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I am trying to reflect as much light from a device as possible into a camera located 90* off angle from the light source. Currently I'm using a standard flat mirror placed 45* from the part and camera.

It seems like an off-angle parabolic mirror would help gather more light that typically would be missing the camera lens and direct it there. Before I spend 1k on an off-angle parabolic mirror, I would like to test it out on a non off-angle parabolic mirror... Basically a cheap parabolic/concave mirror from Amazon.

Will I be able to use a standard parabolic mirror with degraded results off axis? Or will I be worse off / unable to focus the light correctly?

This image shows the test setup I would like to use a non off-angle mirror with.

enter image description here

The image below shows my ideal setup, except I would be using a 90* off-angle instead of the ~40* off-angle shown. I would have a camera at the focal point.

UPDATE: I have ordered the cheap mirror, and will see how it works. Has anyone used an off-axis parabolic mirror before to confirm my assumption of gathering more light / photons from the source object will work and still generate an accurate image?

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ This seems, to me at least, to be a question that only you can answer (by testing and reporting the results). $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jun 1 '17 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ You will be messing with the image presented to the camera. If you only want to gather light, then it is good. If you want to recognize the image, maybe not so much... $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jun 1 '17 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ Image accuracy is important. My guess is this will distort it, where as an off axis mirror would maintain image accuracy quite well. $\endgroup$ – MadHatter Jun 1 '17 at 13:10

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