01-11-2016, 06:40 AM
Quote: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.
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.
Well, Brandon, a couple of things in your post deserve another point of view. To me, some of your posts I simply don't understand because you're talking laboratory instead of shop That makes you sound cocky from time to time (and I use the verb "sound" on purpose, as I don't know if you are cocky). Not that I understand "shop" much better than "laboratory" I'm only one of those consumers spending the money to make lens designer's salary.
Putting the old guys more or less completely into the science trash bin is another thing taking some sympathies - but quite normal for well educated dudes in your age. At first, the 28 year old pioneer at Zeiss might be young but benefits of all the experience and knowledge of hundreds of old guys, the persons who learnt a life long simply because there were no internet researches possible when Zeiss started to make his microscopes better by try and error, no programs available. The guy might be a genius by designing freeform elements, but change his computer against a chalkboard or notepad and see what happens. That works the other way around, too - give the old guys the modern computer and see what happens. Not very much, I assume.
All the today less cool people were necessary to make the cool work of few possible - and even if they only were working against them, resistance is also a motivator. It's not a crime to remember this from time to time, it's also no weakness to be humble. No offense meant, I guess you get it the right way.
Also, lens design is not just optical design and I suspect you're talking more about the optics, the mathematical miracles delivering all this contrast and resolution record numbers. However, what happens if the mechanics can't stand the environment those lenses are used in? If it's so obviously simple to design outstanding stuff, why don't we see more of it at affordable prices?
I totally agree with your statement about Nikon although I'm not entirely sure if it's grammatically flawless : Too late and not daring enough. But please put against a more daring and more up-to-date design: they mess up with some things and apparently don't run a good prototype testing lab. They get some great photog names, give them the lens and show what it can do. The VR fault of the 300PF is telling something how much optical designers talk with electronical and mechanical design colleagues. Not testing a lens with all available bodies and at all shutter speeds is inexcusable. There were other callbacks as well and I'm afraid, not everything can be fixed in Nikon's repair shops.