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Alignment Targets

  • Unmounted, Drop-In, or Thread-On Alignment Targets for Visible Light
  • For Use with Cage Systems, Lens Mounts, or Lens Tubes
  • Laser-Engraved Rings or Axes to Aid Alignment





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These alignment targets for visible light help simplify the process of aligning an optical system. All of these targets are made out of anodized aluminum. Each of these targets features either laser-engraved concentric circles, graduated X- and Y-axes, or a single engraved axis for optimal visual alignment of the beam. Options are available for compatibility with cage systems, lens mounts, and lens tubes. For assistance aligning UV or IR light, we offer fluorescing alignment targets and detector cards.

Posted Comments:
user  (posted 2020-03-02 11:25:54.117)
It would be nice to have this available with a hole in the middle
llamb  (posted 2020-03-02 02:27:37.0)
Thank you for your feedback regarding the SM1A7. I have added this idea to our internal product forum for further review.
J Bianca Jackson  (posted 2019-10-10 09:57:49.667)
You should consider manufacturing a C-Mount version of SM05A7 and SM1A7.
asundararaj  (posted 2019-10-10 03:02:35.0)
Thank you for your feedback. I will forward your suggestion to our R&D team for future consideration. These can be used with either SM05A2 or SM1A9 to adapt from SM05 and SM1 threads to C-Mount respectively, although this might be a bulky alternative.
user  (posted 2015-10-07 12:27:03.74)
The CPA1 would be very useful if the bottom rings weren't cut off. Perhaps a taller version of the target?
besembeson  (posted 2015-10-13 12:10:32.0)
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: Thanks for the feedback, and we will review this. The current design has concentric rings complete for up to 10mm diameter beams which is suitable for alignment purposes in most typical applications.
egalvez  (posted 2015-06-05 11:11:15.933)
I normally have to align beams to reach a piece of optics, a fiber collimator (such as F220FC-B with with adapter AD11F mounted on threaded mirror mount KC1-T) or a lens (such as LA1560-A-ML on LMR1), and I want the beam to be centered and perpendicular to the plane of the optics. So I put together a tube (such as SM1L10), with a mirror inside (such as BB1-E02) locked in, and with a threaded iris (such as SM1D12) attached to the tube. Then I attach this contraption to my optics via the SM1 threads, and tilt the optics so that the beam is centered and retro-reflected. Once that is done the optics is aligned and I unscrew my tube alignment contraption. It works like a charm!
besembeson  (posted 2015-08-28 05:35:28.0)
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: That is great and thanks for the feedback. You may also be interested in our kinematic fiber collimator adpaters on the following page:
climouse  (posted 2014-10-13 10:09:35.48)
Hi, I find the CPA1 alignment targets extremely useful. However, they are hard to use in the one case where the cage system is vertical and the beam is traveling upwards. In that configuration it is often nearly impossible to see where the beam hits the target as one needs to look from underneath. I think it would be a great addition to your line of targets to have a CPA1-like target but with the target rings painted on a clear glass window, such as it becomes possible to see the beam by transparency. Such an item would be useful in other configurations of the cage as well, as it would be possible to install multiple targets along the path without blocking the beam, and the back reflection may be used to check orthogonality of the target with respect to the beam. Thank you for the great line of products! Best regards, Charles
cdaly  (posted 2014-10-13 02:39:49.0)
Response from Chris at Thorlabs: We do offer ground glass alignment disks, such as DG10-1500-H1, which has a 1mm central hole for alignment, which could be mounted in a quick release cage plate such as QRC1A for drop in alignment use.

Cage Alignment Plates

  • Quick, Drop-In Beam Alignment Tools
  • Ø0.9 mm, Ø1 mm, or Ø5 mm Through Hole Aligned at Center of Compatible Cage System 
  • Options Available for 16 mm, 30 mm, and 60 mm Cage Systems

These drop-in alignment plates are convenient tools for aligning visible beams in cage-based optical systems. Made from anodized aluminum, they provide a through hole at the center of the cage assembly. For easy alignment, the through hole is surrounded by engraved alignment rings. We also offer fluorescent cage alignment plates made of cast acrylic for fluorescence applications; please see the full web presentation.

