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Sutter Instrument Company Lambda 10-2 Optical Filter Changer

The Lambda 10-2 is a microprocessor controlled, high speed filter wheel. Its impressive speed coupled with exceptionally smooth operation make the Lambda 10-2 ideal for research applications involving fluorescence microscopy, ratio imaging, spectrophotometry, visual physiology, or any application requiring rapid and accurate aperture positioning.
Lambda 10-2

Sutter Instrument Company Lambda 10-2 Optical Filter Changer

The Lambda 10-2 is the ideal choice for researchers whose applications are intolerant of electrical noise. The low-noise linear electronics of the controller assure that only DC voltages are present on the motor windings when the wheels are not moving.

The Lambda 10-2 is capable of independently operating up to two filter wheels and two Uniblitz shutters. The reliable, smooth operation of the Lambda 10-2 has made it highly suitable for research applications involving fluorescence microscopy, ratio imaging, spectrophotometry, and visual physiology.

The controller electronics are designed around three embedded chips: one slave for each wheel and a master for control and communication. The embedded controllers automatically detect the equipment installed and the source of the external commands, so there are no jumper wires or switches to set.

The Lambda 10-2 system can hold up to ten optical filters (25mm in diameter and up to 9mm thick) which are easily loaded through an access port on the housing. Additional filters (e.g. heat and/or neutral density filters) may be inserted manually at two other locations in the optical path. The optical ports on both sides of the unit are internally threaded as C-mounts (32 threads per inch). When mounted in an upright position, the center of the optical port can be positioned from 11cm to 53cm above the mounting surface. Slide-in filter holders are optionally available for inverted configurations. A second wheel can be added to the system with no need for additional mechanical or electronic changes.

Eight user selectable speeds are provided. Filter to adjacent filter time can be set from 55 to 1200msec, depending on the number and the weight of the filters mounted in the wheel. Integral shutter drivers will open the optional shutter in 10msec.

The use of a direct drive stepper-motor with advanced microstepping technology and intelligent acceleration and deceleration algorithms assures the fastest possible moves for a given inertial load, while minimizing vibrations. The controller also has an error detection and correction circuit in the event that a position error occurs.

The Lambda 10-2 consists of a 10-position filter wheel, a rack mountable controller, a support base and mounting rods, a controller/filter wheel interface cable, parallel and serial interface cables, two drop-in filter holders, spanner wrench, and manual. Microscope adapters for most Nikon, Olympus, Zeiss, and Leica scopes can be purchased separately.

For applications requiring absolute vibration isolation, and/or spatial uniformity independent of wavelength, an optional liquid light guide output is available for the Lambda 10-2 wheel. The two meter long guide mounts directly onto the output port of the wheel. Transmission through the guide is better than 70% from 375nm to 575nm. Adapters to connect the light guide to your microscope port are available as an option.


The Lambda 10-232, was designed to remedy the problem of vignetting that may occur with a 25mm filter format in certain microscope systems. The system features a modified Lambda 10-2 controller but includes a ten position wheel that accommodates 32mm diameter filters, up to 9mm thick. The best filter to adjacent filter switching speed in this system is achieved in 75 msec. A shutter for the system is optionally available. A T-mount format is used for mounting the wheel onto your microscope. Contact Sutter Instrument for information on available T-mount adapters.

OEM wheels available
For OEM applications, the Lambda 10-2 can readily be modified to meet your specific requirements. By utilizing the 10-2 controller to drive customized wheels, we can provide an economical solution to your OEM design specification. To date we have made custom 2,3,4,5, 10 and 12 position wheels and have designed for 50mm, 32mm and 25mm filters. Our technical staff will be happy to discuss with you special application requirements.

Lambda 10-2 Features

  • 55msec between adjacent filters
  • Parallel and serial interfaces
  • Simultaneous control of two wheels
  • Dual integral shutter drivers
  • Linear power supply

Lambda 10-2 Options

  • Additional wheel
  • Built-in shutter
  • Dual wheels mounted in series
  • Slide-in filter holders
  • Microscope mounting adaptors
  • Table-top controller box
  • Liquid light guide

Lambda 10-2 Specifications


Filter Diameter 1in
  32mm (for Lambda 10-232)
Dimensions Controller 16in x 11in x 3.5in
  41cm x 28cm x 9cm
Filter wheel 5in x 5in x 2.25in
  13cm x 13cm x 6cm
Weight 25lbs
Electrical 115/230 Volts
  50/60 Hertz power line

Lambda 10-2 Ordering Information


  Lambda 10-2
LB10-2 Includes one 25mm filter wheel without shutter, support base with mounting rods, rack mount* controller unit with wheel drive cable, parallel and serial interface cables for connection to PC, two drop-in filter holders, spanner wrench, 10 blanking discs, power cord, and manual
LB10-2S Same as above—with Uniblitz® shutter assembly and two slide-in filter holders.
LB10-232 Same as LB10-2 except with 32mm, T-mount threaded filter wheel (no drop-in filters) and modified 10-2 controller
LB10-232S Same as LB10-232 except with Uniblitz® shutter (no drop-in or slide-in filters)and modified 10-2 controller
LB10-250 Same as LB10-2 except with 50mm, 5 position wheel
  * Tabletop controller box available upon request.
LB10-NW 10 position 25mm filter wheel without shutter
LB10-NWS 10 position 25mm filter wheel with Uniblitz shutter
LB10-NWE 10 position 25mm filter wheel set up for emission
LB10-WD Back to back mounting of two 25mm filter wheels
LB10-WDS Back to back mounting of two 25mm filter wheels with one Uniblitz® shutter and one slide-in filter holder
LB10-W32 10 position 32mm filter wheel without shutter
LB10-W32S 10 position 32mm filter wheel with Uniblitz® shutter
LB10-W50 50mm, 5 position wheel without shutter
W621510 15 pin shielded cable for standard filter wheel
W621512 25 pin cable for wheels with SmartShutter™
SLIDE-IN* Slide-in filter holder for 25mm wheel
DROP-IN** Drop-in filter holder for 25mm wheel
DROP-IN/32*** Drop-in filter holder for 32mm wheel
LLG Liquid light guide (2 meters, 3mm diameter), C-mount, lens and lens tube
SHUTTER 25mm replacement Uniblitz shutter (not an upgrade)
X100111 35mm replacement Uniblitz shutter (not an upgrade)
CMAC Serial cable for Macintosh
CLAM10 25 pin breakout to BNC cable
CSHUTTER Shutter breakout cable (for Uniblitz shutter)
  Mounting adapters for Nikon, Zeiss, Leica and Olympus microscopes are available. Please see the Microscope Adapters page or contact Sutter Instrument for pricing or information on shutter upgrades.
  * Slide-in filter holders are for wheels with shutter.
** Drop-in filter holders are for wheels without shutter.
*** Used only with LB10-W32IQ