Encyclopedia … combined with a great Buyer's Guide!

Sponsoring this encyclopedia:     and others

Working Distance

Definition: the distance between an objective and the object

German: Arbeitsabstand

Category: general optics

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature


The working distance of an objective is the distance between the objective and the object. That quantity is relevant in various situations; some examples:

In some cases, it may not be clear how exactly the mentioned distance is measured – for example, if some mechanical parts protude beyond the final lens. It should then be made clear what exactly is meant with the working distance.

Note that the working distance is not necessarily the same as the front focal distance. Even if the object is placed in a beam focus, that focus does not need to lie in the focal plane if the input light of the objective is not collimated.

Questions and Comments from Users

Here you can submit questions and comments. As far as they get accepted by the author, they will appear above this paragraph together with the author’s answer. The author will decide on acceptance based on certain criteria. Essentially, the issue must be of sufficiently broad interest.

Please do not enter personal data here; we would otherwise delete it soon. (See also our privacy declaration.) If you wish to receive personal feedback or consultancy from the author, please contact him e.g. via e-mail.

Your question or comment:

Spam check:

  (Please enter the sum of thirteen and three in the form of digits!)

By submitting the information, you give your consent to the potential publication of your inputs on our website according to our rules. (If you later retract your consent, we will delete those inputs.) As your inputs are first reviewed by the author, they may be published with some delay.

See also: objectives
and other articles in the category general optics


If you like this page, please share the link with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media:

These sharing buttons are implemented in a privacy-friendly way!