OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 53, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2014
  • pp: 341–346

Aberration considerations in lens tolerancing

Eric Herman and Jose Sasian  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 53, Issue 3, pp. 341-346 (2014)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (530 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Often the tolerancing of an optical system is performed by treating the optical system as a black box in which the designer sets tolerances for perturbations and then runs a Monte Carlo analysis to determine the as-built performance. When the effects of the perturbations are not considered, the tolerances might result tighter than necessary, proper compensation might be missed, and manufacturing cost can be increased. By acquiring aberration sensitivity for each type of perturbation, an optical engineer can increase tolerances by ad hoc compensation. An aberration sensitivity evaluation can be performed quickly and can be incorporated into the initial lens design phase. A lens designer can find what surfaces or elements within the optical system will be problematic before any time-consuming Monte Carlo run is performed. In this paper we use aberration theory of plane symmetric systems to remove, to some useful extent, the black-box tolerancing approach and to provide some insights into tolerancing. The tolerance sensitivities that are analyzed are with respect to surface tilt, center thickness, index value, and radius. To analyze these perturbations, exact wavefront calculations are performed for the following aberrations: uniform astigmatism, uniform coma, linear astigmatism, distortion I, distortion II, spherical aberration, linear coma, quadratic astigmatism, and cubic distortion. We provide a discussion about how the aberration tolerancing analysis is useful.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(220.1010) Optical design and fabrication : Aberrations (global)
(080.1005) Geometric optics : Aberration expansions
(080.2208) Geometric optics : Fabrication, tolerancing

ToC Category:
Geometric Optics

Original Manuscript: September 20, 2013
Revised Manuscript: December 11, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: December 11, 2013
Published: January 14, 2014

Eric Herman and Jose Sasian, "Aberration considerations in lens tolerancing," Appl. Opt. 53, 341-346 (2014)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. D. S. Grey, “Tolerance sensitivity and optimization,” Appl. Opt. 9, 523–526 (1970). [CrossRef]
  2. M. P. Rimmer, “Analysis of perturbed lens systems,” Appl. Opt. 9, 533–537 (1970). [CrossRef]
  3. R. Kingslake and R. B. Johnson, Lens Design Fundamentals, 2nd ed. (Academic, 2010).
  4. R. R. Shannon, The Art and Science of Optical Design, 1st ed. (Cambridge University, 1997).
  5. W. J. Smith, “Fundamentals of establishing an optical tolerance budget,” Proc. SPIE 0531, 196–204 (1985).
  6. M. J. Kidger, Intermediate Optical Design, 1st ed. (SPIE, 2004).
  7. M. R. Descour and J. M. Sasian, “Power distribution and symmetry in lens systems,” Opt. Eng. 37, 1001–1004 (1998). [CrossRef]
  8. J. M. Sasian, “How to approach the design of a bilateral symmetric optical system,” Opt. Eng. 33, 2045–2061 (1994). [CrossRef]
  9. J. M. Sasian, “Imagery of the bilateral symmetrical optical system,” Ph.D. thesis (The University of Arizona, 1988).
  10. L. Wang and J. M. Sasian, “Merit figures for fast estimating tolerance sensitivity,” Proc. SPIE 7652, 76521P (2010). [CrossRef]
  11. J. M. Sasian, “Extrinsic aberrations in optical imaging systems,” Adv. Opt. Technol. 2, 75–80 (2013).
  12. Zemax, Product of Radiant Zemax (Redmond, Washington, 2013).
  13. J. L. Bentley, C. Glazowski, and J. M. Zavislan, “Apochromatic immersion objective for in-vivo imaging for low coherence confocal microscopy,” Proc. SPIE 6342, 63420G (2007). [CrossRef]
  14. Optimax Systems, “Manufacturing tolerance chart,” http://www.optimaxsi.com/innovation/optical-manufacturing-tolerance-chart/ .

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited