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Kiralux® CMOS Compact Scientific Cameras


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  • Monochrome, Color, or NIR-Enhanced CMOS Cameras
  • 1.3 MP, 2.3 MP, 5.0 MP, 8.9 MP, or 12.3 MP Sensors
  • High Quantum Efficiency and Low Read Noise
  • Global Shutter for Imaging Fast-Moving Objects

Monochrome TIF Images (Shown with False Color):

DAPI (405 nm)

GFAP (488 nm)

s100B (555 nm)

Three-channel immunofluorescence image of a mouse brain
acquired using the CS895MU Camera.
Click here for the TIF composite.

(Sample prepared by Lynne Holtzclaw of the
NICDH Microscopy and Imaging Core Facility, NIH, Bethesda, MD)

CS126CU

12.3 MP Color
(Rear View)

CS505MU

5 MP Monochrome

CS135MUN

1.3 MP NIR-Enhanced

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Jason Mills
Jason Mills
General Manager,
Thorlabs Scientific Imaging

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Features

  • Monochrome, Color, or NIR-Enhanced CMOS Sensor
  • Fan-Free, Passive Thermal Management Reduces Dark Current without Adding Vibration and Image Blur
  • Triggered and Bulb Exposure Modes
  • Global Shutter
  • USB 3.0 Interface
  • ThorCam™ Software for Windows® 7 and 10 Operating Systems
  • SDK and Programming Interfaces Provide Support for:
    • C, C++, C#, Python, and Visual Basic .NET APIs
    • LabVIEW, MATLAB, and µManager Third-Party Software
  • SM1-Threaded (1.035"-40) Aperture with Adapter for Standard C-Mount (1.000"-32)
  • Compatible with 30 mm Cage System
  • 1/4"-20 Tapped Holes for Post Mounting

Thorlabs' Kiralux® Cameras with CMOS Sensors offer extremely low read noise and high sensitivity for demanding imaging applications. The compact housing has been engineered to provide passive thermal management for the sensor, reducing dark current without the need for a cooling fan or thermoelectric cooler. These features make our compact scientific cameras ideal for low-light imaging applications such as fluorescence microscopy. The global shutter scans the entire field of view simultaneously, allowing for imaging of fast moving objects.

These cameras are available with monochrome, color, or NIR-enhanced sensors. The approximate position of the sensor is indicated by the engraved line on top of the camera body. Each camera includes a USB 3.0 interface for compatibility with most computers. Included with each camera is our ThorCam software for use with Windows® 7 and 10 operating systems. Developers can leverage our fully featured API and SDK.

Each camera's aperture has SM1 (1.035"-40) threading for compatibility with Ø1" Lens Tubes; an adjustable C-Mount (1.000"-32) adapter is factory installed for out-of-the-box compatibility with many microscopes, machine vision camera lenses, and C-Mount extension tubes. The monochrome and NIR-enhanced cameras feature a clear window, while the color cameras feature an IR blocking filter. Each optic can be removed and replaced with another Ø25 mm or Ø1" optic up to 1.27 mm thick when using the camera's C-mount adapter. Without this adapter, the maximum filter thickness is 4.4 mm.

Four 4-40 tapped holes provide compatibility with our 30 mm cage system. Two 1/4"-20 tapped holes on opposite sides of the housing are compatible with imperial Ø1" pedestal or pillar posts. The combination of flexible mounting options and compact size makes these cameras the ideal choice for integrating into home-built imaging systems as well as those based on commercial microscopes.

Kiralux CMOS Camera Mounting Features

Kiralux Compact CMOS camera
Click to Enlarge
Removing the C-Mount adapter and locking ring exposes the SM1 (1.035"-40) threading that can be used for custom assemblies using standard Thorlabs components.
Kiralux Compact CMOS Camera
Click to Enlarge

A compact scientific camera with an MVL50M23 machine vision lens installed.
Kiralux Compact CMOS Camera
Click to Enlarge
An SM1 Lens Tube installed using the SM1-threaded aperture.
Kiralux Compact CMOS Camera
Click to Enlarge

Four 4-40 tapped holes allow 30 mm Cage System components to be attached to the camera. Pictured is our CP13 Cage Plate with
C-Mount threading.
Kiralux Compact CMOS Microscope Camera
Click to Enlarge

A compact scientific CMOS camera installed on a Cerna® microscope using the WFA4100 Camera Tube.
Item #a CS135MU CS135CU CS135MUN CS235MU CS235CU
Sensor Type Monochrome CMOS Color CMOS NIR-Enhanced CMOS Monochrome CMOS Color CMOS
Effective Number of Pixels (H x V)
1280 x 1024 1920 x 1200
Imaging Area (H x V) 6.144 mm x 4.915 mm 11.251 mm x 7.032 mm
Pixel Size 4.8 µm x 4.8 µm 5.86 µm x 5.86 µm
Optical Formatb 1/2" (7.76 mm Diagonal) 1/1.2" (13.3 mm Diagonal)
Max Frame Rate 92.3 fps (Full Sensor) 39.7 fps (Full Sensor)
ADCc Resolution 10 Bits 12 Bits
Sensor Shutter Type Global Global
Read Noise <7.0 e- RMS <7.0 e- RMS
Full Well Capacity ≥10 000 e- ≥30 000 e-
Exposure Time 0.100 ms to 59269 ms in 0.001 ms Increments 0.034 ms to 15167 ms in ~0.020 ms Increments
Vertical and Horizontal
Hardware Binningd
1 x 1 to 5 x 5 1 x 1 to 16 x 16
Region of Interest (ROI) 16 x 2 Pixelse to 1280 x 1024 Pixels, Rectangular 92 x 4 Pixelse to 1920 x 1200 Pixels, Rectangular
Dynamic Range >60 dB Up to 75 dB
Peak Quantum Efficiency 59% at 550 nm See Responsivity Plot 60% at 600 nm 78% at 500 nm See Responsivity Plot
Responsivity Plots QE Graph
Raw Data

Raw Data
QE Graph
Raw Data
QE Graph
Raw Data

Raw Data
Removable Optic Window, Ravg < 0.5%
per Surface (400 - 700 nm)
IR Blocking Filter
IR Blocking Filter Graph
Raw Data
Window, Ravg < 0.5%
per Surface (650 - 1050 nm)
Window, Ravg < 0.5%
per Surface (400 - 700 nm)
IR Blocking Filter
IR Blocking Filter Graph
Raw Data
USB Power Consumption 3.15 W @ 92.3 fps (Full Sensor ROI) 3.25 W @ 39.7 fps (Full Sensor ROI)
Mounting Features Two 1/4"-20 Taps for Post Mounting, 30 mm Cage Compatible
Lens Mount C-Mount (1.000"-32)
Dimensions 3.02" x 2.38" x 1.88" (76.7 mm x 60.3 mm x 47.6 mm)
Ambient Operating Temperature 10 °C to 40 °C (Non-Condensing)
Storage Temperature 0 °C to 55 °C
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.
  • Click the links for a visual comparison of all the sensor sizes.
  • ADC = Analog-to-Digital Converter
  • For color cameras, binning greater than 1 x 1 is only available when the camera is operating in unprocessed mode (monochrome).
  • When Binning at 1 x 1
Item #a CS505MU CS505CU CS895MU CS895CU CS126MU CS126CU
Sensor Type Monochrome CMOS Color CMOS Monochrome CMOS Color CMOS Monochrome CMOS Color CMOS
Effective Number of Pixels
(H x V)
2448 x 2048 4096 x 2160 4096 x 3000
Imaging Area (H x V) 8.4456 mm x 7.0656 mm 14.131 mm x 7.452 mm 14.131 mm x 10.350 mm
Pixel Size 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm
Optical Formatb 2/3" (11 mm Diagonal) 1" (16 mm Diagonal) 1.1" (17.5 mm Diagonal)
Max Frame Rate 35 fps (Full Sensor) 20.8 fps (Full Sensor) 14.6 fps (Full Sensor)
ADCc Resolution 12 Bits 12 Bits 12 Bits
Sensor Shutter Type Global Global Global
Read Noise <2.5 e- RMS <2.5 e- RMS <2.5 e- RMS
Full Well Capacity ≥10 000 e- ≥10 650 e- ≥10 650 e-
Exposure Time 0.027 ms to 14235 ms in ~0.013 ms Increments 0.036 ms to 22795 ms in ~0.022 ms Increments 0.036 ms to 22806 ms in ~0.022 ms Increments
Vertical and Horizontal
Hardware Binningd
1 x 1 to 16 x 16 1 x 1 to 16 x 16 1 x 1 to 16 x 16
Region of Interest (ROI) 260 x 4 Pixelse to 2448 x 2048 Pixels, Rectangular 260 x 4 Pixelse to 4096 x 2160 Pixels, Rectangular 260 x 4 Pixelse to 4096 x 3000 Pixels, Rectangular
Dynamic Range Up to 71 dB Up to 71 dB Up to 71 dB
Peak Quantum Efficiency 72%
(525 to 580 nm; Typical)
See Responsivity Plot 72%
(525 to 580 nm; Typical)
See Responsivity Plot 72%
(525 to 580 nm; Typical)
See Responsivity Plot
Responsivity Plots QE Graph
Raw Data

