ECEN 4616/5616

4/10/2013

Zoom Lens Methods:
From the 2-lens combination equation, K=K 1 + K 2 −d K 1 K 2 , we can see how
to make a variable focal length lens by adjusting the distance, d, between two
other lenses.
Here is a pair of 40 mm fl paraxial lenses in three configurations:

fl: 33mm

fl: 27mm

fl: 21mm
Y

X

Z

3D Layout
4/10/20 13

Paraxial_2Lens_Zoom.ZMX
Configuration: All 3

Both the first and second lens have to move w.r.t. the image plane. This is done
in the Multi-Configuration Editor (MDE):

pg. 1

00 Surface: IMA Fu l l F iel d Sp o t D iag ram 4/10/2013 Units are µm. 2 . RMS radius : 4416.16 GEO radius : 6138. One way this can be done is by using an afocal zoom followed by a fixed focusing lens: The afocal part (from Wikipedia): pg. it is often convenient if the BFL doesn’t change.64 Scale bar : 2e+004 Reference : Chief Ray Paraxial_2Lens_Zoom.ZMX Configuration: All 3 Mechanically.ECEN 4616/5616 4/10/2013 Here is the spot diagram for all three configurations: 20000.

however. To achieve a finite focal length. each lens can be replaced by a compound set of lenses in order to control aberrations.ECEN 4616/5616 4/10/2013 Typically. embodiment 4. we only have to add a final focusing lens of arbitrary power: Of course. L3 is fixed. 4936661 4/10/2013 Zoom lens. reveals that this lens is functionally equivalent to our two lens zoom system above: pg. 3 . and |K 3|> K 1 + K 2 . 29-78mm.zmx Configuration: All 3 Examination of the layout (and the MDE). Often complex-looking zoom systems are rather simple when the lens groups are identified. The Zemax Zoom lens example (in the “Examples\Zoom Lenses” folder) looks like this: Y X Z 3D Layout Zoom lens. K1 = K2 . The dashed lines indicate the motion of L1 and L2 as the lens zooms.

The glasses. Based on the design review. and shapes of the middle group were chosen to balance the primary third order aberrations.ECEN 4616/5616 4/10/2013 Zoom Example: This is an aerospace company’s missile tracking camera lens. The doublets were defined paraxially to correct chromatic focal shift. the layout and lens powers were chosen to give the required zoom range in the paraxial approximation. Both the lens parameters and the exact positions were variables for the program to optimize. The designers reviewed a number of previous zoom designs. 2. the lens is relatively simple: The first and last lenses are doublets. A lens design program was used to refine the lens shapes and determine the detailed movements required to get satisfactory imaging over the zoom range. pg.5X zoom range. Optically. 4. 5. The movement was divided into 10 positions. This is the movement chart for the final lens: Notice that all three groups have to move. 3. 4 . and two of them have to change direction during the zoom. and diffraction limited imaging over both the visible and near IR (600 nm total bandwidth). The lens sizes were determined to match the data throughput to the detector. 6. and there is a three-lens group in the middle that does most of the focal length change. The design of this lens probably went like this: 1. thicknesses. The design goals were to have a 7. where the design program evaluated the imaging properties for each potential solution.

The assembled lens looks like this: pg. while maintaining axial alignment. the housing.r. The lens+sleeve assembly fits into a housing (top) with curved slots that engage the cam levers. 5 .t. but they have a simple solution: The three lens groups (center row) slide within a sleeve (bottom). When the sleeve is rotated w. the lens groups are driven in a pattern determined by the shape of the curved slots. The lens mounts have cam levers that protrude through slots in the sleeve that allow them to slide back and forth over the required range.ECEN 4616/5616 4/10/2013 Sounds complicated.

There is a (relatively) new feature in Zemax under the menu “Tools\Modify\Add fold mirror”. Here is a simple paraxial lens. as long as you can specify the order in which optical elements are encountered by input rays). Zemax models mirrors by using a “surface” called the “Coordinate Break”. and to try making some yourself. however.Z M X Configuration 1 of 1 pg. with a dummy surface halfway between the lens and the focal plane (surface 3): Y X Z 3 D L a yo u t 4 / 10 / 201 3 Fo ld e dS y s te m . Using it. just to get an idea what it is trying to do. is easier learned by looking at the systems in the “Zemax\Samples\Sequential\Tilted systems & prisms” folder. 6 . It is worth reading the manual on this surface.ECEN 4616/5616 4/10/2013 Prism and Mirror Systems: In the Sequential Mode (which is the easiest to use.

ZM X Configuration 1 of 1 Note that Zemax has added a thickness to the mirror. and has no effect on ray propagation. pg. 7 .ECEN 4616/5616 4/10/2013 When we use the “Add fold mirror” dialog box: We get the following result: Y X Z 3D L ay o ut 4/ 1 0/2 013 F old ed Sys tem . This is just cosmetic.

it is a front surface mirror (surface 11). The small decenter values are cosmetic. meant to position the beamsplitter mirror and plate surfaces in the alignment they would have in the real instrument. and its specification:: The beamsplitter is first entered as a transparent plate (surfaces 4 & 5).ECEN 4616/5616 4/10/2013 Here is a complex beamsplitter system. pg. On the second pass. 8 .