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Fundamental diffraction limitations in a paraxial 4 - f imaging system with coherent and incoherent illumination

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Abstract

In the usual model of an imaging system, only the effects of the aperture stop are considered in determining diffraction-limited system performance. In fact, diffraction at other stops—those associated with different lens elements, for example—can also affect system performance and cause the imaging to be space variant, even in the absence of vignetting in the conventional ray optics sense. For the 4-f imaging system investigated in this paper, the severity of the space variance depends on the relative sizes of the two lens stops and the aperture stops. If the diameters of the lenses are equal, the aperture of the first lens has a greater effect on system performance than does that of the second.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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