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Lens barrel and imaging device

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Lens barrel and imaging device


The lens barrel includes a first supporting frame, an optical element, a second supporting frame, and a guide shaft. The first supporting frame has a first base portion and a first seat portion that projects in a first direction from the first base portion. The second supporting frame supports the optical element and has a first bearing portion. The guide shaft is coupled to the first seat portion and inserted into the first bearing portion. The first seat portion is disposed within the circumference of the guide shaft when viewed in the first direction.

Browse recent Panasonic Corporation patents - Osaka, JP
Inventors: Atsushi HASEGAWA, Tetsuya UNO
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120307383 - Class: 359823 (USPTO) - 12/06/12 - Class 359 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120307383, Lens barrel and imaging device.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/835,748, filed on Jul. 14, 2010. The entire disclosure of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/835,748 is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The technology disclosed herein relates to an imaging device and a lens barrel used with the imaging device.

2.Background Information

Imaging devices that make use of a CCD (charge coupled device) sensor, a CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensor, or another such imaging sensor have become extremely popular in recent years. Examples of such imaging devices include digital still cameras and digital video cameras. These imaging devices are generally equipped with a lens barrel for forming an optical image of a subject on an imaging element. The type of lens barrel generally used is a telescoping lens barrel, which is usually stored inside the camera body when not being used to form an optical image of the subject.

SUMMARY

One aspect of the technology disclosed herein is a lens barrel that comprises a first supporting frame, a second supporting frame, and a guide shaft. The first supporting frame includes a first base portion and a first seat portion that projects from the first base portion in a first direction. The second supporting frame is configured to support an optical element and includes a first bearing portion. The guide shaft is coupled to the first seat portion and inserted into the first bearing portion. When viewed in the first direction, the first seat portion is disposed within the outer circumference of the guide shaft.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Referring now to the attached drawings which form a part of this original disclosure:

FIG. 1 is an oblique view of a digital camera;

FIG. 2 is a cross section of a lens barrel (wide angle end);

FIG. 3 is a cross section of a lens barrel (telephoto end);

FIG. 4 is a cross section of a lens barrel (when retracted);

FIG. 5 is an exploded oblique view of a master flange and a third lens group unit;

FIG. 6 is a cross section of a master flange and a third lens group unit;

FIG. 7 is a cross section of a guide shaft and its surroundings;

FIG. 8 is a cross section along the VIII-VIII line in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a cross section along the IX-IX line in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a cross section of a guide shaft and its surroundings (another embodiment); and

FIG. 11 is a cross section of a guide shaft and its surroundings (another embodiment).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF EMBODIMENTS

Selected embodiments will now be explained with reference to the drawings. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure that the following descriptions of the embodiments are provided for illustration only and not for the purpose of limiting the invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

The phrase “within the range of the outer shape of the guide shaft” means “within the outline of the guide shaft when viewed in the first direction”. The phrase “the first base portion is disposed within the range of the outer shape of the guide shaft” encompasses that the outer shape of the first base portion coincides with the outer shape of the guide shaft.

Configuration of Digital Camera

As shown in FIG. 1, a lens barrel 100 (an example of a lens barrel) is mounted on a digital camera 1 (an example of an imaging device). Examples of imaging devices include digital still camera and digital video cameras that make use of an imaging element. Examples of imaging elements include CCD image sensors and CMOS image sensors.

Overall Configuration of Lens Barrel

The overall configuration of the lens barrel 100 will be described. As shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, the lens barrel 100 comprises an optical system O, a fixed lens barrel 110 (an example of a first supporting frame), a moving lens barrel 120 disposed inside the fixed lens barrel 110, and a CCD unit 260 (an example of an imaging element).

The optical system O has a first lens group 140a, a second lens group 140b, and a third lens group 140c. The optical system O also an optical axis L defined by these lens groups. A direction parallel to the optical axis L will hereinafter also be called the optical axis direction. The optical axis direction is an example of a first direction.

The first to third lens groups 140a to 140c each is made up of a plurality of lenses. However, the first to third lens groups 140a to 140c may instead each is made up of a single lens. The first lens group 140a is a lens group for taking in an optical image of a subject. The second lens group 140b is used for zoom adjustment. The third lens group 140c is used for focus adjustment. The zoom and focus are adjusted by changing the spacing between the first to third lens groups 140a to 140c.

The moving lens barrel 120 is deployed forward (toward the subject) with respect to the fixed lens barrel 110, and stowed inside the fixed lens barrel 110. More specifically, the moving lens barrel 120 has a first moving lens barrel 120a, a second moving lens barrel 120b, a third moving lens barrel 120c, and a second lens frame 130b (an example of a second supporting frame).

The second moving lens barrel 120b is disposed inside the third moving lens barrel 120c, and the first moving lens barrel 120a is disposed inside the second moving lens barrel 120b. During imaging, the second moving lens barrel 120b is deployed with respect to the third moving lens barrel 120c, and the first moving lens barrel 120a is deployed with respect to the second moving lens barrel 120b. During retraction, the second moving lens barrel 120b is stowed in the third moving lens barrel 120c, and the first moving lens barrel 120a is stowed in the second moving lens barrel 120b. Thus, the first to third moving lens barrels 120a to 120c are deployed forward with respect to the fixed lens barrel 110, or are stowed in the fixed lens barrel 110. When the first to third moving lens barrels 120a to 120c have been deployed forward, the first moving lens barrel 120a is deployed at the very front.

Detailed Configuration of Lens Barrel

The lens barrel 100 will now be described in detail.

As shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, the fixed lens barrel 110 has a cylindrical fixing frame 230 and a master flange 240 that is fixed to this fixing frame 230. The third moving lens barrel 120c is disposed inside the fixing frame 230 to be movable in the optical axis direction. A third lens frame 130c is supported by the fixing lens barrel 110 to be movable in the optical axis direction. The CCD unit 260 (an example of an imaging element) and an IR-filtering glass 250 for blocking out infrared rays are disposed at a central part of the master flange 240.

As shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, the first moving lens barrel 120a has a first lens frame 130a and a barrier unit 150 for protecting the first lens group 140a. The first lens group 140a is fixed to the first lens frame 130a. The barrier unit 150 is disposed on the front (on the subject side) of the first lens frame 130a. The barrier unit 150 has a plurality of barrier blades 150a. During imaging, the barrier blades 150a open and allow light to be incident on the first lens group 140a (see FIGS. 2 and 3, for example). At other times (that is, when the lens barrel is retracted), the barrier blades 150a close, and the first lens group 140a is protected by the barrier blades 150a (see FIG. 4, for example).

As shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, the second moving lens barrel 120b has a cylindrical camera cam frame 160 and a cylindrical rectilinear frame 170 disposed inside the camera cam frame 160. The first moving lens barrel 120a is disposed inside the rectilinear frame 170 movably in the optical axis direction. The first moving lens barrel 120a and the second lens frame 130b are supported by the second moving lens barrel 120b movably in the optical axis direction. More specifically, a cam groove is formed in the inner peripheral face of the camera cam frame 160. This cam groove guides the first lens frame 130a and the second lens frame 130b in the optical axis direction. As a result, the first lens group 140a and the second lens group 140b move in the optical axis direction according to the shape of the cam groove. A rectilinear groove is formed in the rectilinear frame 170. This rectilinear frame 170 causes the first lens group 140a and the second lens group 140b to move in the optical axis direction without rotating with respect to the fixed lens barrel 110.

As shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, the third moving lens barrel 120c has a cylindrical drive frame 210 and a cam through-frame 220 disposed inside the drive frame 210. The second moving lens barrel 120b is disposed inside the cam through-frame 220 movably in the optical axis direction.

As shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, a shutter unit 180, a shake correcting mechanism 185, and a stop mechanism (not shown) are attached, for example, to the second lens frame 130b. The shutter unit 180 has a shutter 180a disposed to the rear of the second lens group 140b. The shake correcting mechanism 185 supports the second lens group 140b movably within a plane perpendicular to the optical axis L. It could also be said that the second lens group 140b is supported by the second lens frame 130b. The stop mechanism adjusts the aperture of the optical system O. Control signals from a controller (not shown) are transmitted via flexible wiring 190 to the shutter unit 180, the shake correcting mechanism 185, and the stop mechanism.

Detailed Configuration of Third Lens Group Unit

The detailed configuration of the third lens group unit 500 will now be described through reference to FIGS. 4 to 6.

The third lens group unit 500 has a third lens group 140c (an example of an optical element) and a third lens frame 130c. The third lens group 140c is a lens used for focal adjustment, and is fixed to the third lens frame 130c. The third lens group unit 500 is supported by the fixed lens barrel 110 movably in the optical axis direction. More specifically, the fixed lens barrel 110 has a master flange 240, a fixing frame 230, and a guide shaft 186. A stepping motor 502 for driving the third lens group 140c in the optical axis direction is fixed to the master flange 240.

The third lens frame 130c is supported by the fixed lens barrel 110 movably in the optical axis direction. The third lens frame 130c has a main body 131 and a guide portion 501.

The main body 131 supports the third lens group 140c. The third lens group 140c is fixed to the main body 131.

The guide portion 501 is disposed slidably with the guide shaft 186 (an example of a guide shaft; discussed below), and is fixed to the main body 131. In this embodiment, the guide portion 501 and the main body 131 are integrally molded from a resin or the like.

As shown in FIG. 7, the guide portion 501 is a substantially cylindrical member, and the guide shaft 186 is inserted into the guide portion 501. The guide portion 501 has a first bearing portion 501a (an example of a first bearing portion), a second bearing portion 501b (an example of a second bearing portion), and an intermediate portion 501e.

The first bearing portion 501a is a substantially tubular portion, and is disposed integrally and movably in the optical axis direction with the main body 131. The first bearing portion 501a has a first sliding hole 501c (an example of a first sliding hole) disposed slidably with the guide shaft 186. The guide shaft 186 is inserted into the first sliding hole 501c. The size H1 of the first bearing portion 501a in the optical axis direction (the size of the first sliding hole 501c in the optical axis direction) is set to be greater than the size H2 of a first seat portion 506b (discussed below) in the optical axis direction.

The second bearing portion 501b is a substantially cylindrical member, and is disposed integrally and movably in the optical axis direction with the main body 131 and the first bearing portion 501a. The second bearing portion 501b has a second sliding hole 501d (an example of a second sliding hole) disposed slidably with the guide shaft 186. The guide shaft 186 is inserted into the second sliding hole 501d. The size H3 of the second bearing portion 501b in the optical axis direction (the size of the second sliding hole 501d in the optical axis direction) is set to be greater than the size H4 of a second seat portion 507b in the optical axis direction.

The second bearing portion 501b is disposed at a position closer to the second seat portion 507b than the first bearing portion 501a. The first bearing portion 501a and the second bearing portion 501b are disposed spaced apart in the optical axis direction, and are linked by the intermediate portion 501e. The inside diameter of the first bearing portion 501a and the second bearing portion 501b is smaller than the inside diameter of the intermediate portion 501e, so the intermediate portion 501e does not slide with the guide shaft 186.



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Image-capturing optical lens assembly
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120307383 A1
Publish Date
12/06/2012
Document #
13572715
File Date
08/13/2012
USPTO Class
359823
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
02B7/02
Drawings
12



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