To realize higher resolution in optical inspection systems is typically using shorter wavelengths including UV light and a higher NA of the objective lens. Extreme performances of illumination and imaging systems in well-matched situations are inevitable with further effort put on the development of an effective optical system for inspecting microscopic defects on patterned wafers. <p> </p>For this study, we focus on the dark-field illumination system for index-matched near-field microscope using an aplanatic solid immersion lens (A-SIL). We present dark-field illumination that has illumination channels on the side of the A-SIL to overcome the issue of deficient space. The table-top experiments are conducted to show a feasibility of a dark-field imaging method for the near-field condition before verifying the performance of the optical system.