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Long Working Distance Objectives
Thorlabs offers long working distance M Plan objectives for ultraviolet (UV), visible, or near-infrared (NIR) wavelength ranges. These objectives are designed for use with a tube lens focal length of 200 mm and are ideal for machine vision applications or applications that require a significant distance between the objective lens and the object. See the Specs tab for details on each of the objectives available here.
Each objective housing is engraved with key specifications including the magnification, the numerical aperture, and an infinity symbol noting that it is infinity corrected. The housings have external M26 x 0.706 threads, which can be integrated into an SM1 lens tube system with the use of an SM1A27 adapter.
All of the objectives found on this page have a parfocal length of 95 mm (see the Specs tab for complete specifications). To use them alongside other manufacturer standards, such as Nikon objectives with a 60 mm parfocal length, we offer parfocal length extenders. For instance, the PLE351 Extender can be used to increase the parfocal length of a Nikon objective from 60 mm to 95 mm.
These objectives are designed to be used without a cover glass and do not feature a correction collar. Imaging through a cover glass may cause spherical aberrations in an image, depending on the numerical aperture of the objective. See the Objective Tutorial tab for more on how a cover glass may impact performance. For biological applications where imaging through cover glasses is required, consider our super apochromatic objectives.
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Note: The diagrams above serve only as an example. The format of the engraved specifications will vary between objectives and manufacturers.
Thorlabs offers long working distance plan apochromat objectives. This guide describes the features and benefits of these objectives.
Plan Achromat and Plan Apochromat Objectives
These objectives are designed to be used without a cover glass and do not feature a correction collar. Imaging through a cover glass may cause spherical aberrations in an image, depending on the numerical aperture of the objective. See the Cover Glass Correction and Correction Collar section below.
Glossary of Terms
M = L / F .
The total magnification of the system is the magnification of the objective multiplied by the magnification of the eyepiece or camera tube. The specified magnification on the microscope objective housing is accurate as long as the objective is used with a compatible tube lens focal length.
Numerical Aperture (NA)
NA = ni × sinθa
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This graph shows the effect of a cover glass on image quality at 632.8 nm for a #1.5 cover glass (0.17 mm thickness) with a refractive index of 1.51.
where θa is the maximum 1/2 acceptance angle of the objective, and ni is the index of refraction of the immersion medium. This medium is typically air, but may also be water, oil, or other substances.
FN = Field of View Diameter × Magnification
Correction Collar (Ring) and Cover Glass Thickness
When viewing an image with a camera, the system magnification is the product of the objective and camera tube magnifications. When viewing an image with trinoculars, the system magnification is the product of the objective and eyepiece magnifications.
Magnification and Sample Area Calculations
The magnification of a system is the multiplicative product of the magnification of each optical element in the system. Optical elements that produce magnification include objectives, camera tubes, and trinocular eyepieces, as shown in the drawing to the right. It is important to note that the magnification quoted in these products' specifications is usually only valid when all optical elements are made by the same manufacturer. If this is not the case, then the magnification of the system can still be calculated, but an effective objective magnification should be calculated first, as described below.
To adapt the examples shown here to your own microscope, please use our Magnification and FOV Calculator, which is available for download by clicking on the red button above. Note the calculator is an Excel spreadsheet that uses macros. In order to use the calculator, macros must be enabled. To enable macros, click the "Enable Content" button in the yellow message bar upon opening the file.
Example 1: Camera Magnification
Example 2: Trinocular Magnification
Using an Objective with a Microscope from a Different Manufacturer
Magnification is not a fundamental value: it is a derived value, calculated by assuming a specific tube lens focal length. Each microscope manufacturer has adopted a different focal length for their tube lens, as shown by the table to the right. Hence, when combining optical elements from different manufacturers, it is necessary to calculate an effective magnification for the objective, which is then used to calculate the magnification of the system.
