Digital Imaging Technology Extends Depth of Field

January 11, 2002

2 Min Read
Digital Imaging Technology Extends Depth of Field

Originally Published MPMN January/February 2002


Digital Imaging Technology Extends Depth of Field

The image on the top shows a leaf under normal magnification conditions. Viewed using Wavefront Coding technology from CDM Optics Inc., the image on the bottom shows the same leaf with a depth of field that is roughly 10 times greater.

An imaging system uses digital signal processing to extend depth of field without a reduction of light levels. Pioneered by CDM Optics Inc. (Boulder, CO;, Wavefront Coding technology increases the viewable depth of an image by as much as 1500%. "This system is unique because it keeps both the back- and foreground in crisp focus," says CEO R. C. Mercure. "For the first time, users can have a clear view of the whole sample rather than having to focus on individual elements."

The system uses a generalized aspheric optic element placed near the aperture stop of an optical instrument to produce these results. Capable of being incorporated onto existing lens surfaces or added as a separate unit, this element encodes the images with a well-defined blur that is insensitive to misfocusing. Digital signal processing is later used to decode this sampled image, resulting in a picture with an extended depth of field and a reduction in focus-related aberrations.

The Wavefront Coding process is suited for use with microscopes, endoscopes, laparoscopes, orthoscopes, and miniature cameras. The developer says it is particularly useful in applications where the sample moves or is too wide to be completely viewed in a single frame, or where the operator requires depth cues to indicate position. Because it allows the use of plastic elements, the system also reduces costs when compared with some glass-based instruments.

CDM Optics has formed a partnership with Carl Zeiss Group (Thornwood, NY; www.zeiss. com) to jointly develop and market this product. "This agreement underscores our commitment to the optics industry and enhances the system's credibility," says Mercure.

Zachary Turke

Copyright ©2002 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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