Raw Data
QE Graph
Raw Data

Raw Data
QE Graph
Raw Data

Raw Data
Removable Optic Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(400 - 700 nm)
IR Blocking Filter
IR Blocking Filter Graph
Raw Data
Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(400 - 700 nm)
IR Blocking Filter
IR Blocking Filter Graph
Raw Data
Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(400 - 700 nm)
IR Blocking Filter
IR Blocking Filter Graph
Raw Data
USB Power Consumption 3.6 W @ 35 fps (Full Sensor ROI) 3.7 W @ 20.8 fps (Full Sensor ROI) 3.75 W @ 14.6 fps (Full Sensor ROI)
Mounting Features Two 1/4"-20 Taps for Post Mounting, 30 mm Cage Compatible
Lens Mount C-Mount (1.000"-32)
Dimensions 3.02" x 2.38" x 1.88" (76.7 mm x 60.3 mm x 47.6 mm)
Ambient Operating Temperature 10 °C to 40 °C (Non-Condensing)
Storage Temperature 0 °C to 55 °C
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.
  • Click the links for a visual comparison of all the sensor sizes.
  • ADC = Analog-to-Digital Converter
  • For color cameras, binning greater than 1 x 1 is only available when the camera is operating in unprocessed mode (monochrome).
  • When Binning at 1 x 1
CS135xx Example Frame Rates at 0.1 ms Exposure Timea,b
Region of Interest Frame Rate
Full Sensor (1280 x 1024) 92.3 fps
Half Sensor (640 x 512) 309.7 fps
1/10 Sensor (128 x 102) 2303 fps
Minimum ROI (16 x 2) 4747 fps
  • 1 x 1 Binning, Frames per Trigger = Continuous
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.
CS126xx Example Frame Rates at 1 ms Exposure Timea,b
Region of Interest Frame Rate
Full Sensor (4096 x 3000) 14.6 fps
Half Sensor (2048 x 1500) 29.8 fps
~1/10 Sensor (410 x 300) 133 fps
Minimum ROI (260 x 4) 868 fps
  • 1 x 1 Binning, Frames per Trigger = Continuous
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.
Compact Scientific CMOS Camera Mechanical Drawing
Click to Enlarge

Mechanical Drawing of the Kiralux® Camera Housing. All cameras share the same dimensions; the CS135CU camera is shown as an example.
CS235xx Example Frame Rates at 1 ms Exposure Timea,b
Region of Interest Frame Rate
Full Sensor (1920 x 1200) 39.7 fps
Half Sensor (960 x 600) 75.8 fps
~1/10 Sensor (192 x 120) 277.8 fps
Minimum ROI (92 x 4) 781.3 fps
  • 1 x 1 Binning, Frames per Trigger = Continuous
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.
CS505xx Example Frame Rates at 1 ms Exposure Timea,b
Region of Interest Frame Rate
Full Sensor (2448 x 2048) 35 fps
Half Sensor (1224 x 1024) 68 fps
~1/10 Sensor (260 x 208) 290 fps
Minimum ROI (260 x 4) 887.6 fps
  • 1 x 1 Binning, Frames per Trigger = Continuous
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.
CS895xx Example Frame Rates at 1 ms Exposure Timea,b
Region of Interest Frame Rate
Full Sensor (4096 x 2160) 20.8 fps
Half Sensor (2048 x 1080) 40.8 fps
~1/10 Sensor (410 x 216) 175.4 fps
Minimum ROI (260 x 4) 922 fps
  • 1 x 1 Binning, Frames per Trigger = Continuous
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.

Camera Back Panel Connector Locations

Compact Scientific Back Panel
Back Panel of the Kiralux® Camera. The CS895CU camera is shown as an example.
For the I/O connector pin assignments, please see the Auxiliary (I/O) Connector section below.


TSI-IOBOB and TSI-IOBOB2 Break-Out Board Connector Locations


TSI-IOBOB and TSI-IOBOB2 Connector 8050-CAB1 Connectors Camera Auxiliary (I/O) Port
6 Pin Mini Din Female Connector
Female 6-Pin Mini Din Female Connector
6 Pin Mini Din Male Connector
Male 6-Pin Mini Din Male Connector (TSI-IOBOB end of Cable)
12 Pin Hirose Male Connector
Male 12-Pin Hirose Connector (Camera end of Cable)
12 Pin Hirose Female Connector
Female 12-Pin Hirose Connector (Auxiliary Port on Camera)

Auxiliary (I/O) Connector

The camera and the break-out boards feature female connectors; the camera has a 12-pin Hirose connector, while the break out boards have a 6-pin Mini-DIN connector. The 8050-CAB1 cable features male connectors on both ends: a 12-pin connector for connecting to the camera and a 6-pin Mini-DIN connector for the break-out boards. Pins 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 are each connected to the center pin of an SMA connector on the break-out boards, while pin 4 (ground) is connected to each SMA connector housing. To access one of the I/O functions not available with the 8050-CAB1, the user must fabricate a cable using shielded cabling in order for the camera to adhere to CE and FCC compliance; additional details are provided in the camera manual.

Camera I/O
Pin #
TSI-IOBOB and TSI-IOBOB2
Pin #
Signal Description
1 - GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
2 - GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
3 - GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
4 6 STROBE_OUT
(Output)
An LVTTL output that is high during the actual sensor exposure time when in continuous, overlapped exposure mode. It is typically used to synchronize an external flash lamp or other device with the camera.
5 3 TRIGGER_IN
(Input)
An LVTTL input used to trigger exposures. Transitions can occur from the high to low state or from the low to high state as selected in ThorCam; the default is low to high.
6 1 LVAL_OUT
(Output)
Refers to "Line Valid." It is an active-high LVTTL signal and is asserted during the valid pixel period on each line. It returns low during the inter-line period between each line and during the inter-frame period between each frame.
7 - OPTO I/O_OUT STROBE
(Output)
This is an optically isolated output signal. The user must provide a pull-up resistor to an external voltage source of 2.5 V to 20 V. The pull-up resistor must limit the current into this pin to <40 mA. The default signal present on pin 7 is the STROBE_OUT signal, which is effectively the Trigger Out signal as well.
8 - OPTO I/O_RTN This is the return connection for the OPTO I/O_OUT output and the OPTO I/O_IN input connections. This must be connected to the pull-up source for OPTO I/O_OUT or the driving source for the OPTO I/O_IN signals.
9 - OPTO I/O_IN
(Input)
This is an optically isolated input signal used to trigger exposures. The user must provide a driving source from 3.3 V to 10 V. An internal series resistor limits the current to <50 mA at 10 V.
10 4 GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
11 - GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
12 5 FVAL_OUT
(Output)
Refers to "Frame Valid." It is a LVTTL output that is high during active readout lines and returns low between frames.
Scientific Camera, Cables, and Accessories
Click to Enlarge

Compact Scientific Camera with Included Accessories

The following accessories are included with each Compact Scientific Camera:

  • USB 3.0 Cable (Micro B to A)
  • Wrench to Loosen Optical Assembly (Item # SPW502)
  • Lens Mount Dust Cap
  • CD with ThorCam Software
  • Quick-Start Guide and Manual Download Information Card

ThorCam™

ThorCam is a powerful image acquisition software package that is designed for use with our cameras on 32- and 64-bit Windows® 7 or 10 systems. This intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface provides camera control as well as the ability to acquire and play back images. Single image capture and image sequences are supported. Please refer to the screenshots below for an overview of the software's basic functionality.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) and a software development kit (SDK) are included for the development of custom applications by OEMs and developers. The SDK provides easy integration with a wide variety of programming languages, such as C, C++, C#, Python, and Visual Basic .NET. Support for third-party software packages, such as LabVIEW, MATLAB, and µManager* is available. We also offer example Arduino code for integration with our TSI-IOBOB2 Interconnect Break-Out Board.

