Are you planning to use off-the-shelf optics in your next design project? If so, you probably have budget or time restrictions. But, the use of stock options comes with some benefits. Stock options are readily available and easily implemented to fit your design requirements. To make it easier for you to design with off-the-shelf optics, below are some helpful tips that can guide you:

Create a Paraxial Design and Break It Into Subsystems

To do this, identify the focal lengths you desire for every optical group on paper before you try to optimize in a code. Then, use paraxial equations to pick the off-the-shelf lenses that offer the required focal lengths. Ensure the ray tracing code you choose has a selection of off-the-shelf lenses built into it which you can use for modeling the selected lenses and optimizing your spacing. But, you can also input the lens into the software using the information you can get from your supplier.

Use a Monochromatic Source

If possible, a monochromatic source like LED or laser or an optical filter can be used for making your system monochromatic. The use of a narrow band or monochromatic light will significantly decrease the design’s complexity. Decreasing the source waveband to less than 50nm will make using singlets possible in the design.

Use Off-the-Shelf Subsystems

Off-the-shelf components like microscope objectives, achromatic doublets, micro lens, and other subsystems can usually help in achieving the exact correction requirements of your application for factors like color, large apertures, and field angles. Often, such subsystems can be modeled in your code when your suppliers provide you with the prescription code.

Consider Optical Cage Systems

Off-the-shelf mounting options must be considered whether you are prototyping or save the expense associated with buying custom housings. Optical cage systems let you assemble your optical components and offer freedom when you adjust spacing. The majority of off-the-shelf cage systems make it possible for you to mount common optical component sizes and ways to mount subcomponents like microscope objectives and C-mount camera lenses.

Know where Exactly to Use Components

Off-the-shelf lenses are optimized for small apertures and fields. They work best when you integrate them into systems that don’t have very steep ray angles. For instance, when you design a high magnification relay, a complex multi-element group can be used for the relay’s high numerical aperture side and an achromat for the lower numerical aperture side.

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