Like many other inventions, the first lenses are developed from imitating operation of the human eye
In a first stage, experimentation human with transparent objects polished revealed their value as a valuable tool to compensate for the visually impaired that mark the limits of our eyes, ie, crystals as lenses increase was used to magnify too small things, they could not be seen with the naked eye.
In 1568 Daniel Barbaro of Venetian origin, placed the convex lens spectacles in the orifice of a camera obscura. Then he realized that the images that until then were captured in very diffuse, could gain sharpness with the help of crystals. These remarkable observations were echoed by astronomer Johannes Kepler that for 1611, began to analyze and understand the physical properties of convex and concave lenses, and how through the combination of both, could increase the magnification of images.
By 1800 the first prototypes of armed camera in a box, and have a lens mounted on the opening hole. This lens transmitting light beams forming an inverted image projected on plates impregnated with photo sensitive substances that subsequently were treated and taken to preserve photography. These basic equipment not properly possessed a shutter mechanism so instead, a tight to the lens cover which stirred manually during the exposure time calculated (used to be very long) was placed, and at the end of this, is cover again to interrupt the exposure of reactive materials to light.
Members of the Royal Society of London developed in 1834, various arrangements concave and convex lenses in a tubular container could also, change its position by altering the focal length and increasing the magnification of objects. This application arose in the interest of making more powerful telescopes at the same time, they laid the foundation for the invention of the objectives varifocal, better known as zoom.
The exposure process based solely on the possibility of discovering and cover the lens was too vague. It was predominant devise mechanisms that could regulate the amount of light that entered the dark boxes and this, began experimenting with masks of different diameter that is put in front of the lens. 1841 Vienna Joseph Petzval designed a lens with an opening mechanism integrated, laying the foundations of modern diaphragms.
The curvature of the glass distorts the image as the transmission of light, it does not behave in the same way to the center of the element in the periphery thereof. To this anomaly is known as spherical aberration and to correct it, the combination of concave and convex lenses different cut precise and perfectly placed curvatures calculated distances is required. In 1902 the German physicist Paul Rudolph, Carl Zeiss development for various designs of shapes and groupings called as anastigmatic crystals whose main purpose was to minimize spherical aberrations and other known as coma and astigmatism.
Rudolph designs were evolve and improve with each new release
The contribution of Paul Rudolph in the design and construction of goals, set the standard to follow for virtually all modern manufacturers and amazing calculations performed on the physical principles of optics, today are carried out by complex processors that he had no opportunity to known in his time.
Sources; Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital (Todd Gustavson and George Eastman House) Site .; Zeiss company history