Unwavering Focus

Lens technology poised to revolutionize security optics market

A breakthrough in security optics technology, called Varifocal Plus, is expected to revolutionize the industry. The solution offers precise CCTV installations with total cost of ownership considerations. It also is expected to surpass conventional technology and create new marketing areas for the CCTV surveillance market by providing time-saving installation and commissioning through consistent focusing technology.

Installer Benefits

When an installation involves a large quantity of cameras, the installer will have the edge with Varifocal Plus lens technology. The technology can handle unfavorable weather or climate conditions and difficult physical installations where height, unstable conditions or even underwater use is involved.

Varifocal Plus technology has the capability to maintain clear focus in all zoom ranges of the focal-length variance. Conventional varifocal lenses lose focus tracking as the focal length changes. This new technology addresses this disadvantage in conventional analog CCTV installations and in new IP camera installations.

Eliminating the IP Problem

In an IP cameras installation, focus re-adjustments are difficult due to timing lag of the IP video transmission. Pentax's Varifocal Plus technology will completely eliminate this problematic delay. Focus tracking ability with focal length variance will expand and create new and more sophisticated market areas and applications.

Because temperature extremes often play a critical role, key characteristics of the zoom are mechanical durability and greater resistance against temperature extremes, which are supported by a unique, grease-free lubricant system. Greased mechanical parts are sensitive to temperature extremes and may result in melted or frozen grease and lead to mechanical difficulties.

Lenses Put to the Test

Network Rail, Britain's rail infrastructure, adopted Pentax lenses as the eyes of its network. Mark Maclean, engineering manager at Telent, said flexibility and image quality were vital in order to achieve highresolution color monitoring.

"Environmental conditions and performance requirements meant that only higher-end solutions could be considered," Maclean said. "External cameras and monitors must consistently operate in conditions of extreme weather and lighting variation. Interrupted or unclear images actually impact directly on safety and security and therefore are unacceptable."

Network Rail opted for Pentax, which performed well in low-light conditions with its F1.0 stop at the widest angle. Its light transmission and high resolution were ideal for the installation. The same equipment had already been chosen by the Hong Kong Railway System and many other Network Rail and London Underground products in the United Kingdom.

Security in Medicine

Pentax zoom lenses also were chosen at one of Dublin, Ireland's most advanced medical centers as part of the security and general management system at Beaumount Hospital. The 620-bed facility occupies a 37-acre site with a diverse range of surveillance requirements, including access control, parking, public safety and general asset management.

Not only is Beaumount Hospital the principal undergraduate and post-graduate medical training and research center for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, it also fulfills a key role in the delivery of 24- hour continuous emergency services for nearly a quarter million people in Dublin's Northside community.

Today, Beaumount is the National Referral Center for neurosurgical patients, renal and pancreatic transplantation and cochlear implantation, as well as a regional treatment center for ear, nose and throat patients.

With such a high profile, safety and security are a major concern. The decision was made a few years ago to create a higher security standard. The project included access control throughout the facility and a comprehensive CCTV system allowing security staff a clear vision of all parking and sensitive areas throughout the hospital campus.

Atkins Telecoms was awarded overall technical authority and opted to use the highest-quality equipment for the upgrade.

Integrators chose Pentax 12- to 240-millimeter lenses with a 20x motorized-zoom lens for the town and city center surveillance systems, where large and generally unobstructed public space can be monitored by fewer cameras, thanks to the long focal length, reliability and resolution quality.

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