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AFZ / Varifocal lens for Machine Vision

The use of a AFZ / Varifocal lens enables you to adjust the focal length of your machine vision system, making it suitable for a wide range of applications and products. Zoom lenses are available in both a manual and motorized version. Motorized zoom lenses feature multiple tiny integrated motors which control the lens by adjusting the focus, focal length, and/or aperture, depending on the specific model. It empowers the machine vision system by enabling adjustments to be made when conditions change or optimize the lens setup for different product types and sizes without the need for manual intervention. To effectively control the motorized lens, we have developed a lens control board. This board enables you to control the motors (up to three) via USB or RS232 signal. Subsequently you can modify individual parameters and load one of the ten preset configurations.



Features of a Varifocal lens

A varifocal lens is a manually adjustable zoom lens that allows you to control the focal length. The opening angle becomes larger by zooming out and smaller by zooming in. a result, you can focus the lens at a range of distances from the object, allowing the possibility of multiple working distances.  Therefor eliminating the need to switch a lens at each specific working distance. During installation you optimize the focal length (zoom settings) and during operation, you keep the settings fixed. 

Features of an Auto Focus Zoom lens

Auto Focus Zoom (AFZ) lenses originate from the security and consumer market. With this zoom lens, the camera automatically operates the focus. As a result, the image is always in focus. Additionally, the zoom lens has the option of being controlled electronically. Even this is called an Auto Focus Zoom lens, however in this case the focus and zoom should be controlled remotely and not automatically by default. 

AFZ lenses are not commonly used in machine vision, as manual focus control is often preferred for precise focus placement. More often, lenses with a fixed focuses are used. For applications where controlling the zoom and focus remotely is required, the AFZ lens offers a great solution. 

Differences between AFZ lenses and Varifocal lenses

In general, zoom lenses are often called varifocal lenses. However, just like the AFZ lens, the varifocal lens is a type of zoom lens. Both are zoom lenses, but these are the main differences:
  • AFZ lenses have autofocus, where Varifocal lenses are manually focused.
  • AFZ lenses can be automatically controlled, where Varifocal lenses require manual control.
  • AFZ lenses are often used in applications such as security or as a consumer camera, where varifocal lenses offer a more industrial and accurate solution for machine vision applications.
In conclusion, varifocal lenses offer the most suitable solution for situations where precise control over the image's focus is required. AFZ lenses offer a great solution for applications that require consistently in focus images.

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