This chapter will introduce the reader to the process of lens design and image evaluation. While not everyone working in the field of optical engineering will be called on to execute detailed lens designs, a basic understanding of the procedures involved and their limitations will be helpful to all. In the area of image evaluation, some degree of familiarity with the various methods employed will allow the optical engineer to more effectively specify required performance, and later, to determine whether those levels of performance have been met by the designer. This chapter is particularly relevant when we consider the state of the computer and optical software field today. The days when access to these tools of lens design was limited to a very carefully chosen few are gone forever. In Chapter 5 we introduced the OSLO and OSLO-EDU optical design software packages, pointing out their ready availability and ease of use in generating and evaluating certain (relatively simple) optical systems. This chapter will expand into the use of a more sophisticated software package (OSLO Premium Edition, Rev. 6.1), outlining its use in generating detailed lens design solutions for a variety of specific problems. The field of optical design software is broad and very dynamic. There are a number of very fine software packages to choose from and they are all (including OSLO) constantly updated to reflect the state of the art.
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