Optics

© Brooke Clarke, N6GCE 2002 -2007


Day
Night
    Thermal Viewers
CCTV Cameras
Light Sources
Light Meters
Electro Optical Gadgets
Optical Spectrum Analyzers
Microscopes
Cameras
Periscopes
Panoramic Telescopes
Camera Lucida
Pinhole Camera
Camera Obscura
Telescopes
Collimators
    Oriel 120 VAC (+) Projector
    K&E Mystery Eyepiece
    Ednalite Projection Pointer
    Promaster Lighted Projection Pointer PB-387
Autocollimators
Links
Optical Patents - 2015 web page

Day

Bausch & Lomb StereoZoom 4
Binoculars in general Orion 9x63 astronomical
Bushnell - Range Finding Binoculars - one objective is for IR Tx and the other objective is for IR Rx. Visible view is through a small central scope.  resolution is 1 meter with some hundreds of yards range to non cooperative targets, much longer with Scotch brite reflectors.  Can be used for rough surveying.
Cloud Sensor - IR or heat sensing
Exotech 100BX Radiometer -
M-227 Signal Lamp p/o Signaling Equipment SE-11 (flashlight with shoulder stock & sights)
MC-1 Magnetic Compass reference fluxgate sensor with small telescope
Leitz 115A transit (now Sokkia 7327-60) surveyors transit (4 leveling screws model 116)
T. F. Randolph Level - for land leveling
K&E hand Levels -
K&E 76 0000 Alidade - used for map making
Mitutoyo Toolmakers Measuring Microscope 176-134
Nikon Labophot Microscope
Nikon SMZ-U Stereo Microscope
Rangefinders - Bushnell, Laser Technology, Stadiameters -
EdscorpFRF Edscorp Field Range Finder by Edmund Scientific Corp.
Dragunov PSO-1M2 Rifle Scope night illumination
Theodolites - mainly for measuring horizontal and vertical angles with a range of a full circle in both directions.

Night

Flashlights - Xenide   AEX25 1500 Lumen HID flashlight
Binoculars in general Orion 9x63 astronomical (note with large (7mm) exit pupil diameter they work well at dusk and dawn)
PAS-6 Metascope IR viewer and source
T3C - Russian monocular Image Intensifier (star light scope)
TVS-2 Crew Served Weapon Sight
M18 IR Binoculars - near IR not hot people or car engines
M32 Periscope 105mm IR Gun Sight
MD-1 Automatic Astro Compass - also can see stars in the daytime
Astro-Compass for sighting Sun & stars
Periscopic Aircraft Sextant - Sun & stars
NextStar60 - cleaver microcontroller telescope using DC motors and shaft encoders
Orion - 9x63 binoculars - When the objective diameter (63 mm) is divided by the power (9X) if the exit pupil size (7 mm) is around 7 mm then the binocs are designed to be used with night adapted eyes, like for looking at the stars or to see things on the ground you could not see with bare eyes.  I once watched a dear swimming while being chased by a dog just after Sunset.  Although I could not see anything with my bare eyes, I could see fine with a pair of 7X50 binocs.  See my Binoculars page for more on star gazing binocs.
Orion GoScope 80 Table Top Telescope 80mm x 350mm objective
Celestron 8" Telescope with Equatorial wedge and tripod- This model has a clock drive but no computer control.  It's big and heavy, not something you pull out for a quick 5 minute look up.  Would be much better if used with a permanent pier.  It takes quite some time to do a Polar alignment, but when done you can find about anything just using the hour angle and declination scales.
Shadow or Projection Clocks
PVS-4 Starlight Scope
PVS-5A Night Vision Goggles
US Navy Infrared Signaling Telescope US/C-3 -
M32 IR Gun Sight -

Thermal Viewers

Cloud Detection - as part of weather forecasting like used as part of an automated observatory
Hughes Probe Eye far (heat) IR viewer
Thermal Hand Held Imager DFOV thermal IR viewer
UAS-4 Infrared Surveillance System, AN/AAS-14 Infrared Detecting Set, MK-898/AAS-14A Optical Filter Kit

Seek Compact Thermal Imager for Android(Amazon) - seems better than the stand alone units by Fluke and others. Most models have 206x156 resolution and come in two fields of view (20 or 36 deg), but the CompactPro has 320x240 resolution, but for twice the price (about $500 list).  Don't have one yet.

