Nikon announced the development and deployment of OPTIA - a device that is able to measure all forms of lens aberration. The new system includes also a dedicated image simulator. This technology will help the company produce "high-performance lenses with unique characteristics" and "provide customers with interchangeable lenses that offer new forms of value never before seen":
"While the light used for exposure with IC steppers and scanners is of a very narrow band of wavelengths, light used by camera lenses covers a wide band of wavelengths that includes the entire visible range. What's more, the amount of aberration that occurs with camera lenses is significantly greater. OPTIA is equipped with a brand new aberration measurement sensor that responds to these characteristics of camera lenses, making it a ground-breaking device capable of measuring nearly all aspects of optical performance for a wide variety of camera lenses.
In addition to resolution, camera lens performance is indicated by such characteristics as blur (as known as "bokeh"), reproduction of textures, and sense of depth (these characteristics combined are referred to as "lens characteristics"). The application of OPTIA's aberration measurement to Nikon lenses, which have always had a very high reputation, enables clarification of the correspondence between lens characteristics and aberration.
The image simulator (software) developed alongside OPTIA enables simulation at the design stage that is equivalent to actual photography with lens prototypes. Therefore, by utilizing the correspondence relationship between lens characteristics and aberration clarified with OPTIA, lenses can be developed with greater control over not only resolution, but also a wide variety of lens characteristics.
Adoption of the new design concept formulated with the use of OPTIA and the image simulator will enable more effective development of high-performance lenses with unique characteristics, and allow Nikon to provide customers with interchangeable lenses that offer new forms of value never before seen."