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by Joseph M. Geary, 6" by 9", Hardbound,
Smyth sewn to lay flat, 462 pages,
452 Illustrations, 45 Tables

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About This Book

Introdution to Lens Design with Practical ZEMAX Examples is based on an introductory lens design course taught in the Optical Science & Engineering doctoral program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and sponsored by the Center for Applied Optics.

The book’s thirty-eight chapters follow Dr. Geary’s classroom lecture syllabus suitably augmented and expanded for the person interested in self-study. Included are over 450 illustrations, numerous examples, problems and their solutions. While designed for self-study it is also suitable as a comprehensive introductory text. Although it is about lens design, the scope is general and will provide optical engineers and others with important tools and skills useful in a world which increasingly relies on optics in a wide variety of applications.


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The book’s theme generally follows the historic development of the photographic lens. Ten photographic lens design problems are presented from the simple Wollaston landscape lens to the more complex achromatic telephoto. This book recognizes the fact that a modern lens design must thoroughly integrate one of the commercially available lens design codes into its presentation. While ZEMAX examples are used here, other software is not precluded. Manual (pencil and paper) thin lens pre-design calculations provide the starting prescriptions for every ZEMAX illustrated problem. Paraxial ray tracing, element power computations, and aberration calculations are utilized throughout. Consequently, all designs are firmly anchored by theory.

The design principles covered in the book include: lens bending, stop shift, symmetry, element splitting, color correction, aberration balancing, field flattening, and aspherics, as well as the proper use and construction of the merit function. Of equal importance are the analytical tools used to determine the quality of the design. Today, all modern codes are built upon a strong tradition of optical analysis. They can provide the user with a rich variety of numbers and plots (such as axial color and ray fan plots, spot diagrams, and MTF). This book will provide the reader with a thorough understanding of the origin of these numbers and what the plots mean.

For more information about this book see:

Introduction to Lens Design: Preface

Introduction to Lens Design: Table of Contents

Introduction to Lens Design: Chapters 1-3


About The Author

Joseph Geary received his BA (1966) in physics from LaSalle College and his MS (1975) and PhD (1984) in optics from the University of Arizona’s Optical Sciences Center. He has 36 years of broad-based experience in optics, 18 years of which were in government service, working in aerial reconnaissance at the Naval Air Development Center (Warminster, PA); medical imaging at the Bureau of Radiological Health (Rockville, MD); and in high energy lasers (Airborne Laser Lab) at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory (Albuquerque, NM).

In 1985, he joined the staff of United Technologies Optical Systems where he worked on advanced optical metrology and HEL beam diagnostics (for the MIRACL laser). In 1991 he became manager of the Optics Group at Swales Aerospace which supported the development and testing of space borne optical instrumentation for Goddard Space Flight Center (particularly for the Hubble recovery program). In 1996 he joined the senior research staff of the Center for Applied Optics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where his duties include work on the Next Generation Space Telescope project, and teaching graduate courses in lens design and optical testing. Dr. Geary has also authored over 43 papers in refereed journals, written 3 books, holds 10 patents, and is a member of SPIE.