An elegant optical solution for multiple field-of-view applications.

An elegant optical solution for multiple field-of-view applications – Resolve OpticsIt is quite common for a camera manufacturer to approach us with a custom lens design application where multiple fields of view are required because of the different scenarios in which the lens is to be deployed.

The obvious optical solution for such an application is a zoom lens to cover all the required focal lengths. However, zoom lenses are complex and compared to a fixed focus lens, relatively expensive. If the lens is only ever to be used at one focal length for any particular installation, then using a complex zoom lens and the cost that goes with it is unnecessary. Likewise in challenging field or process applications where a rugged optical system is required, then a zoom lens is far from ideal due to its fine tolerance moving parts.

Alternatively, if you were to use a standard fixed focus lens for a multiple field-of-view application, you would have to produce a separate design for each required operational focal length. Each of these designs would use different elements and ordering separate sets of elements of each design would also be costly.

The ideal solution is to create a single optical design that can cover all the focal lengths without the cost and complexity of a zoom lens. In situations like this it is often possible to produce an optical design for a zoom lens, but to mount the elements in fixed positions as a fixed focus lens. This approach has allowed Resolve Optics to provide different customers with a much more cost-effective solution.

Rather than having to purchase different sets of glass elements for each focal length, they can all be bundled together to provide economy of scale. The only components that would be different across the different focal lengths would be spacers, which are comparatively cheap to make in smaller quantities. This approach also allows for the lens to be ruggedised in a way that would not be possible with a functioning zoom.

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Field of View application