Quick-Release Lens Tube Adapters
- Less Than 1/16 of a Turn Required to Connect and Disconnect Adapters
- SM05-, SM1-, SM2, and SM3-Threaded Versions Available
- Locking Setscrew
See Application Notes
Tab Below for Details
Quick-release adapters allow the user to quickly interchange items within a setup without disassembly. Separate male and female components are available for attaching multiple items to a single lens tube for all sizes except SM3.
- Quick Connect/Disconnect Design:
- SM05QA: 1/17 of a Turn
- SM1QA: 1/20 of a Turn
- SM2QA: 1/23 of a Turn
- SM3QA: 1/24 of a Turn
- Lockable via a Brass Setscrew
- Easily Exchange SM-Threaded Components within a System
- Knurled Edge on Female Component for Increased Grip
These quick-release adapters provide a means to quickly connect and disconnect two similarly SM-threaded components such as lens tubes, mounted optics, detectors, and cameras (as seen in the photo below and the animation to the right). Please see the Application Notes tab for more information. Quick-release adapters are available in SM05 (0.535"-40), SM1 (1.035"-40), SM2 (2.035"-40), and SM3 (3.035"-40) threading options. Each quick-release adapter set is composed of one female and one male component. The female adapter component has external SM threads and the male adapter component has internal SM threading of the same type. For example, the male and female components of the SM1QA both have SM1 threads. Separate Female and Male adapter components are also available for all sizes except the SM3 adapter.
Click to Enlarge
The SM1QA Quick-Release Adapter makes exchanging cameras within an optical setup fast and easy. Additional male and female components are available separately for connecting several components to a lens tube assembly.
Three ramps on the male component and three dowel pins on the female component allow these adapters to connect or disconnect in less than 1/16 of a turn. Quick-release adapters are ideal for use in space-constrained locations with minimal clearance between the mounted component and the rest of the setup. The female component of these adapters has a knurled outer diameter for easier torque application and a brass setscrew (0.05" hex) that locks the male and female components together with minimal displacement.
To use, thread the male adapter component onto an externally SM-threaded part and the female adapter component onto an internally SM-threaded part. Insert the male component into the female component and turn clockwise to connect. For long-term stability, tighten the setscrew on the female component with a 0.050" hex key to lock the two components together. To disconnect the components, loosen the setscrew (if locked) and turn counterclockwise. The female component is engraved with the lock and unlock directions for ease of use.
Thorlabs' quick-release adapters are not compatible with our Cage Systems because the outer diameters of the adapters are too large. However, they can be used as the terminating element of a cage system.
Please Note: The male component has two notches for use with an SPW801 spanner wrench because it is difficult to unthread by hand once attached. Be sure these notches are facing towards the female portion of the adapter prior to threading it onto a part. This ensures that the quick-release mechanism will function properly (see photo to the left).
Quick-Release Camera Application
The application photo shown to the right uses the SM1QA quick-release adapter set to provide a way to easily connect and disconnect a C-mount camera from an assembly. The camera can be connected and disconnected from the assembly with only 1/12 of a turn, which allows the USB cable that connects to the camera to remain attached. Without the SM1QA adapter, the camera would need to be rotated roughly three times so the USB cable should be removed. It is often necessary to make alignment adjustments in an optical assembly, thus it is time consuming to repeatedly connect and disconnect cables every time these adjustments need to be made. This same cable management issue is encountered with parts such as our power meter heads and photodetectors.
The quick-release adapter also allows multiple components to be quickly and easily exchanged without disturbing the rest of the optical setup. Separate male and female components of each adapter, other than the SM3 adapter, are available below for quickly interchanging different components.
The tables below correlate to either the imperial or metric list of all components used in the application photograph to the right.
- Compatible with SM05 Lens Tubes
- Ø0.45" (Ø11.4 mm) Clear Aperture
- Ø1.00" (Ø25.4 mm) Outer Diameter
The SM05QA quick-release adapter provides a way to quickly remove segments of SM05 (0.535"-40) lens tubes for alignment purposes or to swap sections of optical assemblies. This adapter is compatible with any SM05-threaded component. Please note that the outer diameter of this adapter is too large to fit inside a 16 mm cage assembly. If replacement setscrews are needed for the SM05QA and SM05QAF, we offer SS4B013 brass setscrews, which use a 0.05" (1.3 mm) hex.
- Compatible with SM1 Lens Tubes
- Ideal for Swapping Detectors, Power Meter Heads, Cameras, and Ø1" Mounted Optics
- Ø0.95" (Ø24.1 mm) Clear Aperture
- Ø1.50" (Ø38.1 mm) Outer Diameter
The SM1QA quick-release adapter provides a way to quickly remove segments of SM1 (1.035"-40) lens tubes for alignment purposes or to swap sections of optical assemblies. We offer optics such as ND filters and diffusers mounted in SM1-compatible mounts. This SM1 quick-release adapter makes swapping these filters or diffusers a very quick task. Many of our power meter heads, detectors, and cameras also feature SM1 threading, which this adapter may be used with. Cameras and power meter heads can be connected and disconnected from any assembly with only 1/12 of a turn when using this quick-release adapter, which allows the USB cable that connects to the devices to remain attached. Without the SM1QA adapter, the device would need to be rotated roughly three times so the USB cable should be removed. Please note that the outer diameter of this adapter is too large to fit inside a 30 mm cage assembly.
- Compatible with SM2 Lens Tubes
- Ø1.90" (Ø48.3 mm) Clear Aperture
- Ø2.50" (Ø63.5 mm) Outer Diameter
The SM2QA quick-release adapter provides a way to quickly remove segments of SM2 (2.035"-40) lens tubes for alignment purposes or to swap sections of optical assemblies. This adapter is compatible with any SM2-threaded component. Please note that the outer diameter of this adapter is too large to fit inside a 60 mm cage assembly.
- Compatible with SM3 Lens Tubes
- Ø2.81" (Ø71.4 mm) Clear Aperture
- Ø3.50" (Ø88.9 mm) Outer Diameter
The SM3QA quick-release adapter provides a way to quickly remove segments of SM3 (3.035"-40) lens tubes for alignment purposes or to swap sections of optical assemblies. This adapter is compatible with any SM3-threaded component. Please note that the outer diameter of this adapter is too large to fit inside any of Thorlabs' cage assemblies. To order the male or female half of the set separately, please contact Tech Support.