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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 16, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 1999
  • pp: 198–204

Zoom lenses and computer algebra

A. Walther  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 198-204 (1999)

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I show how computer algebra can be of material help in determining the potential quality of various zoom lens arrangements. One fortuitous result of this work is a proof that, when the object is kept at infinity, it is possible in principle to design zoom lenses for which all third-, fifth-, and seventh-order aberrations are corrected over a continuous range of zoom settings limited only by the restriction that the lens groups may not run into each other.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(080.2720) Geometric optics : Mathematical methods (general)
(220.3630) Optical design and fabrication : Lenses

Original Manuscript: July 13, 1998
Revised Manuscript: September 16, 1998
Manuscript Accepted: August 28, 1998
Published: January 1, 1999

A. Walther, "Zoom lenses and computer algebra," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 198-204 (1999)

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  1. A. Walther, “Eikonal theory and computer algebra,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 523–531 (1996). [CrossRef]
  2. A. Walther, “Eikonal theory and computer algebra II,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 1763–1765 (1996). [CrossRef]
  3. J. C. Maxwell, “On the general laws of optical instruments,” Vol. 1 of Scientific papers (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1890), pp. 271–285.
  4. For a general introduction to eikonal functions see Refs. 5-8.
  5. M. Herzberger, Strahlenoptik (Springer, Berlin, 1931).
  6. R. Luneburg, Mathematical Theory of Optics (University of California, Los Angeles, Calif., 1964).
  7. H. A. Buchdahl, An Introduction to Hamiltonian Optics (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1970).
  8. A. Walther, The Ray and Wave Theory of Lenses (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1995).
  9. We assume, as is usual in this context, that it is, at least in principle, possible to design a lens that realizes any specified eikonal. See also Ref. 8, Sec. 22.1.
  10. See, however, Sec. 7 and especially Ref. 18.
  11. See, for instance, R. Kingslake, A History of the Photographic Lens (Academic, New York, 1989), p. 159.
  12. R. Kingslake, A History of the Photographic Lens (Academic, New York, 1989), p. 161.
  13. This result agrees with the work described in Chap. 2 of J. B. Lasché, “Aberration correction in zoom systems: theoretical results,” Ph.D. dissertation (University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., 1998).
  14. See Ref. 8, Sec. 6.4.
  15. Mock ray tracing is described in Ref. 8, Chap. 31. See also A. Walther, “Mock ray tracing,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 918–920 (1970), and “Irreducible aberrations of a lens used for a range of magnifications,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 6, 415–422 (1989). [CrossRef]
  16. See Ref. 8, p. 351, or W. H. Press, B. F. Flannery, S. A. Teukolsky, W. T. Vetterling, Numerical Recipes (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1988), Sec. 9.6.
  17. OSLO SIX is a registered trademark of Sinclair Optics Inc., Fairport, New York.
  18. As pointed out by one of the referees, the separation between the design tasks is not complete. Section 4 shows that for the Donders system the coefficients Q1,Q4,Q7, and Q10 are still at our disposal. These coefficients affect the eikonals of both groups to be designed. So an iterative process involving the designs of both groups will be needed to find the optimum values of these coefficients.

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