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Thread: plastic optics

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    David Lyga's Avatar
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    plastic optics

    Are there any examples of plastic being optically superior to glass? Have there been any serious attempts (marketed or not) to create better optics using plastic? What are the inherent obstacles towards achieving this? - David Lyga

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    Two23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Are there any examples of plastic being optically superior to glass? Have there been any serious attempts (marketed or not) to create better optics using plastic? What are the inherent obstacles towards achieving this? - David Lyga
    Well yes. Holga now makes their lens in Nikon mount. For $40 it's a great lens. One of the problems with plastic is it has a lot of expansion and contraction with temperature changes.


    Kent in SD

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    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Well yes. Holga now makes their lens in Nikon mount. For $40 it's a great lens. One of the problems with plastic is it has a lot of expansion and contraction with temperature changes.


    Kent in SD

    *cough*
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
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    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Generally , all air to air missile lenses are acrylic. If a mach 2 speed aircraft does not escape from the view of missile , I think it is good enough. I am not good with softwares but if you can manage to use a lens design software and create your weird one element lens , you can order it from 3D printing shops with using acrylic or epoxy.

    Plastics are able to mass manufacture and require micro molds. Its a very tough problem and very expensive.

    I found a easy way to create an acrylic lens , it is cutting with lasers or water jet to make multi element non spherical cylindrical lenses.
    Its easy but designing is very difficult for me.
    Last edited by Mustafa Umut Sarac; 05-13-2013 at 11:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Well yes. Holga now makes their lens in Nikon mount. For $40 it's a great lens. One of the problems with plastic is it has a lot of expansion and contraction with temperature changes.


    Kent in SD
    Obviously some new usage of the word "great".

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    erikg's Avatar
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    The Polaroid spectra camera has an acrylic lens that has a kidney shape as a way to shift focus quickly in a small space. it performed pretty well albeit for a Polaroid material not needing the highest resolution.

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    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikg View Post
    ...has a kidney shape as a way to shift focus quickly in a small space.
    This seems to be a kind of near-focus-lens design, with this lens consisting of segments of different FL's which are swung into position by pivoting this lens respectively. (It's found in the Polaroid Image/Spectra cameras. I've not yet disassembled this type of camera...)
    Last edited by AgX; 05-13-2013 at 10:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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    erikg's Avatar
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    This is from the camera wiki: "The Spectra range of cameras also sport better lenses on average than the 600-film range, with most of the models utilising an arc-shaped range of focusing lenses inside the body that swing across the exterior lens element to provide correct focusing, rather than adjusting the distance between internal lens elements."
    They called the lens "Quintic" it is a 3 element lens. I think this is a case that using plastic allowed a solution that may not have been possible or feasible with glass optics.

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    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Polaroid uses Cooke Triplet lenses as you said it is 3 elements lens.

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    I thought that many lens designs use plastic for elements with aspherical surfaces -- much easier to mold than glass, and optically sufficient.

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