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Exploring Optical Quality: Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) Testing

Exploring Optical Quality: Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) Testing

Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) stands as a pivotal metric in optics and image quality assessment. It provides a comprehensive evaluation of a lens system’s ability to reproduce spatial frequencies in an image accurately. At Shanghai Optics, MTF testing is conducted using state-of-the-art equipment, such as the ImageMaster® TriOptics MTF Stations, to ensure precise determination of imaging quality.



Shanghai Optics utilizes ImageMaster® TriOptics MTF Stations in-house for MTF testing, offering unparalleled accuracy and flexibility. These stations are equipped to handle various parameters and can measure MTF for both lens components and optical assemblies. MTF testing data is provided for optical systems and components upon request, enhancing the overall service offering.



MTF Measurement Procedure

The MTF measurement process at Shanghai Optics involves a systematic approach using the ImageMaster® HR MTF station. The following steps outline the procedure:

  • Selection of collimators with different Effective Focal Lengths (EFL) according to customer requirements.
  • Determination of whether the testing sample is an infinite or finite conjugate lens and focal length.
  • Connection of the light source and stepper motor to set up the testing environment.
  • Placement of the sample lens above the image plane and beneath the light source while activating the stepper motor and light source.
  • Initialization of the TriOptics software and selection of the corresponding mode.
  • Adjustment of parameters such as “Slide Mot” to ensure the sample lens’s entrance pupil is centered.
  • Adjustment of the “Focus” parameter to determine the CCD’s height relative to the image plane.
  • Fine-tuning of parameters to ensure proper illumination and image acquisition.
  • Selection of the corresponding EFL and wavelength range for measurement.
  • Editing of data and inputting relevant information to generate the testing curve.


MTF Testing Results

MTF plots and tables provide a visual representation of the testing results. Shanghai Optics showcases the MTF measurements of a 20X customized objective lens, demonstrating its design and manufacturing capabilities. The results depict MTF measured from 100lp/mm to 400lp/mm in both tangential and sagittal directions, highlighting the lens’s performance across different spatial frequencies.



MTF testing is a crucial aspect of Shanghai Optics’s optical manufacturing process, ensuring the highest standards of image quality. Through rigorous analysis, Shanghai Optics gains insights into the true capabilities of its lenses, guaranteeing superior contrast, sharpness, and resolution. This commitment to precision and quality underscores Shanghai Optics’s dedication to delivering optical solutions that excel in various industries, setting new standards for clarity and performance.

Do not hesitate to contact Shanghai Optics today. We’d be more than happy to discuss your projects and how best they can become a success.


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