First experiments at the Vanderbilt free electron lasers measured the local reflectivity of a PtSi/Si system. The reflectivity in the scanning near-field optical microscope images revealed features that were not present in the corresponding shear-force (topology) images and which were due to localized changes in the bulk properties of the sample. The size of the smallest detected features clearly demonstrated that near-field conditions were reached. The use of different photon wavelengths (0.653, 1.2, and 2.4 mu m) enabled us to probe regions of different depth. (C) 1998 American Institute of Physics.