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Lens barrel and imaging device

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Lens barrel and imaging device


The lens barrel includes a flexible wire, a first supporting frame and a second supporting frame. The flexible wire has a first end with at least one terminal, a second end with at least one terminal and a bent portion disposed between the first and second ends. The bent portion includes a plurality of part overlapping each other. The first supporting frame supports the first end. The second supporting frame is movably disposed in a first direction with respect to the first supporting frame and supports the bent portion.

Browse recent Panasonic Corporation patents - Osaka, JP
Inventors: Shinichi IWASAKI, Tetsuya Uno
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120314310 - Class: 359822 (USPTO) - 12/13/12 - Class 359 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120314310, Lens barrel and imaging device.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/837,512, filed on Jul. 16, 2010. The entire disclosure of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/837,512 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), 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. A telescoping lens barrel, with which the lens barrel is stowed in the camera body when not being used for imaging, has been used as this type of lens barrel.

SUMMARY

One aspect of the technology disclosed herein is a lens barrel that includes a flexible wire, a first supporting frame and a second supporting frame. The flexible wire has a first end with at least one terminal, a second end with at least one terminal and a bent portion disposed between the first and second ends. The bent portion includes a plurality of parts overlapping each other. The first supporting frame supports the first end. The second supporting frame is movably disposed in a first direction with respect to the first supporting frame and supports the bent portion.

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 rectilinear frame and a second lens frame;

FIG. 6 is a developed view of flexible wire;

FIG. 7 is an oblique view of flexible wire;

FIG. 8 is an oblique view of the second lens frame;

FIG. 9 is a detail enlargement of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an oblique view of the second lens frame;

FIG. 11 is a detail enlargement of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a plan view of the second lens frame;

FIG. 13 is a detail enlargement of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a plan view of the flexible wire and the second lens frame; and

FIG. 15 is a detail enlargement of FIG. 14.

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.

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 in which the second supporting frame moves with respect to the first supporting frame.

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 frame 230 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 0. Control signals from a controller (not shown) are transmitted via flexible wire 190 to the shutter unit 180, the shake correcting mechanism 185, and the stop mechanism.

Detailed Configuration of Flexible Wiring

The flexible wire 190 will now be described in detail. As shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, the flexible wire 190 is a film-like member on which an plurality of wires are printed and is disposed inside the moving lens barrel 120 and the fixed lens barrel 110. As shown in FIG. 6, the flexible wire 190 has a first end 190b (an example of a first end), a second end 190a (an example of a second end), a first intermediate portion 193 (an example of a first intermediate portion), a second intermediate portion 194 (an example of a second intermediate portion), and a bent portion 195 (an example of a bent portion).

The first end 190b includes a plurality of terminals 191. The terminals 191 of the first end 190b are connected to terminals disposed at the fixed lens barrel 110. It could also be said that the first end 190b is supported by the fixed lens barrel 110.

The second end 190a includes a plurality of terminals 192. The terminals 192 of the second end 190a are connected to a plurality of terminals disposed at the second lens frame 130b. That is, it could also be said that the second end 190a is supported by the second lens frame 130b.

The first intermediate portion 193 is disposed between the first end 190b and the bent portion 195. The first intermediate portion 193 has a first relay portion 193a, a mounting portion 275, and a second relay portion 193b. The mounting portion 275 functions as a relay end disposed between the first end 190b and the second end 190a and is supported by the rectilinear frame 170. The first relay portion 193a is a band-shaped portion extending straight ahead and is disposed between the first end 190b and a curved part 270. The second relay portion 193b is a band-shaped portion extending straight ahead, and is disposed between the curved part 270 and the bent portion 195.

The mounting portion 275 has the curved part 270 and a reinforcing member 280. The curved part 270 is a portion that is curved in a U shape, and links the first relay portion 193a and the second relay portion 193b. The reinforcing member 280 is fixed to the curved part 270. The curved part 270 is inserted along with the reinforcing member 280 into a slit (not shown) formed in the rectilinear frame 170. A plurality of holes 281 (see FIG. 6) are formed in the reinforcing member 280. For example, a plurality of protrusions (not shown) formed on the rectilinear frame 170 are fitted into the holes 281. This makes it less likely that the reinforcing member 280 will fall out of the rectilinear frame 170 in the optical axis direction.

The length from the first end 190b to the second end 190a (more precisely, the length of the first relay portion 193a and the second relay portion 193b) is set to be long enough not to affect the movement of the second lens frame 130b and the rectilinear frame 170. As shown in FIG. 3, when the second lens frame 130b is the farthest away from the fixed lens barrel 110, the flexible wire 190 is lightly taut. As shown in FIG. 4, when the second lens frame 130b has moved closer to the fixed lens barrel 110, the flexible wire 190 is slack. In the retracted state shown in FIG. 4, the first relay portion 193a goes back and forth between the second moving lens barrel 120b and the master flange 240 and between the third moving lens barrel 120c and the master flange 240. Further, the second relay portion 193b goes back and forth between the first lens frame 130a and the master flange 240.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120314310 A1
Publish Date
12/13/2012
Document #
13592355
File Date
08/23/2012
USPTO Class
359822
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
02B7/02
Drawings
16



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