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Modern Lens Design by Warren Smith

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Chapter 18Mirror and Catadioptric Systems

18.1 The Good and the Bad Points of Mirrors

A mirror element has several advantages over a refracting element. It is completely achromatic, having neither axial nor lateral color, nor chromatic variation of the aberrations (e.g., spherochromatism). A mirror can be used in any spectral region for which a reflecting coating is available (and the wide range of available coatings make this a very broad region), whereas a refractor may be quite severely limited by the transmission characteristics of its materials. Yet a third advantage is the fact that the aberrations of a spherical mirror are inherently smaller than those of a comparable spherical-surfaced lens. For example, the spherical aberration of a ...

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