Leeds Launches the Trace-Z Trace Evidence Comparison Microscope

The Trace-Z Trace Evidence Comparison Microscope built with Zeiss Optics

The Trace-Z Trace Evidence Comparison Microscope built with Zeiss Optics

Leeds is very pleased to announce our newest product, the Trace-Z, a trace evidence comparison microscope built with Zeiss optics.

The Trace-Z offers:

  • Superior color and intensity balanced images
  • 23mm field of view
  • Images can be viewed as 100% right, 100% left, divided, or overlapped, in any ratio the examiner chooses
  • Integrated camera port with a fixed 70/30% split between eye pieces and camera

To learn more about the Trace-Z, please contact Leeds or call 763.546.8575.

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NIJ Accepting Applications for Forensic Lab Funding Opportunities

Grant Funding Opportunities for forensic labsThe National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is accepting applications for two forensic grant programs:

  1. FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program:  This program provides funds to eligible States and units of local government with existing crime laboratories that conduct DNA analysis to process, record, screen, and analyze forensic DNA and/or DNA database samples; and to increase the capacity of public forensic DNA and DNA database laboratories to process more DNA samples, thereby helping to reduce the number of forensic DNA and DNA database samples awaiting analysis.  Due date for applications is May 23, 2016.
  2. FY 2016 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program:  This program furthers the Department’s mission by providing States and units of local government with tools needed to meet the challenges of crime and justice. Specifically, this program seeks to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner/coroner’s office services, including services provided by laboratories operated by States and units of local government.  Due date for applications is April 22, 2016.

Both grant programs state that funds may be used to upgrade, replace, or purchase forensic laboratory equipment and instrumentation.

Leeds’ forensic products (including the Discovery, LCF3, LCF2, LCT, LSV2, and N-IRC) may be purchased directly through GSA Schedule Contract #GS-07F-097CA.


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Introducing the Discovery-Z motorized comparison microscope, designed and built by Leeds with Zeiss optics

The Discovery-Z Motorized Firearms & Tool Marks Comparison Microscope

The Discovery-Z Motorized Firearms & Tool Marks Comparison Microscope

Introducing the new Discovery-Z motorized firearms and tool marks comparison microscope.   Designed with Leeds’ new magnetic adjustable stage controllers, examiners will experience:

  • Real-time, tactile controls -provides a feeling similar to controlling a non-motorized stage
  • Positionable controls – magnetic controls can be adjusted for the most comfortable position on the work station
  • Synchronicity – allows examiner to control the left or right stage, or both stages simultaneously
Zeiss Zen Software Z-stack

Zeiss Zen Software Z-stack

Designed with two adjustable 9” x 7” stages, the Discovery-Z offers an open work station area.  Examiners can access the free-standing stages from multiple angles and the increased work surface stages can accommodate larger articles of evidence for analysis.

The Discovery-Z directly interfaces with the Zeiss Zen software, providing control of the Zeiss camera, as well as the 3-axis motorized stages. The Discovery-Z software/hardware package also offers examiners automated control of Z-stack and tiled images.

To learn more about the Discovery-Z, please contact Leeds or call 763.546.8575.


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Leeds Announces New Director of U.S. & Canadian Forensic Sales

Jake Kurth Director of U.S. and Canadian Sales

Jake Kurth
Director of U.S. and Canadian Sales

Leeds Forensic Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Jake Kurth to Director of U.S. & Canadian sales.   Jake has extensive experience in the demonstration and sale of Leeds comparison microscopes and Leeds imaging systems and is a recognized leader in the forensics industry.  Jake can be contacted by phone at 612.990.0671 or by email jkurth@leedsmicro.com.


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Putting Leeds Forensic Products to the Test

As a manufacturer of comparison microscopes and imaging systems for forensic and education laboratories in the United States and around the world, Leeds products often follow a similar path from start to finish:

Design – Manufacture – Install

In most situations, our products are purchased by forensic labs, residing in contained office buildings or controlled environment laboratory spaces.  In addition, we often revisit our customers, offering annual service plans to maintain these powerful microscopes and imaging systems.

