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EXCERPT page containing first few paragraphs. 2023-03-25 12:25:22

Spherical lens design — rays from periphery diverge
Image courtesy of Carl Zeiss Inc

Examples of Spherical Aberration

Spherical aberration is common with fast lenses, but “fast” could mean f/2.8 or even f/4 for larger imaging formats. Moreover it can occur even with f/4 lenses for 35mm cameras.

Lenses lacking correction for spherical aberration via aspherical lens elements offer low contrast wide open, but can become very high performers with some stopping down, albeit with the confounding factor of focus shift.

This page shows the overall low contrast haze that results from spherical aberration. It is usually accompanied by some longitudinal chromatic aberration also.

Zeiss ZF 50mm f/1.4 Planar

Both the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar and the 85/1.4 Planar have uncorrected spherical aberration which leads to the typical low contrast haze at f/1.4, and also to some focus shift, especially at closer distances.

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Spherical aberration, actual pixels
Zeiss ZF 50mm f/1.4 Planar

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