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Field Guide to Lens Design
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Book Description

The process of designing lenses is both an art and a science. While advancements in the field over the past two centuries have done much to transform it from the former category to the latter, much of the lens design process remains encapsulated in the experience and knowledge of industry veterans. This Field Guide provides a working reference for practicing physicists, engineers, and scientists for deciphering the nuances of basic lens design.

The book begins with an outline of the general process before delving into aberrations, basic lens design forms, and optimization. An entire section is devoted to techniques for improving lens performance. Sections on tolerancing, stray light, and optical systems are followed by an appendix covering related topics such as optical materials, nonimaging concepts, designing for sampled imaging, and ray tracing fundamentals.

Want a more thorough understanding? Use this book along with Julie Bentley's online course: Introduction to Lens Design: SC935


Book Details

Date Published: 7 December 2012
Pages: 156
ISBN: 9780819491640
Volume: FG27

Table of Contents
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Glossary of Symbols and Acronyms

Fundamentals of Optical Design
Sign Conventions
Basic Concepts
Optical Design Process
Aperture and Wavelength Specifications
Resolution and Field of View
Packaging and Environment
Wave Aberration Function
Third-Order Aberration Theory
Spot Diagram and Encircled Energy
Transverse Ray Plot
Wavefront or OPD Plots
Point Spread Function and Strehl Ratio
MTF Basics
Using MTF in Lens Design
Defocus
Wavefront Tilt
Spherical Aberration
Coma
Field Curvature
Petzval Curvature
Astigmatism
Distortion
Primary Color and Secondary Color
Lateral Color and Spherochromatism
Higher-Order Aberrations
Intrinsic and Induced Aberrations

Design Forms
Selecting a Design Form: Refractive
Selecting a Design Form: Reflective
Singlets
Achromatic Doublets
Airspaced Doublets
Cooke Triplet
Double Gauss
Petzval Lens
Telephoto Lenses
Retrofocus and Wide-Angle Lenses
Refractive versus Reflective Systems
Obscurations
Newtonian and Cassegrain
Gregorian and Schwarzschild
Catadioptric Telescope Objectives
Unobscured Systems: Aperture Clearance
Unobscured Systems: Field Clearance
Three-Mirror Anastigmat
Reflective Triplet
Wide-Field Reflective Design Forms
Zoom Lens Fundamentals
Zoom Lens Design and Optimization

Improving a Design
Techniques for Improving an Optical Design
Angle of Incidence and Aplanatic Surfaces
Splitting and Compounding
Diffraction-Limited Performance
Thin Lens Layout
Lens Bending
Material Selection
Controlling the Petzval Sum
Stop Shift and Stop Symmetry
Telecentricity
Vignetting
Pupil Aberrations
Aspheres: Design
Aspheres: Fabrication
Gradient Index Materials
Diffractive Optics

Optimization
Optimization
Damped Least Squares
Global Optimization
Merit Function Construction
Choosing Effective Variables
Solves and Pickups
Defining Field Points
Pupil Sampling

Tolerancing
Tolerancing
Design Margin and Performance Budgets
Optical Prints
Radius of Curvature Tolerances
Surface Irregularity
Center Thickness and Wedge Tolerances
Material and Cosmetic Tolerances
Lens Assembly Methods
Assembly Tolerances
Compensators
Probability Distributions
Sensitivity Analysis
Performance Prediction
Monte Carlo Analysis
Environmental Analysis
Athermalization

Stray Light
Stray Light Analysis
Stray Light Reduction
Antireflection (AR) Coatings
Ghost Analysis
Cold Stop and Narcissus
Nonsequential Ray Tracing
Scattering and BSDF

Optical Systems
Photographic Lenses: Fundamentals
Photographic Lenses: Design Constraints
Visual Instruments and the Eye
Eyepiece Fundamentals
Eyepiece Design Forms
Telescopes
Microscopes
Microscope Objectives
Relays

Appendix: Optical Fundamentals
Index of Refraction and Dispersion
Optical Materials: Glasses
Optical Materials: Polymers/Plastics
Optical Materials: Ultraviolet and Infrared
Snell's Law and Ray Tracing
Focal Length, Power, and Magnification
Aperture Stop and Field Stop
Entrance and Exit Pupils
Marginal and Chief Rays
Zernike Polynomials
Conic Sections
Diffraction Gratings
Optical Cements and Coatings
Detectors: Sampling
Detectors: Resolution
The Lagrange Invariant and Etendue
Illumination Design

Equation Summary

Bibliography

Index



Preface

Optical design has a long and storied history, from the magnifiers of antiquity, to the telescopes of Galileo and Newton at the onset of modern science, to the ubiquity of modern advanced optics. The process for designing lenses is often considered both an art and a science. While advancements in the field over the past two centuries have done much to transform it from the former category to the latter, much of the lens design process remains encapsulated in the experience and knowledge of industry veterans. This Field Guide provides a working reference for practicing physicists, engineers, and scientists for deciphering the nuances of basic lens design. Because the optical design process is historically (and quite practically) closely related to ray optics, this book is intended as a companion to the Field Guide to Geometrical Optics, in which first-order optics, thin lenses, and basic optical systems are treated in more detail. Note that this compact reference is not a substitute for a comprehensive technical library or the experience gained by sitting down and designing lenses.

This material was developed over the course of several years for undergraduate and graduate lens design classes taught at the University of Rochester. It begins with an outline of the general lens design process before delving into aberrations, basic lens design forms, and optimization. An entire section is devoted to techniques for improving lens performance. Sections on tolerancing, stray light, and optical systems are followed by an appendix covering related topics such as optical materials, nonimaging concepts, designing for sampled imaging, and ray tracing fundamentals, among others.

Thanks to both of our families - Danielle, Alison, Ben, Sarah, Julia, and especially our spouses, Jon and Kelly. The cats will now get fed, and all soccer parents beware!

Julie Bentley
University of Rochester

Craig Olson
L-3 Communications


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