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Proceedings Paper

A look back at 50 years of lens designs from the Tropel attic: Do improvements in computer optimization overcome the current restrictions of available glass materials?
Author(s): Rebecca Cortesi; Julie L. Bentley; James M. Zavislan
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Paper Abstract

A historical collection of Corning Tropel optical systems was analyzed with the primary goal of organizing and archiving the designs in a searchable computer database. The analysis of these systems was two-fold: the system data and documented design procedure were examined from both a technical as well as a historical viewpoint. Items of historical interest included letters and handwritten comments from various well-known designers, computer print outs from early lens design programs, and aberration plots and pictures of the system drawn painstakingly by hand. The technical analysis involved entering the system data into a modern day computer analysis package (CODE V) and comparing the performance (in the form of MTFs, field and distortion curves, etc.) with the original performance claimed by each system. One of the most significant findings was the ability to consistently replace obsolete glasses with current glasses, without sacrificing performance. In some cases, it was even possible to reoptimize the system and improve the performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 August 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5874, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VI, 587405 (23 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.616836
Show Author Affiliations
Rebecca Cortesi, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Julie L. Bentley, Corning Tropel (United States)
Univ. of Rochester (United States)
James M. Zavislan, Univ. of Rochester (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5874:
Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VI
Pantazis Z. Mouroulis; Warren J. Smith; R. Barry Johnson, Editor(s)

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