Thin lens formula


A lens is a transmissive optical device which affects the focusing of a light beam through refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of material, while a compound lens consists of several simple lenses (elements), usually along a common axis.
A positive or converging lens in air will focus a collimated beam travelling along the lens axis to a spot (known as the focal point) at a distance f from the lens. Conversely, a point source of light placed at the focal point will be converted into a collimated beam by the lens. These two cases are examples of image formation in lenses. In the former case, an object at an infinite distance (as represented by a collimated beam of waves) is focused to an image at the focal point of the lens. In the latter, an object at the focal length distance from the lens is imaged at infinity. The plane perpendicular to the lens axis situated at a distance f from the lens is called the focal plane.
If the distances from the object to the lens and from the lens to the image are S1 and S2 respectively, for a lens of negligible thickness, in air, the distances are related to the length of the focus of the lens.

Related formulas


fLength of the focus of the lensL (m)
S1Distance from the object to the lens (m)
S2Distance from the lens to the image (m)