Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ultrathin folded telephoto lens

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a folded lens by machining reflective surfaces into a optical crystal. this technology has the potential to shrink lens assemblies, which would be beneficial to lots of devices, such as cameras and night vision gear. However, this is still early stage research and hurdles remain - such as its inherent narrow depth of field. That being said, there are ways around that problem that might work for selected applications where thickness is more important than length (where I imagine that additional lenses with different focal lengths could be positioned on a rotating disk or similar arrangement to be employed as needs changed) or post-processing power consumption.

The work has been published in Applied Optics (February 1st, 2007)

(Hat tip and image source: PhysOrg)

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