01-11-2016, 03:06 AM
Quote:I assume you have some highly specialist knowledge about lens design to make that statement. However form what I can gather you are Brendan form Lens Rentals - a young 2nd year optical engineering student. No offence intended, but perhaps the more senior designers who work in the industry may have some experience and knowledge which should not be so easily dismissed.The only offensive parts are an inability to spell my name and not knowing what companies I work for
Age has never been a factor in how good an optical designer is. There is some degree of artistic talent needed to find what we call a "solution space" and the rest is being good at making the software work its magic. Gone are the days of Mandler at Leica and Merte at zeiss where intuition and talent alone made you the best.
Only a few months ago one of the best optical designers in the world passed, Dr. Kevin P. Rolland-Thompson. He was responsible for the design of many very famous systems, including CONSTAR, the first service mission for hubble, but he developed what is known as Nodal Aberration Theory and its in-use tool, Full-Field Displays. NAT is necessary for freeform optical systems because they lack symmetry. The magic of freeform, and the last 4 years of our research in field dependence of different configurations, is being able to take an existing system and fold it into any nearly shape that is desired while maintaining the original level of performance or providing an improvement.
It is effective utilization of technologies like freeforms, aspheres, gradient index optics, diffractive optics, and others that truly sets designers apart. Most senior-in-age designers are completely unfamiliar with aspheres and simply unable to design with them, or unable to design with them effectively. If they use them at all the rely on the "Asphere Expert" tool in Code V or its equivalent in Zemax that suggests suitable locations in the design to implement an asphere. Asphere expert uses NAT to evaluate the effects of inserting an asphere at any surface and is only possible because of the work done by Dr. Thompson.
Simply adding aspheres to fix performance is not so special, though using them creatively is. For example, the Nikon 24/1.4G has a conical asphere in the wide angle attachment portion of the lens. Without the addition of its aspheric profile, no light at all makes it through the lens. Quite special. But that implementation is quite unique from Nikon and by and large they do many "special" things of late.
It is perhaps similar to the situation if you have someone very good at programming in DOS today. That's great and all, but the best are using better and more powerful tools. Many of the world's best optical designers are quite young. For example, the top freeform designer at zeiss, responsible for the design of the world's highest resolution lens, is only 28.