Re: Perfect lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Apr 1, 9:08 pm, Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > Just wondering, if money played no role how good could lenses be?
    > No chromatic aberrations, no geometric distortions, huge sharpness from
    > corner to corner even wide open, or are there some physical constraints
    > which prevent from producing a perfect lens?
    > --
    > Alfred Molon
    > ------------------------------
    > Olympus E-series DSLRs and micro 4/3 forum at sharing site

    There have been essentially near perfect lenses. Nikon's ultra micros
    from the 1960's purportedly had resolution 30-40% better than the best
    lenses commercially available today. Uncertain of that. The guys who
    did the gigapixel project had a large format lens built for them that
    was better than anything on the commercial market. It cost them
    $50,000, which isn't that much for a high-end, one-off. A perfect
    lens (sort of) can be had today. Buy a top flight apochromatic
    telescope with a triplet lens incorporating a real fluorite element of
    small aperture (80-100mm) from somewhere like Telescope Engineering
    Company in Colorado or APM telescopes in Germany. Expect to pay about
    $4000-$6000. The scope will probably be around f5.6 or f8.0. Stop it
    down one stop with an make-shift diaphragm over the front of the lens
    and you'll have basically an aberration-less lens. In fact, any
    decent medium focal length, high-end lens (Zeiss ZF, etc) say around
    100mm stopped down to f/8.0 is for all purposes, aberration-less.
    Camera companies used to make lenses like this, called "process
    lenses." They were characterized by long focal ratios and very good
    control of aberrations. They come up for auction sometimes.
    With high-end aberration-controlled lenses, likely the only losses
    will be in contrast which happens no matter how few elements you have
    or how well they are coated and how well the lens is internally
    baffled and blackened.
    The problem, as many film users have pointed out, is that the lens is
    only one part of the image equation. Everything else in the train
    (monitors, printers) are the weak points, that reduce what the camera
    and lens are capable of.
    The makers of higher-end CCTV lenses (Schneider, for one) for industry
    and science rate their lenses by megapixel, what the lens will support
    when it comes to the sensor it is matched to. A 5 megapixel lens will
    deliver all the detail a 5 megapixel sensor will provide, etc. You
    don't see that in the consumer realm.
    Your best best for lenses used wide open and having the best
    aberration control are things like Zeiss Master Prime cine lenses,
    which cost about $10,000 ea.
    RichA, Apr 2, 2013
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