New Machine Vision Lens Calculator

August 5, 2019

New Machine Vision Lens Calculator

What lens do I need?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is "What lens do I need for this camera?". Our staff enjoys listening to customers, learning about their projects, and making recommendations. But the challenge is that we have over 500 lenses in our catalog. It can take some time to find exactly the right one. We needed a better tool, so we built it. And now we want to share that tool with you.

But wait...

Machine Vision Store already offered several good lens calculators. And there are many others available online. Why a new one?

  1. We wanted to offer a single calculator for all lens and camera types.
  2. Choosing a lens is often an iterative process. We would first calculate the ideal focal length, then sort through the catalog to review lens specifications. Finally, we would return to the lens calculator to evaluate several lenses. We wanted to deliver a simpler process that arrives at the solution more quickly.
  3. Most online lens calculators completely ignore two factors critical to selecting an appropriate lens: A lens's resolving power, and its minimum object distance. This may lead users to choose the wrong lens.
  4. Moreover, many calculators don't suggest specific lenses to consider. And isn't finding a lens the purpose of using a lens calculator?

A Better Lens Calculator

Here's how our new machine vision lens calculator works.

  • We offer one calculator that works for all camera and lens types: monochrome and color cameras, area scan and line scan cameras, entocentric, telecentric, and macro lenses.
  • The new calculator is easier to use. You can choose the dimensional unit of your choice. A diagram shows the meaning of terms that may be unfamiliar.
  • Assuming your camera (or image sensor) is in our catalog, you won't need to complete the pixel size and resolution fields. Search for your camera (or image sensor) using manufacturer part number, our catalog number, or even key words.
  • If your camera (or image sensor) is not in our catalog, just enter the camera's pixel size and resolution.
  • The lens calculator offers advanced features for advanced users. It can handle setting a camera's Area-of-Interest, and cameras having non-square pixels. To save you money, it can suggest lenses having a smaller format when you're not using a camera's full resolution.
  • Calculations include the lens's ideal focal length, the ideal magnification, the ideal world resolution, the camera's field of view, and the necessary lens image circle (format).
  • If you specified the relative speed of motion between the camera and object, the lens calculator will suggest a maximum exposure time to keep image blur to a minimum.
  • Perhaps best of all, our lens calculator will suggest specific lenses to consider. These lenses will have an appropriate focal length or magnification, lens mount, minimum object distance, and resolving power. (It typically presents several options. Be sure to review each lens's specifications, as some will perform better than others for your unique installation.)
  • You have the opportunity to adjust the working distance for each entocentric lens. See how the working distance affects the field of view, magnification, and world resolution.

We have further information about choosing a machine vision lens in our Lens Technology Center. Or, give us a call. We still enjoy applying our experience to solve your unique project requirements.

Have you already selected a lens from our catalog, and are wondering about its field of view? Try our new field of view calculator. Just go to the lens's product page. You'll find links to the new field of view calculator on both the Specifications and Resources tabs.

Tags: Lens calculator

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