Future of lens technology

Started Apr 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Re: Future of lens technology

mobi1 wrote:

I wonder what will be future trend for lens development.

I guess superzooms will be the most popular. People like one stop solution (e.g. smartphone = phone, organizer, camera(!) etc.).

Improvement in lens technology (optics, materials etc.) means zoom lenses will be lighter and more compact as well as better optics leading to better image quality.

Vibration Control, high ISO improvement etc. will possibly make low light shooting easier without expensive larger aperture lenses??

I understand that primes and larger aperture lenses will always produce better quality pictures, but probably the gap will become narrower (compared to modern consumer zooms).

What do you think?

I'm not sure how far left there is to go with any relationship to current technology and lens development. Sure, camera and sensor technology can move quite a bit forward, but lenses are a differrent story all together. Lenses don't contribute to high ISO perfromance for example.

In-lens vibration reduction will certainly improve, hopefully by quite a lot, maybe with hybrid systems combining phase detection, contrast detection and sensor movement to go with even better optical corrections. This isn't really an optical improvement though.

I think we only have so far to go when dealing just with the lens. I mean, how much more transperent can the glass be with modern coatings. Nikon's Nano Crystal coating really makes it about as clear as it can be. Others have similar things in the wings. We already have extremely low distortion glass and flourite materials. The more heavily use of these in consumer glass might be closer.

Cheap aspherics have become routine in the past 20 years, not needing to be hand ground by using molded glass and other inexpensive production methods. That might get cheaper and there might become a cheaper way to grind it as well. I don't kow. Ground aspherics are the best, but still very expensive.

We already use huge computers to design our optical formulas today. I'm not sure that can be improved in design. It could be faster to create with bigger computers, but the designs seem to be about to the point of minimum improvement gained over previous year's formula.

It seems to me additional improvements in glass, optical formula, coatings and manufacturing are at the point where advances will be somewhat trivial without some breakthrough in materials or methodology. I think what we'll see is optimization in our ability to do it cheaper and amortize these advances so it's available on more consumer level gear. Just my guess and I'm not a optical engineer. My friend Lenard Migliore would have a better guess, I'm sure.

Good question. Take care.

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