Abstract

In this paper, we calculate the transverse spherical aberration TA of a thin lens and defines a normalized aberration Y equal to TA divided by the theoretical resolution limit. As a rule of thumb, (a) a thin lens that suffers only from spherical aberration may be considered effectively diffraction-limited as long as Y < 1.6. Similarly, (b) the coupling efficiency of a Gaussian beam to a single-mode fiber may be high even when Y > 1.6, and, specifically, (c) the lens need be diffraction-limited only over a radius approximately equal to the radius (to the 1/e-point) of the Gaussian beam.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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