Browse Prior Art Database

Camera Lens Changing Mechanism

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000106804D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-21
Document File: 4 page(s) / 196K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Baker, RG: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Described is a hardware implementation that provides a camera lens changing mechanism for automatically changing lenses and to maintain image capture capabilities, as in multimedia applications and video conferencing which require multiple fields of view. Three configurations are discussed that provide lens interchangeability with a preferred method discussed in detail.

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Camera Lens Changing Mechanism

      Described is a hardware implementation that provides a camera
lens changing mechanism for automatically changing lenses and to
maintain image capture capabilities, as in multimedia applications
and video conferencing which require multiple fields of view.  Three
configurations are discussed that provide lens interchangeability
with a preferred method discussed in detail.

      In prior art, cameras were designed for multiple purposes and
were equipped with several interchangeable lenses that were manually
handled.  In multimedia and computer based applications there is a
requirement for cameras to view an environment from several angles,
thereby requiring the use of a variety of lenses.  In automated
contexts and some standard environments, manual handling of lenses is
not practical or desirable.

      The concepts described herein provides a physical arrangement
for manipulating lenses in such a way that does not require the
camera to be moved while acquiring a variety of desired views.  The
lens changing mechanisms are flexible in the number of lenses they
can accommodate and capable of automated adjustability.

      Typically, cameras that are attached to multimedia oriented
Personal Computers (PCs) require image capture to occur from various
locations and at different distances necessitating different lenses
for each usage.  Whether the camera is used for still images or
capable of motion video, the need for lens interchangeability exists.
Instead of moving lenses in and out of place, the camera itself is
generally moved.  This increases the difficulty of shock mounting the
camera and induces additional cable strain.  To overcome these
difficulties, the concept of a lens changing mechanism for cameras is
presented with three possible physical configurations for mounting
the lenses, as follows:

1.  Utilization of a strip holder - While this offers the
    interchangeability desired, it is limited in the number of lenses
    that it can contain without causing mechanism width to grow
    significantly.  Another drawback is that this method works well
    for two lenses where stops are placed at the ends of travel for
    the strip, but is more difficult to manually stop precisely with
    additional lenses.  Fig. 1 shows a hypothetical strip mount for
    lenses.

2.  Fig.  2 shows an interchangeable disc configuration that also
    provides a means of holding several lenses.  While the disc can
    hold several lenses, the number of lenses determines the diameter
    of the disc and would not be satisfactory for mounting on the
    side of a PC.

3.  Figs.  3a and 3b shows the preferred structure for mounting
    multiple lenses.  Fig. 3a shows the side view of the structure
    and Fig. 3b shows the front view.  Multiple lenses 10 are mounted
    onto ring 11 which can rotate about axis 12.  This can be
    envisioned as a...