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Megapixel Lens from Shanghai Optics

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Megapixel Lens Overview

Shanghai Optics manufactures megapixel lenses with high resolving power for use in industrial S-mount megapixel cameras. These fixed focal length lenses feature extremely high resolution and low distortion, enabling sharp, high contrast imagery. Our lenses are ideal for all machine vision applications, including macro work, inspection, and factory automation.

Machine Vision Applications

The key to high performance machine vision equipment is a reliable manual iris lens that provides constant high definition imagery. Requirements of an industrial megapixel lens include:

  • Low Distortion: Lenses used for machine vision must be low distortion and suitable for image measurement. Our high resolution megapixel lenses allow for consistent high quality imagery, and we have maximum aperture options available for low-light settings.
  • Minimal Vignetting: The design of our megapixel lenses enables even light distribution, allowing bright high contrast images with hardly any vignette, or darkening along the edges.
  • Durability: Durable casing and a robust design is another requirement for any industrial lens. Our robust design allows you to be confident that your megapixel lens will perform consistently even in unideal environments.

Understanding Your Megapixel Lens

Specifications for each megapixel lens includes focal length, aperture, image format, resolution, back focal length and interface.

Our megapixel lenses feature an S mount interface (M12x0.5 in metric sizes). This standard screw mount features a size mount 0.5 mm pitch and a male metric M12 thread diameter.

The depth of field of a lens tells you how well objects at varying distances from the lens can be focused at the same time. To understand the depth of field of a particular lens, you will want to look at its F-stop, or aperture, and its focal length. The aperture measures how well the lens gathers light, and the larger the aperture, the greater the depth of field.  The manual iris controls the aperture of your lens, enabling more or less light to be passed through the vision system.   Aperture on our megapixel lenses ranges from F1.6 to F4.0. High aperture is ideal for low light conditions.

The field of view will depend both on the focal length of your lens, the image format, and the sensor being used.  Focal length for our lenses range from 2.5 to 12. Back focal length ranges from 3.06 to 9.89.

Another key specification for a megapixel lens is the resolving power, or spatial resolution. The resolving power of our lenses is measured in megapixels and ranges from 1 to 3MP. A higher megapixel rating means more resolving power.

Our megapixel lenses are lockable, and have manual focus and aperture control. Potential working distance is from 100mm to infinity.

Lens Format for Megapixel Lenses

The image format for our megapixel lenses is given in terms of inches. Note this does not mean the image size of a 1” image format lens is 1 inch. The nomenclature is a hand me down from the early days of photography, when an image tube was used.  A sensor that fit into one of these image tubes with a 1 inch yoke was called a 1 inch image format. Although we no longer use image tubes, the naming system stuck.

A 1” image format, sometimes known as “type 1”, is 12.8 by 9.3 with a 16 mm diagonal. A 2/3” format leads to 6.6 mm x 8.8 mm image size with a 11 mm diagonal. Type 1/3 image format has a 4.4 mm by 3.3 mm image size with a 6mm diagonal. Not all image formats are given in whole numbers; a 1/1.2” size has a diagonal of 13.4 mm.   In a machine vision application, the size of the lens should be equal to or greater than the size of a circle with the same diameter as the diagonal of the sensor.

For instance, if you are working with a 1” image format sensor, you will need a lens with a diameter of 16 mm minimum. It is always best to use a lens that fits your sensor exactly, but if you don’t have one available, use the next size up.  For instance, if you have a 1/1.2” format sensor but only a 2/3” and 1” lens, you will want to use the 1” lens. With a diameter of 16mm, it will fully cover your sensor. The 2/3” lens, with a 11 mm diagonal, will be several mm short of the 13.4 of your 1/1.2” sensor and would give you significant darkening around the edges and wasted pixels.

Custom Orders

We have over 55 years of experience manufacturing high quality optics for industrial use, and our design team would be happy to work with you as you determine the ideal machine vision lens for your application.  We are ready to aid you in any part of the process, from blueprinting to design, prototyping and full scale production. Please contact us to discuss how we can partner with your company today.

Request a free quote from S.O. online, or contact a representative to learn more about our capabilities. 


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