*µManager control of Zelux and 1.3 MP Kiralux cameras is not currently supported. When controlling the Kiralux Polarization-Sensitive Camera using µManager, only intensity images can be taken; the ThorCam software is required to produce images with polarization information.

Recommended System Requirementsa
Operating System Windows® 7 or 10 (64 Bit)
Processor (CPU)b ≥3.0 GHz Intel Core (i5 or Higher)
Memory (RAM) ≥8 GB
Hard Drivec ≥500 GB (SATA) Solid State Drive (SSD)
Graphics Cardd Dedicated Adapter with ≥256 MB RAM
Motherboard USB 3.0 (-USB) Cameras: Integrated Intel USB 3.0 Controller
or One Unused PCIe x1 Slot (for Item # USB3-PCIE)
GigE (-GE) Cameras: One Unused PCIe x1 Slot
Connectivity USB or Internet Connectivity for Driver Installation
  • See the Performance Considerations section below for recommendations to minimize dropped frames for demanding applications.
  • Intel Core i3 processors and mobile versions of Intel processors may not satisfy the requirements.
  • We recommend a solid state drive (SSD) for reliable streaming to disk during image sequence storage.
  • On-board/integrated graphics solutions present on Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are also acceptable.

Software

Version 3.5.1

Click the button below to visit the ThorCam software page.

Software Download

Example Arduino Code for TSI-IOBOB2 Board

Click the button below to visit the download page for the sample Arduino programs for the TSI-IOBOB2 Shield for Arduino. Three sample programs are offered:

  • Trigger the Camera at a Rate of 1 Hz
  • Trigger the Camera at the Fastest Possible Rate
  • Use the Direct AVR Port Mappings from the Arduino to Monitor Camera State and Trigger Acquisition
Software Download

Click the Highlighted Regions to Explore ThorCam Features

Thorcam GUI Window

Camera Control and Image Acquisition

Camera Control and Image Acquisition functions are carried out through the icons along the top of the window, highlighted in orange in the image above. Camera parameters may be set in the popup window that appears upon clicking on the Tools icon. The Snapshot button allows a single image to be acquired using the current camera settings.

The Start and Stop capture buttons begin image capture according to the camera settings, including triggered imaging.

Timed Series and Review of Image Series

The Timed Series control, shown in Figure 1, allows time-lapse images to be recorded. Simply set the total number of images and the time delay in between captures. The output will be saved in a multi-page TIFF file in order to preserve the high-precision, unaltered image data. Controls within ThorCam allow the user to play the sequence of images or step through them frame by frame.

Measurement and Annotation

As shown in the yellow highlighted regions in the image above, ThorCam has a number of built-in annotation and measurement functions to help analyze images after they have been acquired. Lines, rectangles, circles, and freehand shapes can be drawn on the image. Text can be entered to annotate marked locations. A measurement mode allows the user to determine the distance between points of interest.

The features in the red, green, and blue highlighted regions of the image above can be used to display information about both live and captured images.

ThorCam also features a tally counter that allows the user to mark points of interest in the image and tally the number of points marked (see Figure 2). A crosshair target that is locked to the center of the image can be enabled to provide a point of reference.

Third-Party Applications and Support

ThorCam is bundled with support for third-party software packages such as LabVIEW, MATLAB, and .NET. Both 32- and 64-bit versions of LabVIEW and MATLAB are supported. A full-featured and well-documented API, included with our cameras, makes it convenient to develop fully customized applications in an efficient manner, while also providing the ability to migrate through our product line without having to rewrite an application.

Thorcam Software Screenshot
Click to Enlarge

Figure 1: A timed series of 10 images taken at 1 second intervals is saved as a multipage TIFF.
Thorcam Software Screenshot
Click to Enlarge

Figure 2: A screenshot of the ThorCam software showing some of the analysis and annotation features. The Tally function was used to mark four locations in the image. A blue crosshair target is enabled and locked to the center of the image to provide a point of reference.

 

Performance Considerations

Please note that system performance limitations can lead to "dropped frames" when image sequences are saved to the disk. The ability of the host system to keep up with the camera's output data stream is dependent on multiple aspects of the host system. Note that the use of a USB hub may impact performance. A dedicated connection to the PC is preferred. USB 2.0 connections are not supported.

First, it is important to distinguish between the frame rate of the camera and the ability of the host computer to keep up with the task of displaying images or streaming to the disk without dropping frames. The frame rate of the camera is a function of exposure and readout (e.g. clock, ROI) parameters. Based on the acquisition parameters chosen by the user, the camera timing emulates a digital counter that will generate a certain number of frames per second. When displaying images, this data is handled by the graphics system of the computer; when saving images and movies, this data is streamed to disk. If the hard drive is not fast enough, this will result in dropped frames.

One solution to this problem is to ensure that a solid state drive (SSD) is used. This usually resolves the issue if the other specifications of the PC are sufficient. Note that the write speed of the SSD must be sufficient to handle the data throughput.

Larger format images at higher frame rates sometimes require additional speed. In these cases users can consider implementing a RAID0 configuration using multiple SSDs or setting up a RAM drive. While the latter option limits the storage space to the RAM on the PC, this is the fastest option available. ImDisk is one example of a free RAM disk software package. It is important to note that RAM drives use volatile memory. Hence it is critical to ensure that the data is moved from the RAM drive to a physical hard drive before restarting or shutting down the computer to avoid data loss.

Pixel PeekVertical and Horizontal Line ProfilesHistogramCamera Control IconsMeasurement and Annotation FunctionsMeasurement and Annotation Functions

Triggered Camera Operation

Our scientific cameras have three externally triggered operating modes: streaming overlapped exposure, asynchronous triggered acquisition, and bulb exposure driven by an externally generated trigger pulse. The trigger modes operate independently of the readout (e.g., binning) settings as well as gain and offset. Figures 1 through 3 show the timing diagrams for these trigger modes, assuming an active low external TTL trigger.

Camera Timing Diagram
Click to Enlarge
Figure 1: Streaming overlapped exposure mode. When the external trigger goes low, the exposure begins, and continues for the software-selected exposure time, followed by the readout. This sequence then repeats at the set time interval. Subsequent external triggers are ignored until the camera operation is halted. For the definition of the TTL signals, please see the Pin Diagrams tab.
Timing Diagram
Click to Enlarge
Figure 2: Asynchronous triggered acquisition mode. When the external trigger signal goes low, an exposure begins for the preset time, and then the exposure is read out of the camera. During the readout time, the external trigger is ignored. Once a single readout is complete, the camera will begin the next exposure only when the external trigger signal goes low.
Camera Timing
Click to Enlarge
Figure 3: Bulb exposure mode. The exposure begins when the external trigger signal goes low and ends when the external trigger signal goes high. Trigger signals during camera readout are ignored.

Camera Specific Timing Considerations

Due to the general operation of our Kiralux CMOS sensor cameras, as well as typical system propagation delays, the timing relationships shown above are subject to the following considerations:

  1. The delay from the external trigger to the start of the exposure and strobe signals is typically 270 ns for all triggered modes (standard and PDX/Bulb) for CS505, CS895, and CS126 models. For CS135 models, the delay is 3.5 µs. For CS235 models, the delay is 60.7 µs.
  2. For PDX/Bulb mode triggered exposures, in addition to the start delay discussed above, there is also a fixed exposure time error* AFTER the falling edge of the external trigger. This is inherent in the sensor operation. It is important to note that the Strobe_out signal includes the additional fixed exposure time error and therefore is a better representation of the actual exposure time. Our suggestion is to use the Strobe_out signal to measure your exposure time and adjust your PDX mode trigger pulse accordingly.