Recently, we were surprised (not once, but twice) by two unique situations:

The LSV2 at a forensic conference in Saudi Arabia

The LSV2 at a forensic conference in Saudi Arabia

1)  In November of 2015, Leeds attended a forensic conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, demonstrating our LSV2 imaging system to attendees interested in using the system to identify bodily fluids on forensic evidence.  Upon arrival, our Leeds staff member discovered the booth space was outdoors, surrounded by desert heat, winds, and sand.  Our LSV2 demonstration system withstood the elements for the entire duration of the conference with no issues.  Even upon returning to our shipping dock, we found only minor remnants of sand particles.

2)  In the fall of 2015, we received an email from our customer in the middle east, along with an interesting photograph of our firearms comparison microscope.  The microscope had been donated to Afghanistan and was currently residing in the Kabul laboratory.  Interestingly enough, in order to get the microscope to this laboratory, it had

LCF-1600 in Kabul, Afghanistan

Lt Col. Omar examining evidence using the Leeds LCF-1600 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

to be transported by truck through the mountains from Bagram to Kabul over rough terrain and unpaved roads.  Our customer commented, “I personally used that scope…and considering the abuse it has faced [during transport] your product has performed exceptionally well.  I credit much of [the microscopes’] durability to the fact that the LEEDS microscope was designed for easy maintenance”.

We work hard to provide our customers with the most durable products for their forensic disciplines.  These two examples prove just how tested our equipment is.  Interested in learning more?  Please call 1.800.444.5333 or contact Leeds.

Posted in Firearms & Tool Marks, Imaging Systems, Leeds Forensic Systems, LSV2 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing LCF3 Comparison Microscope Video Tutorials

LCF3 tutorial

Jake explaining how to change a Quad Lamp Fluorescent Bulb in this LCF3 video tutorial.

To answer some commonly asked questions regarding the LCF3 Leeds Firearms & Tool Marks Comparison Microscope, we recently released the LCF3 Tutorials Playlist on our YouTube channel.  Tutorials currently published over the following topics:

  • Gamma & Brightness Adjustment
  • Diopter Adjustment
  • Spot Software Overview
  • How to Adjust Comfort Features
  • Common Lighting Configurations
  • How to Replace Quad Lamp Bulb

Additional videos will be added to this playlist in the coming weeks.  If you have any questions, please contact Leeds or call 1.800.444.5333.



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Kern Regional Crime Lab Calls the Leeds LCF3 an “Incredibly Powerful” Comparison Microscope

Kern Regional Crime Lab LCF3 Firearms and Tool Marks Comparison Microscope.

Kern Regional Crime Lab located in Bakersfield, CA, gave its two new Leeds LCF3 Firearms and Tool Marks Comparison Microscopes a ringing endorsement in the lab’s publication, The Lab Report.  Specifically, the lab stated:  “The new Leeds LCF3 Firearms and Toolmarks Comparison Microscopes are incredibly powerful and versatile systems that allow a higher level of performance and increased comfort for the analysts. The new scopes have many features which streamline the comparison process, making examination easier.”  (The Lab Report, Vol. 2, Issue 2)

We congratulate Kern Regional Crime Lab for their ISO/IEC 17020:2012 international laboratory accreditation.  The effort that goes into reaching this accreditation is very extensive and speaks to the high level service provided by this forensic laboratory.  “The Kern Regional Crime Laboratory has become one of the first laboratories in the world to be accredited by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) under the ISO/ IEC 17020:2012 standards for inspection laboratories with forensic enhancements.”  (The Lab Report, Vol. 2, Issue 2)

Leeds manufactures and sells comparison microscopes and imaging systems to forensic labs in the U.S. and around the world.  We understand the importance of manufacturing robust products with exceptional ergonomics and providing a high level customer service to support our customers using our equipment out in the field.  We always appreciate hearing feedback from our customers.

In addition to high-quality products, Leeds is ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited for calibrations with all Leeds comparison microscopes.  This achievement has allowed Leeds to provide service to our crime lab customers, keeping their equipment in compliance with the high standards of ISO accreditation.

Interested in learning more about Leeds products? Please contact us or call Leeds directly at 1-800-444-5333.

