Monday, December 18, 2006Home

New wide-angle lens devised

South Korean researchers have created a new distortion-free wide-angle lens that all but eliminates the distortion in enclosed environments. A bird's eye view of an entire room can be hard to imagine without this fish-eye effect, until you click here. The new lens has been touted as having huge potential for surveillance and robotics. It's only a matter time before photographers use it for more artful applications.

The lens itself is shaped like the dome of the U.S. Capitol. Gyeong-il Kweon of Homan University in South Korea gave an analogy involving a reflective spoon:

"The most creative part of our work was the discovery of the right shape of the spoon which gives a perspectively correct image of the room," Kweon says.

Cutting-edge camera technologies and digital innovations are everywhere in the east, yet all too often Japan overshadows its neighbors via the name recognition of its companies—you may have heard of Nikon, Canon, FujiFilm, Konica-Minolta and many more. In recent years, South Korea has proved every bit as enthusiastic and creative when it comes to technology, if less "established" in the camera industry.

This passion extends particularly to digital photography. Recent festivals like the Seoul International Photography Festival (SIPF), held in the Insa-dong area, and the Photo Biennale in the city of Taegu (fourth largest in the country) not only celebrate digital photography both as science and as an art, but also act as an exposition for photographers to display their own images in a public forum. In a country where point-and-shoot cameras are proliferating almost as quickly as cell phones in the states, expect to see a lot more from Seoul and its environs.


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