Claimed Breakthrough Solution to Spherical Aberration in Lens Design

Apr 13, 2018
4
3
Just stumbled across this and thought it would be of interest to this group.

 

navastronia

5D Classic
Aug 31, 2018
125
135
I came here to post this! I don't know nearly enough about lenses to be able to ascertain whether this will have much of an impact on photography. Would photographers using pro gear see much of a different in image quality (comparing L lenses to lenses manufactured according to these formulas)? Will it make photography gear less expensive in the future? How much of a problem is spherical aberration these days, anyway?
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,362
616
I came here to post this! I don't know nearly enough about lenses to be able to ascertain whether this will have much of an impact on photography. Would photographers using pro gear see much of a different in image quality (comparing L lenses to lenses manufactured according to these formulas)? Will it make photography gear less expensive in the future? How much of a problem is spherical aberration these days, anyway?
Its a theoretical solution. Actually manufacturing a lens that has the shape that conforms to the formula is a different story. It's low cost lenses that have the big issues with spherical aberration, the higher priced ones are well corrected, but never perfect.

The image edges and corners are where the benefit comes that's not a big deal for many, but military applications might be a place where there is plenty of $$ and a benefit would shake some loose. Astronomy would potentially benefit, but I'm not quite sure how that would work. Smart phones which now use many lens elements to correct distortions and are produced in very high volumes. They might benefit if a mass production of a corrected lens can be achieved.

I think we need more input as to the actual ability to transfer a theoretical solution to a real lens.
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,100
521
If I understand the formula right, the lens surface shape depends on the distance to the object.
 

justaCanonuser

Grab your camera, go out and shoot!
Feb 12, 2014
424
235
Frankfurt, Germany
If I understand the formula right, the lens surface shape depends on the distance to the object.
Nah. The problem of spherical aberration is a growing focus shift with growing distance from the optical axis, that happens in a classic spherical lens. González-Acuña now claims that he has solved this problem theoretically with his huge formula. I studied physics, but I have to say that I lost myself trying to read this monster and finally gave up. Maybe this is the solution to this old problem, maybe it contains a hidden error nobody noticed so far because the formula is that huge.

There are already technical solutions to this problem of spherical aberration available: aspherical lenses and diffraction optics, both introduced by Canon in the commercial market. But this huge achievement will never be noticed by Sony fanboyz.
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,100
521
Nah. The problem of spherical aberration is a growing focus shift with growing distance from the optical axis, that happens in a classic spherical lens. González-Acuña now claims that he has solved this problem theoretically with his huge formula. I studied physics, but I have to say that I lost myself trying to read this monster and finally gave up. Maybe this is the solution to this old problem, maybe it contains a hidden error nobody noticed so far because the formula is that huge.
You don't need to fully comprehend the formula itself in order to see that it contains the distance to the object, ta.
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
467
437
Nah. The problem of spherical aberration is a growing focus shift with growing distance from the optical axis, that happens in a classic spherical lens. González-Acuña now claims that he has solved this problem theoretically with his huge formula. I studied physics, but I have to say that I lost myself trying to read this monster and finally gave up. Maybe this is the solution to this old problem, maybe it contains a hidden error nobody noticed so far because the formula is that huge.

There are already technical solutions to this problem of spherical aberration available: aspherical lenses and diffraction optics, both introduced by Canon in the commercial market. But this huge achievement will never be noticed by Sony fanboyz.
In fact, the first commercial aspherical lens was the Leica M Noctilux 1,2/50 mm.... ;)
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,362
616
As to errors, its not just a un-examined formula that might have errors, its been peer reviewed and accepted for publishing in a respected optical journal. Of course, errors are always possible, but experts have gone over it and I'm pretty certain that they badly wanted to find flaws but did not.
 

justaCanonuser

Grab your camera, go out and shoot!
Feb 12, 2014
424
235
Frankfurt, Germany
As to errors, its not just a un-examined formula that might have errors, its been peer reviewed and accepted for publishing in a respected optical journal. Of course, errors are always possible, but experts have gone over it and I'm pretty certain that they badly wanted to find flaws but did not.
I still remember the case of a certain Jan Hendrik Schön back in 2001. He was praised as a genius in the field of nano-physics, working for Lucent technologies. Finally, it was discovered that he had published 13 highly regarded papers in Nature (!) and Science (!!) that were totally faked. For a long time, no reviewer recognized that Schön was using always the same figure with faked "experimental data" for completely different topics of his papers. I am editor of a German physics magazine, and I know how prone to fake this business can be, in particular, if somebody comes up with huge formulas that overstressed reviewers tend to check in a fast-forward mode. That said, I do not state that González-Acuña's work is wrong. I only allow myself a healthy skepticism, based on many years of experience in that business.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chrysoberyl

justaCanonuser

Grab your camera, go out and shoot!
Feb 12, 2014
424
235
Frankfurt, Germany
You don't need to fully comprehend the formula itself in order to see that it contains the distance to the object, ta.
Yes, the distance ta is of course required, since the whole formula is based on the laws of optics. Such an equation basically has to describe how a lens creates an optical image of an object, so there are both the distances object-lens and lens-image are needed. But there is also a radius ra contained in this huge equation, and this should be connected with tackling the spherical aberration problem. Spherical aberration is created by the fact, that the glas of a standard lens is getting thinner growing radius.
 

Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
1,073
253
Probably more a theoretical solution than a real one. Lens have made such progress in the last few years I find it hard to imagine better than some of the lens I have.
The 16-35 F4, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 II, 300 2.8 II, 600 F4 II are all pretty flawless lens to me.
I'm not even sure I could visually perceive a better quality image from an improved lens.
Lighter would certainly be better as I get older ( I was amazed Canon could shave so much weight off with the 600 F4 III). I assume they are not optically perfect but they all render photographs beautifully.
For me any sometimes utter perfection lacks something. Photographs on 500Px for example are often almost flawless but lacking a sense of character or lacking reality.
I wonder would a perfect lens create photos that were too realistic and cold.
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,100
521
Yes, the distance ta is of course required,
But doesn't that mean that one needs to reshape the lens surfaces in order to refocus the lens? Hardly feasible for general photography.

Also, the illustrations in the article suggest that the formula might not be suitable for off-axis objects.
 
  • Like
Reactions: justaCanonuser

justaCanonuser

Grab your camera, go out and shoot!
Feb 12, 2014
424
235
Frankfurt, Germany
But doesn't that mean that one needs to reshape the lens surfaces in order to refocus the lens? Hardly feasible for general photography.

Also, the illustrations in the article suggest that the formula might not be suitable for off-axis objects.
Sorry for the late reply, I have the same impression like you. But I can imagine that intelligent optical elements made of flexible materials (like the lenses in our eyes) may utilize such a formula even for bigger lenses. On the other side, I am pretty sure that algorithms that control the shape of such a lens will most probably based on numerical mathematics, not such an attempt to tackle that problem analytically.

Another approach is to correct all types aberrations during post-processing, as it is already done with chromatic aberrations since many years. That's the most probable approach IMO, because it allows for simpler and cheaper lens designs.