Testing: GBO InfinityLens Lenses

By Benros Emata, Published on Sep 29, 2010

Ensuring surveilled objects are in focus is a common concern. In this report, we examine lenses claiming to offer a massive depth of field (MDOF), allowing objects in both the near and far fields to remain simultaneously in focus. This test evaluates GBO's InfinityLens lenses [link no longer available].

[Update 2012: GBO is out of business.]

Inside this report we'll reveal our findings based on side-by-side comparisons of the GBO InfinityLens lenses versus a commercially available lens.  We provide image captures to allow the viewer to participate in the evaluation.

Testing Methodology

Depth of Field Performance

We tested the 14.0mm, 30.4mm and 52.3mm manual iris GBO Infinity lenses against a commercially available 5-50mm auto-iris lens using the same 4CIF IP camera for each trial.

In the first trial of 14.0mm GBO lens vs. 5-50mm commercially available lens we adjust the focal length of the 5-50mm control lens so that the horizontal FoV is similar to the 14.0mm GBO lens' horizontal FoV.  We then adjust the manual iris so that light levels and aperture sizes are relatively equal.

We then set focus to license plate/person subjects at 20 feet (near) and capture images at the 20ft (near),  50ft (mid) and 100ft (rear) of the same license plate/person subjects. This procedure is done for both the GBO and commercial lens.

We repeat focusing at the 50ft (mid) and 100ft (rear) locations and then capture images at the 3 (near, mid, and rear) locations for these two focus points. This procedure is done for both the GBO and commercial lens.

We then repeated the same steps for the 30.4mm and 52.3mm lenses, with the following adjusted reference distances:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

  • 30.4mm focal length lens test - near (25ft), mid (50ft), rear (100ft)
  • 52.3mm focal length lens test - near (100ft), mid (250ft), rear (450ft)

Low-light Performance

In our low-light tests we capture images of the 14mm GBO InfinityLens lens at a 1.0 Lux and 0.3 Lux level. We then repeat the procedure with a commercially available lens. We then compared the two lenses at each lux level for differences in image quality.

Related Lens Reports

GBO offers sixteen (16) models of lenses in its InfinityLens series. Lenses are available in fixed focal lengths of 3.5mm, 5.5mm, 8.8mm, 14.0mm, 16.1mm, 30.4mm, 52.3mm, and 86.0mm. Manual iris models are available at each focal length. Some focal lengths support other iris control types such as a 52.3mm fixed iris lens (IL-52-F28-C), a 30.4mm auto-iris lens (IL-30-A28-C), and a 16.1mm auto-iris lens (IL-16-F28-C). All lenses are capable of supporting a maximum sensor size of 1/2". The 3.5mm and 5.5mm lenses are available as a CS mount, while 8.8mm to 86mm lenses are available as C mount lenses (spacer allows CS compatability). Also, the 3.5mm, 8.8mm and 14.0mm focal lengths are available as an M mount lens as well.

Key Findings

GBO lenses provided slight to modest detectable improvements in focusing objects throughout the depth of field, in the majority of side-by-side image comparisons with a commercially available lens.

At 1.0 Lux levels the GBO lens appeared to retain a sharper focus compared to the commercial lens.  However, when the lux level was reduced to 0.3 Lux the GBO lens produced a grainier/noisier image in comparison to the commercial lens.

Image captures from testing results [link no longer available] are available for download and review.

Recommendations

There are a few compelling disadvantages to using the GBO InfinityLens lenses for typical video surveillance applications. Firstly, the majority of the GBO InfinityLens lenses have an MSRP of $490. In contrast, a Computar (H3Z4518CS-MPIR) MP rated vari-focal 4.5mm to 13.2mm, manual-iris lens retails at MSRP $367. Another option to consider is a Tamron (M13VM550) [link no longer available] 5-50mm MP rated varifocal auto-iris lens, which has an MSRP of $360. Secondly, the InfinityLens lenses are fixed focal length, and as such will not allow for custom fitting the focal length to the application. Another disadvantage is that the majority of the InfinityLens line are manual iris, and may be an issue in fluctuating light environments.

The GBO InfinityLens lenses may be more appropriate for specialized niche applications such as license plate recognition. In installations where there are only a few license plate cameras in relation to more standard use cameras, the price difference becomes somewhat less significant.

The utility of the increased depth of field provided by the GBO InfinityLens lenses may also be more appropriately realized in applications where extensive digital PTZ functionality is relied upon to investigate events or objects within video scenes at various depths. 

Physical Overview and Test Results

In this screencast, we provide a physical overview of the GBO InfinityLens series.  In this overview we do not show any of the M mount style lenses, any of the 16.1mm lenses, and a couple others are not shown for brevity. See their entire InfinityLens series line-up on thier website [link no longer available]. We then show some example image captures demonstrating the differences between GBO and the commercial lens used in our testing. Finally, we present the results of the low-light comparison between GBO and the commercial lens using a wide dynamic range day/night camera. You can get a better look at these test images [link no longer available] by downloading them.

Related Reports

Camera Field of View (FoV) Guide on Nov 13, 2019
Field of View (FoV) and Angle of View (AoV), are deceptively complex. At...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
Lens Focal Length Tutorial on Jul 10, 2019
3mm, 6mm, 2.8 - 9mm, 5 - 50mm, etc. Camera specifications often list lens...
AVTech ~$70 IP Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 04, 2019
Taiwanese manufacturer Avtech is taking direct aim at low cost leaders Dahua...
Camera Focusing Tutorial on Oct 14, 2019
Camera focus is fundamental to quality imaging. Mistakes can significantly...
Vivotek 4K S-Series Camera Tested on Sep 30, 2019
Vivotek's highest-end S-series camera claims "Supreme Night Visibility",...
Camera Analytics Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 22, 2020
Analytics are hot again, thanks to a slew of AI-powered cameras, but whose...
Leica Launches LIDAR / Thermal / IP Camera on Mar 04, 2020
Swiss manufacturer Leica is launching what it calls a "real-time reality...
Avigilon Facial Recognition 'Appearance Alerts' Tested on Dec 18, 2019
Avigilon has released 'Appearance Alerts' in ACC 7.4, which adds real-time...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Hanwha AI Object Detection Tested on Sep 28, 2020
Hanwha has added detection and classification of people, cars, clothing...
Lens Iris Tutorial on Aug 08, 2019
Cameras, like humans, have irises, controlling the light which hits the...
Axis Next Gen P32 Camera Tested (P3245-LVE) on Dec 18, 2019
Axis has released the next generation of their widely used P32 camera series,...
Mobotix 7 Line Camera Tested on Mar 12, 2020
Mobotix is attempting a turn-around, struggling for years, then releasing the...

Recent Reports

ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...