The contact characteristics of ceramic-metallic interactions are of critical importance in the design of high-speed ceramic rolling contact bearings. This type of interaction is not described well by traditional indentation tests since small displacements and barely discernable indentations are encountered. In this work, an optical microscopy system is described that is used to measure small indenter displacements accurately. Images of the indenter are taken throughout the test and processed using sophisticated edge detection algorithms to accurately determine the position of the center of the indenter. Thus, the indenter displacements on the order of can be measured independent of any structural flexibility present in the test apparatus. Experimental indentation tests using an alumina indenter mounted on a stainless steel post were performed and processed with the optical system. The results were compared to existing analytical models for fully elastic and elastoplastic cases as well as a finite element model developed using a Johnson–Cook plasticity material model. The comparison shows that the analytical models do not predict the experimental results well, whereas the finite element model agrees very well. Subsequent analysis of the finite element model shows that the size of the contact zone and pressure distributions, both very important in the design of bearings, can be more accurately described than the traditional analytical treatments.