Imaging for research

We are working on phenomics plants since 2014 although we are not directly involved in design of the systems still we have learnt things that matter in this type of imaging. here i am going list out few terms that used in imaging:

File:Lens aperture side.jpg

Lense Characteristics:

Chromatic aberration (abbreviated CA; also called chromatic distortion and spherochromatism) is an effect resulting from dispersion in which there is a failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same convergence point. It occurs because lenses have different refractive indices for different wavelengths of light. The refractive index of transparent materials decreases with increasing wavelength in degrees unique to each.

Spherical aberration is an optical effect observed in an optical device (lens, mirror, etc.) that occurs due to the increased refraction of light rays when they strike a lens or a reflection of light rays when they strike a mirror near its edge, in comparison with those that strike nearer the centre. It signifies a deviation of the device from the norm, i.e., it results in an imperfection of the produced image.

Defocus is the aberration in which an image is simply out of focus. This aberration is familiar to anyone who has used a camera, videocamera, microscope, telescope, or binoculars. Optically, defocus refers to a translation along the optical axis away from the plane or surface of best focus. In general, defocus reduces the sharpness and contrast of the image. What should be sharp, high-contrast edges in a scene become gradual transitions. Fine detail in the scene is blurred or even becomes invisible. Nearly all image-forming optical devices incorporate some form of focus adjustment to minimize defocus and maximize image quality.

The degree of image blurring for a given amount of focus shift depends inversely on the lens f-number. Low f-numbers, such as f/1.4 to f/2.8, are very sensitive to defocus and have very shallow depths of focus. High f-numbers, in the f/16 to f/32 range, are highly tolerant of defocus, and consequently have large depths of focus. The limiting case in f-number is the pinhole camera, operating at perhaps f/100 to f/1000, in which case all objects are in focus almost regardless of their distance from the pinhole aperture. The penalty for achieving this extreme depth of focus is very dim illumination at the imaging film or sensor, limited resolution due to diffraction, and very long exposure time, which introduces the potential for image degradation due to motion blur.

The amount of allowable defocus is related to the resolution of the imaging medium. A lower-resolution imaging chip or film is more tolerant of defocus and other aberrations. To take full advantage of a higher resolution medium, defocus and other aberrations must be minimized.

f-number/focal ratio/f-ratio/f-stop of an optical system such as a camera lens is the ratio of the system’s focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil. It is a dimensionless number that is a quantitative measure of lens speed, and an important concept in photography.  It is the reciprocal of the relative aperture. The f-number is commonly indicated using a hooked f with the format f/N, where N is the f-number.

Diaphragm(IRIS is a type of diaphgragm) is a thin opaque structure with an opening (aperture) at its center. The role of the diaphragm is to stop the passage of light, except for the light passing through the aperture. Thus it is also called a stop (an aperture stop, if it limits the brightness of light reaching the focal plane, or a field stop or flare stop for other uses of diaphragms in lenses). The diaphragm is placed in the light path of a lens or objective, and the size of the aperture regulates the amount of light that passes through the lens. The centre of the diaphragm’s aperture coincides with the optical axis of the lens system.

Lens speed refers to the maximum aperture diameter, or minimum f-number, of a photographic lens. A lens with a larger maximum aperture (that is, a smaller minimum f-number) is called a “fast lens” because it can achieve the same exposure with a faster shutter speed. Conversely, a smaller maximum aperture (larger minimum f-number) is “slow” because it delivers less light intensity and requires a slower (longer) shutter speed.

A fast lens speed is desirable in taking pictures in dim light, or with long telephoto lenses and for controlling depth of field and bokeh, especially in portrait photography,[1] and for sports photography and photojournalism.

Lenses may also be referred to as being “faster” or “slower” than one another; so an f/3.5 lens can be described as faster than an f/5.6.

Prime lens is either a photographic lens whose focal length is fixed, as opposed to a zoom lens, or it is the primary lens in a combination lens system.

Confusion can sometimes result due to the two meanings of the term if the context does not make the interpretation clear. Alternative terms primary focal length, fixed focal length, and FFL are sometimes used to avoid ambiguity.

For 35mm film and full frame digital cameras (in which the image area is 36 by 24 millimeters) prime lenses can be categorized by focal length as follows:

  • 14 to 21mm: Ultra-Wide — Because these lenses are usually used at very close subject distances the resulting perspective can provide a dramatic, often extreme image that can be used to selectively distort a scene’s natural proportions.
  • 24 to 35mm: Wide — these lenses capture a wider field of view than a standard lens. Because they tend to be used at shorter distances the resulting perspective can show some distortion.
  • 50 mm: Standard — with a focal length near the 44mm image diagonal.
  • 85 mm: Portrait — A short telephoto lens that allows a longer subject to camera distance, to produce pleasing perspective effects, while maintaining useful image framing.
  • 135 mm: Telephoto — these lenses are used by action and sports photographers to capture faraway objects.
  • 200 to 500 mm: Super Telephoto — these are specialized, bulky lenses for sports, action, and wildlife photography.

A zoom lens is a mechanical assembly of lens elements for which the focal length (and thus angle of view) can be varied, as opposed to a fixed focal length (FFL) lens (see prime lens).

