargeable Battery

Model 12800

The PocketScope™ fits into your pocket and is easy to use, lightweight, and perfect for general and specialist use.

  • Halogen light
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Rechargeable handle
  • Five different apertures
  • General and specialist use
  • 48 lenses
  • Polarized filter reduces corneal reflection
  • 12 aperture/filter combinations


05. Welch Allyn® 3.5v AutoStep® Coaxial Ophthalmoscope (Head Only)

The Welch Allyn AutoStep® Coaxial Ophthalmoscope uses a Halogen HPX™ lamp that provides 30% more light output, for true tissue color and consistent, long-lasting illumination.

Patented coaxial optics, Halogen HPX™ illumination, and 68 focusing lenses combine for premium quality.

  • 68 lenses in one diopter steps provide better resolution
  • 6 apertures for general and specialist use.
  • Rubber brow rest prevents scratching of eyeglasses
  • Illuminated lens dial clearly identifies settings
  • Coaxial optical system produces shadow-free spot and easier entry into undilated pupils
  • Crossed-linear polarizing filter reduces corneal reflection
  • Red-free filter may be used with any aperture
  • 18 possible aperture combinations


06. Welch Allyn® 3.5v Coaxial Ophthalmoscope (Head Only) Model 11720

Coaxial vision system, sealed optics, and Halogen HPX™ illumination for excellent views of the fundus.

  • Halogen HPX™ lamp provides 30% brighter, whiter light output for true tissue color and consistent, long-lasting illumination
  • Coaxial optics produce shadow-free spot, easier entry into undilated pupils, and a larger field of view
  • Polarizing filter virtually eliminates corneal reflection
  • Red-free filter may be used with any aperture
  • 18 unique aperture/filter combinations
  • Red-free filter, polarizing filter, and unfiltered Halogen HPX on a 3-position switch
  • Sealed optics keep out dust and dirt for years of maintenance-free operation
  • Rubber brow rest prevents scratching of eyeglasses
  • 28 focusing lenses with a range of -25 to +40 diopters


07. Welch Allyn PanOptic Ophthalmoscope (Model 11820)

Welch Allyn introduces the PanOptic™ Ophthalmoscope, a revolutionary new concept for visualizing the fundus.

Developed by Welch Allyn®, the PanOptic™ incorporates an innovative and patented new optical design called Axial PointSource™ Optics.

This enabling technology makes it easier to enter small pupils and provides a dramatically wider, more panoramic view of the fundus that's 5X larger than ever before achieved with a standard ophthalmoscope in an undilated eye.


08. Keeler Professional Ophthalmoscope with Handle

The Professional ophthalmoscope has been designed to ensure ultimate control. Lenses, graticules and filters can all be introduced at the touch of a fingertip without the need to pull away from the patient.

  • Xenon illumination
  • Positive action easy access maywheel
  • Extensive range (+29D to -30D) in single diopter steps
  • Red-free filter for enhanced vessel examination can be used in conjunction with any of the 6 diagnostic beams
  • Soft brow rest allows for easy positioning and protects your lenses if you are a spectacle wearer

***Includes Lithium handle and battery


09. Heine Beta 200 TL Ophthalmoscope

Heine BETA 200 "TL"* Ophthalmoscope is the world's only Corneal Glare-free Direct Ophthalmoscope (shown with optional handle). The separation of illumination and observation beam by means of the Aspherical Optical System avoids corneal and iris reflex (Gullstrand-principle).

*Designed to fit on TL (twist-lock) design handles, such as Heine TL and Welch Allyn.

  • 6 apertures
  • Red-free filter
  • A full fundus view is guaranteed even with small pupils
  • HEINE XHL Xenon-Halogen light
  • 100% Dustproof housing.
  • Maintenance-free operation guaranteed for the lifetime of the instrument
  • Optical components mounted to an aluminum chassis
  • Durable and precise


10. Welch Allyn Diagnostic Set 18335

The Welch Allen Diagnostic Ophthalmic Set includes:

  • Coaxial Plus Ophthalmoscope
  • Streak Retinoscope
  • Rechargeable handle
  • Hard case


11. Heine Beta 200S AV Ophthalmoscope

The Heine BETA 200S "AV"* Ophthalmoscope is the world's only Corneal Glare-free Direct Ophthalmoscope (shown with optional handle).

*Designed to fit on AV (non-twist lock/non-Welch Allyn) design handles.

  • 7 apertures
  • Red-free filter
  • Heine's Aspherical Optical System
  • Separation of illumination and observation beam avoids corneal and iris reflex (Gullstrand-principle)
  • A full fundus view is guaranteed even with small pupils
  • HEINE XHL Xenon-Halogen light
  • 100% dustproof housing
  • Maintenance-free operation guaranteed for the lifetime of the instrument
  • Optical components mounted to an aluminum chassis
  • Durable and precise


12. Heine Beta 200S TL Ophthalmoscope

The Heine BETA 200S "TL"* Ophthalmoscope is the world's only Corneal Glare-free Direct Ophthalmoscope.

*Designed to fit on TL (Twist Lock Welch Allyn Style) design handles.

  • 7 apertures
  • Red-free filter
  • Separation of illumination and observation beam by means of the Aspherical Optical System avoids corneal and iris reflex (Gullstrand-principle)
  • Corneal and iris reflex is effectively eliminated
  • A full fundus view is guaranteed even with small pupils
  • HEINE XHL Xenon-Halogen light
  • 100% dustproof housing
  • Maintenance-free operation guaranteed for the lifetime of the instrument
  • Optical components mounted to an aluminum chassis
  • Durable and precise


Veatch: Service and Repair

While Veatch is a leading provider of ophthalmoscopes, we also offer general maintenance and repair services—a huge long-term benefit to customers.

Our technicians have more than 60 years of combined experience, and are available to meet many of your practice’s needs, including:

Setting up your practice: Veatch technicians help maximize your efficiency, optimize the placement for electrical needs, and recalibrate pieces once the move is done.

General maintenance: To help prevent problems down the road, technicians are available for general maintenance.

Repairs: If your piece needs more in-depth repairs, Veatch technicians are factory-trained and highly skilled in working with the intricate technological instruments. There is both local and remote support, and the company offers a unique loaner program that allows practices to rent equipment until their repairs are complete. If the piece is still under warranty, practices may even be able to rent the machine for free.

View Veatch’s Direct Ophthalmoscope Inventory Here.