Compatible Cage System 16 mm 30 mm 30 mm 60 mm
Through-Hole Diameter 1 mm  0.9 mm 5 mm  1 mm
Alignment Ring Diameters 3 mm, 5 mm, 7 mm, and 9 mm 4 mm, 7 mm, 10 mm, and 13 mm 7 mm, 10 mm, and 13 mm 7 mm, 12 mm, 17 mm, 22 mm, and 27 mm
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
SCPA1 Support Documentation
SCPA116 mm Cage Alignment Plate with Ø1 mm Hole
CPA1 Support Documentation
CPA130 mm Cage Alignment Plate with Ø0.9 mm Hole
CPA2 Support Documentation
CPA230 mm Cage Alignment Plate with Ø5 mm Hole
LCPA1 Support Documentation
LCPA160 mm Cage Alignment Plate with Ø1 mm Hole

Lens Mount Alignment Plates

Lens Mount Alignment Plate Application
Click to Enlarge

These alignment plates slide over the fixed lens mounts sold above to create a mounted alignment target.
  • Quick, Drop-In Visual Beam Alignment Tool
  • Ø1 mm Through Hole
  • See Table Below for Compatible Fixed Lens Mounts and SM Lens Tubes 

These alignment targets can be quickly and easily dropped onto one of our fixed lens holders or lens tubes allowing the user to align a visible beam using the center Ø1 mm through hole. Once the beam is aligned, the tool can be lifted from the lens holder or lens tube without disturbing the alignment and can later be replaced into approximately the same position.

For optimal visual alignment of the beam, these plates feature laser-engraved concentric circles, with the diameter of each circle being 2 mm greater than the previous.

Compatible Fixed Lens Mounts MLH05(/M),
LMR30(/M) LMR1.5(/M) LMR2(/M),
Compatible SM Lens Tubes SM05 SM1 SM30 SM1.5 SM2 SM3 -
  • If interested in using alignment plates with our vacuum-compatible lens mounts, we can offer unanodized versions for any outgassing concerns. Contact Tech Support to request a quote.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
LMR05AP Support Documentation
LMR05APCustomer Inspired! Alignment Plate for Ø1/2" Fixed Lens Mounts
LMR1AP Support Documentation
LMR1APCustomer Inspired! Alignment Plate for Ø1" Fixed Lens Mounts
LMR30AP Support Documentation
LMR30APAlignment Plate for Ø30 mm Fixed Lens Mounts
LMR1.5AP Support Documentation
LMR1.5APCustomer Inspired! Alignment Plate for Ø1.5" Fixed Lens Mounts
LMR2AP Support Documentation
LMR2APCustomer Inspired! Alignment Plate for Ø2" Fixed Lens Mounts
LMR3AP Support Documentation
LMR3APAlignment Plate for Ø3" and Ø75 mm Fixed Lens Mounts
LMR4AP Support Documentation
LMR4APAlignment Plate for Ø4" Fixed Lens Mounts

Threaded Alignment Targets

  • Alignment Tick Marks at 1 mm Increments
  • External SM05 or SM1 Threading

The SM05A7 and SM1A7 alignment disks provide useful aids for aligning visible beams to the center of optical mounts. To enable accurate alignment, the disks have clear markings with graduations on both the X and Y axes. The back of the SM05A7 features our standard SM05 (0.535"-40) threading for compatibility with Ø1/2" lens tubes and fixed optics mounts, while the SM1A7 has SM1 (1.035"-40) threading for compatibility with Ø1" lens tubes and fixed optics mounts

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
SM05A7 Support Documentation
SM05A7SM05 Series Alignment Disk
Lead Time
SM1A7 Support Documentation
SM1A7SM1 Series Alignment Disk
Lead Time

Aperture Plates

AP1.5 Mounted in FiberBench
Click to Enlarge

Aperture Plate in an LMR05 Mounted on a Post
  • Mounts in any Ø1/2" Optic Mount
  • Ø1.5 mm or Ø2.5 mm Aperture Available

Aperture Plates are a useful tool for system alignment or to measure beam size. The aperture plate should be mounted into a Ø1/2" optic mount (such as the LMR05, as shown in the image to the right) and then can be used to establish an optical center line in a system. It is also useful for blocking stray light or other unwanted light in an optical system.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
AP1.5 Support Documentation
AP1.5Ø1.5 mm Alignment Tool
AP2.5 Support Documentation
AP2.5Ø2.5 mm Alignment Tool
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Last Edited: Jul 25, 2013 Author: Lori Stover