Novel magnetic assay methods and systems, as well as systems for conducting spectrophotometric analysis therewith. According to a preferred embodiment, the magnetic assay methods and systems incorporate a chromatographic medium, such as an assay test strip, that is designed to be contacted with a test solution having activated magnetic particles. A magnetic field, generated by a magnet or electromagnet, is additionally provided that if selectively applied to a chromatographic medium which causes the charged particles to become substantially bound at a site all in the chromatographic medium specified by the position of the magnets, to thus form a captured line or zone. To the degree of magnetic force applied to the medium may be selectively adjusted to vary the width or surface area of the capture line or zone. Additionally, in a preferred embodiment, capture lines may be formed while test strips are in motion along a stationary magnetized rail. Spectrophotometric analysis may be made at the captured lines and zones for qualitative and quantitative analysis of unidentifiable analyte. A multimode photometer consisting of an optical canopy and base that defines an optical chamber may be utilized for conducting spectral or multi-spectral analysis.