A New Simple Optically Compensated Zoom Lens

One of the biggest advantages of using a zoom lens is that it allows you to change focal lengths without changing your lens. A zoom lens provides a range of variable focal lengths which can be adjusted using the zoom ring on the lens. Because of this inbuilt versatility – zoom lenses are complex with lots of close tolerance components sliding and rotating within each other. This is fine under normal conditions, but at extremely low and high temperatures or in the vacuum of space producing these movements presents a challenge.

In order for the components of a zoom lens to move smoothly typically grease is used. Modern synthetic greases are much better at not stiffening in cold or melting and running when hot but they still pose a problem. There are also special greases specifically designed for space applications but these greases tend to be thick and not useable for fine mechanics.

During 2020 – Resolve Optics has been developing an optically corrected zoom lens – a design concept that vastly reduces the moving parts of a zoom lens to just a single push pull movement. This innovation eliminates the need for complex cams and tubes in tubes that are required in traditional zoom lenses.

While our new optically corrected zoom lens does have limitations such as the zoom range being limited to approximately 4x, and they do not cope with very wide angles, this radical new design shows real promise for use in spaceborne applications and also in hazardous environments. Below is a schematic representation of how our new optically corrected zoom lens works.

In this new design there are two groups of elements that move together in relation to a middle group. The movement is linear so there is no requirement for complex cam profiles. The optically corrected zoom lens beneficially also maintains focus and resolution throughout its zoom range. We are looking for partners to ‘road-test’ our new optically compensated zoom lens. If you would like to know more please send us details of your target application in this attached form.

To request further information on the new simple optically compensated zoom lens, click here.