Você está na página 1de 18

Aberration Theory



The paraxial formulas developed earlier for image formation by spherical reflecting and refracting surfaces are, of course, only approximately correct. In deriving those equations, it was necessary to assume paraxial rays, that is, rays both near to the optical axis and making small angles with it. Mathematically, the power expansions for the sine and cosine functions, given by

x3 x5

sin x = x - ~ + ~ -

3! 5!

x2 X4

cos x = 1 - ~ + - -

2! 4!

were accordingly approximated by their first terms. To the extent that these firstorder approximations are valid, Gaussian optics implies exact imaging. The inclusion of higher-order terms in the derivations, however, predicts increasingly larger departures from "perfect" imaging with increasing angle. These departures are referred to as "aberrations." When the next term involving x3 is included in the approximation for sin x, a third-order aberration theory results. The aberrations have been studied and classified by the German mathematician Ludwig von Seidel and are referred to as third-order or Seidel aberrations. For monochromatic light, there are five Seidel aberrations: spherical aberration, coma, astigmatism, curvature offield, and distortion. An additional aberration, chromatic aberration, results from the wavelength dependence of the imaging properties of an optical system. The full details of aberration theory are too formidable to treat in this chapter. We include here a brief, quantitative

Section 20-1

description of how the various aberrations follow from a third-order treatment and a qualitative description of each aberration, with typical procedures for its elimination.


The departure from ideal, paraxial imaging may be described quantitatively in several ways. In Figure 20-1 two wavefronts are shown emerging from an optical system. Wavefront WI is a spherical wavefront representing the Gaussian, or paraxial, approximation that produces an image at I. Wavefront W2 is an example of the actual wavefront, an aspherical envelope whose shape represents an exact solution of the optical system. This shape could be deduced by precisely tracing a sufficient number of rays, using the laws of reflection and refraction, through the optical system. Rays from adjacent points A and B, being normal to their respective wavefronts, do not intersect the paraxial image plane at the same point. The "miss" along the optical axis, represented by the distance LI, is called the longitudinal aberration, and the miss IS, measured in the image plane, is called the transverse, or lateral, aberration. These are ray aberrations. Alternatively, the aberration may be described in terms of the deviation of the deformed wavefront from the ideal at various distances from the optical axis. At the location of point B, shown in Figure 20-1, the wave aberration is given by the distance AB. Notice that rays from both wavefronts, at their point 0 of tangency on the optical axis, reach the same image point I. Rays from intermediate points of the actual wavefront between o and B intersect the image screen at other points around I, producing a blurred image, the result of aberration. The maximum ray aberration thus indicates the size of the blurred image. The ultimate goal of optical design is to reduce the ray aberrations until they are comparable to the unavoidable blurring due to diffraction itself.

Lateral ray aberrations corresponding to the wave aberration AB may be calculated once the variation in AB with perpendicular distance from the optical axis is known. Referring to Figure 20-2, the angle a between actual and ideal rays from a point P of the wavefront, at elevation y, is the same as the angle between wavefront tangents at P. The wavefronts, having been shaped by the optical system, exist in image space with refractive index n2' The offset detail construction of Figure 20-2 then shows that the incremental wave aberration da, expressed as an optical path length in image space, is



Actual wavefront

Paraxial __ image plane




Ray and Wave Aberrations

-t I

I I !


\ i !

Fjgu~e 20·1 Illustration of ray and wave aberrations.



Chapter 20

Aberration Theory

Figure 20·2 Construction used to relate the ray aberrations by and b, to the wave aberration a. The detail shows how to relate a change da in wave aberration to a change dy in the aperture dimension.

Figure 20·3 Refraction of a ray at a spherical sur face.





The derivative daJdy describes the local curvature of the wavefront at P. The lateral ray aberration by due to the rays from the neighborhood of P may then be approximated by


where s' is the paraxial image distance from the wavefront and a has been taken from Eq. (20-1). Similarly, along the other transverse direction, perpendicular to the y,z-axes in the plane of the page,


The longitudinal ray aberration b, is related to the lateral ray aberration by by


Let us solve now the case of refraction from a single spherical surface, where we improve the approximation to include "third-order" angle effects. In Figure 20-3, an arbitrary ray PQ from an axial object point P is refracted by a

s'da b = as' =--

y n2dy

s'da b =--

x n2 dx

b SIb


b =-=-

Z tan ()




Section 20-2 Third-Order Treatment of Refraction at a Spherical Interface 441

spherical surface, centered at C, that separates media of refractive indices nJ and nz- The refracted ray locates an axial image at 1. To a first approximation, the optical path lengths of rays PQI and POI are identical, according to Fermat's principle. Aberration contributes to the formation of the image because, beyond a first approximation, the ray path PQI depends on the position of point Q along the spherical surface. Thus we define the aberration at Q as

a(Q) = (PQI - POI)opd


where opd indicates the optical-path difference. More precisely,


Employing the cosine law in triangles PQC and CQI, the lengths f and C' may be exactly expressed, in terms of the quantities defined in Figure 20-3, by

f2 = R2 + (s + R? - 2R (s + R) cos 4>


C,2 = R2 + (s' - R)2 + 2R(s' - R)cos cp




where we have used the fact that sin 4> = hi R. The binomial expansion then permits expansion to the fourth power in h:


Introducing Eq. (20-10) into Eqs. (20-7) and (20-8) and rearranging terms,

_ ( [h2(R + s) h4(R + s) ])1/2

f-s1+ 2 + 32

Rs 4R s



Next, representing the quantities enclosed in square brackets by x in Eq. (20-11) and x' in Eq. (20-12), the square roots of the expression in outer parentheses may be approximated, again using the binomial expansion:


