Specialist Lenses for Vision Applications

Q: In many vision applications the trend is for cameras and sensors to offer ever increasing resolution, what role does the lens fulfil in these devices and are suitable lenses generally available?

A: The performance of a high-resolution camera or sensor is only as good as the information provided to it. In an optical system this is the function of your lens. If the resolution delivered by a lens is too low, then no matter how many Mega pixels your sensor is your image will be poor.

The availability of suitable off-the-shelf lenses depends on your application and whether your sensor/camera conforms to a standard format such as 1/3-inch or 2/3-inch. Typically, off-the-shelf lens manufacturers cater just for mass markets so they are generally slow to follow new emergent trends such as multi-megapixel cameras and sensors. In addition, while off-the-shelf lenses will be suitable for many applications their use will often require a compromise in terms of achievable performance, field of view or aperture and in some cases all of the above.