Game Finder (home page) - a PIR sensor (requires manual scanning) with LED bar graph display.  Button on right side & menu on left side, but without a manual very difficult to use.  This modes uses a 9V battery (see polarity marks in Fig 2 below.
Fig 1
Game Finder
Fig 2
Game Finder

CCTV Cameras

Super Circuits P-164C (KPC-350BH) Low Light Monochrome CCTV Camera
Super Circuits P-38 9Mintron 63V5) Integrating Low Light Color CCTV Camera w/RS-232 Remote Control
Harbor Freight Color Security Camera
PC33C TV camera
Super Circuits PC-38 (Mintron 63V5) CCTV Camera - used for Astronomy-Weather-Sky web cam
Cell Phones - iPod touch- have video camera capability

Light Sources

Flashlights - patents and photos of many historical examples
IR Beacons - individual identification, anti fratricide, landing marker
Survival Lights - both conventional and strobe, IR filters are available
LEDs - IR LEDs are also available

Links

Carley Lamps - specialized lamps under 20 watts including lens and reflectors up to 6"
Newport Glass - telescope parts, Hoya CM500 IR cut filters

Light Meters

Amprobe (Meterman) LM631A Digital Light Meter
Weston Model 594 Photronic Cell plus many more Weston light meters
Macbeth Illuminometer
Spectronic 20D Spectrometer

Electro Optical Gadgets

Simple things I've made for looking at electro optical effects.

Optical Spectrum Analyzers (Spectrometers)

Optical Spectrum Analyzers
Monolight Optical Spectrum Analyzers
Beseler PM1 Darkroom Color Analyzer
Wollensak L3524D Direct Vision Spectroscope
Ocean Optics HR2000 Spectrometer
HP 70950 Series OSA
Spectronic 20D spectrometer

Hilger Watts Spectrometer - prism based, but I think there was a grating upgrade.  Let me know.

Microscopes

Bausch & Lomb StereoZoom 4
Optical Bench - with draw tube microscope
Omnicon 3800 Tumor Colony Analyzer (TCA) Automated Inverted Biological Microscope
Mitutoyo Toolmakers Measuring Microscope 176-134
Nikon Labophot microscope
Nikon Multiphot - List of Nikon "phot" microscopes for photography
Nikon SMZ-U stereo
Simple Microscopes - Foldscope - Leeuwenhoek Replica - Bullet
Micro Photography - Including many microscope objectives used directly on camera, Direct projection of microscope objective lenses & Infinity tube camera adapter
Unitron No. 83444 Student Microscope

Cameras

Nikon
Photography
Photoflash
Photographic Studio Strobe System
High Dynamic Range Digital Photography
DigitalPhotography101 Digital Photography 101: The Basics
Digital Photography 201 Stacking Images
Digital Photography 202: Close-Up, Macro & Micro
Digital Photography 203: Color Management
Digital Photography 204: Studio Flash
Digital Photography 205: Astrophotography
Digital Photography 206 Micro Photography

Periscopes

The common understanding of periscopes (Wiki) comes from their use on submarines (Wiki).  But there are also used on armored vehicles, like the M32 IR gun sight.
There some key concepts. 
1. The image should be right side up (erect) and correct left to right so the direction of movement is instinctive.
2. A relay lens (Wiki) system is used where parallel rays of light are in the part of the periscope where it changes length.  This way there's no effect on focus.
3. For a fixed eyepiece periscope, i.e. one where the top mirror or prism is rotated in azimuth but the eyepiece stays pointing in the same direction, some method of keeping the image from rotation with the change in azimuth is needed.
1006230 Periscope F.L.G. Kollmorgen (working for K&E), Oct 17 1911, 359/401, 89/36.14, 359/402, 114/340 - meets all of the above concepts

Prisms and their Applications - Found this link in relation to camera obscuras, but it's more applicable here

Panoramic Telescopes

A panoramic telescope (or panoramic sight) is very similar to a periscope.  They are used on fixed artillery in the process if aiming.
The eyepiece is fixed so all the concepts needed for a fixed eyepiece periscope apply.

Camera Lucida

The Camera Lucida (Wiki) uses the brain to fuse an image of some subject and the surface being drawn upon.  But there is not a real image on the surface.  Also if the eye position changes the image position changes making it use difficult.

