Photonics Dictionary

spherical aberration

That basic aberration which leads to the failure of a lens to form a perfect image of a monochromatic, on-axis point source object. Aspheric surfaces may be applied to reduce this defect. When rays from a point on the axis passing through the outer lens zones are focused closer to the lens than rays passing the central zones, the lens is said to have negative spherical aberration; if the outer zones have a longer focal length than the inner zones, the lens is said to have positive spherical aberration. In the first instance, the lens is said to be uncorrected or undercorrected; in the second it is overcorrected.
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