Abstract

At observation planes away from the image plane, an imaging lens is a nonimaging optic. We examine the variation of axial irradiance with distance in image space and highlight the following little-known observation for discussion: On a per-unit-area basis, the position of the highest concentration in image space is generally not at the focal plane. This characteristic is contrary to common experience, and it offers an additional degree of freedom for the design of detection systems. Additionally, it would also apply to lenses with negative refractive index. The position of peak concentration and its irradiance is dependent upon the location and irradiance of the image. As such, this discussion also includes a close examination of expressions for image irradiance and explains how they are related to irradiance calculations beyond the image plane. This study is restricted to rotationally symmetric refractive imaging systems with incoherent extended Lambertian sources.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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Corrections

Ronian Siew, "Axial nonimaging characteristics of imaging lenses: erratum," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 33, 1777-1777 (2016)
https://www.osapublishing.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?uri=josaa-33-9-1777

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