Abstract

A study has been made of the reduction in image contrast caused by optical aberrations in telescopic systems. Visual measurements were made of the resolution of telescopic systems, in which the amount of aberration could be varied continuously, and in a number of telescopic systems of current design. The resolution measurements were made using Foucault test objects of high contrast. The contrast of the image of the test object on the retina was determined at the limit of resolution for the various telescopic systems. This contrast was found to have a value of approximately four percent for telescopic systems free from all aberrations. From a knowledge of the contrast required by the retina for resolution and the loss in resolution caused by different magnitudes of the aberrations, it was possible to compute the reduction in image contrast caused by the aberrations.

© 1947 Optical Society of America

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