The lens on a security camera is one of the most important things you need to look into. Why? Because, the lens determines how up close or far away your view is. A camera lens providing a zoomed in view of the entrance/exit area to a parking lot is going to be much different a camera lens viewing a wide angle shot of a sales floor. How do you know which lens is right for you? You will need a lens calculator.
There are many lens calculators out there, but in the past 7 years, I keep going back to the same one. It can be found at the following link:
Follow the steps below to make use of this easy to use lens calculator:
- Select the “Imager Format”. This is the type of chipset your camera has. Most cameras are either 1/3″ or 1/4″.
- Next, in the “Distance to Object” field, enter how far away the camera will be from your target area that you want to view.
- Next, in the “Lens Focal Length” field, enter the mm lens you are looking at. For example, if you are looking at a 3.6mm lens, you would enter “3.6”.
- Next, under “Specify F.O.V. Perspective–>”, select the “Horz.” radio button.
- After you have done this, click “CALCULATE”. The calculator has produced what your field of view will be, which can be seen in the “Horiz. Field-of-View” and “Vert. Field-of-View” fields.
You will also be able to see what the “Horz. FOV” is for the specified “Lens Focal Length” and “Imager Format” that you have used. For instance, a 1/3″ chipset camera with a 3.6mm lens has a 68.47 degree field of view.
Hint: All numbers populated in the calculator are the same unit (as far as feet, meters, yards, etc). If you populated the “Distance to Object” in “feet”, then the horizontal and vertical field of views will be populated in “feet”, as well.
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