Focus Block and Accessories
- Components to Support Custom Microscopes
- Compatible with Thorlabs’ Lens Tube and Cage Systems
Focus Block Stand with Damped Post
Microscope Focus Block
The MGZ30 Focus Block and MP1214 Stand can support a home-built epi-fluorescence imaging system. See the Application tab for details.
|Z-Axis Travel||30 mm (Manual Adjustment)|
|Z-Axis Adjustment||Fine: 225 µm/rev
Coarse: 40 mm/rev
|Vertical Load (Max)||10 lb (4.5 kg)|
|Mount Compatibilitya||Ø1.5" Posts|
- Manual Microscope Focus Block
- 30 mm of Travel with Coarse/Fine Adjustment
- Objective Turret Holds Five Objectives at Once
- Includes Dovetail Adapter with SM1, SM2, and 30 mm Cage Compatibility
- Vibrationally Damped Stand Enhances Image Quality
- Thread Adapters for Industry-Standard Objective Threads
- RMS-Threaded End Caps to Cover Empty Turret Ports and Objective Back Apertures
This page features a Post-Mountable Focus Block and a Focus Block Stand to support home-built imaging systems that use our wide selection of optical and mechanical components. Thorlabs' post-mountable focus block provides 30 mm of travel along the Z-axis of an optical system via fine and coarse adjustment knobs and includes a built-in five-objective turret.
To stabilize images against vibrations, Thorlabs has developed a focus block stand that consists of an extra-thick breadboard and a dynamically damped post that together reduce the amplitude and duration of vibrations applied to the stand.
When combined with Thorlabs' family of objectives, thread adapters, and cameras, the parts listed here can be used as the basis for a flexible, reliable, and easy-to-use imaging solution for the most demanding applications.
Alternatively, for users interested in modular microscopes, Thorlabs has developed the DIY Cerna® Microscopy Platform. The system includes pre-configured components for widefield viewing, epi-illumination, and transmitted light imaging in addition to providing compatibility with Thorlabs' standard SM thread and cage system interfaces.
Home-Built Epi-Fluorescence Microscope
Thorlabs' MGZ30 Focus Block and MP1214 Stand can be used to construct and support a simple epi-fluorescence microscope. The DFM1 filter cube with a user-selected filter set is used to couple illumination from a liquid light guide (LLG) into the objective. A 100 mm tall rigid stand is used to support the sample. Sample viewing is accomplished using a C-mount camera, in this case the previous-generation 1501M-USB scientific-grade camera. Alternatively, one of our other CCD or CMOS cameras can also be used. The camera is connected to the setup via an SM1ZM rotation mount in order to provide some focusing adjustment. This simple microscope can be easily modified by using other light sources, cameras, objectives, and sample holders. A list of components is provided in the table below.
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A home-built epi-fluorescence microscope based on the
MGZ30 Microscope Focus Block.
|Item List for Epi-Fluorescence Microscope|
|MGZ30||1||Post-Mountable Manual Focus Block|
|MP1214||1||12" x 14" Focus Block Stand with Included DP14A Post|
|SM2L10||1||SM2 Lens Tube, 1" Long, One Retaining Ring Included|
|SM2T2||1||SM2 (2.035"-40) Coupler, External Threads, 1/2" Long|
|SM1A2||1||Adapter with External SM1 Threads and Internal SM2 Threads|
|-||Up to 5||Objectives with RMS or M26 x 0.706 Threadsb|
|DFM1||1||Kinematic Fluorescence Filter Cube, 30 mm Cage Compatible, 1/4"-20 Tapped Holes|
|ACL2520U-Ac||1||Aspheric Condenser Lens, Ø25 mm, f=20.1 mm, NA=0.60 ARC: 350-700 nm|
|SM1L20c||1||SM1 Lens Tube, 2.00" Thread Depth, One Retaining Ring Included|
|SM1RRC||1||Extra-Thick SM1 (1.035"-40) Threaded Retaining Ring|
|AD3LLGc||1||Ø3 mm Core Liquid Light Guide to SM1 Adapter|
|SM1CP2||1||Externally SM1-Threaded End Cap|
|-||1||Ø3 mm Core Liquid Light Guideb|
|-||1||Fluorescence Filter Setb|
|SM1A9||1||Adapter with External C-Mount Threads and Internal SM1 Threads|
|SM1ZM||1||SM1 Zoom Housing for Ø1" Optics, Non-Rotating, 3.5 mm Travel|
|SM1L03||2||SM1 Lens Tube, 0.30" Thread Depth, One Retaining Ring Included|