The effective magnification of an objective is given by Equation 1:
Here, the Design Magnification is the magnification printed on the objective, fTube Lens in Microscope is the focal length of the tube lens in the microscope you are using, and fDesign Tube Lens of Objective is the tube lens focal length that the objective manufacturer used to calculate the Design Magnification. These focal lengths are given by the table to the right.
Note that Leica, Mitutoyo, Nikon, and Thorlabs use the same tube lens focal length; if combining elements from any of these manufacturers, no conversion is needed. Once the effective objective magnification is calculated, the magnification of the system can be calculated as before.
Example 3: Trinocular Magnification (Different Manufacturers)
Following Equation 1 and the table to the right, we calculate the effective magnification of an Olympus objective in a Nikon microscope:
The effective magnification of the Olympus objective is 22.2X and the trinoculars have 10X eyepieces, so the image at the eyepieces has 22.2X × 10X = 222X magnification.
Sample Area When Imaged on a Camera
When imaging a sample with a camera, the dimensions of the sample area are determined by the dimensions of the camera sensor and the system magnification, as shown by Equation 2.
The camera sensor dimensions can be obtained from the manufacturer, while the system magnification is the multiplicative product of the objective magnification and the camera tube magnification (see Example 1). If needed, the objective magnification can be adjusted as shown in Example 3.
As the magnification increases, the resolution improves, but the field of view also decreases. The dependence of the field of view on magnification is shown in the schematic to the right.
Example 4: Sample Area
Sample Area Examples
The images of a mouse kidney below were all acquired using the same objective and the same camera. However, the camera tubes used were different. Read from left to right, they demonstrate that decreasing the camera tube magnification enlarges the field of view at the expense of the size of the details in the image.
Thorlabs MicroSpot objectives provide long working distances while keeping axial focal shift low. Their optical design is chromatically optimized in the UV wavelength range. Diffraction-limited performance is guaranteed over the entire clear aperture. These objectives are ideal for laser cutting, surgical laser focusing, and spectrometry applications. They can also be used for scanning and micro-imaging applications like brightfield imaging under narrowband, UV laser illumination. Each objective is shipped in an objective case comprised of an OC2M26 lid and an OC24 canister.
Each objective is engraved with its class, magnification, numerical aperture, wavelength range, a zero (noting that it is to be used to image a sample without a cover glass) and optical field number. For an explanation of the defining properties of these objectives, please see the Objective Tutorial tab.
Thorlabs can provide these objectives with custom AR coatings on request by contacting Tech Support; options include broadband NUV (325 nm - 500 nm), dual band (266 and 532 nm), and laser line (248 nm, 266 nm, 355 nm, or 532 nm). We also offer additional MicroSpot objectives for laser-focusing applications in the UV as well as visible and near-IR wavelengths.
Thorlabs offers Mitutoyo Plan Apochromat Objectives with 5X, 7.5X, 10X, 20X, 50X, or 100X magnification. They feature a flat field of focus and chromatic correction in the visible range. The long working distance provides a wide space between the lens surface and the object making them ideal for machine vision applications. Each objective is engraved with its class, magnification, numerical aperture, a zero (noting that it is to be used to image a sample without a cover glass) and the tube lens focal length for which the specified magnification is valid. For an explanation of the defining properties of these objectives, please see the Objective Tutorial tab. If the case shipped with each of these objectives is lost or broken, Thorlabs offers an objective case (item #s OC2M26 and OC24) that can be used as a replacement.
Thorlabs offers Mitutoyo Plan Apochromat Near-Infrared (NIR) Objectives with 5X, 10X, 20X, or 50X magnification. They feature a flat field of focus and chromatic correction in the visible range with extended transmission to 1800 nm. The long working distance provides a wide space making them ideal for machine vision applications or laser focusing. Each objective is engraved with its class, magnification, numerical aperture, a zero (noting that it is to be used to image a sample without a cover glass) and the tube lens focal length for which the specified magnification is valid. For an explanation of the defining properties of these objectives, please see the Objective Tutorial tab. If the case shipped with each of these objectives is lost or broken, Thorlabs offers an objective case (item #s OC2M26 and OC24) that can be used as a replacement.