The optical response of a single-mode uncoated fiber tip to a 3D polarized field, including longitudinal components, is investigated. The 3D field is produced by an opportune superposition of TE and TM plane waves. The contribution of the different field components to the detected signals was discriminated by integrating the scanning probe microscope with a multi-heterodyne detection technique. A simple coupling model for the tip is introduced. The longitudinal field component was assumed to couple to the transverse fiber modes through complex coupling coefficients. Coupling coefficients were obtained by fitting the parameters of the model to the experimental data. These results demonstrate that the longitudinal components of the field are coupled by this probe with an efficiency approximately equal to that of the transverse polarization components. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.