1/2 X x

(1 + x) ;:;: 1 + - - -

2 8




(X' x'2)

e' 5;; s' 1 + 2' - 8


, ,


I !,


Chapter 20

Aberration Theory

When all terms of order higher than h4 are discarded, there remains



To find the aberration a(Q) for an axial object point, these expressions for e and e' can be introduced into Eq. (20-6). In the result, there occur terms proportional to both h2 and h4. The h2 term is proportional to the expression

When this expression is set equal to zero, it reproduces the Gaussian formula for imaging by a spherical surface. Terms proportional to this expression, therefore, vanish, by Fermat's principle. Upon setting this expression equal to zero, there remains in a(Q), then, only the third-order aberration represented by a term in h4,

axial object points


When h is small enough, the rays are essentially paraxial and the aberration represented by this term may be negligible. In any case, since the square brackets include quantities independent of h, we have shown that third-order theory predicts a wave aberration a(Q) that is proportional to the fourth power of the aperture h, measured from the optical axis, or

a(Q) "" ch4 axial object points


where c represents the constant of proportionality. This is the principal result of our calculation for axial object points. We will use this in generalizing the aberration calculation to include off-axis imaging. In this way, the other Seidel aberrations will also appear.

The aberration a(Q) we have calculated as a difference in optical-path lengths between ideal and actual rays must correspond to the wave aberration AB of Figure 20-1. The deviation AB of the actual from the ideal spherical wavefront is clearly a function of the distance from the optical axis at which the ray intersects the wavefront and is referred to as spherical aberration.

Before examining spherical aberration in more detail, however, we wish to show how the other third-order aberrations arise. To do this, we need to consider the case of an off-axis object point. Shown in Figure 20-4 are two pencils of rays whose limits are determined by an aperture EnP serving as the entrance pupil. (See Chapter 3.) An axial pencil (shaded) from the on-axis object point 0 forms an image at and around the paraxial image point I. This image will be affected by spherical aberration, as discussed earlier, to a degree determined by the displacement y of the extreme rays of the pencil. This pencil is symmetrical about the axis OCI, where C is the center of curvature of the refracting surface. Also shown is an oblique pencil of rays originating at the off-axis point 0'. This pencil is certainly not symmetrical about the axis 01; in the absence of the limiting aperture EnP, its axis of symmetry would be

Section 20-2



Third-Order Treatment of Refraction at a Spherical Interface



__ -


the line O'CI'. It is from this axis that the displacement y' of the rays of the oblique pencil would have to be measured to determine the degree of aberration described by Eq. (20-19). Notice that such displacement from the axis of symmetry is much greater in the case of the oblique pencil. Thus an oblique pencil of rays due to off-axis object points is far more susceptible to aberration than corresponding axial points. The position of the aperture is critical in determining the magnitude of y' and is least harmful in this respect when placed at the center of curvature, C. (In this regard, one may recall the use of symmetrical lenses or lens combinations, such as the achromatic double meniscus objective, where the aperture is placed midway between them.)

Consider then the off-axis pencil of rays from object point P, as shown in Figure 20-5. The aberration function a'(Q) for the point Q on the wavefront may be expressed as

a'(Q) "" (PQP' - PBP')opd "" c(BQ)4 = cp'"

In Eq. (20-20) we relate the elevation of the ray PQPI to the axis P BP' and consider points B, 0, and Q to lie in a vertical plane approximating the wavefront at O. It can be shown that this approximation does not affect the results of third-order aberration theory. We have also made use of Eq. (20-19) and identified the distance BQ with a quantity pl. A section of the plane that indudes the relevant points and defines the distances pi, b, and r is also shown in Figure 20-5 (detail). In a similar manner, we may write, for the wavefront point 0,

a'(O) = (POP' - PBP')opd = C(BO)4 = cb4


If the point Q is referred to the optical axis OC, an off-axis aberration function a(Q) may be expressed as the difference between the axial aberrations at Q and 0 found previously.

a(Q) "" a'(Q) - a'(O) = cp" - cb4 "" C(p'4 - b4)


Figure 20·4 Comparison of axial and oblique pencils of rays from an object, defined by passage through entrance aperture EnP.

Figure 20-5 Imaging of off-axis point P. Aberration at an arbitrary point Q on the wavefront may be related to the symmetry axis P BP' or the optical axis Des. The detail shows a frontal view of a portion of a wavefront.






Chapter 20

Aberration Theory







Figure 20·6 Spherical aberration of a lens, producing in (a) different image distances and in (b) different focal lengths, depending on the [ens aperture.

Applying the cosine law to the triangle BOQ in the geometric detail shown in Figure 20-5, we have

and introducing this expression for pi into Eq. (20-22) gives

a(Q) = c(r4 + 4r2b2 cos2 8 + 2r2b2 + 4r3b cos 8 + 4rb3 cos 0) (20-23)

From similar triangles OBC and SCP' in Figure 20-5, we see that the distance OB = b is proportional to the height hi of the paraxial image P' above the optical axis. This may be expressed by

b = kh'


where k is the appropriate proportionality constant. When b in Eq. (20-23) is replaced by kh', we have, lumping all constants into term-by-term coefficients,

a(Q). = oC40r4 + lC31h'r3 cos 0 + 2C22h'2r2 cos2 e


The C coefficients in Eq. (20·25) are subscripted by numbers that specify the powers of the term dependence.on h', r, and cos 0, respectively. For example, the C coefficient lC31 accompanies the term h'r3 cos 0, where h' is to the first power, r is cubed, and cos 0 is to the first power. The individual terms describe wavefront aberrations that contribute to the total aberration at the image. These terms comprise the five monochromatic, or Seidel, aberrations, as follows:


h'r3 cos 0 h'2r2 cos" e h,2r2

h,3r cos 0

spherical aberration coma

astigmatism curvature of field distortion

Each aberration is characterized by its dependence on hi (departure from axial imaging), r (aperture of refracting surface), and 0 (symmetry around the axis). Notice that the first term for spherical aberration agrees with Eq. (20-19), derived for axial imaging, where h represents the aperture.

