Camera Hardware for Computer Vision, Robotics, Video Conferencing, and More

About Commonlands

Commonlands is a US-based company located in Los Angeles, CA. The company was founded in 2018 as an optical design and camera image quality services company. These services are still available for high volume and custom optical design projects.

Starting in 2020, we began to offer high-performance cost-effective lenses directly from our network of over 40 Asia-based manufacturers. We have a secondary quality control inspection in the US and confirm the accuracy of product specifications.

This results in assurance, reliability, and price-performance which otherwise requires a dedicated global optics sourcing team.

A cut away picture from a camera

Optics Design, Camera Design, and Project Management Services

A Few Past Projects

We have managed the development of over 50 different camera projects, resulting in >250k lenses and >20k camera modules shipped. These are in use across the autonomous vehicle, robotics, factory automation, medical, and VR industries. We are also part of the official Zemax Consulting Partner Program, which consists of <100 consultants and companies world-wide. Consulting projects have included:

A custom optical engineering project.
  • Advised the camera development process for a consumer device, including a custom lens. Responsible for a multi-vendor RFP and down-selection process. Created active alignment design suggestions and managed vendors through optical design, mechanical design, and prototyping. Designed custom illumination optics.
  • Led hardware project management for a catadioptric video-conferencing camera. Project included 6+ prototype, EVT/DVT/PVT stages, resulting in successful product launch. Guided technical efforts related to optical design, mechanical design, and image quality tuning.
  • Sourced lenses and implemented image quality testing techniques at a ruggedized stereo-vision robotics company. Provided support on illumination, lens ruggedization, business strategy and financial modeling.
  • Upgraded and sourced a new imaging system for a pre-seed agricultural imaging startup.
  • Reviewed camera performance and sourced new camera hardware for a Series B surveillance robotics startup.
  • Designed an afocal viewfinder and developed image quality standards for a legacy US camera company.
  • Defined go-to-market strategies for a Fortune 50 company's computer vision ecosystem.
  • Upgraded and sourced a new camera for a Series D robotic kiosk startup.

A Background in Optical Engineering and Business


Max Henkart

Max holds a B.S. in Optical Engineering from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Max spent 5 years as a Technical Sales Manager and Applications Engineer at Sunex, a top 3 leading automotive lens manufacturer. He was responsible for lens selection, optical design optimization, sales management, and project management.

After Sunex, Max returned to get his MBA at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business. He spent time in computer vision classes and working on startups with robotics engineering students. Max started Commonlands as a part-time consulting company in 2018, while completing a venture capital internship with LDV Capital and pursuing a high growth start-up. After the start-up's main Fortune 500 customer cancelled their LOI due to CV19, Commonlands became Max's full-time effort.

Max Henkart Headshot Picture May 2020