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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 08 Sep 2010 (Wednesday) 14:47
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theroetical upper limit? - sensors vs glass

 
anothernewb
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Sep 08, 2010 14:47 |  #1

an earlier post got me thinking. and no I'm not smoking anything - just more of a random thought

With camera sensor size and capability pretty much following Moore's Law - I wonder if we will reach a point where the capacity of the sensor technology will meet or exceed the light transmission and resolution capacity of our lens technology.

It's already apparent in some of the newer high MP DSLR's that the sensors resolve more detail than the lens is capable of delivering. As the sensors continue to double in capacity - at some point will even "L's" give up the ghost?

(most) Lenses transfer light to the sensor as an image through refraction. glass itself has a finite transmissivity,(sp?) and each time light is bent, it induces artifacts and each glass it passes through reduces its intensity. Would it - in theory - then be possible to engineer a sensor so loaded with photosites, and so sensitive, that putting glass in front of it actually reduces it's effectiveness? a point where we simply put a protective cover over the element and simple use digital compression as a "zoom" factor?

Or will we hit a "wall" where the sensor density increases are irrelevant and the only factor becomes light sensitivity?

Or is it possible that the development of "super' glass will become the next evolution once the sensors hit the limits of digital technology Personally - I'd love to see Moore's law applied to lenses - within 2 years we could have a 70-200 F1.4 IS half the size and for a quarter of the price of the current F4. sweet....


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FlyingPhotog
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Sep 08, 2010 14:52 |  #2

Who's to say they'll always use "glass" in lenses?

There could someday be shape-shifting, charged-plasma devices that can morph into a nearly infinte combination of focal lengths and maximum apertures.

We might someday actually see the EF 1-1200mm f/1.0 L IS !!! Oh, and of course, it will be entirely holographic...


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tkbslc
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Sep 08, 2010 14:52 |  #3

anothernewb wrote in post #10872985 (external link)
Personally - I'd love to see Moore's law applied to lenses - within 2 years we could have a 70-200 F1.4 IS half the size and for a quarter of the price of the current F4. sweet....

You can't miniaturize optics. A 70-200mm f1.4 would have to have an aperture that is 200/1.4 large. 200/1.4 is 143mm wide. That can never be made smaller than a 200/4 at 50mm. It's just simple laws of physics.

I'd also argue that sensors have nothing to do with Moore's law, too.


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c2thew
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Sep 08, 2010 15:24 |  #4

don't professional video cameras already exceed these limits?


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banpreso
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Sep 08, 2010 15:26 |  #5

you can always make a bigger lens, like the 200mm f2, 400mm f2.8, or the space telescope. it's just it won't be too practical. super sensors are already available for telescope/ space telescope applications

another thing is to consider a technology that eliminates the AA filter. that would also help a lot.


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FlyingPhotog
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Sep 08, 2010 15:27 |  #6

c2thew wrote in post #10873214 (external link)
don't professional video cameras already exceed these limits?

In one sense they do, yes...

But it's a lack of "demand" by the sensor that makes the lens "over resolve." 1920 X 1080 is all the TV Camera wants even though the lens can resolve higher.


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toxic
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Sep 08, 2010 15:34 |  #7

How do sensor follow Moore's Law?




  
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monst0r
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Sep 08, 2010 15:37 |  #8

toxic wrote in post #10873276 (external link)
How do sensor follow Moore's Law?

They don't.


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anothernewb
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Sep 08, 2010 15:55 |  #9

image sensors are essentially semiconductors. If you look at their progression in capacity and sensitivity vs size and to a certain extent cost. If not exactly an exponential growth, they do follow Moore's law in terms of development


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kl07rph
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Sep 08, 2010 16:28 as a reply to  @ anothernewb's post |  #10

I do hope though that the resolution "race"cools down a bit and shifts more into better ISO and DR performance.


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george ­ m ­ w
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Sep 08, 2010 16:29 |  #11

I suspect that the practical limit will be when sensor and glass tech get to the point they resolve better than human visual acuity.
At that level, what will be the point in improving it, unless it's for a scientific application ?


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Sep 08, 2010 16:34 |  #12

http://en.wikipedia.or​g …iffraction-limited_system (external link)


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toxic
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Sep 08, 2010 16:42 |  #13

george m w wrote in post #10873584 (external link)
I suspect that the practical limit will be when sensor and glass tech get to the point they resolve better than human visual acuity.
At that level, what will be the point in improving it, unless it's for a scientific application ?

Cameras and lenses have long outresolved our eyes.




  
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tkbslc
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Sep 08, 2010 16:43 |  #14

george m w wrote in post #10873584 (external link)
I suspect that the practical limit will be when sensor and glass tech get to the point they resolve better than human visual acuity.
At that level, what will be the point in improving it, unless it's for a scientific application ?

So wouldn't that be now? We have to examine largely magnified sections of our photos to determine sharpness differences as it is.


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themadman
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Sep 08, 2010 16:47 |  #15

Sensors are made from transistors. Once sensor tech hits the same min feature size limit as the smallest we can make transistors, we will hit a limit. At that point, we need a new way to make sensors, but this is a pretty extreme limit, I doubt we will ever need to exceed it.

As for lenses, I won't make any assumptions, I want to see what our optical engineers can do =)


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theroetical upper limit? - sensors vs glass
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