We now briefly describe each of these aberrations in terms of their visual effects and indicate some means that are employed to reduce them.


The aberration known as spherical aberration results from the first term, oC4or4, in Eq. (20-25-). It is the only term in the third-order wave aberration a(Q) that does not depend on h'. Thus spherical aberration exists even for axial object and image points, as illustrated for a single lens in Figure 20-6a·.1he paraxial image point I is distinct from axial image points, such as E, due to rays refracted at lens positions further from the optical axis. The axial miss distance EI, due to rays from the extremities of the lens, provides the usual measure of longitudinal spherical aberration, whereas the distance IG in the paraxial image plane measures the corresponding transverse spherical aberration. These

Section 20-3

quantities also depend on the object distance. When E is to the left of I, as shown for the case of a positive lens, the spherical aberration is positive; for a negative lens, E falls to the right of J, and the spherical aberration is considered negative. At some intermediate point M between E and I, a "best" focus is attained in practice. The broadened image there is called, descriptively, the "circle of least confusion." Using Eqs. (20-2) and (20-4) for lateral aberration by and longitudinal aberration b., the corresponding spherical aberrations in the yz-plane may be determined with the help of Eq, (20-25) as follows:

b = s: da = !'_ da = 40C40s' r3

y n2 dy n2 dr nz


Example 20-1

Axially collimated light enters a glass rod through its end, a convex, spherical surface of radius 4 ern. The glass rod has a refractive index of 1.60. Determine the longitudinal and lateral spherical ray aberrations for light entering at an aperture height of h = 1 ern,


According to Eq. (20-18), with object distance s very large, there remains

a = _ h4 [n2 (! _ !)2J

8 S' S' R

To calculate by and then bz, one needs the derivative da/dh:

The image distance s', also the focal length of the surface, is found from the paraxial equation, giving

1 1.6 0.6 ,

-- + - = - or s = 10.667 cm

00 s' 4

Then da/dh and the spherical aberrations are,

da 1 r 1.6 (1 1 )2]

dh = - 2 10.67 10.67 - 4' = -0.001831

b = s: da = s: da = 10.667 (-0.001831) = -0.0122 em

y n2 d y nz dh 1.6

S' S' 10.667

b, = -;:by = hby = -1-( -0.0122) = -0.130 em

Figure 20-6b shows spherical aberration when the object is at infinity.

Various circular zones of the lens about the axis produce different focal lengths, so that f is a function of aperture h. The specified focal length of the

Spherical Aberration



Chapter 20


+1 +2

Aberration Theory



Figure 20·7 "Bending" of a single lens into various shapes having the same focal length. The Coddington shape factor below each shape serves to classify them.

lens is due to the intersection of paraxial rays for which h ---+ O. This focal length is given by the lensmaker's formula,


for a thin lens of refractive index n and radii of curvature rl and r2, when used in air. From Eq. (20-26) it is obvious that a given Imay result from different combinations of rl and rz- Various choices of the radii of curvature, while not changing the focal length, may have a large effect on the degree of spherical aberration of the lens. Figure 20-7 illustrates the "bending," or change in shape, of a lens as its radii of curvature vary but its focal length remains fixed. A measure of this bending is the Coddington shape factor if, defined by


where the usual sign convention for rl and r2 is assumed. For example, a thin lens of n = 1.50 and f = 10 em may result from an equiconvex lens of a = 0 (r1 = 10, r2 = -10 em); a plano-convex lens of o: = +1 (r1 = 5 em); a meniscus lens of (T = +2 (rl = 3.33, tz = 10 em). These shapes, as well as their mirror images with negative shape factors, are shown in Figure 20-7.

The spherical aberration of a single, spherical refracting surface is given in Eq. (20-18). A thin lens combines two such surfaces, each of which contributes to the total spherical aberration. The total longitudinal spherical aberration, Sh - s~, of a thin lens with focal length 1 and index n, where sir is the image distance for a ray at elevation h, s~ is the paraxial image distance, and

Sf - S p=-Sf + s

is given by'

1 1 h2 1 In + 2 2

- - - = - --u + 4 n + 1 u

sir s~ 8/3 n(n - 1) n - 1 ( )p

n3 J

+ (3n + 2) (n - 1)p2 + --

n - 1


One can show further (problem 20-11), that minimum (but not zero!) spherical aberration results when the bending is such that .

2(n2 - 1)

[T=- P



Notice that for an object at infinity if ::; 0.7 for a lens of refractive index n = 1.50. This shape factor is close to that of the plano-convex lens with [T = + 1. Accordingly, optical systems often employ plano-convex lenses (with the convex side facing the parallel incident rays) to reduce spherical aberration. In general, a minimum in spherical aberration is associated with the condition of equal refraction by each of the two surfaces, caning to mind the case of minimum deviation in a prism. When lenses are used in cornbination, the possibility of canceling spherical aberration arises from the fact that

lSee Francis A. Jenkins and Harvey E. White, Fundamentals of Optics, 4th ed. (New York: MeGraw-Hill Inc. 1976), Ch. 9.