*The fixed exposure time error for the CS235 and CS505 models is 13.72 µs. The error for the CS895 and CS126 models is 14.26 µs and for the CS135 model the error is 28 µs.

External Triggering

Camera Triggering in ThorCam Software
Click to Enlarge

Figure 4:
The ThorCam Camera Settings window. The red and blue highlighted regions indicate the trigger settings as described in the text.

External triggering enables these cameras to be easily integrated into systems that require the camera to be synchronized to external events. The Strobe Output goes high to indicate exposure; the strobe signal may be used in designing a system to synchronize external devices to the camera exposure. External triggering requires a connection to the auxiliary port of the camera. We offer the 8050-CAB1 auxiliary cable as an optional accessory. Two options are provided to "break out" individual signals. The TSI-IOBOB provides SMA connectors for each individual signal. Alternately, the TSI-IOBOB2 also provides the SMA connectors with the added functionality of a shield for Arduino boards that allows control of other peripheral equipment. More details on these three optional accessories are provided below.

Trigger settings are adjusted using the ThorCam software. Figure 4 shows the Camera Settings window, with the trigger settings highlighted with red and blue squares. Settings can be adjusted as follows:

  • "Hardware Trigger" (Red Highlight) Set to "None": The camera will simply acquire the number of frames in the "Frames per Trigger" box when the capture button is pressed in ThorCam.
  • "Hardware Trigger" Set to "Standard": There are Two Possible Scenarios:
    • "Frames per Trigger" (Blue Highlight) Set to Zero or >1: The camera will operate in streaming overlapped exposure mode (Figure 1).
    • "Frames per Trigger" Set to 1: Then the camera will operate in asynchronous triggered acquisition mode (Figure 2).
  • "Hardware Trigger" Set to "Bulb (PDX) Mode": The camera will operate in bulb exposure mode, also known as Pulse Driven Exposure (PDX) mode (Figure 3).

In addition, the polarity of the trigger can be set to "On High" (exposure begins on the rising edge) or "On Low" (exposure begins on the falling edge) in the "Hardware Trigger Polarity" box (highlighted in red in Figure 4).

 

Example Camera Triggering Configuration using Scientific Camera Accessories

Camera Triggering with TSI-IOBOB2 Shield for Arduino
Click to Enlarge
Figure 5:
A schematic showing a system using the TSI-IOBOB2 to facilitate system integration and control.

As an example of how camera triggering can be integrated into system control is shown in Figure 5. In the schematic, the camera is connected to the TSI-IOBOB2 break-out board / shield for Arduino using a 8050-CAB1 cable. The pins on the shield can be used to deliver signals to simultaneously control other peripheral devices, such as light sources, shutters, or motion control devices. Once the control program is written to the Arduino board, the USB connection to the host PC can be removed, allowing for a stand-alone system control platform; alternately, the USB connection can be left in place to allow for two-way communication between the Arduino and the PC. Configuring the external trigger mode is done using ThorCam as described above.

Insights into Mounting Lenses to Thorlabs' Scientific Cameras

Scroll down to read about compatibility between lenses and cameras of different mount types, with a focus on Thorlabs' scientific cameras.

  • Can C-mount and CS-mount cameras and lenses be used with each other?
  • Do Thorlabs' scientific cameras need an adapter?
  • Why can the FFD be smaller than the distance separating the camera's flange and sensor?

Click here for more insights into lab practices and equipment.

 

Can C-mount and CS-mount cameras and lenses be used with each other?

Characteristics of C-mount lens mounts.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 1: C-mount lenses and cameras have the same flange focal distance (FFD), 17.526 mm. This ensures light through the lens focuses on the camera's sensor. Both components have 1.000"-32 threads, sometimes referred to as "C-mount threads".
Characteristics of CS-mount lens mounts.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 2: CS-mount lenses and cameras have the same flange focal distance (FFD), 12.526 mm. This ensures light through the lens focuses on the camera's sensor. Their 1.000"-32 threads are identical to threads on C-mount components, sometimes referred to as "C-mount threads."

The C-mount and CS-mount camera system standards both include 1.000"-32 threads, but the two mount types have different flange focal distances (FFD, also known as flange focal depth, flange focal length, register, flange back distance, and flange-to-film distance). The FFD is 17.526 mm for the C-mount and 12.526 mm for the CS-mount (Figures 1 and 2, respectively).

Since their flange focal distances are different, the C-mount and CS-mount components are not directly interchangeable. However, with an adapter, it is possible to use a C-mount lens with a CS-mount camera.

Mixing and Matching
C-mount and CS-mount components have identical threads, but lenses and cameras of different mount types should not be directly attached to one another. If this is done, the lens' focal plane will not coincide with the camera's sensor plane due to the difference in FFD, and the image will be blurry.

With an adapter, a C-mount lens can be used with a CS-mount camera (Figures 3 and 4). The adapter increases the separation between the lens and the camera's sensor by 5.0 mm, to ensure the lens' focal plane aligns with the camera's sensor plane.

In contrast, the shorter FFD of CS-mount lenses makes them incompatible for use with C-mount cameras (Figure 5). The lens and camera housings prevent the lens from mounting close enough to the camera sensor to provide an in-focus image, and no adapter can bring the lens closer.

It is critical to check the lens and camera parameters to determine whether the components are compatible, an adapter is required, or the components cannot be made compatible.

1.000"-32 Threads
Imperial threads are properly described by their diameter and the number of threads per inch (TPI). In the case of both these mounts, the thread diameter is 1.000" and the TPI is 32. Due to the prevalence of C-mount devices, the 1.000"-32 thread is sometimes referred to as a "C-mount thread." Using this term can cause confusion, since CS-mount devices have the same threads.

Measuring Flange Focal Distance
Measurements of flange focal distance are given for both lenses and cameras. In the case of lenses, the FFD is measured from the lens' flange surface (Figures 1 and 2) to its focal plane. The flange surface follows the lens' planar back face and intersects the base of the external 1.000"-32 threads. In cameras, the FFD is measured from the camera's front face to the sensor plane. When the lens is mounted on the camera without an adapter, the flange surfaces on the camera front face and lens back face are brought into contact.

A CS-Mount lens is not compatible with a C-Mount camera.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 5: A CS-mount lens is not directly compatible with a C-mount camera, since the light focuses before the camera's sensor. Adapters are not useful, since the solution would require shrinking the flange focal distance of the camera (blue arrow).
A C-Mount lens is compatible with a CS-Mount camera when an adapter is used.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 4: An adapter with the proper thickness moves the C-mount lens away from the CS-mount camera's sensor by an optimal amount, which is indicated by the length of the purple arrow. This allows the lens to focus light on the camera's sensor, despite the difference in FFD.
A C-Mount lens is not compatible with a CS-Mount camera without an adapter.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 3: A C-mount lens and a CS-mount camera are not directly compatible, since their flange focal distances, indicated by the blue and yellow arrows, respectively, are different. This arrangement will result in blurry images, since the light will not focus on the camera's sensor.

 

Date of Last Edit: July 21, 2020

 

Do Thorlabs' scientific cameras need an adapter?

A C-mount lens can be mounted on a Zelux camera, when the correct adapter is used.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 6: An adapter can be used to optimally position a C-mount lens on a camera whose flange focal distance is less than 17.526 mm. This sketch is based on a Zelux camera and its SM1A10Z adapter.
A CS-mount lens can be mounted on a Zelux camera, when the correct adapter is used.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 7: An adapter can be used to optimally position a CS-mount lens on a camera whose flange focal distance is less than 12.526 mm. This sketch is based on a Zelux camera and its SM1A10 adapter.

All Kiralux™ and Quantalux® scientific cameras are factory set to accept C-mount lenses. When the attached C-mount adapters are removed from the passively cooled cameras, the SM1 (1.035"-40) internal threads in their flanges can be used. The Zelux scientific cameras also have SM1 internal threads in their mounting flanges, as well as the option to use a C-mount or CS-mount adapter.