A true zoom lens, also called a parfocal lens, is one that maintains focus when its focal length changes.[1] A lens that loses focus during zooming is more properly called a varifocal lens. Despite being marketed as zoom lenses, virtually all consumer lenses with variable focal lengths use varifocal design.

The convenience of variable focal length comes at the cost of complexity – and some compromises on image quality, weight, dimensions, aperture, autofocus performance, and cost. For example, all zoom lenses suffer from at least slight, if not considerable, loss of image resolution at their maximum aperture, especially at the extremes of their focal length range. This effect is evident in the corners of the image, when displayed in a large format or high resolution. The greater the range of focal length a zoom lens offers, the more exaggerated these compromises must become.

A varifocal lens is a camera lens with variable focal length in which focus changes as focal length (and magnification) changes, as compared to parfocal (“true”) zoom lens, which remains in focus as the lens zooms (focal length and magnification change). Many so-called “zoom” lenses, particularly in the case of fixed lens cameras, are actually varifocal lenses,[1] which give lens designers more flexibility in optical design trade-offs (focal length range, maximum aperture, size, weight, cost) than parfocal zoom. These are practical because of auto-focus, and because the camera processor can automatically adjust the lens to keep it in focus while changing focal length (“zooming”) making operation practically indistinguishable from a parfocal zoom.

A parfocal lens is a lens that stays in focus when magnification/focal length is changed. There is inevitably some amount of focus error, but small enough to be considered insignificant.

Zoom lenses used for moviemaking applications must have the parfocal ability in order to be of practical use. It is almost impossible to stay in correct focus (as done manually by the focus puller) while zooming.

A lens mount is an interface – mechanical and often also electrical – between a photographic camera body and a lens. It is confined to cameras where the body allows interchangeable lenses, most usually the rangefinder camera, single lens reflex type or any movie camera of 16 mm or higher gauge. Lens mounts are also used to connect optical components in instrumentation that may not involve a camera, such as the modular components used in optical laboratory prototyping which join via C-mount or T-mount elements. Read more at wikipedia

Bokeh  is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”. Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting—”good” and “bad” bokeh, respectively. Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions.

An aspheric lens or asphere is a lens whose surface profiles are not portions of a sphere or cylinder. In photography, a lens assembly that includes an aspheric element is often called an aspherical lens.

The asphere’s more complex surface profile can reduce or eliminate spherical aberration and also reduce other optical aberrations such as astigmatism, compared to a simple lens. A single aspheric lens can often replace a much more complex multi-lens system. The resulting device is smaller and lighter, and sometimes cheaper than the multi-lens design.[1] Aspheric elements are used in the design of multi-element wide-angle and fast normal lenses to reduce aberrations. They are also used in combination with reflective elements (catadioptric systems) such as the aspherical Schmidt corrector plate used in the Schmidt cameras and the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. Small molded aspheres are often used for collimating diode lasers.

Aspheric lenses are also sometimes used for eyeglasses. Aspheric eyeglass lenses allow for crisper vision than standard “best form” lenses, mostly when looking in other directions than the lens optical center.

Metering mode refers to the way in which a camera determines the exposure. Cameras generally allow the user to select between spot, center-weighted average, or multi-zone metering modes. Various metering modes are provided to allow the user to select the most appropriate one for use in a variety of lighting conditions.

With spot metering, the camera will only measure a very small area of the scene (between 1-5% of the viewfinder area). This will by default be the very centre of the scene. The user can select a different off-centre spot, or to recompose by moving the camera after metering.

Depth of field (DOF), also called focus range or effective focus range, is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. Although a lens can precisely focus at only one distance at a time, the decrease in sharpness is gradual on each side of the focused distance, so that within the DOF, the unsharpness is imperceptible under normal viewing conditions.

In some cases, it may be desirable to have the entire image sharp, and a large DOF is appropriate. In other cases, a small DOF may be more effective, emphasizing the subject while de-emphasizing the foreground and background. In cinematography, a large DOF is often called deep focus, and a small DOF is often called shallow focus.

Several other factors, such as subject matter, movement, camera-to-subject distance, lens focal length, selected lens f-number, format size, and circle of confusion criteria also influence when a given defocus becomes noticeable. The combination of focal length, subject distance, and format size defines magnification at the film / sensor plane.

DOF is determined by subject magnification at the film / sensor plane and the selected lens aperture or f-number. For a given f-number, increasing the magnification, either by moving closer to the subject or using a lens of greater focal length, decreases the DOF; decreasing magnification increases DOF. For a given subject magnification, increasing the f-number (decreasing the aperture diameter) increases the DOF; decreasing f-number decreases DOF.

Hyperfocal distance is a distance beyond which all objects can be brought into an “acceptable” focus. As the hyperfocal distance is the focus distance giving the maximum depth of field, it is the most desirable distance to set the focus of a fixed-focus camera. The hyperfocal distance is entirely dependent upon what level of sharpness is considered to be acceptable.

Focus stacking (also known as focal plane merging and z-stacking[1] or focus blending) is a digital image processing technique which combines multiple images taken at different focus distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field (DOF) than any of the individual source images.[2][3] Focus stacking can be used in any situation where individual images have a very shallow depth of field; macro photography and optical microscopy are two typical examples. Focus stacking can also be useful in landscape photography.


Leave a Reply