C-Mount – standard for industrial cameras

C-mount cameras

Nowadays, the automatization of the production process is rapidly developing. More and more companies insist on integrating a solution for controlling the quality of their product. That can be accomplished only by a well-designed machine vision system, which incorporates such components as cameras, lenses and illuminators.

Industrial cameras are a key factor in each machine vision system. Most of them are “C-mount cameras” but many people do not know what it exactly means. Under the “C-mount” name hides the female thread, size 1 inch (25,4 mm) with 32 threads per inch.

C-mount cameras are the most popular among the industrial cameras, therefore there is a wide range of models available on the market. Avicon offers very reliable and reasonably priced Basler cameras which can satisfy demands of nearly every application requiring a machine vision system. Basler is a camera manufacturer with the highest number of cameras sold which just proves the quality of these cameras.

C-mount lenses

Another essential component in machine vision systems  are lens. It’s role is to focus a beam of light on a camera sensor. Common parameters that are mentioned when choosing a lens are focal length and F number. It is easy to forget about a thread type, which must fit a thread in a camera. C-mount lenses have a male thread, size 1 inch (25,4 mm) with 32 threads per inch.

The term “C-mount lens”, although important, does not say much about the use of a lens. Among C-mount lenses you can find macro lenses as well as wide lenses – it depends on the focal length of the lens and the sensor size of the camera.

The leading lens manufacturers are Kowa and Azure. Their products are robust and their expected lifetime is very long.

C-mount vs CS-mount vs S-mount

C-mount thread is not the only type among machine vision cameras and lenses. Another solution, although less popular, is CS-mount. This type of thread differs from a C-Mount thread only with a flange to sensor distance – in CS-mount this distance is 5 mm shorter than in C-mount. CS-mount cameras are often used in surveillance systems.

S-mount is the least common thread type and it is often used in CCTV applications as well. S-mount is a M12 metric thread with 0,5 mm pitch. The benefits of this type of thread are small size and ability to work with very small sensors (from 1/6 inch to 2/3 inch).


During the process of creating machine vision systems we will often face the problem, that we managed to choose an ideal camera and lens for the application but unfortunately threads does not match each other. However, it is possible to use not matching cameras and lenses thanks to adapters.

C to CS adapters allow for using a C-mount lens with a CS-mount camera. It is worth nothing, that it is not possible to use a C-mount camera with a CS-mount lens. It is caused by a lens thread being too short compared to a camera thread, which result in inability to completely screw the lens in.

CS to S adapters allow for using a S-mount lens with a CS-mount camera. One thing to remember is to check if the S-mount lens is designed to work with the sensor of the CS-mount camera.


Avicon offers a wide variety of cameras, lenses and accessories. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.


Phone: +48 22 631 03 71