This project began in
2003 as an attempt to evaluate some ideas for lens designs that
would not infringe patents currently held by some of the larger
manufacturers, e.g. Zeiss, Canon etc. The system was intended
to do vector raytrace analysis of some simple designs and report
precisely the amount of chromatic, spherical, rectilinear and
field-curvature aberration, as well as light fall-off and ghosting,
with the hope to eventually make the system capable of optimising
the lens geometry to reduce these distortions as much as possible.
The use of a raytrace engine allows precise 'theoretical observations'
to be made of a lens' performance. The physics of optics are well
understood and have been proven reliable since the days of Newton
(with the exception of the nature of photons, which Newton failed
to describe accurately). The calculations done in calculating
refraction of light rays through the lens system, correspond extremely
well to what is observed in the real world. This sort of computer-aided
lens design is, obviously, far far less expensive and wasteful
than manufacturing dozens of prototypes in order to assess distortion.
Using OpticLab v1.0, an optimal lens can be devised in as few
as one or two prototype phases. The fact that there is more than
one is mainly due to the fact that precise alignment of floating
groups may require redesign of mounting assemblies at very long
or very short focal lengths.
This software will not only enhance your existing designs, but
is capable of generating entirely new designs from scratch by
choosing from either a selection of 'standard' geometries and
then iteratively modifying them, or starting with a set of randomly
generated lens geometries that are then iterated to meet target
specifications. This process can result in previously unseen designs
that are not bound by conventional design ideology.
(Please note: this feature is not available in the evaluation
version, nor is the ability to export CAD data. Also, certain
analyses have been restricted.)