CHAPTER 5 Why Does a Camera Need a Lens?



Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.




I think the best way to discover the need for lenses is to analyze a famous lensless camera, the pinhole camera. This is nothing more than a small version of the camera obscura that played such a large role in the history of art and photography. All we need is a light-tight box with a pinhole in the center of one wall and a photographic plate attached to the opposite wall. As illustrated in Figure 5.1, the formation of an image can be explained with nothing more than ray optics. That is, we assume that light beams move in a straight line, and we perform ray tracing. A ray of light ...

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