Design & Engineering

Optical and Mechanical Services - Our Approach and Expertise

Our engineering team consists of optical, mechanical, quality, electrical, process and application engineers with expertise in a wide range of imaging applications and technologies and skilled in the design of complex, high resolution, diffraction limited, innovative optical assemblies. Additionally, they have years of experience with illumination optics design, optical alignment methodologies and equipment, opto-mechanical tolerance analysis, performance modeling, and stray light analysis.

Our mechanical design team works closely with our optical and electronic designers to produce fully integrated opto-mechanical systems and sub-systems. Using state-of-the-art mechanical design software, we insure that your lens systems are both technically feasible and mechanically manufacturable. By integrating both optical and mechanical designs we ensure the solution built meets all your mechanical and performance specifications. We also ensure lens performance through extensive testing both during manufacturing and after assembly.


Navitar offers a broad range of design and engineering services to cover all aspects of developing custom optical solutions for your application.

  • Optical, Mechanical, Electro-Optical and Illumination Design

  • Feasibility Study and Basic Initial Optical Design

  • Optical Fabrication

  • Rapid Prototyping

  • Precision Assembly 

  • High Volume Production

  • Unbeatable Customer Service and Support

  • Intellectual Property Consulting

Our Approach

We strive to provide customers with best fit solutions that align with their unique needs and budget. Our approach compares your product/component, program or operation against benchmarks in terms of:

  • Total cost of operations

  • Product / operational competitiveness

  • Ease of use / simplicity / usability

  • Reliability

Then we work together to determine feasibility, potential return and best fit.

Prototype to Volume Production

Navitar is one of the few lens companies that can seamlessly integrate optical and mechanical engineering, rapid prototyping and volume custom lens production.  By eliminating the complexity of managing multiple suppliers, the entire design and prototyping process will be reduced, cycle times shortened, and you will get a consistently better product delivered routinely month after month than what is possible from any other manufacturer.

Projection Optics Design

We have been producing projection optics since Eastman Kodak introduced the slide projector. Today, we specialize in solutions that require exacting performance and yet can be used in a variety of installations. Our projection lenses are used in planetariums, simulation, amusement, home theaters, houses of worship, museums and more.

We have a thorough understanding of:

  • Relay and non-relay designs

  • Fisheye lenses and F-theta distortion

  • Pixel mapping at edge of projected images

  • Unique characteristics of different chip sets, color off-sets, and panel size variations in light engines

  • Rectilinear and fisheye design requirements

  • Customer-specific masking techniques and blending

  • Tolerance and sensitivity analyses

  • Distortion modeling

  • Design for Manufacturing (DFM)

Custom Microscope Objectives

Navitar and its Special Optics division specialize in the designing and manufacturing of custom microscope objective lenses for researchers and OEMS who require a solution to a complex application that cannot be solved by off-the-shelf microscope objective lenses. Our designs span working distances of 0.3mm to 55mm, cover wavelengths from visible  (390-750) to near infrared (700-1400nm), can be modified for aqueous, oil and vacuum environments with housings of stainless, ultem or titanium.

Our custom objectives are used in applications such as:

  • Dual-view Inverted Selective Plan Illumination (diSPIM)

  • Multi-photon Microscopy

  • Cold Fermion/Atom Trapping

  • Confocal Microscopy

  • STED Microscopy

  • Deep Tissues Imaging

  • Microscopy and Analysis of Quantum Structures

  • Super Resolution Microscopy

  • Failure Analysis of Structural Materials

  • Live Cell Fluorescent Microscopy

Examples of Custom Microscope Objectives

  • Customer: Stanford University Department of Neurobiology
    0.96 NA objective, with stainless housing for life science research in aqueous environment.
    F#: 0.52, Aperture: 23, EFL: 12, WD: 1.5mm water, FOV: 0.4

  • Customer: Janelia Research Campus, HHMI
    0.65 NA Water Immersion Microscope Objective Lens Used for excitation in the Bessel Beam Structured Plane Illumination Microscope designed by Eric Betzig

Custom Microscope Objectives

Custom Projection Solutions

We have partnered with some of the world’s foremost producers of dome theater equipment, simulation and modeling technologies, and providers of high resolution, full motion immersive environments and display systems. Our designs include lenses for OEM applications, simulators, command and control rooms, planetariums, tradeshow booths, museum exhibits, Broadway productions, military bases and rides at major theme parks.

Whether you need a lens for an existing projector, have your sights on using a new ultra high resolution projector, or are currently designing a new system, Navitar’s engineering and design team can create a custom projection lens solution for you.

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