'dJnll]J ;np ul Udhlil sdlIlSUOPI1[;)J opl;)woall alll pun Mll[ s,Ilaus WOl] SMoIloJ uompuoo :JTU. 'uop ~!pUOO auts :JqqV 81l) 0) pa!qns ',d 1I1alll1w) Ul? WIO! S!Xl? 8ljl 111:JU J nnod Pd[qO WOlJ SAl11 [e!Xl11I1duON (p) . 009 SI saUl! paqsep 8111 Ud8Mlaq d1llul1 8TU. 'Sua[ aliI JO 8UOZ Jd)nO alll W01] S,{ 111 Aq P8WIOJ a[Olp O!1l1UIOO 8111 JO Sn!pl11 8111 S8UI)l 8811p S! UO!SUalX8 WnW!XllW Sl! 1\11[1 qons s! 8jh~w! Opl1W -oo aliI JO odaus 8TU. 'S8jOlp 0lll1WOJ JO sa)l

-cs 11 WOl] ali'l1W! ouemoo a JO UOnl1WIOd (:l)

'ajOl]O Opl1WOO II UO an uo!llaJ rejnuuc :;IWllS alll llli'nOlljj ssed )l1ljl SUll] [lllllnW!Zl1 :;Iljl JO Illl 0) onp siutod ;:lli'l1W) 8TU. 's,(l1J PIIl11lld 10 SUllJ OJ onp llWO:) (q) PUI1 (a) s-oz ;un.3!.'1




J,J ,If-


">: ,d



,1' UlS ,e uls

:Jd .I

l' UjS I.J U!5

,1> U!S ,u = l' u15 U


\ I \ I




:)!llUJ:)UOJ JO SJ!lJS R SR PdlQP!SUO:) aq UBJ SUd1 dl[l srrqj, 'auo'! B SB U013;)1 S!l[l oi rcjor IEM dN.\.. 'S!Xtl ItlJ}ldo ;:)l[llDOqB P;:)lQ1U;:)J 'SUg1 ;;Jql JO UOr8Q1IBrnUUB U!m tl q3nolql SSBd ITtl SABI dqt 'SUGr XGAUO;) B Aq PdPBIJd18u!gq pUB nnod pdfqo S!XB-dql-MOpq 'lUBlS!P B UlOIJ 8U!AP1B--j? pUB '£ 'z 'I-SABl PIIBIBd .moj SMOqS B8-0Z dln3H 'G3BUl! ;)!lBUlO;) B JO UOI1BUlIOJ ;:)ql SglB1lsnlI! 8-02 Gm8H

"'BUlO;),, GUlBU gl[l d;)Udl[-l!Bl 13 pUB PBgLj' tl l[l!M 1aUlO;) B sojqtnasar raqr sdnqs pdllnlq 13 SB Sa3BUl! nnod ioofqo S!XB-JJO UB 'BUlOJ JO dsnB;)GH :QlnllGdB SUGI GLj'l JO 19MOd Pl!Lj'l Gl[l SB AIP!dBl s;:)sBal;)u1 pUB (lUB1SUO;) =F 0 son) S!XB ItlJndo ;:)l[llnoqtl IBJPlgUIUIAS lOU s1 lBl[l (0 :f. ,t{) uouturaqn IB!XB-nO UB s1 '0 SO;) f.l,1{I£:)1 UlIQl Ql[l Aq paiuosardcr 'VUlO:)

"wo:> v-oz

'SUd1 "larqnop" pglUGUlg;) gLj'l u1 punoJ s1 onbnnpai S!ql JO UOPBJ!IddB UOUlUlO;) Y 'u3!s gl!soddo JO UO!lBUgqB IBJ!l;:)Lj'ds aonpord SgSUgI gA!lB3::m pUB ;;JAp!sod


Chapter 20

zones, extending from its center to its outer edge. One such zone (ABeD) is shown. All rays from the distant object point that pass through the zone form the comatic circle shown. Rays 1 and 2 are in a vertical plane and pass through points A and B of the zone, whereas rays 3 and 4 are in a horizontal plane and pass through points C and D of the zone. The top of the comatic circle is formed by rays 1 and 2; the bottom by rays 3 and 4. Each such zone of the lens produces its own comatic circle, whose diameter increases as the radius of the zone increases.

In Figure 20-Sb, a vertical fan of rays (numbered 1,2,3,4, and 5) is shown passing through the center and two outer zones of the lens. The central ray ar-

rives at point 0 in the image plane. Rays 2 and 3 form the top of the coma tic cir- '~

cle at point A for their zone, whereas rays 4 and 5 form the top of the comatic

circle at point B for their zone. The height above the optical axis of the bottom-

most point 0 is shown as he and the distance to the outermost comatic circle at

point B is shown as he. A sketch of these and several others of the coma tic cir-

cles is shown in Figure 20-Sc. Since the lens zones are continuous, so are their associated comatic circles. Thus, the inner details of these comatic circles are not

visible and all that is seen is the cometlike comatic shape'. Figure 20-Sb shows

that each zone produces a different magnification, so that he due to the central

ray is not equal to he due to the extreme rays. Coma, like spherical aberration,

may occur as a positive quantity (he> he) or a negative quantity (he < he).

Notice, as shown in Figure 20-8c, that the maximum extent of the comatic image

i R; + 2Re) is three times the radius R, of the largest comatic circle.

