What is this camera component called?

I was recently taking apart my old laptop and found that the webcam module had this circular component that screws on and off. I saw that it contains the lenses, and behind it is the sensor. I attached a high quality photo I found online to show what I'm referring to.

I wanted to see if I could find more information about them online, but unfortunately couldn't find much at all. I can find data about the camera sensors (the square part below it), but not of the lens itself. I'm not looking for information for this exact model, just "generic" lenses.

Does anyone know what keywords to search to find information about these small "module" lenses? Or examples of manufacturers that produce these? I've been searching for the past day but am struggling, so any help is appreciated!

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it comes along with the camera and are used for adjusting focus. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJN
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 13:31
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @AJN You're right, it's for focusing the light. However, when I found examples of camera modules online (i.e. "OV5675"), I found almost no information about the lenses. In the OV5675 example, it seems that the company Omnivision creates the sensor. I assume that the lens component is produced separately (or even if not, it must have an independent name). \$\endgroup\$
    – F16Falcon
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 13:34
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ it is unclear what you want to know exactly ... you already know that component is called a lens \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


They're often called "board lenses". They can be either integrated in with the sensor, or interchangeable. The interchangeable ones are usually "M12":


Usually devices with an autofocus will not have interchangeable lenses (since the lens is mounted on a voice coil driver). In your case, it looks to me like the lens is custom for the sensor and probably not something you will find a datasheet for.


This is basically a complete camera sensor & lens assembly in a single SMD component. Sparkfun use to sell something like this here - SEN8667

The part that you unscrewed was likely used to focus the lens, although these styles of cameras basically have everything in view in focus (Based on sensor size, focal length & aperture). Below you can see how the DOF changes as the aperture is increased (Aperture Hole size decreased). This style of camera basically has a fixed apature & focal length so the exposure adjustment is all done in software via shutter speed & ISO (Gain) adjustment.

enter image description here

The closest thing I can find to this that can be purchased by consumers is the OV2640 this is the same style component but attached to a small PCB ribbon cable. These are used on raspberry Pi's & the ESP-Cam modules.

This sort of component would be hard to get your hands on unless you are planning to buy in volume direct from a supplier especially in the surface mount component style.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Fixed-focus lenses can sometimes be fixed on a different focus with that trick. I happily abused that somewhere back in 2013. Those on the RPi camera module (V1 at least, OV5647) are normally glued in place, but they can actually be rotated to adjust distance between sensor and aperture. This is very useful if you're willing to sacrifice one for high-res macro shots, like pictures of the face of a coin made from 5cm distance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 10:55

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