Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ophthalmics v Precision Optics

Coaters Tech clients include both precision optics labs and ophthalmics labs. I've worked in both industries extensively. Every once in awhile I am asked what the difference between the two are.

Both use exactly the same equipment to coat lenses. Leybold, Satisloh, Shincron... Electron guns, ion guns, turbo, diffusion and cryo pumps, vacuum gauges...

Both use the same materials for coating. TiO2, SiO2, ITO, Al2O3, etc.

Both require a high degree of precision and engineering.

Both conform to strict optical performance parameters.

Both go through stringent quality testing. Hardness, abrasion, environmental testing, etc.

The difference? No one buys a $300 camera lens and tosses it on the coffee table or sofa where it gets abused and maybe even put in the baby's mouth.

You wouldn't put this $300 camera lens on the sofa.
Coating ophthalmics is a difficult business. The same equipment and materials are used for the coatings but eye glasses are taken for granted. A $500+ pair of glasses is usually taken care of for a couple of months but is then left on the front seat of the car where they may get sat on.

Can you imagine doing that with a new camera lens?



Why would you put these $500 prescription Ray Bans on the sofa or car seat? (Photo credit www.ray-ban.com)

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