SPHERICAL VS. ASPHERIC LENSES

HOW THEY’RE USED IN IMAGING APPLICATIONS

Optical Lenses are often categorized by their shape. Two common surface shapes are spherical and aspherical. Each offers unique characteristics that make it suitable for different use cases.


Before choosing an optical lens manufacturer, you need to understand the function of your desired lens assembly. The lens design must be manufacturable and deliver the required performance. Regardless of your field, be sure to partner with a manufacturer who understands your unique lens and industry needs. 

Here we’ll discuss the top three considerations when selecting an optical lens manufacturer.

Three Things to Look For

The most important things to look for in an optical lens manufacturer are the level of quality, technology, and value they offer.

Quality 

The most pivotal factor is quality. Consider whether the optical lens manufacturer can create a product that reflects well on both their company and yours. Ensure the optical lens manufacturer has a quality control system that meets certification standards such as ISO 9001:2015. 

The manufacturer should also place a reasonable warranty on their products to ensure you can return the lens if you discover any shortcomings with it. The optical lens manufacturer should have systematic processes for handling suspected defects. 

Technology

Ensure the optical lens manufacturer has the right fabrication and metrology equipment to manufacture your desired lenses. Finding the appropriate technology does not necessarily mean looking for an optical lens manufacturer with the most expensive, new, and advanced equipment. The efficiency of the machinery and its ability to create high-quality lenses for your application are the most important considerations.

A good optical lens manufacturer is one who understands when less expensive equipment—like mechanical pitch polishers—can be used versus when high-end CNC machinery is necessary. This is true for metrology, too. For instance, a specification may only call for using manual calipers to measure diameters for proper tolerances. Other tolerances need complex optical metrology systems, like white light interferometers, to determine surface roughness and other specifications.

Value

Two lenses can have a price difference of ten times or more but appear similar. The difference is usually because of the material used in manufacturing the lens—the more expensive the lens, the more expensive the glass material. They may also have superior properties that significantly increase processing time, like low surface roughness and minimal digs or scratches. 

Since you may not be able to tell the quality difference in lenses by just looking at them, you need to choose a reliable manufacturer who will not under-process or over-process your lenses. An ideal optical manufacturer should be able to make a lens that works in its intended application without costing more than necessary. The final product should meet your specifications, timeline, and budget. 

Why JML

JML Optical is a leading optical lens manufacturer known for high-quality products and custom solutions. As one of the top 10% of optical manufacturers in the United States, we provide precision-engineered optical solutions that meet your specific requirements. We perform these services to deliver one-stop solutions for our customers:

  • Rapid prototyping
  • Optical and optomechanical design
  • Glass and metal fabrication
  • Thin-film coating
  • Environmental testing
  • Metrology
  • Complete assembly

Contact JML Optical today to learn more about our capabilities.