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Ø1/2" Lens Tubes
Slotted Lens Tube
Lens Tube Without External Threads
Lens Tube with Internal and External Threads
Easily Interfaces with Other Lens
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When an engraved lens tube is attached to another lens tube, the engraving of the connected end is no longer visible.
Lens tubes are ideal for creating compact optical subassemblies. The Ø1/2" lens tubes sold here can be used to house one or several optical elements, as shown in the diagram of a beam expander below. Optics are separated and secured by retaining rings that are positioned at the desired depth within the lens tube using our SPW603 spanner wrench. Depending on the item purchased, one or two retaining rings are included (see below for details). Additional retaining rings can be purchased separately. In addition to the Ø1/2" lens tubes featured on this page, Thorlabs also offers Ø1", Ø30 mm, Ø2", and Ø3" versions, each of which is equipped with an SM series thread standard that depends on the tube diameter.
Thorlabs' Threading Specifications
Thorlabs' lens tubes utilize a series of non-standard threadings. Threading specifications are given below for our SM threadings utilized in our lens tube and cage system components so that you can machine mating components to suit your application. We also offer products with C-Mount and RMS threadings, and the specifications for these threadings are also given below. Please note that other manufacturers may have different tolerances for these threads. For other thread specifications that are not listed here, please contact Tech Support.
These stackable Ø1/2" lens tubes provide a fast and easy means for building compact optical assemblies. Their stackable design and direct interfacing with any SM05-threaded (0.535"-40) components provide flexibility for complex optomechanical assemblies. One SM05RR Retaining Ring is included with each lens tube.
Unlike our Ø1/2" stackable lens tubes featured above, these internally threaded lens tubes do not feature a lip at one end nor do they have external SM05 threading. Therefore, optics housed inside can be accessed from both ends. To join these lens tubes end-to-end, use an SM05T2 Lens Tube Coupler. Two SM05RR Retaining Rings are included with each lens tube.
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The dust cover can be opened or closed by rotating it in either direction.
These stackable Ø1/2" lens tubes with side slots provide a fast and easy means for building complex optical assemblies and adjusting the optics without disassembling the setup. Optics can be inserted into the tube and locked into position using the included SM05RR retaining rings. Simply thread the first retaining ring to the desired depth, add the optic, and then use a second retaining ring to secure the optic. Optics can be manually adjusted via the side slots without the use of a spanner wrench. The rotatable slip shield included with the lens tube has an inner diameter of 0.71" (17.9 mm) and fits over the lens tube slots to prevent unwanted light from entering the system and to keep the optical setup free from debris.
Thorlabs offers three different kinds of SM05 (0.535"-40) Retaining Rings. The SM05RR is our Standard Aluminum Retaining Ring that ships with our Ø1/2" lens tubes as well as many other Thorlabs components, and is available individually and in packs of 10.
If desired, the SM05RR can be swapped out for an SM05LTRR, which is a Retaining Ring equipped with a Buna-N O-ring designed to reduce stress on the optical component and to produce a light-tight seal. Another option is the SM05PRR, which is a plastic retaining ring that provides gentler contact with with the surface of optics than our standard Ø1/2" retaining rings. Please keep in mind that due to the increased thicknesses of the SM05LTRR and SM05PRR retaining rings, the maximum optic thickness that can be housed inside our standard SM05-compatible mounts will be diminished in some cases. The clear aperture of the SM05LTRR retaining ring is also slightly diminished in comparison to the standard and plastic SM05 retaining rings.
To position and adjust these retaining rings, choose from two spanner wrench options. The SPW603 Spanner Wrench has a hollow design that enables retaining rings for our SM05 series of lens tubes to be adjusted and installed without obscuring the beam path. The handle is knurled for improved grip. For use with longer lens tubes, multiple SPW603 spanning wrenches can be stacked to extend the wrench's maximum reach. Alternatively, the SPW801 Adjustable Spanner Wrench can also be used to position any SM05 retaining rings. Please note that the SPW801 wrench can withstand a maximum torque of 80 inch pounds. In addition, we offer the SPB05 Spanner Bit, which can be used with a manual driver handle with a standard 1/4" hex socket. The SPB05 is included as part of the SPB600 Spanner Wrench Bit Kit.