A pentaprism is a five-sided reflecting prism used to deviate a beam of light by 90°. The beam reflects inside the prism twice, allowing the transmission of an image through a right angle without inverting it (i.e., without changing the image's handedness) as an ordinary right-angle prism would. The pentaprism is very commonly used in the viewfinder of a single-lens reflex camera.
The reflections inside the prism are not caused by total internal reflection, since the beams are incident at an angle smaller than the critical angle. Instead, the two faces are coated to provide mirror surfaces. The two opposite transmitting faces are often coated with an antireflection coating to reduce spurious reflections. The fifth face of the prism is not used optically, but truncates what would otherwise be an awkward angle joining the two mirrored faces.
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