Without the usual paraxial approximation-restricting rays to those making small angles with the axis-one can show that for a small object near the axis, any ray from an object point that is refracted at a spherical interface must satisfy the Abbe sine condition,

Aberration Theory

nh sin B + n'h'sinB' = 0


Here hand h' are object and image size, respectively, and the angles {} and 81 are the slope angles of the rays in optical media nand n I, respectively. These quantities are illustrated in Figure 20-Sd. When Eq. (20-30) is rearranged to express the lateral magnification, the condition can be written

hi n sin e

m =-=-

h n' sin 8'

To prevent coma, the lateral magnification resulting from refraction by all zones of a lens must be the same. Thus coma is absent when, for all values of e,

sin {}

-.-- = constant smB'

The bending of a lens, found useful in reducing spherical aberration, is also useful in reducing coma. The Coddington shape factor, Eq. (20-27), which results in minimum spherical aberration, is close to that producing zero coma, so that both aberrations may be significantly reduced in the same lens by proper bending. One can show that coma is absent in a lens when

a = (2n2 - n - 1)(~)

n + 1 s + S'


For the example of the lens considered previously, with n = 1.50 and object at infinity, Eq. (20-31) gives a value of a = O.S, quite close to the value of o = 0.7, which yielded minimum spherical aberration. A lens or optical system free of both spherical aberration and coma is said to be aplanatic.

Section 20-5


Aplanatic optics is still susceptible to two closely related aberrations whose wave aberration terms can be combined to give h,2r2{zC22 cos? e + 2C20)' The first term produces astigmatism, and the second, which is symmetrical about the optical axis, is called curvature of field. Both aberrations increase similarly with the off-axis distance of the object and with the aperture of the refracting surface.

Figures 20-9a and b illustrate the astigmatic images of an off-axis point P due to a tangential fan of rays through the section tt' and a sagittal fan of

Circle of least confusion

Principal ray





Object plane




Astigmatism and Curvature of Field




Figure 20-9 (a) Astigmatic line images T and 5 of an off-axial point P due to tangential (tt') and sagittal (ss') fans of light rays through a lens. (b) Photograph of astigmatic images formed by a lens, as illustrated in Figure 20-9a. The separated line images T and S are revealed as sections of the beam by fluorescent screens. (From M. Cagnet, M. Francon, and J. C. Thrierr, Atlas of Optical Phenomenon, Plate 4, Berlin: SpringerVerlag, 1962.) (c) Astigmatic surfaces in the field of a lens. (d) Use of a stop to artificially "flatten" the field of a lens. The compromise surface between the Sand T surfaces is indicated by the dashed line.

Gq iouuno U09!puo:J IllAZ1Qd Gql ;;UGqM 'SU09Unl!S lIm!JJ!P GlOlU ul 'SU1QlUB:J xoq JIdlU!s U! pcsn UGGq seq PPU Gql llU!UGnUIJ AIP.1!:JUH1U 10J poqicur dA!SUJd -XJU! S!tU 'UMOqS SU 'reIJ S! uorsnjuoo lSBQI jo Q:JBJlnS Gql pUB 'PGAXm AIJ1!Sod

-do resddn UJql sooejrns :J!lUlUll!lSU 1 puu S GtU 'lGlUJ:J SUGI dql J1UllQUQd lOU

op 'J1nllddu Jql Aq pGU!lU1G1Gp MOU 'SARI P!q:J onbqqo 'lUGlUG'8UU11U S!q1 Ul 'P6-0Z Gln'8H U! SU potrontsod d01S arrurodu UU JO osn Aq psqsqdmooce Gq AUW '8U!ll~mUU PIJU IBt:JfP.PU mq 'SUGI GI'8U!S U 10J paqsqdurooos Gq 10UUBJ U0!l!PUO:J S!Ql Aq llU!mmUIJ PIGH 'J:JuJlns IBAZldd Gql JO Gln1BAlnJ JO snrpar Gql S! dN J1GqM


"n lj1u


1 1

o = zJZu + ljIu

J! 'PPU JO GlnlUAlnJ ilUPBU!lU!IG 'G:Jupns IBAZPd lBU U GABq U!M (ZJ pUB V sqlZlUGI IB:J01 JA!pGdsGl pUU Zu pUB IU UO!PB1Jd110 SG;)!PU! GA!pJdSG110) SGSUGI uIql OMl 'JIdlUBXG 10d ·G;)Bpns.L dql JO 113q1 01 G1!soddo G:Ju11ns S Gq110 GP!S Gql uo SGH SAUMIB pUB d;)BpnS S Qql lU01J UBql JJBjlnS.L Glp lU01J 1Gql1BJ SGUlq GG1ql PG1Bnl!S sAUM -ru S! G;)BJlnS IBAZ1Gd Gql 'A10JqllGplO-P1!ql Ul 'PGAIOAU! SGSUGI Gql JO sqlllUGI 113;)01 pUB Sd:J!PU! GA!PB1JG1 dql uo AIUO spUGdGP pUB lUJlUGJBld 10 llU!PUGq SUGI Aq pgpGJJBun S! G:JBJ1ns jBAZ1Gd dql 'SG::lUpns S pUB .L dql d){!lUQ

