In this book we have presented many of the basic concepts and procedures applicable to the design of optical systems for use in visual applications. The goal in presenting this information has been twofold. First, it is intended that reading of this book, and working through some of the design exercises, will result in a better understanding of the basic optical characteristics and the performance limitations of the human eye. Secondly, it is expected that the reader will come away with an improved feel for the important aspects of optical engineering and lens design as they apply to the design of the visual instrument.
A model of the typical human eye has been generated in Chapter 2. This model, while admittedly a simplified version, is quite close to the actual physical configuration and dimensions of the average eye. The lens parameters of the model eye have been adjusted such that the on-axis image quality is very close to values established and commonly accepted. Data for the model eye is presented which represent the relaxed eye, viewing a target at infinity, and for the fully-accommodated eye, viewing a target at the near point of vision, i.e., 10 inches or 254 mm. The pupil of the model eye is assumed to be variable, from 1.0 mm under very bright lighting conditions, to 7.0 mm when the ambient light level is very low. When viewing objects at infinity, the focal length of the model eye is 17.3 mm. When accommodated for viewing objects at the near point, the power of the eyelens is increased, reducing the focal length of the model eye to 16.6 mm.
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