The SM1 threads integrated into the camera housings are intended to facilitate the use of lens assemblies created from Thorlabs components. Adapters can also be used to convert from the camera's C-mount configurations. When designing an application-specific lens assembly or considering the use of an adapter not specifically designed for the camera, it is important to ensure that the flange focal distances (FFD) of the camera and lens match, as well as that the camera's sensor size accommodates the desired field of view (FOV).

Made for Each Other: Cameras and Their Adapters
Fixed adapters are available to configure the Zelux cameras to meet C-mount and CS-mount standards (Figures 6 and 7). These adapters, as well as the adjustable C-mount adapters attached to the passively cooled Kiralux and Quantalux cameras, were designed specifically for use with their respective cameras.

While any adapter converting from SM1 to 1.000"-32 threads makes it possible to attach a C-mount or CS-mount lens to one of these cameras, not every thread adapter aligns the lens' focal plane with a specific camera's sensor plane. In some cases, no adapter can align these planes. For example, of these scientific cameras, only the Zelux can be configured for CS-mount lenses.

The position of the lens' focal plane is determined by a combination of the lens' FFD, which is measured in air, and any refractive elements between the lens and the camera's sensor. When light focused by the lens passes through a refractive element, instead of just travelling through air, the physical focal plane is shifted to longer distances by an amount that can be calculated. The adapter must add enough separation to compensate for both the camera's FFD, when it is too short, and the focal shift caused by any windows or filters inserted between the lens and sensor.

Flexiblity and Quick Fixes: Adjustable C-Mount Adapter
Passively cooled Kiralux and Quantalux cameras consist of a camera with SM1 internal threads, a window or filter covering the sensor and secured by a retaining ring, and an adjustable C-mount adapter.

A benefit of the adjustable C-mount adapter is that it can tune the spacing between the lens and camera over a 1.8 mm range, when the window / filter and retaining ring are in place. Changing the spacing can compensate for different effects that otherwise misalign the camera's sensor plane and the lens' focal plane. These effects include material expansion and contraction due to temperature changes, positioning errors from tolerance stacking, and focal shifts caused by a substitute window or filter with a different thickness or refractive index.

Adjusting the camera's adapter may be necessary to obtain sharp images of objects at infinity. When an object is at infinity, the incoming rays are parallel, and location of the focus defines the FFD of the lens. Since the actual FFDs of lenses and cameras may not match their intended FFDs, the focal plane for objects at infinity may be shifted from the sensor plane, resulting in a blurry image.

If it is impossible to get a sharp image of objects at infinity, despite tuning the lens focus, try adjusting the camera's adapter. This can compensate for shifts due to tolerance and environmental effects and bring the image into focus.

Date of Last Edit: Aug. 2, 2020

 

Why can the FFD be smaller than the distance separating the camera's flange and sensor?

Refraction through an optical filter or an window shifts the focal plane.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 9: Refraction causes the ray's angle with the optical axis to be shallower in the medium than in air (θm vs. θo ), due to the differences in refractive indices (nm vs. no ). After travelling a distance d in the medium, the ray is only hm closer to the axis. Due to this, the ray intersects the axis Δf beyond the f point.;
Tracing a ray through the ambient.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 8: A ray travelling through air intersects the optical axis at point f. The ray is ho closer to the axis after it travels across distance d. The refractive index of the air is no .
Example of Calculating Focal Shift
Known Information
C-Mount FFD f 17.526 mm
Total Glass Thickness d ~1.6 mm
Refractive Index of Air no 1
Refractive Index of Glass nm 1.5
Lens f-Number f / N f / 1.4
Parameter to
Calculate
Exact Equations Paraxial
Approximation
θo 20°
ho 0.57 mm ---
θm 13° ---
hm 0.37 mm ---
Δf 0.57 mm 0.53 mm
f + Δf 18.1 mm 18.1 mm
Equations for Calculating the Focal Shift (Δf )
Angle of Ray in Air, from Lens f-Number ( f / N )
Change in Distance to Axis, Travelling through Air (Figure 8)
Angle of Ray to Axis,
in the Medium (Figure 9)
Change in Distance to Axis, Travelling through Optic (Figure 9)
Focal Shift Caused by Refraction through Medium (Figure 9) Exact
Calculation
Paraxial
Approximation
When their flange focal distances (FFD) are different, the camera's sensor plane and the lens' focal plane are misaligned, and focus cannot be achieved for images at infinity.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 11: Tolerance and / or temperature effects may result in the lens and camera having different FFDs. If the FFD of the lens is shorter, images of objects at infinity will be excluded from the focal range. Since the system cannot focus on them, they will be blurry.
When their flange focal distances (FFD) are the same, the camera's sensor plane and the lens' focal plane are perfectly aligned, and focus can be achieved for images at infinity.
Click to Enlarge

Figure 10: When their flange focal distances (FFD) are the same, the camera's sensor plane and the lens' focal plane are perfectly aligned. Images of objects at infinity coincide with one limit of the system's focal range.

Flange focal distance (FFD) values for cameras and lenses assume only air fills the space between the lens and the camera's sensor plane. If windows and / or filters are inserted between the lens and camera sensor, it may be necessary to increase the distance separating the camera's flange and sensor planes to a value beyond the specified FFD. A span equal to the FFD may be too short, because refraction through windows and filters bends the light's path and shifts the focal plane farther away.

If making changes to the optics between the lens and camera sensor, the resulting focal plane shift should be calculated to determine whether the separation between lens and camera should be adjusted to maintain good alignment. Note that good alignment is necessary for, but cannot guarantee, an in-focus image, since new optics may introduce aberrations and other effects resulting in unacceptable image quality.

A Case of the Bends: Focal Shift Due to Refraction
While travelling through a solid medium, a ray's path is straight (Figure 8). Its angle (θo ) with the optical axis is constant as it converges to the focal point (f ). Values of FFD are determined assuming this medium is air.

When an optic with plane-parallel sides and a higher refractive index (nm ) is placed in the ray's path, refraction causes the ray to bend and take a shallower angle (θm ) through the optic. This angle can be determined from Snell's law, as described in the table and illustrated in Figure 9.

While travelling through the optic, the ray approaches the optical axis at a slower rate than a ray travelling the same distance in air. After exiting the optic, the ray's angle with the axis is again θo , the same as a ray that did not pass through the optic. However, the ray exits the optic farther away from the axis than if it had never passed through it. Since the ray refracted by the optic is farther away, it crosses the axis at a point shifted Δf beyond the other ray's crossing. Increasing the optic's thickness widens the separation between the two rays, which increases Δf.

To Infinity and Beyond
It is important to many applications that the camera system be capable of capturing high-quality images of objects at infinity. Rays from these objects are parallel and focused to a point closer to the lens than rays from closer objects (Figure 9). The FFDs of cameras and lenses are defined so the focal point of rays from infinitely distant objects will align with the camera's sensor plane. When a lens has an adjustable focal range, objects at infinity are in focus at one end of the range and closer objects are in focus at the other.

Different effects, including temperature changes and tolerance stacking, can result in the lens and / or camera not exactly meeting the FFD specification. When the lens' actual FFD is shorter than the camera's, the camera system can no longer obtain sharp images of objects at infinity (Figure 11). This offset can also result if an optic is removed from between the lens and camera sensor.

An approach some lenses use to compensate for this is to allow the user to vary the lens focus to points "beyond" infinity. This does not refer to a physical distance, it just allows the lens to push its focal plane farther away. Thorlabs' Kiralux™ and Quantalux® cameras include adjustable C-mount adapters to allow the spacing to be tuned as needed.

If the lens' FFD is larger than the camera's, images of objects at infinity fall within the system's focal range, but some closer objects that should be within this range will be excluded. This situation can be caused by inserting optics between the lens and camera sensor. If objects at infinity can still be imaged, this can often be acceptable.