|SM2L30||1||SM2 Lens Tube, 3" Thread Depth, One Retaining Ring Included|
|SM2L05||1||SM2 Lens Tube, 1/2" Thread Depth, One Retaining Ring Included|
|TTL200||1||Infinity-Corrected Tube Lens, f = 200 mm|
|SM2A20||1||Adapter with External SM2 Threads and Internal M38 x 0.5 Threads|
|SM1A2||2||Adapter with External SM1 Threads and Internal SM2 Threads|
|LPH100||1||Rigid Stand Post Holder, L = 100 mm|
|MPP10||1||Ø1.5" Post with 66 mm Dovetail Clamp, L = 100 mm|
|MPRC(/M)||1||Ø110 mm Recording Chamber Holder, 66 mm Dovetail|
|MPSH2d||1||Slide Holder Insertd|
Jeonghan Lee  (posted 2022-11-13 20:36:10.85)
Hello, I have a trouble about MGZ30. I am currently using MGZ30 with several objective lenses. However, the rotating part that is combined with the objective lens is not firmly fixed when it is in place, and it is loose and easily rotates even with a slight touch. How can I fix this?
cdolbashian  (posted 2022-12-02 03:55:59.0)
Thank you for reaching out to us Jeonghan. I have reached out to you directly to view and troubleshoot the issues you seem to be having!
Erwen Li  (posted 2020-09-20 19:53:10.457)
Hello, I have two questions about the example home-built epi-fluorescence microscope based on MGZ30. 1. What will be the final magnification of the microscope if I use 10x objective lens? 2. I want to mount to damped post on a horizontal 95mm rail using a drop-on rail carriage. Will it be stable enough?
YLohia  (posted 2020-09-21 10:06:54.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. 1. The system magnification is dependent on the magnification spec of the objective lens and the focal length of the tube lens that your objective is specifically designed for. The tube lens in the example setup shown here has a focal length of 200 mm. Please see our "Magnification & FOV" tutorial on this page for more information: https://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=10764. 2. This will make the system quite top-heavy and the performance will depend on the level of vibrations coming from your environment, as well as the exposure time setting of the camera. We strongly recommend using the extra thick breadboard in this case for stability.
rainog  (posted 2017-04-18 08:29:34.687)
Hello, Regarding MGZ30: I want to use it in an inverted microscope. I am wondering about the stability. What will be the vertical mechanical drift? Thank you!
tfrisch  (posted 2017-04-28 03:39:34.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. I will reach out to you directly about your inverted scope application.
hsieh-fu.tsai  (posted 2016-12-08 23:43:22.453)
Hello, Regarding MGZ30, can it be mounted in reverse? I want to build an inverted microscope and i wonder if MGZ30 can be used? Thank you
tfrisch  (posted 2016-12-16 10:32:02.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. MGZ30 can be mounted in an inverted orientation, yes.
dkleckner  (posted 2015-06-09 12:07:00.803)
Is it possible to use the focus blocks in an inverted position? If so is the load reduced?
besembeson  (posted 2015-09-03 01:10:33.0)
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: Yes this is possible. However, because of the high gear ratio, its repeatability could be reduced and and backlash increased in the inverted position.
user  (posted 2014-02-18 13:45:04.88)
I hope the T-SCOPE has a illumination port.
besembeson  (posted 2014-02-28 03:53:28.0)
Response from Bweh E. at Thorlabs. This only has a viewport for the camera but has no illumination port. The sample area is typically illuminated from the side.
user  (posted 2013-12-13 06:14:06.537)
Why no software for the motorized T-scope?
jlow  (posted 2013-12-19 12:53:20.0)
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: We can send you the software package. Since you did not leave any contact information, can you contact us at email@example.com to obtain the software please? Thanks.
cbrideau  (posted 2013-08-15 18:48:42.557)
Would it be possible to replace the 1.5" post clamp with something design to mate to the XT95 rail system? A drawback to the round post is the whole head is susceptible to rotating around the post, whereas the square XT95 would prevent this.
