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Old July 11th, 2019, 12:58 AM   #1
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Spherical aberration, be gone!

From a story on PetaPixel

"You see, lenses are made from spherical surfaces. The problem arises when light rays outside the center of the lens or hitting at an angle can’t be focused at the desired distance in a point because of differences in refraction. Which makes the center of the image sharper than the corners. Which leads to countless YouTube reviews on lenses. And countless hours of watch time. And makes advertisers and YouTubers happy."

Anyway, some fella has finally solved a 2000 year old maths puzzle about this issue .... and it works. Great news for the future of lenses.

Andrew
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Old July 11th, 2019, 09:32 AM   #2
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Re: Spherical aberration, be gone!

+ 1. A great story and development. Wonder how fast this technology will be picked up by the lens manufactures.

Chris Young
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Old July 12th, 2019, 01:55 PM   #3
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Re: Spherical aberration, be gone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Young View Post
+ 1. A great story and development. Wonder how fast this technology will be picked up by the lens manufactures.
Since that paper came out about a year ago, not much has happened seemingly. Probably a lot of head scratching at the math involved. And of course how to turn that math into an actual lens surface that is probably not too close to being spherical itself. IOW, a lot of head scratching as to how to make the shape the math dictates.

And... this only solves the problem of spherical aberrations. It doesn't do anything for chromic aberration, distortion, coma, etc. And as someone pointed out to me a while ago, we have had working solutions to the spherical aberration problem since the 1950s at least -- they just involved more glass. As in, cemented doublets and triplets.

Remember, a whole lot of excellent lenses were designed and manufactured well prior to the invention of computers.

All that said, if someone can start making lenses that use this idea, we might expect lenses that are a little sharper, lighter, faster, and cheaper, all because of slightly less glass and fewer air/glass surfaces. And I don't think anyone would complain about any of that. Sadly, first place we'll probably see it is in cell phone camera lenses. Sigh...
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