Plastic optics

By: Poormanph6 5899 days ago
Would anyone know how plastic optics (polymer based)would differ in camera imaging performance (qualitatively and quantitatively speaking) if they do exist?
By: Poormanph6 5899 days ago
I know for a fact that many optical design software uses glass databases but not plastic optics (I have not come across a plastic lens database yet). I wanted to be able to test for MTF and make a comparison somehow.
By: johnriley 5899 days ago
Plastic aspherical lens elements are routinely bonded onto glass elements to reduce abberations and the number of elements needed in a lens. Glass aspherics are just too expensive. You casn find totally plastic lenses from box cameras onwards, but usually at the lower end of the quality scale.

I doubt if you will find two comparable lenses that you could meaningfully compare, but you could compare, say a seven element all-glass 28mm f2.8 design against a 5 element one incorporating some plastic elements.

Is there a particular purpose you have in mind?
By: Poormanph6 5899 days ago
Thanks Johnriley I am looking at possibilities in the use of plastic optics for design of machine vision cameras for optical inspection system I would like to be able to evaluate and simulate the ray optics and possibly be able to see how does it perform vs glass equivalent (almost or proximate of course)in the usual lens spec sense.

Zemax and Oslo (and Code V) software uses only glass catalogs I think and I am on a search (if I can find one) for plastic lens and figure out a way to use them there.

I wonder what do you mean at the lower end of the quality scale in terms of MTF performance? Do you have some test results you could share with me?
By: johnriley 5898 days ago
I was referring to basic meniscus style lenses in very primitive cameras. These are not really in the same category as your requirements and I doubt that there would be much point in doing MTF testing. In fact, they would not even be properly colour corrected.

Don't forget that some very high quality camera lenses incorporate moulded plastic elements.
By: PTolley 5618 days ago
Regarding Plastic optics information Contact Paul Tolley at Syntec Optics. 585 768 2513 ext 103 or And check out there website

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