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Lenses

The RAZAR riflescope allows shooters to change focus without distraction

In combat, seconds count and a moment’s hesitation or distraction can mean the difference between life and death. So it's no small problem that modern riflescopes often require soldiers to look away from their targets or take their hands off their rifles in order to change magnification. Sandia National Laboratories’ Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles (RAZAR) riflescope is capable of switching between high and low zoom magnifications at the touch of a button, allowing soldiers to concentrate on the battle rather than their scopes.  Read More

The Canon CN20x50 cine-servo lens is an ultra-telephoto zoom

Canon has added to its cine-servo lens line-up with the CN20x50, an ultra-telephoto whopper. The 4K-friendly lens, which is aimed at sport and wildlife TV production, boasts a massive native focal length range of 50-1000-mm for getting close to the action. Should this not be enough, it also features a built-in 1.5x extender to expand that to a monstrous 75-1500-mm.  Read More

University of Rochester researchers have developed a simple four-lens cloaking system that...

Two scientists at the University of Rochester have taken invisibility cloaking back to basics. Their novel arrangement of four standard, off-the-shelf lenses keeps an object hidden (and the background undisturbed) as the viewer moves up to several degrees away from the optimal viewing angle.  Read More

The smartphone microscope, in use at the PNNL lab

Suppose you were a first responder, who got called out to investigate a suspicious substance found in a public place. Instead of having to transport that material back to the lab, wouldn't it be better if you could just take a microscope image of it with your smartphone, email that image off to a remote lab, then receive the analysis within just a few minutes while you were still on location? Thanks to a very inexpensive new phone attachment developed at the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), that could soon be possible.  Read More

The IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 claims the title as the fastest volume production lens in the world

Mirrorless camera owners in search of fast glass and razor-thin depth of field have a new king of wide-aperture lenses to drool over in the form of the Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85. It's the fastest volume production lens in the world, and the manufacturer claims it'll give you an image similar to an f/1.2 lens on a full frame camera.  Read More

The Fujinon XF 18-135-mm is the first weather-resistant XF lens from Fujifilm

Fujifilm has launched its first weather-resistant XF lens for the X-series lineup of interchangeable-lens cameras. The new lens, which would pair particularly well with the weather-tough Fujifilm X-T1, offers a versatile focal range and features an impressive five-stop image stabilization system which uses high precision gyro sensors.  Read More

The Discovery Wall at Weill Cornell Medical College

A new digital installation has been unveiled in the window of the foyer at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) in Manhattan. The Discovery Wall is a display made up of 2,800 mini LCD screens each placed behind a curved lens, and its content varies depending on the distance from which it's being viewed.  Read More

An image captured using the new lens

Night-vision security cameras could be getting a lot less costly, thanks to the discovery that their lenses can be made from silicon. Ordinarily, thermal infrared camera lenses are made from materials such as germanium and chalcogenide, which are much more expensive.  Read More

Researchers in Mexico are building lenses that help the visually impaired navigate their e...

Researchers from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) in Mexico have developed a pair of glasses that use a combination of ultrasound, GPS, stereoscopic vision and artificial intelligence to help the visually impaired to navigate their environment. The device, perhaps the most sophisticated of its kind, is slated to reach mass production early next year and will likely cost up to US$1,500.  Read More

Close-ups taken using a regular smartphone camera's digital zoom (left), and with the Core...

Although people may speak about zooming in with smartphone cameras, what they're doing isn't actual "zooming" in the telephoto-lens sense of the word. That's because almost all phone cameras just have a digital zoom, meaning that in order to get in closer on the subject, the phone just enlarges the pixels from the middle of the frame. The result is a grainy, crappy photo. While it is possible to squeeze optical zoom lenses into phones, Tel Aviv University spinoff company Corephotonics has developed a sleeker solution, that utilizes the combined output of two compact lenses.  Read More

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