'GppU!OJ lOU op SG;)BJ -rns S PUB.L Jql u;~qM UJAg 'WJ1SAS [B:J!ldo AUB 10J peururrcicp Gq UB;) G;)BJ1ns IBAZ1Gd V 'G;)B1lnS IBAZ1Gd Gq11U 01 podaqs oq rsnur Ulm Gql 'SUO!l!puOJ JSJql ropun SGii'BUl! draqs P10;)G1 0.1 'SU!BUIJ1 pp!J Jo a.LnJVt1..LnJ pGIIll;) UOPBllgqU pglll!;)OSSU Jql 'pG1BU!WHG UGGq snq UlSPBUlllPSB qllnoqlIB 'ucqi 'pGA1m S! G;)BJ -rns Gql n 'pGUl10J G1B SJllBW! rmcd 'UlG1SAS :J!ltlUUrdB UB 10J 'GJBJlnS [B;)01 S!q1 ul ·JJvJ.ms /Vt1.ZJ{)c! Gq1 PGII13:J S! G:JBJ1ns ii'umnSG1 Gql 'GP!:JU!o:J AGqllBql os silu! -osds 10 sodeqs SUJI ZlU!lGnB Aq PJiluuq:J ~:uU SG:JUJlnS GSGql JO sanuexrno Jql UGqM. 'GP!:JU!o:J 01 GpBW oq SGJBpnS jUll!llUS pua IuqUJii'UU1 Gqlleql sannbor UIS!lBlUii'!lSU JO uoquU!lUHJ Gql ':J6-0Z Qm'8H JO MJ!A JO nnod Jq1 lUOld

'UGJM1Qq glJqMGlUOS GllBlU! GS!UIOldUlOJ e qFM 'lUGlUgp JO JdAl q;)UG lOJ lUG1G11!P gq InM snooj POOll U 10J J:JUB1S!P Jii'BlU! Jql 'SlUGWGP tB!PB1 pUB rejnano qicq SU!B1UOJ GUUld ioolqo Gq11! snq_l 'SGUH IB!PU1 pGsmOJ-lpM oonpord 01 G'alGUl SGZl13lU! Itl!PBJ PGlBllUOP Gql GJGqM 'GJUJJns S Gql ut AIUO pconpord ;;!lB SGii'BUIf IBrp -ar drnqs 'Gpl!J ioofqo Gql ur SJUn IB!PBl 'aUOIB siuiod pGfqo 10J 'ptmq 1Gq10 ~qJ uO 'QU!I Itl:)oJ S Gql JO qlP!M Gql G1gqMA1;;!AG 'aU!ABq 'draqs Gq lOU lHM JP1f:J Gql JO GllUlU! GlH 'lGAgMOq \lOUJJnS S Gq1 ul ·gplP dllUlU! pGSnJOJ-IIGM

. B OlU! Gii'l;:}lU GJBJms.L Gql U! SG:i3'BW! gU!! ilu!puodSGUO;) Gq1 'S!XB IU;)!ldo Gql 01 lUIm!pugd1Gd ~lUBId ioofqo us U! Gplp U 'ii'uop~ nBJ d G){!I siutod n

'GApUlldU SF l! GS!M1Gqlo :GA!l -tsod SB UG2[Ul S! GJUG1GJEP ;)!lBwllqS1':! Gql 'UMOqS se 'GJupns S dql JO 1PI G41 OJ snuJ GOBpns.L gql u~qM. 'S!XB IBJ!ldo Gql lU01J J;)UB1S!P Gql JO sranbs Gql 01 IBUO!l1Od01d AIG1BlJI!XOlddB 'nnod pGfqo S!ql 10J lUsnewZlqsB Gql JO opru ~!UllBUI Gql SGmSUGlU iutod ioofqo UGA!ll B uro.rj AUl IBd!:Jupd AUB llUOIB SGJB1 -rns OMl gql UGGM1Gq uoqUfAdP Gq_l ';)6-0Z JJnllH U! PG1B11snm SB 'Sd;)BpnS IBP!OIoqU1Bd G1B d snnod ioofqo SnO!lBA 1OJ.L pUB S Sgii'BlU! gU!I Gql JO snoot G41 'UO!snJUO:J JSV{)l Jo ap..lp Gql 'lBInJ1!:J Gq II!M smo] Gql'.L pun S UGGMl -gq ABMP!lU A{dll'lUl!XOlddy 'GdBl[S U! IB;)!ldmg Jq II!M SGllUlU! GW!PGUl1G1U! '.L 01 S urczj pJAOlU Sf AB1lUdpu~ld Gql oi mjnojpuodrad ppq UGG1::lS e 11 '~muId IB!lUGllmn Gl[l U! SHU1 S gUn {BOO] Gql pUB 'GUBId IUH!ilBS gql ur SG!I.l dun IBOOJ G41'APA!PGdSGl 'SUBJ IBn!llUS pUB IUpUGii'UB1 GqllOJ S PUU.L S13 UMOqS 'SG~BlUf GU![ J1B SG:i3'BlU! OM1 gql 'SUGI GqllUOlJ SG:JUU1S!p·1UG1QjJrp lU snooj SAUl JO SUl'lJ rejnotpuadrad GSGql G::lU!S 'sUgI gIZlU!S U JO ,ss UO!lOGS Gql q'ii'nolql SAUl


Section 20-7

satisfied without sacrificing other requirements, a low-power lens is sometimes used near the image plane. The lens helps to counteract curvature of field without otherwise seriously compromising image quality. Finally, according to fifth-order aberration theory, the T and S surfaces may actually be made to come together again and intersect at some distance from the optical axis. The result is less average astigmatism over the compromise focal plane. The anastigmat camera objective is designed to take advantage of this.


