Contrast is a leader in optical design and analysis, from extensive OpticStudio 16.5™ (formerly Zemax) knowledge and capabilities, to an image splitting process that is being used in producing HDR video for real-time streaming applications such as surveillance and video conferencing. Our designs are thoughtfully analyzed, and meticulously tested and adjusted prior to lens fabrication.

We are proud to offer the following services for Optical Design and Analysis:

  • OpticStudio 16.5, Optical Design and Analysis
  • Custom Imaging and Relay Lens Systems
  • Complex Image Splitting for Hybrid Systems

Lens Design

OpticStudio 16.5 optical design software is the premier design tool for optical designers around the world. Contrast principal Mike Tocci has extensive experience with OpticStudio 16.5, and has authored many OpticStudio 16.5 (formerly Zemax) Knowledge Base articles on topics such as stray light, off-axis parabola mirrors and modeling the human eye.

“Contrast’s expansive Zemax [OpticStudio 16.5] knowledge saves us time and money in producing new products. We are grateful for their swift and reasonably-priced solutions to our toughest problems.”

Engineering Director, Fortune 500 manufacturing company

“One of the reasons we wanted to work with Contrast early in the original project was because of your history of educating Zemax [OpticStudio 16.5] users… I have seen your desire for teaching on this project and I truly appreciate it. Things like that are just as important at the end of the day and it makes working together much easier.”

Engineering Manager, medical device manufacturer

Knowledge Base Articles by Mike Tocci, PhD:

How to Show Detector Volume Data in 3-D
Modeling Frustrated Total Internal Reflection in Non-Sequential Mode
Demystifying the Off-Axis Parabolic Mirror
How to Model the Human Eye in Zemax
Quantifying Veiling Glare

Custom Imaging and Relay
Lens Systems

Contrast recognizes that while there are a number of prefabricated lens options on the market today, more often than not, the opportunity for customization is essential to meet the increasingly demanding and specific needs of lens design. We have the ability to design imaging systems for a diverse amount of applications, such as telescopes, cameras, night-vision scopes, microscopes, viewfinders and many more. Some examples of our custom lens systems are provided below:


Our proven PAL designs offer imaging around 360-degrees in azimuth, and over 70-degrees in elevation, all at once on a single sensor. There is no image stitching, and there is no scanning, with our custom-designed PAL lenses. The simplicity of the optical design lends itself to incorporation into real-time video systems, which we have implemented for various industrial, medical, and military customers.

Whether your needs dictate an extremely compact 5mm application, commonly used for medical imaging, or large scale lenses that can be used for industrial pipe inspection or surveillance applications, Contrast’s panoramic lenses capture images beyond the 180-degree horizon line of the lens and are scalable. Our Panoramic Annular Lens (PAL) is much more rugged and compact than comparable wide-angle lenses, making it well suited for challenges such as imaging inside tight spaces or for round-the-clock, uninterrupted surveillance in harsh environments. To achieve far greater capabilities in 360-degree imaging, couple a PAL with our HDR camera systems.


In the human eye, the fovea centralis is packed with a much higher density of cone photoreceptors than the rest of the retina. This allows the eye to see with very high resolution in the center of the field of view while still allowing a very wide overall field of view. The Contrast Dual-FOV Fovegon lens system provides a wide-field-of-view camera with much greater magnification over the central region of the image, replicating the human eye. The Contrast FPGA firmware registration removes distortion from the image in real-time, yielding an undistorted picture with 25x greater pixel density at the center than at the edge, and has been used in military applications because it eliminates handoffs between narrow and wide sensor suites during critical tracking. Each Contrast Fovegon lens system is customized to our clients’ exact field of view, resolution, wavelength and magnification requirements.

“Contrast gives us the flexibility to incorporate state-of- the-art optics in our lens and reduces our need for an in-house optical design department. We couldn’t be more pleased with their performance.”

Ophthalmology Engineering Manager, Medical Device Manufacturer


Contrast has designed and implemented complex image systems that incorporate visible, near-infrared (NIR), and short wave infrared (SWIR) optical paths in a single device. Custom image processing and scaling allows for blending over sensors to produce unique and relevant imagery in real-time. Our patented HDR image splitting technologies are used to produce HDR video for real-time streaming applications such as surveillance, video conferencing, industrial process monitoring and medical imaging applications. Contrast’s amp HDR technology is not sensor dependent and is designed to extend the dynamic range of sensors by over eight additional stops.

For detailed information visit the following pages: