Casio, Inc, in conjunction with its parent company, Casio Computer Co, Ltd announced that using its proprietary optical technology, Casio Computer has developed the world's first lens using transparent ceramics. This breakthrough will make it possible to create zoom lenses for cameras with greatly reduced profiles.
"Casio created the market for truly pocketable and stylish digital cameras with its EXILIM line, and we can now look forward to even smaller cameras that pack an every greater array of features," said John Clough, president of Casio, Inc.
The company has created the world's first transparent ceramic lens using LUMICERA, a transparent ceramic developed by Murata Manufacturing Co, Ltd. LUMICERA has the same light transmitting qualities as optical glass commonly used in today's conventional camera lenses, however it has two very important properties. Not only is LUMICERA's refractive index (nd = 2.08) much greater than that of optical glass (nd = 1.5 - 1.85 *2), it also offers superior strength.
Casio has been able to create a ceramic lens with extremely high levels of precision thanks to several factors. Under recommendations from Casio the material itself has been refined for use in digital camera optical lenses by endowing it with improved transmission of short wavelength light and eliminating pores (air bubbles) that reduce transparency. Casio has also established a process involving the combination of polishing material, time and pressure, and by treating the lens with a special coating compatible with a high refractive index.
By incorporating this lens into the construction of the zoom lenses developed by Casio, a reduction in profile of approximately 20% has been made possible.