PixeLINK Capture now supports the use of the Navitar Motorized Lens Controller technology. When using a Navitar Motorized Lens it is now possible to control the lens' zoom and focus from within the PixeLINK capture application.


The options to control zoom and focus will only be available when a Navitar Lens Controller is attached. Otherwise only the exposure slider, gain slider and choose focus ROI check box will be available


Use the links below to skip to the relevant section:


Lens Controller Select


Focus


Setting up Minimum and Maximum Focal Values


Zoom


Setting Up Multiple Focal Points


How to Manipulate the Controls



Follow the steps below to make sure that your camera is able to perform a good focus every time.


1) Make sure that you have an environment setup with moderate lighting conditions.

2) Make sure that the target contains well defined edges.


Exposure time (ms):


Click on the "Exposure Time" slider and drag to the desired exposure time setting, or enter the setting in the box provided.  To have the camera determine the exposure time, click the "Auto" button and the camera will calculate a reasonable exposure time based on the average intensity of the image. To have the camera perform a continuous auto exposure, click the "Continuous" check box.


Gain (dB):



Click on "Gain" slider and drag to the desired gain setting, or enter the setting in the box provided, or Click on "Auto" to allow the camera to search for the best gain setting.  


Note: The gain has the effect of increasing the noise along with the signal. Be careful when using this command. It is always preferable to increase the amount of light entering the camera. Use gain only for light starved applications.


Lens Controller Select:



By default, when one camera and one Navitar Lens Controller are attached to the host computer the camera and lens controller will automatically pair with one another. If multiple cameras or multiple control boards are attached to the host computer the camera and control boards must be manually pair. To select what control board you with to control with the current camera, select the desired control board from the Lens Controller Select drop down.


Focus:



Click on the "Focus" slider and drag it to the desired point where you will be able to achieve a satisfactory focus for the camera. Use the "Auto" button to let the camera decide the best Focus point on the target. Click the "Min" or "Max" buttons to drive the lens focus position to the maximum or minimum allowed values (the camera will increase or decrease its position until the maximum or minimum position limit switches on the lens are hit).


To select the auto focus ROI click on the "Auto Focus ROI" check box. This will cause the Auto Focus ROI selection box to appear in the preview window. You can then drag the Auto Focus ROI selection box to the desired position. One this is done you can hide the ROI selection box by unchecking the "Auto Focus ROI" check box or by clicking the "Auto" button, running the auto focus algorithm.



The preview panel will report the time taken to complete the Auto Focus function.


Set Minimum and Maximum value to speed up Auto Focus:

The user will be able to set a minimum and maximum value for the Auto Focus slider. The Auto Focus algorithm searches this range to find the correct focus value of the object selected.


In order to increase the speed of Auto Focus, the user can also set a minimum and maximum value to shorten the range of the linear search. For instance, lets say the user knows that their focus value lies somewhere between 26000 to 32000 instead of using the default scale from 1 to 46000, the user will be able to shorten their range by setting minimum value to 26000 and maximum value to 32000. This reduces the range for the linear search which in turn speeds up the algorithm for auto focus.


Setting it up:


1) Use the Focus slider or type in a focus value.

2) Click on "Set Minimum" to set this value as the new minimum.

3) Use the slider or key in another focus value in the Textbox.

4) Click on "Set Maximum" to set this value as the new maximum.

5) Click on Auto Focus button and you should see an improvement in your timing.

The user will be able to see the time taken to perform an auto focus in the same tab.



Zoom:



The zoom control funtions similarly to the focus control. You can control the zoom value by dragging the zoom slider or by manually entering a zoom position in the text box. Click the "Min" or "Max" buttons to drive the lens zoom position to the maximum or minimum allowed values (the camera will increase or decrease its position until the maximum or minimum position limit switches on the lens are hit).



Setting up Multiple Focus Points:

PixeLINK Capture allows the user to set up two different focus points and snap between these two points for a duration set by the user. In order to enable multiple focus point, the user will need to check the checkbox beside "Enable Multi Focus Point". As soon as this checkbox is enabled, the user will have access to more options to set up multiple focus points.


In order to select Point 1 and Point 2, the user will need to make use of the following options.


1) Choose Auto Focus ROI.


Clicking on this check box will create an ROI on the preview window. Please look into the example below.



The maximum size for this ROI is 512x512. The user will be able to set this ROI anywhere on the Preview window.


2) Auto Focus button to get the focus value of the selected preview.


Follow the steps below to set up and perform multi point focus:

1) Check on "Enable Multi Focus Point" to enable its contents.


2) Click on "Choose Auto Focus ROI" button to select a particular region in your preview.


Note: Always try to select something with crisp edges. If your image quality is not that good, then the Auto Focus algorithm might not work properly. Please review Quick Tips for Best Image Quality article to obtain a good quality image from your camera.


3) Once you have selected your object in the preview, use the Auto Focus button to automatically perform an Auto Focus on that point.



4) After one-time auto focus has been completed, the textbox will display a focus value for that region. For instance, the textbox in the image above is displaying 29000.


5) Click on the "Set" button under Point 1 and it will automatically set that focus value.


6) Similarly, use the "Choose Auto Focus ROI" button to select another object or region in your Preview.


7) Perform an Auto Focus on that point.


8) After the one-time auto focus is complete, you will have a new focus value.


9) Click on "Set" button under Point 2 to set this Focus value.


Note: As the focus value gets set, it will be displayed under Point 1 and Point 2. Please take a look at the snapshot below.



10) Once the user have set both the points like the snapshot above, they will need to set the timing for the loop.


11) Use "Set Focus Interval" to set the total time for Multi Focus. Please look into the snapshot below.



For instance, the Focus Interval set above will allow the camera to change its focus from Point 1 to Point 2 every 500 milliseconds. The entire process will continue for 1 minute.

Note: There is no limitation on the total duration.


12) After the user have performed all the steps above, they will be able to click on the "Start" button to start this Multi point auto focus.


13) The user will be able to use the "Stop" button in any point in time to stop this multi point auto focus.