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Industrial camera lenses explained: How to choose the right lens

1. Lens mount: Does the lens mount fit the camera? Can a mount adapter be used?

2. Image size: Does the image size of the lens cover the sensor? The image size of the lens has to be the same size or bigger than the sensor size. Otherwise, there will be vignetting.

3. Resolution: Does the lens have sufficient resolution for the sensor? Check the pixel size of the sensor and compare it to the resolution specified for the lens. Lens manufacturers indicate as a rough indication the pixel size the lens can be used for. For a more thorough analysis check the MTF. Best is to test the lens.

4. Focal length: What focal length do you need? The focal length can be calculated from the object size and working distance. In most machine vision application these parameters don’t change, so that you can choose a fixed focal length. Varifocal lenses and zoom lenses allow to change the focal length.

5. Spectral range: What wavelength of light will you work at? Check if the lens has sufficient transmission in the wavelength you want to work at.

6. Size: Do you have size restrictions? Check if the lens fits in the space you have for your application.

7. Robustness: Will the lens be exposed to shock and vibration? Check if a ruggedized version of the lens is available.

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