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We have constructed a scanned stylus atomic force microscope (AFM) with direct force modulation and integrated microfluorescence optics. The instrument was designed to image the surface of massive samples under various ambient conditions. In force modulation microscopy the imaging force is modulated during the scanning process via an external magnetic field that acts directly on the magnetic AFM tip. Polymeric Langmuir–Blodgett films on silicon oxide were imaged to evaluate the application range of the instrument. We demonstrate that direct force modulation microscopy permits the quantitative recording of the local complex compliance both as a function of the location and as a function of the frequency. In a novel imaging mode referred to as sample resonance mode, the contrast of the image can be selectively enhanced based on local elasticity differences.