cdaly  (posted 2013-08-22 10:21:00.0)
Response from Chris at Thorlabs: Thank you for using our feedback tool. I agree that this would be a nice feature to eliminate any unwanted rotation when adjusting the z-axis. I will discuss your suggestion with our department responsible for producing these.
martin.vogel  (posted 2013-07-26 10:51:55.65)
Hello, can I control the MGZ30-MOT also from custom software, e.g. via DLL calls or commands sent to the device? Thank you!
tcohen  (posted 2013-08-01 10:15:00.0)
Response from Tim at Thorlabs: Thank you for contacting us. There is a SDK and a provided standalone GUI available for this unit. An engineer will contact you to discuss this further.
user  (posted 2013-04-23 12:38:10.993)
is the MP1214 stand available in metric (with M6 tapped holes)?
tcohen  (posted 2013-04-25 15:24:00.0)
Response from Tim at Thorlabs: Thank you for your inquiry. Although we do have metric breadboards (http://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=159) we don’t currently have a metric equivalent to this part. I notice that you didn’t leave any contact information. If you would like to discuss a quote for this part, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Coarse and Fine Adjustment with 30 mm of Travel
- Five-Objective Turret with M26 x 36 TPI (M26 x 0.706) Threads
- Includes Five Adapters that Accept RMS-Threaded Objectives
The MGZ30 Post-Mountable Focus Block positions an objective along the Z-axis of a home-built imaging system. It features 30 mm of travel with fine and coarse adjustment knobs (pictured to the right), and is designed to be mounted on our series of Ø1.5" posts. Please note that posts and bases are not included with this package; one option is the MP1214 Focus Block Stand, shown below.
The focus block includes a built-in five-objective turret with M26 x 36 TPI (M26 x 0.706) threading, pictured to the right. In order to allow direct mounting of RMS-threaded objectives, the focus block ships with five RMSA7 adapters. A selection of adapters for the commonly used M25 x 0.75 and SM1 (1.035"-40) threads is shown below, but Thorlabs manufactures many other adapters as well.
The MGZ30 package includes a dovetail adapter (pictured to the upper right) that is located above the lens turret and enables direct integration of 30 mm cage systems, SM1-threaded (1.035"-40) components, and SM2-threaded (2.035"-40) components.
- 3/4" Thick, 12" x 14" Breadboard with Side Grips
- Damped Post Adds Stability by Reducing Vibrations
- 1/4"-20 Tapped Hole Pattern Designed for Thorlabs' Microscopy Stages
The MP1214 Focus Block Stand consists of a 3/4" thick breadboard and a Ø1.5" Dynamically Damped Post. The 12" x 14" breadboard is 50% thicker than our standard breadboards, includes side grips for portability, and has a 1/4"-20 tapped mounting hole pattern designed to accommodate Thorlabs' microscopy stages for positioning samples. This assembly provides stable mounting and reduces vibrations that degrade the image quality. An MGZ30 Focus Block can be mounted anywhere along the 14" long DP14A post.
The DP14A post is also available for purchase separately for users who already have breadboards.
|Item #||External Threads||Internal Threads|
|RMSA7||M26 x 36 TPI||RMS (0.800"-36)|
|M25A1||M26 x 36 TPI||M25 x 0.75|
|SM1A28||M26 x 36 TPI||SM1 (1.035"-40)|
These thread adapters convert the M26 x 36 TPI (M26 x 0.706) thread on the MGZ30 Post-Mountable Focus Blocks shown above to several common threads used in objective lenses. Thorlabs' complete selection of thread adapters allows interconversion between these threads and nearly every other standard.
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RMSCP2 Protecting Turret Ports of an Inverted Microscope
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RMSCP1 Covering an Objective
- RMSCP1: Internally RMS-Threaded Cap for Microscope Objectives
- RMSCP2: Externally RMS-Threaded Cap for Objective Lens Turret Ports
These RMS-Threaded Caps are designed to protect microscope objectives, objective lens turret ports, and other RMS (0.800"-36) threaded components. The RMSCP1 has internal RMS threading, making it compatible with standard RMS-threaded microscope objective lenses. The RMSCP2 has external RMS threading to cover unused objective lens ports (see image on the far right). Each of these caps is made from anodized aluminum and has a knurled edge for secure hand tightening.