Nearly 57 years ago, in 1962, I began work as an optical engineer with General Electric (GE) in Scranton, Pa. As an engineering technician, I worked with GE’s senior optical engineer, Don Kienholz (Figure 1). The computer system we used at the time included a specialty software package that had lens design and optimization capabilities. The software had been developed specifically for IBM by Gordon Spencer of Scientific Calculation Inc. in Rochester, N.Y.

My work as a consulting engineer followed a trajectory somewhat parallel to the development of the PC, along with affordable software packages for lens design and evaluation. As a consulting engineer, I was fortunate to begin working with the OSLO (Optics Software for Layout and Organization) lens design program developed by Doug Sinclair of Sinclair Optics.

In 2015, nearing the end of my optical engineering career, I stumbled upon the data for my first lens design. At this time, I was working with the premium version of the OSLO 6.5 software package that was provided and supported by Lambda Research Corp. of Littleton, Mass. My goal with OSLO 6.5 was (as it often was) to create a new design that would be improved in all regards: image quality, simplicity, and cost. In 2015, I spent a total of four hours to generate a new design, compared with the two to three months it took in 1964.

Figure 3 shows the results of that new design. Noteworthy is its simplification because of the elimination of the fieldflattening lens from the original design. The image quality of the new design includes MTF, which has been improved to be consistent to 0.71 contrast at 50 cycles/mm for all points within the full field of view. Similar to my first design, the new design is held at essentially zero distortion over the full field of view.

a figure the authors first lens design with lens data
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Figure 2. The author’s first lens design, with lens data, 1964.
a figure a new design with lens data
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