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Choosing the right camera lenses

Need a lens for your security camera, but unsure of what you need? Having trouble deciphering the specs? Let us be of assistance. Below you’ll find some clarification to help you find what you need.

If you’re shopping for a camera lens, it is likely that you have a box security camera. Box security cameras usually don’t include lenses, which is part of their allure, allowing them to be adaptable. It is pertinent to know whether the lens and the camera are compatible. This is done by checking whether the lens and the camera are C Mount or CS Mount. These mounts are essentially older and newer versions of mounts, respectively. The CS mount is 5mm shorter, making it closer to the image sensor. The important aspect to know is that when the camera and mounting formats are the same, the system should work properly.

With the use of a C/CS adapter, a C Mount Lens may be paired with a CS Camera. Do not mount the lens directly without the adapter as this may cause physical damage. On the other hand, a CS Mount Lens with a C Mount Camera will not cause physical damage, but the picture will never be clearly focused. The main take-away is to find a compatible lens for your security camera.

The measurement provided, usually in millimeters (mm), refers to the focal length and not the actual size of the lens. The focal length determines the size of the viewing field and its magnification. With longer focal lengths, a narrower picture will be captured with greater magnification. With shorter focal lengths, a wider view is produced with decreased magnification.

In regards to focal length, there are two options: fixed or vari-focal. As the names imply, fixed lenses have a set focal length that cannot be manipulated. Vari-Focal is derived from “variable focus” meaning the focal length can be adjusted for zooming in and out. Focal lengths for vari-focal lenses are provided as ranges rather than a specific length.

One more thing to consider is manual or auto focus. Manual iris lenses allow you to physically control the focus, whereas auto iris lenses can we controlled electronically. Manual iris lenses are better suited for settings where lighting remains constant and the cameras are easily accessible for adjustment when necessary. Auto iris lenses adjust to varying lighting conditions to maintain the best picture and need not be accessible.

When considering camera lenses, placement of the cameras should be considered as well. Manual iris lenses are better suited for indoor settings where lighting is fairly consistent. Auto iris lenses are better suited for outdoor use or other settings with varying light levels. If zooming in and out is a necessity, go with a vari-focal lens rather than fixed. And if you need a wider range of vision, opt for the shorter focal length. Need a more narrow and precise range? A longer focal length is your friend.

If you now have a better understanding and are ready to shop, find our selection at Still confused? Feel free to call us at 1-888-203-6294 and chat with our friendly staff.

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