We present a simple formula to evaluate the relative focal shift in a circular-aperture lens system illuminated by a nonuniformly polarized (NUP) light wave. Specifically, it is shown that the relative focal shift is determined by the effective Fresnel number. The effective Fresnel number is equal to the product of the Fresnel number of the lens aperture and the parameter σ, which describes the uniformity of the polarization distribution of the NUP beam across the lens aperture. Some examples are given to illustrate the use of this approach. The influence of the polarization distribution of the incident NUP light wave on the polarization distribution in the axial points of the focused field is also presented.
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