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Friday, 09 August 2019


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For what it's worth, it looks like Applied Optics is a legit peer-reviewed scientific publication. It's been around since 1962 and is published by The Optical Society, a century-old professional organization with a membership of over 22,000 worldwide. The current president is a professor of physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the immediate past president is the Chair of Experimental Physics at Imperial College London and a Fellow of the Royal Society. It doesn't sound like the kind of publication that you'd have to worry about printing stuff like "redheads are going extinct".

I have just worked the equation thru and can report that unfortunately, it will only work on "full-frame" lenses.

At last!!!! I can sleep easy...

That equation was a little blurry on my high res monitor, so I can't verify its effectiveness.

I checked out the equation. Seems about right.

Oh, yeah. I saw that formula a few days ago. But it was simplified into something mere mortals can deal with:

8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ?

Have fun with that!

Leica will be the first to introduce this finding in a new line of lenses called Equalux, and they will cost $43,000.

I know the equation looks complicated (I am not making any sort of claim of being an optical designer) but there are many areas of science where equations like that are more or less routine. There are theses and articles being published every day with stuff like that in them. This one just happened to catch the attention of the nonscientific media.

The "easy" problems have all been solved. :)

I looked at the formula and can understand how it is constructed, but not what it means! However, it is a formula rather than an equation.

Imagine f.e. all the wonderful pictures of Alvin Langdon Coburn, the early Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz and all the Holga and Diana artists out there without spherical aberration ... .
Wonderful that this new formula was developed so late in the history of photography.

Spherical aberration? Doesn’t Photoshop have a slider for that?

Stay hydrated.

Merriam-Webster says: peer review noun
: a process by which something proposed (as for research or publication) is evaluated by a group of experts in the appropriate field

From what I read several days ago, this has been peer reviewed. Unlike several articles mentioned by Mike.

Day-by-day we are getting closer to the demise of traditional cameras. Computational Photography and multi lenses will change everything.

Some photographer can't-walk-and-chew-bubblegum. Fickle-photographers carry several brands of bubblegum. While other photographers don't need bubblegum to [email protected] The same goes for shooting with a cell-phone-camera—which type are you 8-)

I think they forgot to carry the 10's digit...

OMG. That's a heck of an equation!!!

I hope this works although I am content with the lenses I now have. It would be sad if all that math just added up to something like cold fusion, trickle down economics or 10,000 steps a day (actual doctors say 4,000 is plenty).
As for your telescope choice you may have undershot. I don't think you could hit that star with this.


Obsession Telescopes wonderfully lives up to its name.

On the other hand, the story also kinda resembles those "viral" news stories that get going from time to time that the news media just loves to repeat...

An article based on mathematics that has been vetted by the appropriate scientific community is not the same as a rumor started in an unsubstantiated article written by non-experts.

Just because the average person (or government official) doesn't understand it, doesn't make the science wrong.

(Sorry for the persnickety tone)

[The science might be fine, probably is, but the popular articles about it might still be drawing unwarranted conclusions and generalizing its applications. In the 31 years I've been covering photography I've probably read "clusters" of articles a dozen or more times about scientific "breakthroughs" that are going to revolutionize this or that in optics. Then that's the last you hear of it. This one could be different...all I'm saying is that the journalists repeating ech other's conclusions don't actually know one way or the other. --Mike]

I saw this a few days ago and wondered if someone was pulling our leg. Every now and then academic journals do receive papers that are scams. Sounds like others with some expertise have looked this over, but I have a wait and see attitude.

I recognize the () and the √; the rest is .....

I wonder, has anyone has plugged that equation into Matlab yet?

From what I understand talking to people smarter than I am, recent computer aided optical design has consisted of trying out a bunch of random design variations then testing them in the computer, throwing out the bad ones and tweaking the better ones and repeating over and over until the design is optimized. Think of it as optimization by automated trial and error. The reason being that the technology to test the designs is far more advanced and cheaper than the technology to originate the design.

From what I am reading, this is a big advance in getting a good simple design in the first iteration without the complexity of many elements having a bunch of errors correcting each other. It also looks like it will be particularly applicable to fast wide angle lenses, and it may involve some really complicated moulded lens surfaces that aren’t lenses you can grind in the traditional way.

Overall pretty cool and practical since it doesn’t depend on exotic materials like GRIN optics which had so much promise but seem to be resistant to actual manufacturing.

That equation looks about right. It has 22 elements in 8 groups and shows various levels of multi-coatings that further refine the formula.

The ways to judge this optical scientist are:

1. He looks intelligent and sincere
2. He does not need glasses

So we can fully trust him at his word.

We'll need the variables identified before we can verify the equation is correct!

Why all the concern about edge sharpness? Most people these days are applying heavy handed vignettes to all of their images.

It's as if the entire world is suffering from reverse macular degeneration. Or most people just like looking at the world through a toilet paper tube.

The best comment I've read on this one is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/cn9ckb/a_mexican_physicist_solved_a_2000year_old_problem/ew9ocav/

The short of that is that this is a good mathematical solution, but unlikely to make big changes in real-world lens manufacture.

Mea culpa - I haven't actually read the photography-site articles on this, and I don't doubt that speculation about practical implementation may be getting ahead of itself. (I read an article in a scientific journal that was just talking about the math).

Happily, I apologized in advance! :)

As I may have stated previously (perhaps to you, Mike, directly) the state of mobile phonography is quite remarkable. I really don’t look for spherical aberrations or other such nonsense - all I know is that the iPhone XS shot I made of Peter Turnley’s beloved Brasserie de l’Isle Saint Louis astonished both me and the man who makes my prints. While I still look for the Fujinon 240A at a bargain price for my 4x5 work, I sometimes wonder ...

That seems to be a detailed analytical formulation of general aspherical surfaces for a singlet lens design. That formula can indeed be used to grind complex lens surfaces, free of conventional spherical aberrations. The lens is no longer a spherical surface but a complex multi-radii 3D surface.

Bravo to GKFroehlich. I (a layperson)actually understood most of what this scientist/engineer wrote. That's good expository writing.

I wonder what happens when you turn your complex multi-radii 3D surface lens and camera from landscape to portrait format.

News flash — Scientist discovers way to beat spherical aberration: Use an aspheric lens.

@Bill_Cowan - re landscape or portrait. The proposed fully aspheric lens design still is circularly symmetric, this camera orientation makes no difference.


Or Plant based diets...

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