One Lens to Rule Them All!

Now let me start by saying I am NOT by any stretch an optics engineer, nor do I fully understand the physics of lens creation. I certainly don’t know what Apple engineers know about creating lenses for iPhones and the technology associated with the chip sensors and neural goodness they employ to go with their lenses. That said, I can’t help but wonder 🤔 if the technology is being developed to get us back to “one lens to rule them all!”


As the lens array on smart phones has progressed, we’ve gotten more lenses all specially designed for one thing (wide, super wide, and telephoto). But is each lens associated to its own sensor, or are all three (current) lenses feeding into one large sensor that differentiates the optical quality of each lens? 
I wonder if the possibility exists to engineer a single special optical lens that would cover all three perspectives (wide, super wide and telephoto) and with a really smart chip sensor, allow the user to switch modes easily? Hopefully without making a big, ugly “super zoom lens” bump to the existing iPhone profile. But let’s face it, Apple seems to have followed other smartphone camera guidelines and opted to split the one lens into three separate prime lenses, creating a very inelegant, very un-Apple-esque design. The “lens bump” as they call it is downright awkward. With Apple’s genius for “computational photography”, they should be able to get this right.The laws of physics and optics may well render this dream moot, but I do wish we could return to a single “super” lens layout and dispense with the current (and in my humble opinion) ugly and cumbersome three lens camera bump. 


If nothing else, it would make the process of adding a single external lens like Moment’s gorgeous Anamorphic lens to the iPhone (via the special case of course) seamless, without the cumbersome process of having to re-center the lens over each of the three separate current lenses when filming video especially! IF there is a way to move in this direction, and create one unified lens, then I hope Apple will find the way. If anyone can “think different” and solve this, it’s Apple. Oh, and Apple, please make the lens at least 48 megapixels in resolution across all the focal lengths. An image maker can dream, can’t we? 😎 


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