Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Wishing you a happy new year
Happy new year everyone!

2015 is the international year of light, it will be a special one for all of us working in optics oro who use optics regularly.

We're on the cusp of several new technologies becoming more mainstream, all the way from manufacturing to design.

On the manufacturing side of things,

Mangetorhelogical polishing, MRF, allows the production of aspheric and freeform optical surfaces with very fine surface quality - better than even diamond point turning.  Over the next several years MRF will likely eclipse current methods of aspheric lens production alongside molding techniques with low TJ (thermal junction) glasses.  QED is shipping more MRF machines every year, and MRF is so vastly superior to traditional methods of asphere production that the only reasons not to do it are cost and the necessity to have a human being near the machine to test the part before and after polishing.

Schott, Ohara, and Hoya have also discontinued large portions of their glass catalogs for environmental and health reasons (bye bye, lead dopant) forcing the use of a smaller subset of glasses - about 40% of the old selection.  This will force designs into a different solution space, as many old glasses have nothing remotely close enough to a direct replacement.  This will mandate the re-design of many lenses - expect to see a higher-than-average turnover rate when it comes to replacing old catalog lenses in the coming years.  Many of the old glasses are now "inquiry" glasses, so they cost more and you need a large volume order to even acquire them from 'nice' manufactures.  China will still make the old materials, but it has always been unfavorable to use CDGM in your supply chain for large volume work.  To avoid a sudden inability to manufacture lenses and to reduce cost many old lenses will be redesigned and re-optimized.

On the design side,

In the last several years the glass selection tools within CAD software have also improved.  Code V and Zemax are now able to very intelligently aid a designer in making the ideal choices in material selection.

Freeform optics is also gaining increasing importance as more and more systems approach the difraction limit and become faster.  Very high speed systems that are near their diffraction limits exhibit freeform effects due to small errors in alignment.  This has led in the last couple of years to an increase in the awareness of freeform effects.  In particular, if NASA had read a paper published by my research group a couple of years ago it would have saved them 8 months of stalled head scratching with the James Webb space telescope.  What a greater awareness of freeform effects means for photographers is a refined design for manufacture methodology.  This ultimately will lead to either better or cheaper lens designs.

On a more photography-centric side of things, we see a push towards reducing the mount flange distance with mirrorless cameras.  This is good!  Design for an SLR requires that you constrain the optimizer from pushing the lens up near the sensor.  This often drives the design.  We have also seen an insurgence of curved sensor designs and patents for alternative sensor designs (i.e foveon-style or layered sensors).  These are good, as they also drive the lens design.  A curved sensor will allow designers to correct the petzval (field curvature) in a less ideal way while still achieving ideal performance.  In the mobile phone arena, this will result in an increase of the speed of a lens.  Research projects have seen lenses thin enough to fit in an a 7mm thick phone that resolve better than current phone lenses across the frame, while functioning at f/1.4, or the ability to simplify the design and include optical image stabilization in the same size while holding at f/2. 


Layered sensors allow the lens to be merely achromatically corrected while seeing an apochromatic level of correction in the final image, having the freedom to have the level of CA at what used to be "1-1.5px" while coming out to "~0" will allow better lens design. 


Welcome to IYL2015 folks, this begins the century of the photon.  Times are going to change reaal fast over the next couple of years in optics.


Messages In This Thread
Wishing you a happy new year - by Klaus - 12-31-2014, 04:02 AM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Guest - 12-31-2014, 12:45 PM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Klaus - 01-01-2015, 12:00 AM
Wishing you a happy new year - by borisbg - 01-01-2015, 09:46 AM
Wishing you a happy new year - by davidmanze - 01-01-2015, 05:55 PM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Scythels - 01-02-2015, 12:51 AM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Klaus - 01-02-2015, 11:52 AM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Guest - 01-02-2015, 01:39 PM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Scythels - 01-02-2015, 04:22 PM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Klaus - 01-03-2015, 11:32 AM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Scythels - 01-03-2015, 03:58 PM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Klaus - 01-04-2015, 01:05 AM
Wishing you a happy new year - by Scythels - 01-04-2015, 06:43 AM

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)