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Chapter 4:
Camera Optics: Taking Control of the Light
Author(s): Robert D. Fiete
Published: 2012
DOI: 10.1117/3.919698.ch4

4.1 Getting the Light into Shape

Optics is the study of the generation, propagation, and detection of light. In the camera-design world, camera optics refers to the elements of a camera that capture light to form an image. The role of the camera lens is to shape the light entering the camera into an image we wish to keep. Fortunately, the image will form naturally if we bend the incoming light in just the right way. Ideally, the image should be an exact copy of the scene in color, brightness, and geometry, but there are physical limitations that allow the image to be only a decent representation of the scene. So, how do we use optics to shape the light into an image?

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