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Old Sep 18, 2006, 6:09 PM   #1
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Hello everyone,
I am dreaming of a camera that is nothing more than a giant eye in the palm of my hand - no flash, no zoom, just a wide angle, low light giant lens :-).

Looking at the nature of eyes of high-level animals like us or birds of prey, there is one big lens, which flattens or bulks up, and a concave sensor. Within this sensor, the retina, however, there is only a very narrow spot that can really catch a sharp image. That's as far as I understood it, so any ideas are welcome to widen my view on this :cart:
Georg

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Old Sep 18, 2006, 9:22 PM   #2
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I remember reading about an experimental "liquid" lens that consists of a stable liquid film kind of like a soap bubble that can change shape through the application of electric currents like the lens of the eye changes shape through muscular tension. I believe that this has advanced farther that just the theory stage. Maybe someday you'll see the type of camera you envision!

Grant
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 7:25 AM   #3
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Hi Grant, thanks for pointing me at liquid lenses.
http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/con...ra-Phones-.htm

French development sold to Samsung/SEM. No product sold with it so far, planned for next year.
http://www.sem.samsung.com/cms/_work...q=262&pg=3

Seems like there's good reason surveying that huge market with mobile phones, like it or not :-)


So I'll wait for a by-product of that industry, maybe a wide-angle high-res module in a USB-stick, kind of a super-upgrade to a Verbatim 5in1.

not to mention the bloody phones of course :-)
Georg

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Old Sep 20, 2006, 3:34 PM   #4
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Georg,

I don't have any opinion about liquid lenses, but your idea of having a concave sensor is interesting.

My impression is that ever since photography was invented, photographers have had to use completely flat 'sensors' - i.e. flat glass plates in the early days, and later film, that couldn't have a concave shape and had to sit flat in the camera.

This, I've always understood, meant that camera lenses had to be designed to focus images onto a flat surface, which presented a lot of difficulties because (I think?) simpler lenses tend to produce images that aren't flat, but concave (or convex, from the point of view of somebody standing behind the camera).

But since digital sensors are a permanent feature of cameras, flatness doesn't seem to be so necessary. I should have thought that it must now be possible to manufacture sensors with concave surfaces - - concave meaning not just that they would be a segment of a sphere, but maybe of a parabola. I assume it'd cost more, but maybe not all that much more.

I know little about the finer points of camera lens design, but my guess is that lenses that focus on a concave rather than a flat plane would be simpler and cheaper but - when combined with a concave sensor - just as effective? At present the more sophisticated camera lenses contain so many elements that it must add a lot to a camera's cost?

Herb


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