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Aspheric Condenser Lenses
Ø12 mm, f = 10.5 mm
Ø18 mm, f = 15 mm
Ø1", f = 16.0 mm
Ø50 mm, f = 40 mm
Ø75 mm, f = 60 mm
Click to Enlarge
The light from an M530L3 530 nm LED is focused onto a ground glass diffuser by an ACL5040U-A aspheric condenser lens. The beam is then roughly collimated by a second ACL5040U-A lens. The square image of the LED can be seen on the surface of the diffuser. After the diffuser, the beam is uniform. Both condenser lenses are mounted in SCL04 self-centering lens mounts.
High-Efficiency Illumination Applications
Thorlabs' Aspheric Condenser Lenses offer larger apertures, higher NA, and lower f/# ratios than spherical lenses. Therefore, these lenses are ideal for high-efficiency illumination applications or collimating light from a lamp, LED, or similar light source. Our condensers are sold in diameters from 10 to 75 mm and are available uncoated for 380 - 2100 nm or with an AR coating for 350 to 700 nm (-A Coating) or 650 to 1050 nm (-B Coating). The reflectance curves for the coated versions can be found by clicking on the graph icons in the table to the right.
Because of the shorter focal lengths and a lower f/# than other lenses, condenser lenses can be used in close proximity to one another or other optical elements, which makes them ideal for focusing light onto a detector or other light collection element. The lens surface is precision molded on the aspheric side while the plano or spherical convex side is ground and polished. For best performance, the flatter side of the lens should face the source. Please note that although the B270 substrate transmits from 380 - 2100 nm, these lenses are designed for use at visible wavelengths; focal shift plots are provided in the tables below for each lens for performance at other wavelengths.
Thorlabs offers extra-thick retaining rings with SM05 (0.535"-40), SM1 (1.035"-40), and SM2 (2.035"-40) threading that provide extra clearance for spanner wrenches when mounting these lenses (see the Lens Mounting Guide tab for more information).
For more demanding applications, we recommend our CNC-Polished, Precision Aspheres (available with N-BK7, S-LAH64, or UV Fused Silica substrates), which offer diffraction-limited performance at their design wavelength. Thorlabs also offers aspheric condensers with a polished diffuser surface on the plano side.
Aspheric Lens Design Equation
Thorlabs' retaining rings are used to secure unmounted optics within lens tubes or optic mounts. These rings are secured in position using a compatible spanner wrench. For flat or low-curvature optics, standard retaining rings manufactured from anodized aluminum are available from Ø5 mm to Ø4". For high-curvature optics, extra-thick retaining rings are available in Ø1/2", Ø1", and Ø2" sizes.
Extra-thick retaining rings offer several features that aid in mounting high-curvature optics such as aspheric lenses, short-focal-length plano-convex lenses, and condenser lenses. As seen in the animation to the right, the guide flange of the spanner wrench will collide with the surface of high-curvature lenses when using a standard retaining ring, potentially scratching the optic. This contact also creates a gap between the spanner wrench and retaining ring, preventing the ring from tightening correctly. Extra-thick retaining rings provide the necessary clearance for the spanner wrench to secure the lens without coming into contact with the optic surface.