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Objective lens is the most important part of a microscope and plays a central role in imaging an object onto the human eye or an image sensor for discerning the object’s detail. Microscope objectives are ideal for a range of science research, industrial, and general lab applications. Microscope objectives are typically composed of multiple lens elements and located closest to the object. Microscope objectives include infinite conjugate (infinite corrected) and finite conjugate, and these lenses are available in a range of magnifications from 2X to 200X.

There are many types of microscope objectives for covering a wide variety of applications. The most basic and least expensive objectives, like you might find in a school science classroom, are achromatic objectives. Apochromatic objectives, on the other hand, provide a professional-grade level for aberration correction and feature comparatively high resolution. Most microscopes are equipped with multiple objectives with different magnifications, so specimens or samples can be examined with sufficient resolution.

Microscope objectives are widely used in all sorts of applications including medical, scientific research, and industrial fields.

Types of Microscope Objectives and How They are Used

Objective lenses provide the base magnifications and can be divided into many types based on lens configurations, optical aberration corrections, and applications. Most important specifications are marked on the barrel of the objective, so either students or researchers can easily identify the properties of an objective and determine the working conditions for proper use.

For precision imaging and scientific researches, high-quality objectives are needed to produce high-resolution images with low distortion and high contrast. The refractive index of the medium between the objective and object is critical in determining the working numerical aperture and also the resolution of a microscope objective. Objective numerical aperture can be dramatically increased by designing the objective to be used with an immersion medium, such as oil and water.

Shanghai Optics offers many types of pre-engineered objectives including plan achromatic objectives, plan fluorite objectives, plan apochromatic objectives, and super apochromatic objectives for a wide range of applications. In many cases, custom microscope objectives are the best option for special applications.

Apochromatic Objectives & Super Apochromatic Objectives

Shanghai Optics’ apochromatic microscope objectives provide better corrections for both spherical and chromatic aberrations in a flat field of focus and have a high transmission from the visible to the near-infrared region.  These objectives are designed for use in different immersion media such as air/dry, water or oil.

Shanghai Optics’ super apochromatic microscope objectives are designed for the most demanding research applications. Super apochromatic microscope objectives offer exceptional apochromatic correction and deliver diffraction-limited performance in the visible region. These objectives are designed for use in different immersion media such as air/dry, water or oil.

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Custom Microscope Objectives

Shanghai Optics provides custom microscope objective lenses for researchers and OEMs who require a solution that is beyond the capability of off-the-shelf microscope objective lenses.

Custom objectives are designed to meet the performance needs at specific imaging conditions such as thicker/thinner cover glass, large working distance, etc.

Utilizing advanced optical design software and world-class manufacturing techniques, Shanghai Optics designs and manufactures microscope objectives for meeting customers’ specific needs with efficient and economic ways. Top-quality glasses with high refractive index and low dispersion are used for reducing chromatic and other aberrations such as coma, astigmatism, geometrical distortion, field curvature, spherical aberration.

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Pre-engineered Microscope Objectives Designs

Sometimes budget and time restraint can hinder the chance to utilize complete custom optics in your project. Selecting a pre-engineered lens or modifying a pre-engineered lens to fit your specific requirements can be a good solution. Shanghai Optics (S.O) offers a wide selection of pre-engineered microscope objectives including industrial objectives, biological objectives, and metallurgical objectives at all different magnifications.

Industrial objectives are primarily used in industrial microscopes that are powerful tools of inspecting materials, component structures, sub-assemblies, assemblies, and finished products for quality controls. Biological objectives are primarily used in biological microscopes that are scientific instruments for research and diagnostics of biological specimens in research institutes, universities, and hospitals. Metallurgical objectives are primarily used in metallurgical microscopes to examine objects with shiny, or metal, or other opaque surfaces for scientific research and industrial applications.

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How Microscope Objectives are Made

Though the specific steps vary depending on the type of the objective needed, microscope objectives are generally produced using the following process:

  1. Design the objective: Shanghai Optical design and produce the objective lens with the required performance for meeting customers’ specific needs including imaging quality, magnification, working distance, spectral range, field of view, etc. This step may include choosing the proper lens configuration, selecting the proper types of optical glasses, lens optimizations, performance analyses, creating specifications and drawings of lens assembly, optical prats, and mechanical parts.
  2. Component manufacturing: There are several methods of producing the optical components including precision molding for high volume production. We review customers’ specific needs and select cost-effective ways to produce the components. We inspect all the components and ensure the surface quality and dimension accuracy meet specifications.
  3. Coating the optical components: All optical components are coated for meeting the coating specifications such as reflectivity or transmission specs.
  4. Bonding: We choose the correct adhesive to bond the optical elements. We clean the optical elements carefully and cement the matching surfaces precisely.
  5. Assemble the objective: We use the optimum alignment process to assemble objective lenses accurately and cost-effectively. With state-of-the-art optical metrology equipment, we inspect and qualify objectives in accordance with customers’ specific requirements.

Shanghai Optics design and manufacture various standard microscope objectives and also custom microscope objectives for meeting customers’ specific needs. With various types of advanced in-house manufacturing and testing equipment, we can produce both prototypes and large quantities of precision microscope objectives in an economic and fast way.

To address special custom needs such as  high N.A. or long working distance or special coatings, Shanghai Optics make cost-effective solutions available to customers.

Microscope Objectives From S.O.

With more than 55 years of optical design and manufacturing experience in precision lenses, Shanghai Optics is highly qualified to help engineers, researchers, scientists and microscope manufacturers with microscopy and imaging challenges. Our optical engineering consultants can help design custom microscope objectives that meet your needs, and our production team can manufacture the lenses with high quality in very efficient and economic manners.

We provide first article inspection and follow ISO 9001 standards to ensure the lenses meet or beyond your expectations for performance. If you want to bring the advantages of high-quality microscope lenses to your project or workplace, request a free quote from S.O. today.

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