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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Optics 101: What You Need to Know About Custom Lenses


Did you know that the precision lens industry is projected to grow by 95 million dollars in the next four years? This is steep growth for such a niche market.

When using the words “custom lenses” or “optic lenses,” your thoughts might turn to your optometrist and a new pair of glasses. However, custom precision lenses are necessary for imaging applications involved in aerospace, defense, security, life science studies, and of course healthcare.

If you’re looking to learn more about precision optical lenses, their applications, and their production process, read on!

What Are the Different Types of Custom Lenses?

All precision lenses have the same general purpose. All of them focus or diverge light. This process is specialized depending on the purpose of the lens.

The same lens can have multiple lens capabilities, depending on the needs of the customer. This site is a great place to learn more about the uses and functions of custom optics.

Achromatic Lens

An achromatic lens limits the interference of spherical and chromatic aberration. This means that the lens focuses the color wavelengths on the same plane, and minimizes distortion from the concave shape of the lense.

Microscopy, image relay, spectroscopy, or other image inspection that require clear color and shape correction, all rely on an achromatic lens.

Aspheric Lens

Aspheric lenses correct spherical aberration, where the light sources don’t have a common focal point. This usually results in a distorted image.

Spherical lenses are unable to collimate light because the shape of the lens naturally distorts the light’s focus. Some designs use two or three lenses to correct for spherical aberration. Custom aspheric lenses can be used to replace multi-lens designs cheaply.

Camera imaging systems and other similar devices use precision aspheric lenses.

Collimating Lens

A collimating lens takes divergent rays of light and transforms them into parallel beams. Sometimes these lenses are able to process UV and infrared light waves as well. They’re commonly used for measuring display, color analysis, and other functions.

Optical Lens

An optical lens focuses or disperses light via refraction. These lenses are used in laser electro-optic applications. These lenses are made from many different materials like sapphire, optical glass, silicon, and Germanium.

The lens will focus light to format an image and is therefore used in a broad range of applications.

Cylinder Lens

A cylinder lens is a lens that focuses light onto a line rather than a point. The light and image pass through a curved face to focus it before passing it to a line parallel to the surface of the lens.

These lenses are commonly used in industrial and research applications like laser scanning.

Need Custom Optics?

This article has provided you with a broad understanding of custom lenses and how they function. If your business, like so many others, could benefit from custom lenses, hopefully, you won’t hesitate to check out the options available to you!

If you enjoyed this overview of optics, you’ll love our other posts. Check out our blog for more!

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