Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lens focusing, simplified?

Anything has to be better than turning the focus ring first one way, then the other while trying to watch an image on a monitor. It’s even worse when, as in a system I worked on recently, the monitor is not viewable when working at the camera. And don’t get me started on the tribulations of linescan camera focusing!

All of which is why, since 2009 I’ve been getting excited about the potential of liquid lenses. (“The end of focus problems” June 14th, 2009.) Cognex and Microscan have offered liquid lenses on select products for a few years, but there’s been nothing I could buy to add to a camera, until now.

Just in time for Vision 2012 optics specialists Qioptiq have announced their flo.x lens “with liquid lens focusing.” This sounds exactly what I’ve been waiting for, albeit with a couple of drawbacks. First, it’s made for an M12 mount, rather than C-mount. And second, the focal length is a rather wide angle 3.35mm.

No, it’s not exactly what I’ve been waiting for, but the very fact that it exists gives me hope. Who knows, perhaps I’ll be sent a plane ticket to Stuttgart so I can attend Vision 2013 for the unveiling of the C-mount liquid lens!

By-the-way, if you’re looking on the Qiotiq website for details of the flo.x, - well I couldn’t find anything, although they do have some great machine vision lenses.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cognex released the In-Sight 7000 autofocus units earlier this summer. The use an S-Mount (M12) lens and a small motor in the camera to move the lens. It will automatically focus, though it is not intended to be dynamic. The upside is that the focus is tied to a value which can be saved with a program so that when you change the program the focus can be reset without needing to run the autofocus routine. Currently a 12mm, 16mm and 25mm lens are available with the promise of a forthcoming 6mm and 8mm lens. Now you can have autofocus on a camera.