Lenses for R&D and Science
When selecting an infrared camera system for a research and development application, the lens can be just important as the camera itself. Infrared camera lenses are key to ensuring accurate thermal measures by making sure there are enough pixels on the target of interest to make accurate readings. The appropriate infrared cameras and lens combination can offer a deeper understanding of the thermal performance of system while providing defensible temperature measurement data to support critical decisions.
Whether you need a measure large target at close distance or a small target at a long distance, Teledyne FLIR offers a wide array of lens options to fit nearly any requirement.
Whether you are using a performance-level handheld camera or advanced-level cooled camera system, each camera system has a selection of standard lenses which are ideal for the majority of applications. These can range from ultra-wide and wide-angle lenses—perfect for close shots of large targets—to telephoto lenses for distant targets.
Depending on the exact camera being used, the lens designation will be in focal length or degrees field of view. Focal length may be familiar to anyone with photography experience, but degrees (45°, 25°, etc.) can be easier to visualize. Luckily, Teledyne FLIR offers several easy-to-use tools to help you determine the best lens system for your camera and application.
Macro & Microscope Lenses
When you need to measure temperatures on small targets, like surface mount components on a printed circuit board, it is important to use a lens which provides the spatial resolution necessary to achieve accurate temperature measurements. Luckily, there are several different options available depending on the thermal camera system, ranging from FLIR Macro Mode which does not require a lens change to microscope lens which can provide spatial resolutions as small at 4 micrometers per pixel.
Like standard visible light microscopes, the macro and microscope lenses will have shorter working distance between the measure target and the lens as the magnification increase and the spatial resolution decreases. However there a special long distance microscope lenses available for applications where you need to measure small items at distances up to 20 centimeters.
Long Range & Continuous Zoom Lenses
Not everything you want to measure or see with a thermal camera will be close or at a constant distance. Telephoto zoom lenses with high optical resolving power allow you to track and image objects at a distance. Those with continuous metric zoom provide time-space-position information, allowing researchers to analyze the characteristics of moving objects. While focal lengths once topped out at 300 mm focal length, lenses are now available with continuous zoom from 120 to 1,200 mm. When combined with a cooled science camera that offers high thermal resolution and a small pixel pitch, these lenses can achieve sharp focus on small or distant objects.