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Thread: plastic optics

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac View Post
    ...designing is very difficult for me.
    One thing you might try is to download the free version of WinLens, now known as Qioptiq. With that program you can play with various design ideas. That might help you develop some insight into the design process. They also have downloads of lens libraries.

  2. #12

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    Quite pleasing exhibition quality wall-mounted prints (about 90cm square) have been produced from a friend's Holga. He is the manager of the lab where all my E6 and A-D printing takes place. The camera itself is rudimentary, plastic right down to its shiny lens, and rather myopic, but the images coming from it have the style that is common the PC lenses which have tilt/swing applied to restrict DoF and lateral sharpness. The lack of any fast shutter speeds also provides some opportunity to exploit dynamic movement to further accentuate the simple nature of the plastic lens. So a toy camera certainly can be used to creative effect even though it won't knock the glue off a $5,000 lens. Apples and oranges, people love the results from Holgas and Dianas; even I might be the next person to line one up on my shelf. We're not all after razor-sharp results as the so-called "holy grail" of imaging. It's occasionally quite good and satisfying to swing the other way and turn feral for a bit of fun.
    Last edited by Poisson Du Jour; 05-13-2013 at 05:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanrockwood View Post
    One thing you might try is to download the free version of WinLens, now known as Qioptiq. With that program you can play with various design ideas. That might help you develop some insight into the design process. They also have downloads of lens libraries.
    The poster on that site is really cool and informative. I love info graphics, and this one has all the different types of lens surfaces and refractive indexes of materials used in common lens designs all in one place.

    http://www.winlens.de/index.php?id=14


    I would also agree that if manufacturers had found a suitable type of plastic that would match or best glass they would have all switched to it. Molding, cutting, and shaping plastic is much easier than glass. Fixing scratches is usually pretty easy with plastic as well. Anyone who has had a older watch with a acrylic crystal would know, just a little buffing will get them out, while glass needs much more abrasives and polishing time to get out a scratch.

    There a number of disposable fixed focus cameras made by Kodak, Fuji, and now Ilford that use plastic lenses which get quite good results too. If more research were done on new plastics or plastic additives maybe there might be new developments that can replace the glass used making everything lighter and cheaper. So far the latest seems to be the development of an array of micro lenses kinda like on a bugs eye, each arranged over its own sensor instead of a set of elements in a barrel, using software the information from those lenses are combined. I think the goal was to make a flatter lens array for applications such as cell phones.

  4. #14

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    How would aberrations be dealt with in a plastic lens?

    Glass can be ED, aspherical, apo...all manner of things and corrections. Plastic would require multiple layers, each cancelling out one problem while introducing another.
    OTOH, Cokin has shown for decades how optical quality plastic can be successfully employed as filtration, so I definitely think the process for plastic lenses is there, just not attractive as the labour- and cost-intensive process of manufacturing and refining glass, especially since most of the camera names we know of today have invested heavily in optical glass technology and refinement.

  5. #15
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    WOW, most of this is well beyond my humble brain.

    But, at least theoretically, I do get the impression that (hypothetically), optical parity could be achieved. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 05-14-2013 at 08:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    Wouldn't want to go back to glass lenses in my spectacles!

  7. #17
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peltigera View Post
    Wouldn't want to go back to glass lenses in my spectacles!
    +1
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  8. #18

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    I've used up my current photo budget. (And I just have to exercise restraint in retirement) But I see lots of toy cameras I'd get in a heartbeat, all with plastic lenses. The Diana 110 camera, (the two lens kit), a Diana Mini, a Holga 6X12 panoramic with the 90mm plastic lens. Those three intrigue me the most.

  9. #19

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    I had a Nikon kit lens which I believe had some plastic elements: the 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G. The lens mount was plastic too! The images I got from the lens were just fine, plus I had no problem getting it wet and dirty because it was practically disposable. Fast autofocus too. I did hate the awful, awful focusing ring and the lack of an aperture ring.

    I gave it to my brother a while ago; I should steal it back.

  10. #20
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    LJ, I have this lens as well and no issues. As near as I can tell the front element at least is plastic. I will say one thing, the darn thing is light as a feather.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

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