Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:02 pm

Lens deterioration

Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:56 pm

I see there has been at least one other thread on this but I would like to ask a few questions.

Are the Pi camera lenses glass or plastic?
Do they have any UV protection?

One of my Pi's primary duties is so I can see in front of my home while I am working to watch for deliveries and to make sure nobody is coming by for a visit if my dogs are out. As such, my pi spends 2-5 hours in direct sunlight every day (indoors, on my window sill behind double pane glass). The view out it seems to be getting steadily less focused or blurry. If it simply cant hold up over long periods of time, fine I can make other arrangements. This Pi has been in that window since early 2015. Its due for a case replacement as it is.


Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:50 am

Re: Lens deterioration

Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:49 pm

As you are aware, plastic is subject to deterioration over time due to UV but even less evident, due to cosmic radiation effects. It can be seen in the short term on plastic products subjected to e-beam or gamma sterilization processes but I have seen it over a longer haul in plastic eyeglass lenses, even if kept in a closed, metal container not exposed to UV. I seriously doubt that the cheap lenses used in these inexpensive camera boards are glass.

Something else may be in play here. Over time, the focus of the lens may have shifted enough due to thermal effects to blur the image and you could play with that a bit but the lens can also be replaced with the same or different focal length lenses by carefully unscrewing from the base. You can find them on eBay pretty cheaply. Even at that, the entire camera isn't too expensive either. It is probably the old camera so a new one might be sharper.

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