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A Look at the Eye of Your Surveillance System: The Lens

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Whether you’re looking at a state-of-the-art 4K camera system or searching for an affordable CCTV solution, don’t forget to consider the best lens options for your needs. No amount of advanced technology or fancy features will make up for choosing the wrong lens for the job.

Common indications of a poor lens choice include:

  • Images look too distant or too near
  • Coverage is inconsistent across your surveillance area
  • Images are blurry or grainy
  • Color is washed out or tinted

The lens is ultimately what controls how your surveillance system sees its surroundings. This makes it an essential consideration when deciding how to best protect your home or business.

Intimidated by lens options? Consider these 5 factors:

  1. Depth of Field: This determines the distance at which the camera’s footage will stay in focus. Greater depth of field will offer a clear shot out to the horizon. Shallow depth of field will capture details at a specific range while blurring things in front of or behind the ideal distance.
  2. Focal Length: Often measured in millimeters (mm), Focal length determines the angle of view and magnification abilities of your camera. These two factors work in opposition to each other. Longer focal lengths will capture a narrower area but at a greater distance. Shorter focal points capture wider areas but won’t pick out details far from the camera.
  3. CCD Chips: While not technically part of the lens, this is the surface within the camera that reads the light coming in from your lens. A larger chip will provide better low-light performance and increased detail. Common chip sizes range from 1/4-inch to 2/3-inch.
  4. F-Stop/Aperture: This determines how much light is allowed through the lens to the CCD chip. When combined with other factors listed above, this will help to decide how crisp and detailed images will appear in a variety of situations.
  5. Iris: The iris of your lens will decide where you can use your CCTV camera. Manual or fixed irises work great indoors and in other settings with consistent lighting while automatic irises are recommended in outdoor settings.

When comparing lens types, it’s important to remember that each of these factors influences the others. Choosing the factors critical to your needs will help you figure out where to focus your comparisons.

At Mammoth Surveillance Camera Systems in New Britain, we stock a range of lens and camera options to ensure optimal performance in any scenario. With years of experience designing and installing surveillance systems in Connecticut, we can help you find the best options to protect your home or business. Many systems require less than 2 weeks to install. Call today to start the design process!

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