May 20, 2010 - Peter Clark

Meeting Location has changed to the Doubletree Hotel in Waltham

Focusing Miniature Cameras with Tunable Lenses

Mobile telephones are, of course, ubiquitous and the worldwide market is still growing. Almost every new cell phone has a camera now, and some have two! The cell phone camera lens is a remarkable and, I think, underappreciated achievement. We'll discuss cell phone camera optics briefly. Most of these miniature cameras are fixed aperture, fixed focus, fixed focal length systems. The design priorities are 1) size, 2) cost, and 3) image quality, but these lenses actually are interesting and very challenging to design and build.

Camera-phone image quality is steadily improving. Optical image quality gets better, pixel counts increase, and yet most cameras are still fixed-focus, so we'll also take up the problem of adding autofocus (AF) to cell phone cameras. It sounds like it would be easy, and there have been a number of AF solutions, yet none of them is in more than a small fraction of manufactured cameras. LensVector has developed a small, low-cost optical AF device that has no moving parts and promises to add AF capability to a large part of the cell phone camera market.

Along the way, there have been interesting issues of testing and development. We'll talk a bit about some of those and the elementary, yet elegant optical principals behind them.


Peter Clark

Peter Clark is VP, Optics at LensVector, Inc., a three-year old startup company headquartered in Mountain View, CA, with an office in Maynard, MA and an affiliated company in Quebec City. After studying optical engineering at the University of Rochester and Northeastern University, his career progressed from American Optical, Southbridge to Honeywell's Electro-Optics Center, Polaroid's Optical Engineering Department (20 years), Flextronics Corp, and then to LensVector. His technical interests include optical product and instrument design and development, optical testing, and technical computing.

Active in the Optical Society of America, he is proud to have been a counselor, secretary, and president of NES-OSA in the early '80s. He is an OSA Fellow, and he has served as chair of OSA's optical design technical group and as a board member of OSA.


DINNER reservations are required by 6 PM, May 16, 2010, the Sunday of the meeting. MEETING ONLY reservations are required by noon, May 18, 2010, the Tuesday of the meeting.

Please make reservations online. Reservations may also be left on the answering machine at 617.584.0266. We no longer have an email address for reservations due to SPAM. When making reservation requests, please provide the following information:

  • DINNER AND MEETING or meeting only
  • Name(s) and membership status
  • Daytime phone number where you can be reached (in case of change or cancellation)


Doubletree Guest Suites Boston Hotel - WalthamAddress:

550 Winter Street

Waltham, MA 02451

(781) 890-6767 (Map to Doubletree ).

Networking—5:45 PM, Dinner—6:30, Meeting—7:30 PM.


Dinner will include --- and coffee, tea, or milk.

Vegetarian option available on request

Dinner Prices:

Register on/before
DINNER Reservation Date
Late Reservation or
at the door 
NES/OSA Members and their guests $25.00 each $30.00
Students $15.00 $15.00
Non-members $30.00 (See NOTE Below) $35.00




NOTE: The NES/OSA has not changed dinner prices in several years but has been facing higher costs. We will maintain the current dinner prices for those reserving dinner on the requested date but still try to accommodate late reservations.

General Information on NES/OSA Meetings

Cancellations and No-shows:

If the meeting must be canceled for any reason, we will try to call you at the phone number you leave with your reservation. Official notice of cancellation will be on our answering machine.

We have to pay for the dinners reserved as of the Tuesday before the meeting, so no-shows eat into our cash reserve. If you will not be able to attend, please let us know as early as possible. Otherwise, no-shows will be billed.

Membership Rates:

Regular members $15.00
Student members free




NOTE: The extra $5.00 of the non-member dinner fee can be used toward membership dues if the nonmember joins and pays dues for the current year at the meeting.