Posted in Ergonomic Features, Firearms & Tool Marks, Forensic Lab Tips, LCF, LCF3, Leeds Forensic Systems, Leeds Products | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New LSV2 Tutorials: Imaging/Screening in Fluorescence

LSV2 Fluorescence screeningScreening in Fluorescence with the LSV2

Our next series of LSV2 video tutorials expands upon the fluorescence screening technique with the LSV2 Leeds Spectral Vision System.  Jake dives into the mechanisms of fluorescence, how to detect fluorescence, and then puts the LSV2 to work, screening a piece of sample evidence using the fluorescence mechanisms to detect a semen stain.  In conjunction with the fluorescence tutorials, our gain adjustment tutorial teaches LSV2 end users how to best adjust the gain control for both camera sensitivity and capturing images for documentation purposes.

Please visit our YouTube site and bookmark the LSV Tutorial Playlist to see the growing library of LSV2 video tutorials.

We look forward to bringing you additional videos in the coming weeks.

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Working with the LSV2 – Helpful Video Tutorials

Jake filming the LSV2 Tutorials

As interest in the Leeds Spectral Vision System (LSV2) continues to grow, we are excited to introduce a library of user friendly video tutorials showing how to screen, view, and document evidence in the forensic lab.  Visit Leeds’ YouTube LSV2 Tutorials playlist and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as we will continue to add new videos over the coming weeks and months.

We’ve started by addressing a few common inquiries from the field:  1) how to adjust the arm tension to screen at various fields of view, and 2) how to adjust the LSV2’s head for tip, tilt, and rotation (or pitch, roll, and yaw).


Knowing how to adjust the LSV2 arm tension will allow for easier workflow when screening evidence at close-up and overhead ranges, as well as every distance in-between.  If the arm’s vertical tension adjustment is set correctly for the height range an examiner is working in, screening is very seamless.  However, if the arm tension adjustment is off, this can cause the LSV2 head to move when screening evidence.  Watch Leeds LSV2 Arm Adjustment Tutorial to learn how to make simple adjustments to the arm tension to hold the LSV2 head in place at different heights.


Controlling the LSV2 head’s tip, tilt, and rotation, allows for the examiner to screen evidence in a variety of positions versus having to adjust the evidence itself.  Adjusting the LSV2 head is easily explained in this Leeds LSV2 Head Adjustment Tutorial showing the 3 different levels and locking mechanisms to control pitch, roll, and yaw.


The LSV2 offers 3 different diopter options:  +1, +2, and +3.5.  In addition, the LSV2 offers the option of selection no diopter.  Determining which diopter to use at which working distance can, in some circumstances, be a bit tricky.  Watch our LSV2 diopter tutorials to learn about diopters and understand the best general practices for using diopters when viewing, screening and documentation of forensic evidence.

To learn more about the LSV2, please watch the LSV2 video, visit the LSV2 webpage, or contact Leeds.

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FBI purchases six LCF3 Firearms & Tool Marks Comparison Microscopes

Leeds LCF3 Firearms Comparison Microscope

Leeds LCF3 Firearms Comparison Microscope

Leeds Forensic Systems is pleased to announce that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recently purchased six LCF3 Firearms & Tool Marks Comparison Microscopes for their laboratories.  The LCF3 is a powerful comparison microscope used to analyze bullet casings and tool marks in forensic laboratories.  Features include:

  • World-Class Olympus optics
  • 16:1 zoom ratio and built-in aperture diaphragms, providing examiners with 14 matched magnification positions to choose from
  • Optical bridge producing an erect, un-reversed image with a large 22mm field of view
  • Ergonomic table design and comfort for forensic examiners
  • Leeds Universal Holder
  • Various lighting options including Leeds’ new fluorescent hooded light with exceptionally bright lamp
  • Sliding rear-mounted accessory post
  • Unified power and light control touch pad

GSA Schedule Contract

U.S. Government Agencies may now purchase Leeds’ forensic products including the Discovery, LCF3, LCF2, LCT, LSV2, and N-IRC directly through GSA Schedule Contract #GS-07F-097CA.

To learn more about the LCF3, please visit our website.

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