Not Just Theory: Camera Design Example
The C-mount, hermetically sealed, and TE-cooled Quantalux camera has a fixed 18.1 mm spacing between its flange surface and sensor plane. However, the FFD (f ) for C-mount camera systems is 17.526 mm. The camera's need for greater spacing becomes apparent when the focal shift due to the window soldered into the hermetic cover and the glass covering the sensor are taken into account. The results recorded in the table beneath Figure 9 show that both exact and paraxial equations return a required total spacing of 18.1 mm.

Date of Last Edit: July 31, 2020

TSI Logo

About Thorlabs Scientific Imaging

Thorlabs Scientific Imaging (TSI) is a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to solving the most challenging imaging problems. We design and manufacture low-noise, high performance scientific cameras, interface devices, and software at our facility in Austin, Texas. In addition, we are leveraging the engineering experience across Thorlabs, a vertically integrated photonics products manufacturer, to bring to market a line of integrated imaging systems, including our forthcoming, patent-pending system for whole-slide scanning.

A Message from TSI's General Manager

As a researcher, you are accustomed to solving difficult problems but may be frustrated by the inadequacy of the available instrumentation and tools. The product development team at Thorlabs Scientific Imaging is continually looking for new challenges to push the boundaries of Scientific Cameras using various sensor technologies. We welcome your input in order to leverage our team of senior research and development engineers to help meet your advanced imaging needs.

Thorlabs' purpose is to support advances in research through our product offerings. Your input will help us steer the direction of our scientific camera product line to support these advances. If you have a challenging application that requires a more advanced scientific camera than is currently available, I would be excited to hear from you.

We're All Ears!

Sincerely,
Jason Mills
Jason Mills
General Manager
Thorlabs Scientific Imaging


Posted Comments:
Jacopo Forneris  (posted 2020-10-01 08:17:06.537)
Dear Sir/Madam, are the Kiralux CMOS cameras vacuum compatibile (1e-5.1e-6 mbar)? If not, are there other scientific cameras from your catalogue that can be used under these UHV conditions? Thank you and best regards, Jacopo Forneris
YLohia  (posted 2020-10-01 11:41:05.0)
Hello Jacopo, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. Unfortunately, the Kiralux cameras are not vacuum-compatible and neither are our other camera offerings.

Thorlabs offers four families of scientific cameras: Zelux™, Kiralux®, Quantalux®, and Scientific CCD. Zelux cameras are designed for general-purpose imaging and provide high imaging performance while maintaining a small footprint. Kiralux cameras have CMOS sensors in compact, passively cooled housings and are available with monochrome, color, NIR-enhanced, or polarization-sensitive sensors. The polarization-sensitive Kiralux camera incorporates an integrated micropolarizer array that, when used with our ThorCam™ software package, captures images that illustrate degree of linear polarization, azimuth, and intensity at the pixel level. Our Quantalux monochrome sCMOS cameras feature high dynamic range combined with extremely low read noise for low-light applications. They are available in either a compact passively cooled housing or a hermetically sealed TE-cooled housing. We also offer scientific CCD cameras with a variety of features, including versions optimized for operation at UV, visible, or NIR wavelengths; fast-frame-rate cameras; TE-cooled or non-cooled housings; and versions with the sensor face plate removed. The tables below provide a summary of our camera offerings.

Compact Scientific Cameras
Camera Type Zelux™ CMOS Kiralux® CMOS Quantalux® sCMOS
1.6 MP 1.3 MP 2.3 MP 5 MP 8.9 MP 12.3 MP 2.1 MP
Item # Monochrome: CS165MUa
Color: CS165CUa
Mono.: CS135MU
Color: CS135CU
NIR-Enhanced
Mono.: CS135MUN
Mono.: CS235MU
Color: CS235CU
Mono.: CS505MU
Color: CS505CU
Polarization:
CS505MUP
Mono.:
CS895MU
Color:
CS895CU
Mono.:
CS126MU
Color:
CS126CU
Monochrome,
Passive Cooling: CS2100M-USB
Active Cooling: CC215MU
Product Photos
(Click to Enlarge)
Quantaluc Cameras
Electronic Shutter Global Shutter Global Shutter Rolling Shutterb
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS sCMOS
Number of Pixels (H x V) 1440 x 1080 1280 x 1024 1920 x 1200 2448 x 2048 4096 x 2160 4096 x 3000 1920 x 1080
Pixel Size 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 4.8 µm x 4.8 µm 5.86 µm x 5.86 µm 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 5.04 µm x 5.04 µm
Optical Format 1/2.9"
(6.2 mm Diag.)
1/2"
(7.76 mm Diag.)
1/1.2"
(13.4 mm Diag.)
2/3"
(11 mm Diag.)
1"
(16 mm Diag.)
1.1"
(17.5 mm Diag.)
2/3"
(11 mm Diag.)
Peak Quantum
Efficiency

(Click for Plot)
Monochrome:
69% at 575 nm

Color:
Click for Plot

Monochrome:
59% at 550 nm

Color:
Click for Plot

NIR:
60% at 600 nm
Monochrome:
78% at 500 nm

Color:
Click for Plot
Monochrome & Polarization:
72%
(525 to 580 nm)

Color:
Click for Plot
Monochrome:
72%
(525 to
580 nm)

Color:
Click for Plot
Monochrome:
72%
(525 to
580 nm)

Color:
Click for Plot
Monochrome:
61% (at 600 nm)
Max Frame Rate
(Full Sensor)
34.8 fps 92.3 fps 39.7 fps 35 fps 20.8 fps 14.6 fps 50 fps
Read Noise <4.0 e- RMS <7.0 e- RMS <7.0 e- RMS <2.5 e- RMS <1 e- Median RMS; <1.5 e- RMS
Digital Output
10 Bit (Max) 10 Bit (Max) 12 Bit (Max) 16 Bit (Max)
PC Interface USB 3.0
Available
Fanless Cooling
Passive Thermal Management 0 °C at 20 °C Ambient
Housing Size
(Click for Details)
0.59" x 1.72" x 1.86"
(15.0 x 43.7 x 47.2 mm3)
2.77" x 2.38" x 1.88"
(70.4 mm x 60.3 mm x 47.6 mm)
Passively Cooled sCMOS Camera
TE-Cooled sCMOS Camera
Typical
Applications
General Purpose Imaging,
Brightfield Microscopy,
Machine Vision & Robotics,
UAV, Drone, & Handheld Imaging,
Inspection,
Monitoring
VIS/NIR Imaging,
Electrophysiology/Brain Slice Imaging,
Materials Inspection,
Multispectral Imaging,
Ophthalmology/Retinal Imaging,
Vascular Imaging,
Laser Speckle Imaging,
Semiconductor Inspection,
Fluorescence Microscopy,
Brightfield Microscopy
Fluorescence Microscopy,
Immunohistochemistry,
Machine Vision,
Inspection,
General Purpose Imaging
Mono. & Color:
Fluorescence Microscopy,
Immunohistochemistry,
Machine Vision & Inspection,

