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Old Feb 23, 2007, 2:59 AM   #1
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OK let me see if I've got this right, I've got to get this off my chest:
  • Man invents the glass lens,which mimics the circular shape of his eye andextends his ability to see. [/*]
  • Man invents adark box which cancapture a momentof light as it reaches a sensitivefilm surface. An image is recorded. [/*]
  • Man combines the light boxwith the circular lens and thus is born the camera. [/*]
  • Mancreatesarole of film,which canpassastrip of filmin front of the lens.Man can nowcapture image after imagerather than just one image at a time. But all is not perfect. Thelens is circular and the role of film is rectangular. [/*]
  • Man spends decades trying to perfect theunion between the rectangular filmand the circular image. He makes great progress. [/*]
  • Mancontinuously improves the quality of his lenses, reaching amazing heights of accuracy. [/*]
  • Man invents the digital sensor. Digital Sensor issliced from a cylindrical column of engineered silicon. [/*]
  • Digital Sensor tries to mimic the rectangular shape of a role of film, but it is too small and feeble. [/*]
  • Many years of digital improvements pass. [/*]
  • One day Digital Sensor getsbig enough and bold enoughto equalthe size andstrength ofarole of film. The Full Frame Sensor has now arrived.[/*]
...what then....?

Has anyone everheard of the idea ofcreating acircular digital sensor tocomplement a len's circular image area? Am I justcompletely nuts? Does all of this boil down to a round peg and a square hole? :?
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 8:20 AM   #2
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The initial goal of photography was to simulate a painting. (A prominent school of thought holds that many of the paintings of the Old Masters were created while using a "Camera Obscura".)

Paintings are rectangular because paintings are made on canvas that is stretched out on a wooden frame, and it is easier to make a rectangular wooden framethan a circular wooden frame. It's also easier to make rectangular canvas than circular canvas.

This goes back further than you initially imagined, doesn't it? :-)
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 8:56 AM   #3
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The first Kokak camera took a circular image.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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I've got to add painting thento the beginning.
  • Man sees world. [/*]
  • Man discovers pigment. [/*]
  • Man uses pigment to paint image of world on Cave ceiling. [/*]
  • Man is not happy becausethe imagelooks like a cloud of dust.[/*]
Tell me the engineering Giants of Sony, Canon, Pentaxor Nikon can't come up with at least a Hexagonal, or Octagonal chip. They can practically engineer lenses that bend light in figure 8's, why can't they just drop a few badassumptions along the way? That would just be so cool. Imagine the compositional possibilities after taking an image, if it were circular. And perhaps lenses might be cheaper to constructbecause they would not have to be over-engineered to account for that square peg.

It reminds me of some other products, like the bicycle derailleur. A monument to precision engineering...based on pretty mediocre idea. :?






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Old Feb 23, 2007, 11:23 AM   #5
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I dunno, it amuses me to think of the camera industry this way. Giantsophisticated companies employing thousands of engineers, vigorously competing over every slight new edge orcapability.Loads ofbrilliant photographers out there,pushing the limits of the tools and exploiting every last new feature.

And beneath it all, a round peg and a square hole....

:?
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 12:23 PM   #6
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Hey! The wheel needs to be re-invented every now and again. It helps us understand how we got where we are.

But when someone does invent that round peg, they'll have to figure out how to make it fit in all the square holes that are already out there.

An old joke in the software industry goes like this:

Q: How did God create the universe in only 6 days?

A: Because he didn't have to make it compatible with an earlier version.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 12:45 PM   #7
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Wait, I got it!

A square lens! Imagine how much they could charge for those!

:shock:
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 1:26 PM   #8
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pfschuyler wrote:
Quote:
A square lens!
Actually, it's been done. Somebody (I don't remember who) made a fisheye lens, and in order to make it more manageable, chopped off the top and bottom of the lens so that it would weigh less and could fit on tripods and the like.

the problem is that a square lens would have a square bokeh. Given how much people complain about a hexagonal boken, I think a sqare boken wouldn't go over very well.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 8:56 AM   #9
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But a round image sensor would solve another problem: It would eliminate situations where a photograph taken in landscape mode would have been better taken in portrait mode.

But that would require a large circular image sensor. A 35mm film exposure is 24mm x 36mm, so in order to have a circularimage sensor for "full frame" exposures, the image sensor would have to be 44mm in diameter (24[suP]2[/suP]+ 36[suP]2[/suP] = 43.27[suP]2[/suP]). That would make the camera body at least 20mm taller (that's about 0.8 inches for us Merkins), the mirror at least 20mm longer, and the pentaprism at least 20mm deeper, at least 10mm taller, and a lot heavier.

So, probably not.

But there are large format film cameras that handle the larger camera body size, and this would have the luxury of using 35mm lenses instead of the more rare 2[suP]1[/suP]/[suB]4[/suB] lenses.

So, who knows? Maybe somebody here will pick this up and run with it.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 12:13 PM   #10
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Maybe they could make the CCD-based anti-shake systems more sensitive with a circular sensor. Just intuitively it seems to me that holding a dish in your hand is more dimensionally stable than holding abook.Not sure about that on the scale of a sensor, but it'sjust a guess.

The ultimate advantages I think would be to improve image quality issues (vignetting, for example).Also I'll bet that lens aberrations would be a lot easier to solve in software on a circular image.Ultimately though Ilike the idea of reducing the costof the lenses, and making the design ofthe lenses simpler.

Hmmm...any camera engineers out there? :?
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