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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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    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

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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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    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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    Glass adds to the weight of a camera, which needs to be sufficiently heavy to cut down vibration.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac View Post
    cliveh,

    You are a Leica 2 user and as you experience elmar lens is lightweight. The heavy part is brass body.
    But mostly I am an M2 user and a 50mm 1.4 Summilux is not so lightweight.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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