Polarization:
Machine Vision & Inspection,
Transparent Material Detection,
Surface Reflection Reduction
Fluorescence Microscopy,
Immunohistochemistry,
Large FOV Slide Imaging,
Machine Vision,
Inspection
Fluorescence Microscopy,
VIS/NIR Imaging,
Quantum Dots,
Autofluorescence,
Materials Inspection,
Multispectral Imaging
  • These item numbers are representative of the Zelux family. These cameras are available with or without external hardware triggers.
  • Rolling Shutter with Equal Exposure Pulse (EEP) Mode for Synchronizing the Camera and Light Sources for Even Illumination
Scientific CCD Cameras
Camera Type Fast Frame Rate
VGA CCD
1.4 MP CCD 4 MP CCD 8 MP CCD
Item # Prefix Monochrome:
340M
UV-Enhanced
Monochrome:
340UV
Monochrome: 1501M
Color: 1501C
Monochrome: 4070M
Color: 4070C
Monochrome: 8051M
Color: 8051C
Monochrome,
No Sensor Face Plate: S805MU
Product Photo
(Click to Enlarge)
Electronic Shutter Global Shutter
Sensor Type CCD
Number of Pixels
(H x V)
640 x 480 1392 x 1040 2048 x 2048 3296 x 2472
Pixel Size 7.4 µm x 7.4 µm 6.45 µm x 6.45 µm 7.4 µm x 7.4 µm 5.5 µm x 5.5 µm
Optical Format 1/3" (5.92 mm Diagonal) 2/3" (11 mm Diagonal) 4/3" (21.4 mm Diagonal) 4/3" (22 mm Diagonal)
Peak QE
(Click for Plot)
55%
at 500 nm
10%
at 485 nm
Monochrome: 60% at 500 nm
Color: Click for Plot
Monochrome: 52% at 500 nm
Color: Click for Plot
Monochrome: 51% at 460 nm
Color: Click for Plot
51% at 460 nm
Max Frame Rate
(Full Sensor)
200.7 fps (at 40 MHz
Dual-Tap Readout)
23 fps (at 40 MHz
Single-Tap Readout)
25.8 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)a
17.1 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)b
17.1 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)
Read Noise <15 e- at 20 MHz <7 e- at 20 MHz (Standard Models)
<6 e- at 20 MHz (-TE Models)
<12 e- at 20 MHz <10 e- at 20 MHz
Digital Output (Max) 14 Bitc 14 Bit 14 Bitc 14 Bit
Available
Fanless Cooling
Passive Thermal Management -20 °C at 20 °C Ambient Temperature -10 °C at 20 °C Ambient Passive Thermal Management
Available PC
Interfaces
USB 3.0 or Gigabit Ethernet USB 3.0
Housing
Dimensions

(Click for Details)
Non-Cooled Scientific
CCD Camera
Cooled Scientific CCD Camera
Non-Cooled Scientific CCD Camera
No Face Plate Scientific
CCD Camera
Typical Applications Ca++ Ion Imaging,
Particle Tracking,
Flow Cytometry,
SEM/EBSD,
UV Inspection
Fluorescence Microscopy,
VIS/NIR Imaging,
Quantum Dots,
Multispectral Imaging,
Immunohistochemistry (IHC),
Retinal Imaging
Fluorescence Microscopy,
Transmitted Light Micrsoscopy,
Whole-Slide Microscopy,
Electron Microscopy (TEM/SEM),
Inspection,
Material Sciences
Fluorescence Microscopy,
Whole-Slide Microscopy,
Large FOV Slide Imaging,
Histopathology,
Inspection,
Multispectral Imaging,
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Beam Profiling & Characterization,
Interferometry,
VCSEL Inspection,
Quantitative Phase-Contrast Microscopy,
Ptychography,
Digital Holographic Microscopy
  • Limited to 13 fps at 40 MHz dual-tap readout for Gigabit Ethernet cameras; quad-tap readout is unavailable for Gigabit Ethernet cameras.
  • Limited to 8.5 fps at 40 MHz dual-tap readout for Gigabit Ethernet cameras; quad-tap readout is unavailable for Gigabit Ethernet cameras.
  • Gigabit Ethernet cameras operating in dual-tap readout mode are limited to 12-bit digital output.

Kiralux 1.3 MP CMOS Compact Scientific Cameras

Kiralux 1.3 Megapixel Camera Comparisona
Item # Sensor Type Peak Quantum
Efficiencyb
Removble Optic
CS135MU Monochrome CMOS 59% at 550 nm AR-Coated Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(400 - 700 nm)
CS135CU Color CMOS Click for Plot IR Blocking Filterb
CS135MUN NIR-Enhanced CMOS 60% at 600 nm AR-Coated Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(650 - 1050 nm)
  • See the Specs tab for complete specifications.
  • Click on the text links for more information.
  • Max Frame Rate: 92.3 fps (Full Sensor)
  • Read Noise: <7.0 e- RMS

Applications

  • VIS/NIR Imaging
  • Electrophysiology/Brain
    Slice Imaging
  • Materials Inspection
  • Multispectral Imaging
  • Ophthalmology/Retinal Imaging
  • Vascular Imaging
  • Laser Speckle Imaging
  • Semiconductor Inspection
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Brightfield Microscopy

Images of an arm taken using a Kiralux NIR-Enhanced 1.3 MP CMOS Camera with a shortpass filter (left) or longpass filter (right). The image on the left shows the arm's surface, while the veins beneath the skin are clearly visible in the NIR image on the right.

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CS135MU Support Documentation
CS135MUKiralux 1.3 Megapixel Monochrome CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$1,500.00
Today
CS135CU Support Documentation
CS135CUKiralux 1.3 Megapixel Color CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$1,500.00
Today
CS135MUN Support Documentation
CS135MUNKiralux 1.3 Megapixel NIR-Enhanced CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$1,666.00
Lead Time

Kiralux 2.3 MP Monochrome and Color CMOS Compact Scientific Cameras

Kiralux 2.3 Megapixel Camera Comparisona
Item # Sensor Type Peak Quantum
Efficiencyb
Removable Optic
CS235MU Monochrome CMOS 78% at 500 nm AR-Coated Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(400 - 700 nm)
CS235CU Color CMOS Click for Plot IR Blocking Filterb
  • See the Specs tab for complete specifications.
  • Click on the text links for more information.
  • Max Frame Rate: 39.7 fps (Full Sensor)
  • Read Noise: <7.0 e- RMS

Applications

  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Brightfield Microscopy
  • General Purpose Imaging
  • VIS/NIR Imaging
  • Imaging Quantum Dots
  • Materials Inspection
  • Multispectral Imaging
Fluocells Slide #2
Click here to view the full-resolution image.

This merged triple-emission fluorescence image of FluoCells® prepared BPAE cells was acquired using the CS235MU Monochrome Camera. The 16-bit full-resolution image downloads may be viewed using ThorCam, ImageJ, or other scientific imaging software. They may not be displayed correctly in general-purpose image viewers.
Fluocells Slide #2
Click here to view the full-resolution image.

This image of a mouse cervical spinal cord cross section (stained with neutral red and luxol fast blue) was acquired using the CS235CU Camera. Sample Prepared by Dr. Tak Ho Chu and Dr. Peter K. Stys at the University of Calgary.
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CS235MU Support Documentation
CS235MUKiralux 2.3 Megapixel Monochrome CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$1,749.97
5-8 Days
CS235CU Support Documentation
CS235CUKiralux 2.3 Megapixel Color CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$1,749.97
5-8 Days

Kiralux 5.0 MP CMOS Compact Scientific Cameras

Kiralux 5.0 Megapixel Camera Comparisona
Item # Sensor Type Peak Quantum Efficiencyb Removable Optic
CS505MU Monochrome CMOS 72% Over 525 to 580 nm AR-Coated Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(400 - 700 nm)
CS505CU Color CMOS Click for Plot IR Blocking Filterb
  • See the Specs tab for complete specifications.
  • Click on the text links for more information.
  • Max Frame Rate: 35 fps (Full Sensor)
  • Read Noise: <2.5 e- RMS

Applications

  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Brightfield Microscopy
  • VIS/NIR Imaging
  • Imaging Quantum Dots
  • Autofluorescence Imaging
  • Materials Inspection
  • Multispectral Imaging
CMOS Cameras for Microscopy
Click here to view the full-resolution image.
A FluoCells® #1 slide imaged with our CS505MU Compact Scientific Camera and an excitation wavelength of 560 nm, 20X/0.75 NA objective, and 1 second exposure. The 16-bit full-resolution image downloads may be viewed using ThorCam, ImageJ, or other scientific imaging software. They may not be displayed correctly in general-purpose image viewers.
Fluocells Slide #2
Click here to view the full-resolution image.

Ki-67 stained sample at 20X magnification, showing the suitability of the CS505CU color camera in IHC applications.
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CS505MU Support Documentation
CS505MUKiralux 5.0 Megapixel Monochrome CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$2,439.01
5-8 Days
CS505CU Support Documentation
CS505CUKiralux 5.0 Megapixel Color CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$2,439.01
5-8 Days

Kiralux 8.9 MP CMOS Compact Scientific Cameras

Kiralux 8.9 Megapixel Camera Comparisona
Item # Sensor Type Peak Quantum Efficiencyb Removable Optic
CS895MU Monochrome CMOS 72% Over 525 to 580 nm AR-Coated Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(400 - 700 nm)
CS895CU Color CMOS Click for Plot IR Blocking Filterb
  • See the Specs tab for complete specifications.
  • Click on the text links for more information.
  • Max Frame Rate: 20.8 fps (Full Sensor)
  • Read Noise: <2.5 e- RMS
  • Large Field of View

Applications

  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Brightfield Microscopy
  • VIS/NIR Imaging
  • Imaging Quantum Dots
  • Autofluorescence Imaging
  • Materials Inspection
  • Multispectral Imaging
Sample Image of Plant Rhizome
Click here to view the full-resolution image.

