Abstract

A comparison of the images produced by single-lens and two-lens imaging systems with perfect lenses is made. By use of the Fresnel–Kirchhoff diffraction formula, it is shown that when coherent illumination and coherent image detection are used, the two-lens system produces an accurate image, but that the single-lens produces an image with a quadratic phase error removable only by selection of the curvature of the illuminating wavefront. The phase error is inconsequential in most imaging systems but it becomes very important in coherent systems which must maintain phase integrity.

© 1966 Optical Society of America

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