Pinhole Camera

A Pinhole Camera (Wiki) depends on the idea that a small small (1/100) compared to the distance from the hole to a white reflecting surface will form an image on the surface.  A lens with an f/number of 100 or greater can be replaced with a hole of the same diameter.  There's a school of photography called Group f/64 (Wiki). 

I made a Noon Mark (Wiki) using a metal plate at the bottom edge of a long narrow skylight with a hole.  It acted as a lens so instead of getting just a spot of light on the floor there was an image of the Sun.  Using a 3x5 card (these were originally developed for time keeping, see Calculagraph) with a number of ellipses drawn with different ratios and matching the Sun's image to an ellipse to track the Sun until exactly noon, then stopping and driving a brass tack into the hardwood floor an Analemma (Wiki) was drawn after a year of this.  After another year you could see that the brads were slightly offset, and again after three years they were in small groups.  During the summer when the distance from the hole to the floor was shortest the image was both bright but not a well focused as in the winder when the image was a lot dimmer but better focused.

The problem is that a well focused image is dim.  A Lens can fix that problem.  Note when a lens is it's focal length from a screen objects at infinity will be focused.  As objects get closer to the lens it needs to be moved away from the screen and for an object that's 2xFL the lens needs to be 2xFL from the screen.

Camera Obscura

One type of Camera Obscura (Wiki) is a dark room with a pinhole in one wall and the opposite wall a smooth white reflecting surface.   But the more common version uses a lens in order to get a brighter image. 

Many of the circular table type viewing screens are concave to match the focal plane of the optical system.  How to figure this out?
Answer: Petzval field curvature (Wiki)
"The Voigtländer-Petzval was the first camera and lens specifically designed to take photographs, instead of being a modified artist's camera obscura."..."...it had what would now be considered severe field curvature and astigmatism" (Wiki).

Edinburgh's C.O. - some technical info on lens diameters and focal distance, questionable if enough for reverse engineering.
A Look Into Camera Obscuras - visiting a number of C.O. in Europe  (click on image to open pdf)
Camera Obscuras - George T. Keene designs them
The Magic Mirror of Life by Jack & Beverly Wilgus - They have a 7' x 7' portable tent and a single person tent.
Scientific American - Amateur Telescope Making Advanced (Book Two) - on order

The telescope (Wiki: telescope history) was a Dutch invention in the early 1600s.  The microscope is invented in this same time frame (Wiki) but it wasn't until the late 1600 that Leeuwenhoek popularized the simple microscope.  It was not a coincidence that the Dutch Masters (Wiki) were located where optics was being developed.  "The new Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe, and led European trade, science, and art."  The period of the Dutch Master painters is 1615  to 1702.

Hockney–Falco thesis - Art-Optics.com  (Wiki) - "...optical aids were the key factor in the development of artistic realism...starting about 1420..." not camera Lucida, but Camera Obscura done with mirrors since lenses were not yet available. Books:
Secret Knowledge (New and Expanded Edition): Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters by David Hockney, 2006
Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth behind the Masterpieces by Philip Steadman, 2002
Horace Dall, "The Camera Obscura," Amateur Telescope Making, Book Two, pp. 417ff., with diagrams.​ - on order"Manual of Close-Up Photography" by Lefkowitz, Leste - on order another book recommended was about view cameras (Wiki) - these are portable (luggable) cameras with a ground glass viewing screen where the lens board and film holder can be shifted, tilted and/or rotated in order to control perspective or to greatly increase the area in good focus.  If someone was considering building a hand holdable type camera obscura it would be better to just get a view camera.  Although the price of a Linhof is probably about the same as an antique camera obscura.  But there are less capable view cameras for orders of magnitude lower prices (eBay Large Format Film Camera). But the image on the ground glass is from a lens only and so is both upside down and left-right reversed. 

When doing focus stacking photography, in order to get great depth of filed, you can not change the camera focus setting, instead you need to move the camera and lens as a unit.  The StackShot holds the camera on a rail where a computerized system triggers the shutter and then moves the camera repeatably to take dozens of images all with identical perspective that can later be combined.
This same principle applies to an artist working with a lens.  Although it's much easier to change the focus (lens to canvas distance) that changes perspective.  Instead what needs to be done is move the lens and canvas as a unit to bring different parts of the subject into focus.

A lens alone makes an image that's both upside down and left to right reversed.  So if the image is turned upside down to put the top of the subject at the top of the image it's still reversed left to right.

A lens and a mirror results in an image that's upside down.  But when the image is turned upside down it's correct top to bottom AND left to right.  So this is a good combination for a camera obscura.