This image of Convallaria majalis rhizome with concentric vascular bundles was acquired using the CS895CU Color Camera. The 16-bit full-resolution image downloads may be viewed using ThorCam, ImageJ, or other scientific imaging software. They may not be displayed correctly in general-purpose image viewers.
Fluocells Slide #2
Click here to view the full-resolution image.

Three-channel immunofluorescence image of a mouse brain
acquired using the CS895MU Camera. Sample prepared by Lynne Holtzclaw of the NICDH Microscopy and Imaging Core Facility, NIH, Bethesda, MD.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
CS895MU Support Documentation
CS895MUKiralux 8.9 Megapixel Monochrome CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$2,608.75
5-8 Days
CS895CU Support Documentation
CS895CUKiralux 8.9 Megapixel Color CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$2,608.75
5-8 Days

Kiralux 12.3 MP CMOS Compact Scientific Cameras

Kiralux 12.3 Megapixel Camera Comparisona
Item # Sensor Type Peak Quantum Efficiencyb Removable Optic
CS126MU Monochrome CMOS 72% Over 525 to 580 nm AR-Coated Window,
Ravg < 0.5% per Surface
(400 - 700 nm)
CS126CU Color CMOS Click for Plot IR Blocking Filterb
  • See the Specs tab for complete specifications.
  • Click on the text links for more information.
  • Max Frame Rate: 14.6 fps (Full Sensor)
  • Read Noise: <2.5 e- RMS
  • Large Field of View

Applications

  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Brightfield Microscopy
  • VIS/NIR Imaging
  • Imaging Quantum Dots
  • Autofluorescence Imaging
  • Materials Inspection
  • Multispectral Imaging
Sample Image of Human Ileum
Click here to view the full-resolution image.

This large field of view image of Peyer's patches in a sample of human ileum tissue at 20X magnification was acquired using the CS126CU Color Camera. The red border illustrates the field of view of an image acquired from the same sample using the CS235CU Color Camera sold above (download). The 16-bit full-resolution image downloads may be viewed using ThorCam, ImageJ, or other scientific imaging software. They may not be displayed correctly in general-purpose image viewers.
Fluocells Slide #2
Click here to view the full-resolution image.

This four-channel fluorescence image of Convallaria majalis rhizome with concentric vascular bundles at 20X magnification was acquired using the CS126MU Camera.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
CS126MU Support Documentation
CS126MUNEW!Kiralux 12.3 Megapixel Monochrome CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$2,700.00
Lead Time
CS126CU Support Documentation
CS126CUNEW!Kiralux 12.3 Megapixel Color CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
$2,700.00
5-8 Days

Scientific Camera Optional Accessories

TSI-IOBOB2 Diagram
Click for Details

A schematic showing a TSI-IOBOB2 connected to an Arduino to trigger a compact scientific camera.

These optional accessories allow for easy use of the auxiliary port of our compact scientific (sCMOS & CMOS) or scientific CCD cameras. These items should be considered when it is necessary to externally trigger the camera, to monitor camera performance with an oscilloscope, or for simultaneous control of the camera with other instruments.

For our USB 3.0 cameras, we also offer a PCIe USB 3.0 card and extra cables for facilitating the connection to the computer.

Auxiliary I/O Cable (8050-CAB1)
The 8050-CAB1 is a 10' (3 m) long cable that mates with the auxiliary connector on our scientific cameras* and provides the ability to externally trigger the camera as well as monitor status output signals. One end of the cable features a male 12-pin connector for connecting to the camera, while the other end has a male 6-pin Mini Din connector for connecting to external devices. This cable is ideal for use with our interconnect break-out boards described below. For information on the pin layout, please see the Pin Diagrams tab above.

*The 8050-CAB1 cable is not compatible with our former-generation 1500M series cameras.

Interconnect Break-Out Board (TSI-IOBOB)
The TSI-IOBOB is designed to "break out" the 6-pin Mini Din connector found on our scientific camera auxiliary cables into five SMA connectors. The SMA connectors can then be connected using SMA cables to other devices to provide a trigger input to the camera or to monitor camera performance. The pin configurations are listed on the Pin Diagrams tab above.

Interconnect Break-Out Board / Shield for Arduino (TSI-IOBOB2)
The TSI-IOBOB2 offers the same breakout functionality of the camera signals as the TSI-IOBOB. Additionally, it functions as a shield for Arduino, by placing the TSI-IOBOB2 shield on a Arduino board supporting the Arduino Uno Rev. 3 form factor. While the camera inputs and outputs are 5 V TTL, the TSI-IOBOB2 features bi-directional logic level converters to enable compatibility with Arduino boards operating on either 5 V or 3.3 V logic. Sample programs for controlling the scientific camera are available for download from our software page, and are also described in the manual (found by clicking on the red Docs icon below). For more information on Arduino, or for information on purchasing an Arduino board, please see www.arduino.cc.

The image to the right shows a schematic of a configuration with the TSI-IOBOB2 with an Arduino board integrated into a camera imaging system. The camera is connected to the break-out board using a 8050-CAB1 cable that must be purchased separately. The pins on the shield can be used to deliver signals to simultaneously control other peripheral devices, such as light sources, shutters, or motion control devices. Once the control program is written to the Arduino board, the USB connection to the host PC can be removed, allowing for a stand-alone system control platform; alternately, the USB connection can be left in place to allow for two-way communication between the Arduino and the PC. The compact size of 2.70" x 2.10" (68.6 mm x 53.3 mm) also aids in keeping systems based on the TSI-IOBOB2 compact.

USB 3.0 Camera Accessories (USB3-MBA-118 and USB3-PCIE)
We also offer a USB 3.0 A to Micro B cable for connecting our cameras to a PC. Please note that one USB3-MBA-118 cable is included with each USB 3.0 camera except the CC215MU cooled Quantalux camera. The CC215MU camera ships with an appropriate USB 3.0 cable and should not be used with the USB3-MBA-118. The USB3-MBA-118 cable measures 118" long and features screws on either side of the Micro B connector that mate with tapped holes on the camera for securing the USB cable to the camera housing. When operating USB 3.0 cameras it is strongly recommended that the Thorlabs-supplied USB 3.0 cable be used, with the retention screws securely fastened. Due to the high data rates involved, users may experience problems when using generic USB 3.0 cables.

Cameras with USB 3.0 connectivity may be connected directly to the USB 3.0 port on a laptop or desktop computer. USB 3.0 cameras are not compatible with USB 2.0 ports. Host-side USB 3.0 ports are often blue in color, although they may also be black in color, and typically marked "SS" for SuperSpeed. A USB 3.0 PCIe card is sold separately for computers without an integrated Intel USB 3.0 controller. Note that the use of a USB hub may impact performance. A dedicated connection to the PC is preferred.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
8050-CAB1 Support Documentation
8050-CAB1I/O Cable for Scientific CCD and Compact Scientific Cameras
$76.49
Today
TSI-IOBOB Support Documentation
TSI-IOBOBI/O Break-Out Board for Scientific CCD and Compact Scientific Cameras
$68.96
Today
TSI-IOBOB2 Support Documentation
TSI-IOBOB2Customer Inspired! I/O Break-Out Board for Scientific CCD and Compact Scientific Cameras with Shield for Arduino (Arduino Board not Included)
$99.06
Today
USB3-MBA-118 Support Documentation
USB3-MBA-118USB 3.0 A to Micro B Cable, Length: 118" (3 m)
$38.69
Today
USB3-PCIE Support Documentation
USB3-PCIEUSB 3.0 PCI Express Expansion Card
$66.28
Today
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