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Lens Selection to Optimize Camera Resolution

Sam Liebo - Lead Applications Engineer

April 2018

When choosing a lens, you need to look at two things:

1. Lens resolutions relative to pixel size on the camera

2. Max image format on the lens relative to that of the camera

For resolution it doesn't matter how many megapixels a camera lens has. All that matters is the physical size of the pixels on the camera, or more exactly, the pitch between the pixels. Every camera manufacturer will publish this information. In order to see anything, you actually need two pixels because you need to see a transition or contrast. This is know in the industry as the resolution limit or Nyquist frequency, which is the minimum distance between two lines where each can still be distinguished, commonly measured in line pairs per millimeter (1p/mm).

To calculate the minimum 1p/mm require of a lens to give you full camera resolution, use the formula: