Optical Design is a highly complex subject.  Over the years we have found a number of books to be very useful, so we hope that you will benefit from these.

  • 'Opto-Mechanical Systems Design, Third Edition (Optical Science and Engineering)', Paul Yoder [ISBN: 1574446991]: The author covers a significant set of relevant issues for opto-mechanical engineers in this book - from mounting principles through choices of materials for different tasks. The book is an excellent resource for mechanical and opto-mechanical engineers who design systems that contain optics.
  • 'Modern Optical Engineering, 4th Ed.', Warren J. Smith [ISBN: 0071476873]: This is a great reference text for a practicing optical engineer. Mr. Smith does an excellent job of putting many very practical lessons in design, analysis, and practical experience for traditional lenses in it. I find myself continually looking up information and details relevant to my work in this text - which does not ever stray far from my desk! [by RY]
  • 'Modern Lens Design (McGraw-Hill Professional Engineering) ', Warren J. Smith [ISBN: 0071438300]: This book is superb because it lays out different lens design forms suitable for different f-number and FOV. Different versions of the class of lenses are presented and can be used to form a practical starting-point base for many types of lens design problems. Moreover, Mr. Smith did a very good job of analyzing and explaining why the lenses are good solutions to different design tasks. [by RY]
  • 'Mounting Optics in Optical Instruments, 2nd Edition (SPIE Press Monograph Vol. PM181) ', Paul Yoder [ISBN: 0819471291]: This book goes into great detail about how to mount optics. It is relevant for optical engineers as they consider how the optics in their design can be mounted - which impacts performance, tolerances, athermalization, and host of other relevant issues. Moreover, for optomechanical enginers the text provides valuable information about the design of robust mounts in optical applications. [by RY]
  • 'Lens Design Fundamentals ', Rudolf Kingslake [ISBN: 0124086500]: A great text for learning by one of the true masters of 20th-Century lens design. [by RY] - goes into a lot of detail on understanding & using Seidels in designing systems and in lens design, but does not cover a wide range of designs in depth
  • 'The Ray and Wave Theory of Lenses (Cambridge Studies in Modern Optics) ', Adriaan Walther [ISBN: 0521028299]: This is a real gem because it approaches geometrical optics and aberration theory from a physical optics standpoint. My understanding of the fundamentals of geometrical optics and its tie to physical optics improved greatly when I read this book. [by RY]
  • 'Optical Shop Testing', Daniel Malacara [ISBN: 0471484040]: 3rd Ed of this classic. Testing optical systems - for the designer and the engineer. This readable classic covers both the practise and the theory behind a wide range of testing methods.
  • 'Principles of Optics', Max Born and Emil Wolf [ISBN: 0521642221]: Full theoretical discussion of optics in general - a rigorous mathematical approach. Key reference book on electromagnetic theory, not an introductory text!
  • 'Aberrations of Optical Systems', Walter Welford [ISBN: 0852745648]: Excellent exposition of aberration theory and raytracing, rather than a practical discussion of lens design. This is the extended version that covers cylinders, gratings & HOE's. [I had the good fortune to be taught by Prof Welford at Imperial College - he was a very kind and extremely knowledgeable man]

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