Lens technology poised to revolutionize security optics market
- By Tom Harada
- Sep 04, 2009
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.
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
"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
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