Lens quality control

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
OpticsEngineer
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Re: Learning lens design
In reply to ProfHankD, 7 months ago

"How did you learn about optical design? I definitely am not competent in optical design... I barely know enough to be dangerous. Years ago, I helped improve a supercomputer-based program for design of diffractive optics, but I still haven't learned enough about lenses to support my research in computational photography. Any suggestions on where to start? Thanks."

It has taken me a little while to think of a hopefully useful response. In my case I have separate masters degrees in Optical Engineering and in Electrical Engineering so the "where to get started" answer is a bit elusive to me. A lot of the nuts and bolts about optical design I learned on the job from older engineers/physicists. And a lot of it I learned in lab work, fielding instruments, or from customers. Also optics has a lot of mechanical engineering to it so I have learned a lot from mechanical engineers as well and from my father who has degrees in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Considering your specific question of "knowing enough about lenses to support research in computational photography" There are three books I think might be useful.

Warren J Smith and Robert E Fischer Modern Optical Engineering McGraw Hill Has a good chapters on "basic optical devices"

Robert E Fischer / Bijana Tadic Galeb Optical System Design McGraw Hill good chapters on tolerancing, manufacturability, cost, case studies on optimization, rules of thumb, bloopers and blunders, and an explanation of exactly went wrong on the Hubble Space Telescope (which matches what I heard from people that worked in the facility that made the mirror).

Warren J Smith and Genesee Optics Software Modern Lens Design A Resource Manual McGraw Hill The figure that is a map of lens types of field angle and aperture brings a tremendous amount of understanding and organization into understanding the different lens types. Then lots of examples of lenses.

When I was in college 25 years ago, my professors would apologize for how poor the available books were for teaching the trade of optical engineering. A lot was taught just from their notes with no good textbooks as references. Since that time, many good texts have come out. It is a lot easier to learn the trade from books than it used to be.

Then also The University of Arizona I believe has an online degree program in optics.

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