Tim's Vermeer 2013 movie
Final Setup
0. Note white light washing wall (6).
1. Subject to the right of photo in room with North light.
2. Lens of camera obscura.
3. Convex mirror can be positioned to project bright image.
4. Camera Lucida mirror to allow color matching at edge
5. Canvas on table.

In a prior setup there was a white screen on the wall (6)
and a mirror somewhere.  But this was not adequate for
very fine detail, so was replaced with a flat mirror which
made for a much brighter image, but still not enough
magnification for very fine work.  The flat mirror was
replaced with the magnifying mirror (3).
Tim's Vermeer OPtical setup

Makes some interesting points:
1. You can not paint when looking at the image inside a camera obscura.  This is because the only color that will match the projected light is white (see note 0 above).  So, while you can do pencil sketches in a camera obscura you can not paint iwth color.
2. You can do an excellent job of color matching by using a mirror type camera Lucida (4 above).  Where white light is falling on the surface your painting.
3. If the camera obscura projects a real image the brightness and resolution will be degraded.   This makes sense since a white surface will scatter the light making the light that reaches your eye much dimmer.  Also the surface roughness of the white surface will lower the resolution.  Tim got around this by replacing the white surface with a mirror (3 above).  At first he used a flat mirror (at 6), but later changed to a concave mirror which added some magnification to the image of the scene making it easier to paint fine details.
4. Tim saw curvature in one of the lines.  I think it was barrel distortion (Wiki) from his lens.

What I think is missing is to use magnification between the artist's eye and the canvas.  The quality of details when working at say 4x magnification makes a tremendous improvement in the results.

Teller talks Tim's Vermeer
Tim's Vermeer pals Penn & Jenison

Telescopes

Astronomical

NextStar60 - cleaver microcontroller telescope using DC motors and shaft encoders
Celestron 8" Reflector & Wedge Tripod mount.

Surveying

Alidades
Leitz 115A transit (now Sokkia 7327-60) surveyors transit
T. F. Randolph Level - for land leveling
K&E hand Levels -
K&E 76 0000 Alidade - used for map making
Theodolites - Sokkisha/Leitz N010C, Nikon NT-2S, Wild T2, Wild T16
Warren-Knight Theodolites - Pilot Balloon (PiBal) tracking, but should also work for astronomy

Telescopic Sights

By adding cross hairs in the focal plane of the eyepiece they will be in focus at the same time as the far object.
SOPMOD M4 Accessory Kit for M-16/M-4 includes many different types of optical sights: Telescopic, Reflector/Reflex, Collimator, Holographic

NC-3C Aircraft Collimating Gun Sight

In the Edmund Scientific booklet on Collimating Systems the NC-3 shown uses what appears to be a 28V aircraft screw based lamp.  But there is no mention of the sight model, even though it appears to be the NC-3.  The NC-3C uses the 222 pre-focused penlight lamp, see Fig 2 below.
Fig 3 below made by using a flashlight to light up most of the green filter-reticle seen in Fig 2.  Maybe the A and/or B versions used the larger lamp?  Camera aimed into55mm dia. lens.

Fig 1 Note trap door at left for lamp replacement
NC-3 Aircraft
                    Collimating Gun Sight
Fig 2 Trap door open
NC-3 Aircraft
                    Collimating Gun Sight
Fig 3 Pilot's view directly into NC-3.  In a plane there would
be a half-silvered mirror at 45 degrees so the pilot would
have a Head Up Display combining the cross-hairs and his view.
NC-3 Aircraft
                    Collimating Gun Sight

Collimators

An optical collimator (Wiki: Optical Collimator, Collimated light) makes a light beam where all the rays are parallel, like coming from infinity.  An addition would be to place a reticle at the focus of the output lens so that the reticle image is projected along with the light.
In 1955 Edmund Optics (this part now called Anchor Optics) printed a white paper "Collimating Systems" that talks about modifying the military N-3x gunsight and also how to build a collimator starting from scratch including a reticle.  Also included were simple procedures for using it as a target at infinity, measuring the angular field of a telescope, the focal length of an eyepiece.  Another white paper "Condense and Project Light" includes similar information as well as more about lamps and other types of projectors.

The assembly tolerances are very loose.

Oriel 1373 Illuminated Alignment Collimator w/ 1375 Adjustable Scope Mount

This came with the lens cell misaligned, but it was easy to square it up.

There are three parts.
On the left is the lamp house with a solid metal (+) reticle located where the OD steps down.
In the center is a cylinder each end of which has three thumb screws and on the bottom a 1/4-20 tapped hole.
On the right is the objective tube with a lens ( 33m dia x 7" (180mm) FL) at the right end.
When the length is set to minimum the exit light is collimated, but by extending the tubes it's possible to focus the (+) much closer.
Fig 1
Oriel 120 VAC
                  (+) Projector

Fig 2 Zoom lens focused at infinity FL=200mm
Oriel 120 VAC (+) Projector
Fig 3
Zoom lens focused at infinity FL=50mm
Oriel 120 VAC (+) Projector

K&E Mystery Eyepiece

This device is marked K&E.  It has three optical ports.  One is an adjustable eyepiece which is at right angles to the other two ports.
There's a 2 position "switch" that changes the optics.
When the green sleeve is positioned where the eyepiece was removed from a telescope you an see an image through the telescope.  When the switch is moved the image goes black but then a flashlight into the clamp ports shines through the telescope.

With the tube lengths set for infinity when you look into the light beam with binoculars it's very difficult to get everything aligned so you can see the (+) when hand holding both of them. So the "optical lever" effect is very strong.

Note in both Fig 4 and Fig 5 below there are triangles pointing to the center located at the edge of the lighted circle at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions.
Fig 1 marked K+E on eyepiece tube.
Clamp port at top.
Green sleeve at bottom rotates.
Eyepiece at left has diopter adjustment.
Bump at bottom right is the "switch".
K&E
                  Mystery Eyepiece
Fig 2
K&E
                  Mystery Eyepiece
Fig 3
K&E
                  Mystery Eyepiece
Fig 4  This is the flashlight projects through telescope
switch position.
K&E
                  Mystery Eyepiece
Fig 5  Note yellow filter
This is the eyepiece works position of the switch.
K&E
                  Mystery Eyepiece

Ednalite Projection Pointer

This unit is line powered and has the transformer and fuse in the carry box with long cords for the line and pointer.  The pointer has a push-button to turn on the lamp.
Uses a ______ automotive type lamp which tests as good. It arrived DOA.  Troubleshooting to follow.  When the hand grip (the part which includes the push-button switch) is unscrewed from the head of the projector and a flashlight is used to supply light an arrow symbol can be focused on the wall.

Like the Promaster pointer below the symbol that's projected is light against a dark background.  So projecting a black symbol against a light background is not a good idea when the subject is a slide show, Power Point presentation or video on a screen.

3183773 Projection pointer, Alex J Weinstein, Ednalite Corp, May 18, 1965, 353/42, 353/43, 362/308 - based on flashlight

Fig 1
Ednalite
                  Projection Pointer


Promaster Lighted Projection Pointer PB-387

This is a two "C" cell flashlight with an added plastic extension that holds an objective lens about 5" in front of the special lamp (p/n NP3560LPB).  The lamp filament is in a "V" shape with the plane of the "V" at right angles to the flashlight centerline.  The objective lens has a helical focusing mechanism that allows focusing the objective on the filament and the screen.  The flashlight body can be rotated so that the "V" can be pointed to the subject of interest.

It's not clear how you access the lamp.  Tell me if you know.

Fig 1
Promaster
                  Lighted Projection Pointer PB-387
Fig 2
Promaster
                  Lighted Projection Pointer PB-387

Autocollimators

The autocollimator (Wiki: AutocollimatorAutocollimation) encompasses the collimator with a reticle but adds a viewing telescope. By comparing the reflected image from the reticle with the reticle itself by means of the telescope very small angles can be measured.  A half silvered mirror or prism is involved which shows up as an optical system with a right angle axis.
The assembly tolerances are very tight.

In patent search for autocollimators things come up which I think should be called retro-reflectors (Wiki), like used for traffic signs.  The idea is that light will be reflected back in the direction from which it came.  These are used in surveying to increase the range of optical rangefinders.

1736682 Optical Lever, Tuckerman Louis Bryant, Nov 19, 1929, 356/154, 359/872, 359/226.1 - although not exactly like modern units, still captures the idea.  Maybe the oldest patent for an autocollimator?

Links

Optical Books: Search Term (eBay, Amazon, &Etc): "SPIE Field Guide"

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[an error occurred while processing this directive] page created 13 Feb 2002.