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Proceedings Paper

Spherical Aberration - Some Fascinating Observations
Author(s): R. E. Fischer; K. L. Mason
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Paper Abstract

We have recently completed a parametric analysis of f/2, one through four element lenses, relating monochromatic axial performance (spherical aberration) to refractive indices from 1.5 to 2.0. The literature demonstrates clearly that increasing the number of elements and/or the refractive index causes a reduction of the third-order spherical aberration; in fact the literature shows special cases where the third-order spherical aberration transitions through zero. If we consider an optimum balance for all orders of spherical aberration, we observe a surprising result. One and two element solutions maintain a relatively constant high level of aberration residual for all cases (from 5 - 50 waves peak-to-valley). The three-element solution, however, improves in aberration residual by nearly 6 orders of magnitude from 2 waves peak-to-valley at an index of 1.5 to approximately 0.000005 waves at an index of 2.0. The four-element solution shows a similar, yet not so pronounced, behavior. We will discuss the various solution forms, some of which utilize the aplanatic-concentric principal, and we will show how higher order aberration balancing in the three element case is responsible for the 6 orders of magnitude improvement in performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 June 1987
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0766, Recent Trends in Optical Systems Design and Computer Lens Design Workshop, (10 June 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.940203
Show Author Affiliations
R. E. Fischer, Ernst Leitz Canada Ltd., U.S. Operations (United States)
K. L. Mason, Hughes Aircraft Company (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0766:
Recent Trends in Optical Systems Design and Computer Lens Design Workshop
Robert E. Fischer; Carmina Londono, Editor(s)

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