The last of the five monochromatic Seidel aberrations, present even if all the others have been eliminated, is distortion, represented by the term 3Cllh,3r cos e. Even though object points are imaged as points, distortion shows up as a variation in the lateral magnification for object points at different distances from the optical axis. If the magnification increases with distance from the axis, the rectangular grid of Figure 20-10a, serving as object, will have an image as shown in Figure 20-10b. This is descriptively called pincushion distortion. On the other hand, if magnification decreases with distance from the axis, the image appears as in Figure 20-10c, with barrel distortion. The image in either case is sharp but distorted. Such distortion is often augmented due to the limitation of ray bundles by stops or by elements effectively acting as stops. To see this effect, refer to Figure 20-11a. Shown there is the image of an off-axis point, formed by a single lens. Two pencils of rays are drawn=-one shaded, one cIear-each limited by an aperture stop located (1) at some distance from the lens and (2) near the lens. As the aperture approaches the lens, it permits a shorter average distance to the lens. Thus, it can be seen in Figure 20-11a that for aperture position (1), the average distance PM for the shaded pencil is greater than the average distance PN for the lower pencil. Similarly, the image distance MP' is less than the distance NP'. Thus, the ratio MP'jPM (magnification for the upper pencil) is less than N P' j P N (magnification for the lower pencil). Therefore, the lateral magnification is less for aperture position (1) than for aperture position (2). This decrease in lateral magnification due to the aperture position is more noticeable as the object point recedes farther from the axis, so that the image suffers from barrel distortion. The effect of placing the aperture stop on the image side of the lens can also be seen from the same figure by reversing all rays and the roles played by object and image. Now the ratio of effective object-to-image distance is smaller, and pincushion distortion appears in the image. When the aperture stop is placed at the position of the lens, such distortion does not occur. Also, a symmetric doublet with a central stop, combining both effects, is free from distortion for unit magnification. Photographs of the effects of stop location on distortion are reproduced in Figure 20-11 b, c, and d.


The final aberration to be discussed is not one of the Seidel aberrations, which are all monochromatic aberrations. Neither our first-order (Gaussian or paraxial) approximations nor the third-order theory sketched briefly in the preceding sections took into account an important fact of refraction: the variation of refractive index with wavelength, or the phenomenon of dispersion. Because of dispersion, an additional chromatic aberration appears, even for paraxial optics, in which images formed by different c-olors of light are not coincident. In terms of the monochromatic third-order aberrations of Eq. (20-25), we could introduce chromatic effects by considering the wavelength dependence of each of the coefficients of the terms.

Chromatic Aberration



\ .




Figure 20·10 Images of a square grid (a) showing pincushion distortion (b) and barrel distortion (c) due to nonuniform magnifications.


Chapter 20

Aberration Theory

(1) (2)





Figure 20-11 (a) Effect of an aperture stop on the distortion of an image by a lens. The aperture in position (1) produces more barrel distortion than it does in position (2). If object and image are interchanged, the same system produces pincushion distortion. (b) Image of a square grid by a positive lens. With the stop located between object (far right) and lens, barrel distortion occurs in the image. (c) Image of a square grid by a positive lens. With the stop located at the lens, the image is free from distortion. (d) Image of a square grid by a positive lens. With the stop located between lens and image, pincushion distortion occurs in the image. (Figures 20-11b, c, and d from M. Cagnet, M. Francon, and 1. C. Thrierr, Atlas of Optical Phenomenon, Plate 5, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1962.)

Chromatic aberration is briefly discussed in Chapter 3. Here we review and extend that discussion. Since the focal length f of a lens depends on the refractive index n of the glass,fis also a function of wavelength. Figure 20-12a shows convergence of parallel incident light rays by a lens to distinct focal points for the red and violet ends of the visible spectrum. Notice that a cone of violet light will form a halo around the red focus at R. If the incident light contains all wavelengths of the visible spectrum, intermediate colors focus between these points on the axis. Just as for a prism, greater refraction of shorter wavelengths brings the violet focus nearer the lens for the positive lens shown.


Section 20-7

Figure 20-12b illustrates chromatic aberration for an off-axial object point and displays both longitudinal chromatic aberration (LCA) and lateral or transverse chromatic aberration (TCA). Notice that if longitudinal chromatic aberration were absent, the transverse chromatic aberration could be interpreted as a difference in magnification for different colors. The longitudinal chromatic aberration of a convex lens may easily be comparable to its spherical aberration for rays at widest aperture.

Chromatic aberration is eliminated by making use of multiple refracting elements of opposite power. The most common solution is achieved with the achromatic doublet (Figure 20-13), consisting of a convex and concave lens, of different glasses, cemented together. The focal lengths and powers of the lenses differ, through shaping of their surfaces, to produce a net power of the doublet that may be either positive or negative. The dispersing powers of the components are, through appropriate selection of glasses, in inverse proportion to their powers. The result is a compound lens that has a net focal length but reduced dispersion over a significant portion of the visible spectrum.

