OpticLab v1.01 - Lens design and evaluation system.

Version history.

Version 0.1 (Apr 2003) Simple raytracer - capable of analysing chromatic aberration in single-element lenses
Version 0.2 (June 2003) Added ability to calculate distribution of diameter of circle-of-confusion against focal plane distance, and analyse pincushion and other non-rectilinearities
Version 0.3 (Jan 2004) Added ability to model multi-element lenses with floating element groups. Point-grid analysis of field curvature added
Version 1.0 (June 2004) First release version as detailed below, with iterative capabilities, diaphraghm modelling and full materials database
Version 1.01 (July 2004) New version with improved speed and better user interface. Automatic report generation added.

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.)

©2003 dan pope/cytrus, all rights reserved.