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COI’s New Website

March 18, 2013

On Monday, February 11th, Computer Optics launched our brand new website. While our last site contained much useful information, it had been over 6 years since our last update. Additionally, users informed us that it was difficult to navigate.

Our main objective was to make this new site more “user friendly”, but we also recognized the need to frequently update information on our site. The design of our updated site allows our users to easily browse from page to page and find all of the information they require.

One new section is our “Case Studies” page. We have highlighted 13 applications ranging from Multi-Function Rifle Sites to Postal Sorting Machines. Each case study goes into the details of specifications, and in certain cases, what COI did to offer design solutions for various applications.

We have also updated our mailing list so that it is easier for our customers to receive updates and information about the company and our products. Additionally, we have added a section where customers can download information request forms. Now users can fill this form out and send it back to COI for our engineers to review and respond quickly and efficiently.

As always, we also are excited to spread our information over our social media sites as well. While you are visiting the new website, be sure to check us out on Facebook & Twitter as well. We plan to frequently update our social media sites on all relevant information at COI and on the industries we service.

Two Position 3°/9° Zoom Lens

December 5, 2012

This month’s case study will be the last of the series that we have been publishing. But do not fret! There are many more topics that we plan to cover in the upcoming months.

When we were approached with the task below, we knew we could use our knowledge and expertise to find an innovative solution to make our client happy.

Case Study 4: Two Position 3°/9° Zoom Lens

Autonomous vehicle requires lightweight lens to image at two unique focal lengths.

The required lens was exposed to heavy shock and vibration. Additionally, the lens had size constraints with a forced geometry, difficult weight restrictions, and ultra-power consumption.


Durability: The lens had a very durable and ruggedized design.

Innovation: The design had a folded optical solution which swings 90° to achieve two positions.

Mechanics: Fast mechanical switch from 100mm to 300mm focal length (latch system). Particular attention paid to the overall center of the gravity of the optical lens system.

Design: The final optical design had very few elements to maximize light transmission. It also had a very high numerical aperture (low f-number) for low-light conditions.

Military & Defense: Stinger Objective Lens

November 1, 2012

We here at Computer Optics hope that the last couple of case studies that we have published on our blog have shown the innovation and precision with which we work, and the next case study will be no different!

This month’s case study follows in the footsteps of the first two that we presented, in that it was also developed for military and high impact uses. When the US Army expressed a need for Stinger Objective Lenses, we were ready to put our knowledge to the test.

Case Study 3: Stinger Objective Lens

Optics used in the US Army’s Stinger Missile

To produce a robust fixed focus lens that requires a very precise alignment of the front optical element. Once designed, the lens had to be manufactured from initial prototypes to high throughput in the production stage.


Durability: The lens had a very durable and ruggedized design.

Capability: The US Army determined after an exhaustive search of domestic companies that COI was the only company capable of property and precisely aligning the front optical element of the assembly.

Production: After an initial prototype run, hundreds of lenses were delivered over the history of the program.

Military & Defense: Passively Athermalized FF Lens

October 10, 2012

As we mentioned in our last blog, Computer Optics is proud to have worked on and to continue working on custom products for a myriad of industries, and we are especially proud of the work done for military applications.

Last month, we presented you with a case study showing the work we did on a Compact IR Zoom Lens that needed to be resistant to very high shock and vibrations. This month we are excited to share with you another case study in which we manufactured a specialized passively athermalized FF lens.

Case Study 2: Passively Athermalized FF Lens


A military flight application requiring a fixed focus lens with no moving parts.


The desired lens must focus from a relatively-close 3 feet to infinity with no mechanical focus adjustment, while having a wide (+160°) field of view and athermal over a temperature range from 50°F to 122°F.


Durability: The lens had a very durable and ruggedized design.

Innovation: No motors, power, or moving parts are used with the lens; the system is completely passive.

Design: All materials used in the design have a normal coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), but the design was able to accommodate in temperature shifts (both optically and mechanically). The lens stays in focus over the entire thermal range.

Compact: The finished lens measured only 2.5” Dia. X 2.2” Length.

Lightweight: The finished lens only weighed 12 ounces.

Production: IR Zoom now offers this lens as a standard, off-the-shelf solution (used with a Tau 640 camera).

Military & Defense: Compact IR Zoom Lens

September 17, 2012

It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words and if that is the case, we believe that a case study must be worth a million!

We have worked on numerous custom products for a variety of industries, however none of them are quite as impressive as the work that we have done for the defense industry. Each of the next four blogs headed your way will feature a case study that we are proud to share. Be sure to take notice of how Computer Optics didn’t let issues or specs get in the way of a well-made and thoughtfully designed product!

Case Study 1: Compact IR Zoom Lens


Design & build an IR lens with zoom capability for missile tracking


Resistant to very high shock & vibrations


Experience:        Successfully applied knowledge of optical lens design formerly in the visible region towards the first IR lens from COI

Durability:           Lens very ruggedized and capable of rapid mechanical cycling

Design:                 Used optically compensated zoom design (rather than mechanically compensated zoom design) due to its use in a high-shock environment. This was one of the first uses of optical compensation in an IR or zoom application ever.

Software:            Developed internal software used to design this lens. The software designer later went on to start the optical software company called Code V.

Production:        Commercial product line resulted in sales in excess of US$10M over the lifetime of the contract.

Computer Optics: The Indestructible Lens

August 3, 2012

While we here at Computer Optics make lenses for all sorts of applications, we are especially proud of the products that we can provide for heavy duty and military applications. Since we manufacture everything in-house, we are able to take the time to really listen to what our clients want and build exactly what they need.

In the commercial lens industry, the consideration of cost and volume are important factors in how things are made. In the military industry, however, the ability to meet specifications is what matters most. We know that a fast and seamless transition from situational awareness to high detail is extremely important to our military clients, so we strive to be sure that our infrared zoom lenses and integrated camera systems meet those requirements. Military optical sights are designed to be used on the front lines, and they see a lot of action, so they need to be ruggedized. We are able to develop lenses that can withstand brute force and not incur any damage.

To show our capabilities, we have manufactured the indestructible lens; a simple, fixed-focus C-mount lens cased in metal, designed to survive almost any attack on it. Check out the video footage of us performing all sorts of tests on this lens. We dare you not to be impressed!

Zooming in on Perfection

July 3, 2012

Since 1986, Computer Optics has been concentrating on vertically integrated custom solutions in lens technology. Our deep history and expertise in zoom lens development laid the foundation for our work across a large spectrum of industries: We have designed and implemented custom optical solutions for clients in military, biology, biomedical, life sciences and B2B machine vision systems applications. With all of our products handled completely in-house by a close-knit team, we are able to optimize design and get your top-quality project to you more quickly. From conception through completion, Computer Optics is there every step of the way.

Our services include CNC machining, diamond turning, thin film coating, optical assembly, research & development, and testing & certification. We offer 14 off-the-shelf products, including standard and custom broadband lenses, telecentric lenses, industrial CCD lenses, zoom controllers, and precision flats.

We are dedicated to being a forward facing, innovative company. Check our blog monthly for updates on the latest company news, industry trends, and product details. For more information, please visit us at

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