Lenses play a crucial role in the quality of the images produced by a machine vision system since they determine the sharpness of the image on the camera sensor. As lenses transmit light the first consideration is the light wavelengths used, as this has a major influence on both chromatic aberration and light transmission. This is of particular importance in lens design with the increasing use of infrared and UV radiation as an alternative to visible light to reveal information that could otherwise not be seen. UV imaging systems offer higher resolution capabilities than visible light, enabling submicron features to be resolved.
The light wavelengths used in any machine vision application have significant implications in choosing the most appropriate lens, with more complex lens designs needed for broader spectral ranges. However, other factors must also be taken into account, including other defect and aberration corrections, as well as the physical environment in which the lens will be used.
With a vast range of lenses available on the market, it can be useful to work with expert vision technology suppliers who can take a holistic approach to the imaging requirements. For sure, no one manufacturer offers the right optical solution for all applications so independent advice is a good first step.