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Modern Lens Design by Warren Smith

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Chapter 23Tolerance Budgeting

23.1 The Tolerance Budget

A lens design is not truly complete until the designer has defined a set of tolerances that will assure that when fabricated, the lens will perform as desired. Establishing a tolerance budget is almost as much an art as is lens design itself. The budget should take into account not only the characteristics of the optical system (and its application) but also the capabilities of the shop that is to build it, as well as the effect of the tolerances on the cost and delivery schedule.

Lens designers often assume that the specifications given to them are reasonable, possible, and necessary. Sometimes they are not. It is often very wise to question the specifications even before the optical design ...

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