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

Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
Leica Launches LIDAR / Thermal / IP Camera on Mar 04, 2020
Swiss manufacturer Leica is launching what it calls a "real-time reality...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
"Fever Camera" Online Show June 2020 - On-Demand Recordings on Jun 03, 2020
IPVM has successfully completed the world's first "Fever Camera" show....
Directory of 180 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Jul 09, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Euklis Presents AI Analytics on May 05, 2020
Euklis presented its AI facial recognition, LPR, and object recognition...
Mobotix 7 Line Camera Tested on Mar 12, 2020
Mobotix is attempting a turn-around, struggling for years, then releasing the...
Avigilon ACC Cloud Tested on Jul 08, 2020
Avigilon merged Blue and ACC, adding VSaaS features to its on-premise VMS,...
VMS 101 on Mar 03, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals about video management...
VSaaS 101 on Mar 25, 2020
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is the common industry term for cloud...
Multi-Imagers Added to IPVM Camera Calculator on Jun 15, 2020
IPVM has added multi-imager cameras to the Camera Calculator, supporting this...
Avigilon Face Mask Detection Tested on Jun 24, 2020
Face mask detection or, more specifically not wearing a face mask, is an...
GeoVision Presents AI and Facial Recognition on May 22, 2020
GeoVision presented its AI analytics and facial recognition at the April 2020...
Avigilon Open Analytics Tested on Apr 16, 2020
After years of effectively closed analytics, Avigilon decided in late 2018 to...
Magos Presents AI Radar Object Detector on May 08, 2020
Magos presented its AI radar object detection at the April 2020 IPVM New...

Recent Reports

Google Invests in ADT, ADT Stock Soars on Aug 03, 2020
Google has announced a $450 million investment in the Florida-based security...
US Startup Fever Inspect Examined on Aug 03, 2020
Undoubtedly late to fever cameras, this US company, Fever Inspect, led by a...
Motorola Solutions Acquires Pelco on Aug 03, 2020
Motorola Solutions has acquired Pelco, pledging to bring blue back and make...
False: Verkada: "If You Want To Remote View Your Cameras You Need To Punch Holes In Your Firewall" on Jul 31, 2020
Verkada falsely declared to “3,000+ customers”, “300 school districts”, and...
US GSA Explains NDAA 889 Part B Blacklisting on Jul 31, 2020
With the 'Blacklist Clause' going into effect August 13 that bans the US...
Access Control Online Show July 2020 - On-Demand Recording of 45+ Manufacturers Presentations on Jul 30, 2020
The show featured 48 Access Control presentations, all now recorded and...
Face Detection Shootout - Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jul 30, 2020
Face detection analytics are available from a number of manufactures...
Sunell is The First China Manufacturer to Market NDAA Compliance on Jul 30, 2020
Most China manufacturers are going to be impacted by the NDAA 'Blacklist...
Ink Labs Relabels China YCX Fever Camera And Steals Dahua's Marketing on Jul 30, 2020
A US company marketed a 'thermal temperature scanner' as its own, selling...
Genetec and Dahua-Backed Intelbras Split Examined on Jul 29, 2020
China is the cause of the breakup between Canada's and Brazil's largest video...
This YouTuber is Now Selling ThermoHealth Temperature Screening on Jul 29, 2020
An enterprising 20-year old is mass marketing medical devices on Facebook and...
Hikvision Returns To Growth Driven By Overseas Fever Cameras on Jul 29, 2020
While Hikvision's revenue fell in Q1 2020, it rebounded in Q2 attributed to...
Brazil's Biggest Domestic Surveillance Company Intelbras Profile on Jul 29, 2020
While Intelbras is not widely known outside of Latin America, Intelbras is a...
The Kiosk Market Pivots To Temperature Screening (Interviewed) on Jul 28, 2020
Video surveillance is not the only market that has pivoted to medical device...
Integrator Acquisitions 'A Good Market' During COVID-19, Says Greybeards on Jul 28, 2020
Industry broker Ron Davis of the "Greybeards" says that the integrator and...