We consider next the quantitative details of this design. The general shape of an achromatic doublet is shown in Figure 20-13. The powers of the two lenses for the yellow center of the visible spectrum, conveniently represented by the Fraunhofer wavelength, AD = 587.6 nm, are

1 ( 1 1 )

PlD = -f. = (nlD - 1) - - -. = (nlD - I)Kl

lD rn '12


1 .(1 1) )

P2D =f- = (n2D - 1) - - - = (n2D - 1 K2

2D r21 r22


where the radii of curvature are designated in Figure 20-13. Here, no refers to the refractive index of each glass for the D Fraunhofer line, and we have introduced constants K1 and K2 as an abbreviation for the curvatures. In Chapter 18 we showed that the focal length / of a thin-lens doublet with lens separation L satisfies the relation

111 L


/ f1 fz ftf2


Here, it and fz are the focal lengths of the two lenses in the doublet. Consequently, the power P = 11/ of the doublet is


For a cemented doublet of thin lenses, L = 0, and, as also discussed in Chapter 2, the powers of the lenses are simply additive:


For the case of the cemented doublet, incorporating Eqs. (20-33) and (20-34) into Eq. (20-37) gives

P = (n1 - l)Kl + (n2 - 1)K2


Chromatic aberration is absent at the wavelength AD if the power is independent of wavelength, or (aPlaA)D = O. Applied to Eq. (20-38), this condition is


Chromatic Aberration






Figure 20·12 Chromatic aberration (exaggerated) for a thin lens, illustrating the effect on the focal length (a) and the lateral and longitudinal misses (b) for red (R) and violet (V) wavelengths.


Figure 20·13 Achromatic doublet, consisting of (1) crown glass equiconvex lens cemented to (2) a negative flint glass lens. The four radii of curvature are indicated.

454 Chapter 20 Aberration Theory

The variation of n with A in the neighborhood of AD may be approximated using the red and blue Fraunhofer wavelengths, Ac = 656.3 nm and AF = 486.1 nm respectively: '


The dispersion constant for the glasses may be introduced by expressing the terms of Eq. (20-39) as



where we have used Eqs. (20-33) and (20-34) as well as a dispersive constant V, defined as the reciprocal of the dispersive power (see Eq. (3-18» and given by


Substituting Eqs. (20-41) and (20-42) into Eq. (20-39), the condition for the absence of chromatic aberration may be written as


Combining Eqs. (20-37) and (20-44), the powers of the individual elements may be expressed in terms of the desired power PD of the combination:


The K curvature factors expressed in Eqs, (20-33) and (20-34) may then be calculated using

K - P1D 1-

n1D - 1

P2D and K2 = _-==-

n2D - 1


Finally, from the values of K1 and K2, the four radii of curvature of the lens faces may be determined. For simplicity of construction, the crown glass lens (1) may be chosen to be equiconvex. In addition, the curvature of the two lenses must match at their interface. The radii of curvature thus satisfy

r12 = -r11,



In the design of an achromatic doublet, the three indices of refraction for each of the glasses to be used are taken from manufacturer's specifications, like those presented in Table 20-1. One also inputs the desired overall focal length of the achromat. In the series of calculations leading to the four radii of curvature, a calculation that is easily programmed, Eqs. (20-43), (20-45), (20-46), and (20-47) are employed in sequence. For example, if 5201636 crown glass and 617/366 flint glass are used in designing an achromat offocallength 15 em,

Section 20-7 Chromatic Aberration 455
Type Catalog code V nc nD nF
nD-l nD-l 656.3 nm 587.6 nm 486.1 nm
10V nF-nC
Borosilicate crown 517/645 64.55 1.51461 1.51707 1.52262
Borosilicate crown 520/636 . 63.59 1.51764 1.52015 1.52582
Light barium crown 573/574 57.43 1.56956 1.57259 1.57953
Dense barium crown 638/555 55.49 1.63461 1.63810 1.64611
Dense flint 617/366 36.60 1.61218 1.61715 1.62904
Flint 620/380 37.97 1.61564 1.62045 1.63198
Dense flint 6891312 31.15 1.68250 1.68893 1.70462
Dense flint 805/255 25.46 1.79608 1.80518 1.82771
Fused silica 458/678 67.83 1.45637 1.45846 1.46313 these equations lead to lenses with radii of curvature given by TIl = 6.6218 em

rl2 = -6.6218 em

r2J = -6.6218 em

r22 = -223.29 em

With these values, Eqs. (20-33) and (20-34) permit the calculation of focal lengths for each of the Fraunhofer wavelengths. In this case, we find

II h f
AD 6.3653 em -11.0575 ern 15.0000 ern
Ac 6.3961 em -11.147 em 15.007 ern
AI' 6.2966 em -10.8485 cm 15.007 cm For a thin lens, achromatizing renders focal lengths (nearly) equal, eliminating longitudinal and lateral aberration at the same time. In a thick lens or an optical system of lens combinations, the second principal planes for different wavelengths may not coincide as they do in a thin lens. When this is the case, equal focal lengths for two wavelengths, measured as they are from their respective principal planes, do not lead to a single focal point on the axis, and longitudinal chromatic aberration remains (Figure 20-14a). If the focal lengths for red and blue light are made unequal, such that they produce a single focus (Figure 20-14b), the difference in is and iR results in a difference of lateral magnifications, and lateral chromatic aberration remains. Thus the condition for removing lateral chromatic aberration is the coincidence of the principal planes for the two corrected wavelengths.

Another solution for zero longitudinal chromatic aberration results if one uses two separated lenses (L =P 0) of the same glass (nl =:: n2 = n). The condition ap faA = 0 applied to Eq. (20-36) now gives

Performing the differentiation and canceling an/aA, there remains L = it + fz



which is the same result derived for a double-lens eyepiece in Chapter 3. Thus two lenses of the same material, separated by a distance equal to the average of their focal lengths, exhibit zero longitudinal chromatic aberration for the wavelength at which the focal lengths are calculated.



Figure 20-14 Doublet with second principal planes separated for red and blue light. (a) Equal focal lengths result in residual longitudinal chromatic aberration. (b) Equal foci result in residual lateral chromatic aberration.