Ophthalmic optics used to mean mainly spectacle lenses to correct ametropias of the eye.  However, over the past few decades there have been tremendous advances in the field, in all aspects ranging from classical spherical and astigmatic lenses to freeform progressive lenses, multifocal intraocular and contact lenses, low-vision devices and more. In addition, there has been great progress in allied areas such as lens materials, manufacturing and testing.

This dense volume (546 pages) is a reasonably comprehensive discussion of various topics in the field. The unique feature of this book is the use of matrix formalism to describe curvature and power of a surface. The matrix formalism is especially useful for analyzing astigmatic systems. With this elegant and powerful methodology as the foundation, the authors tackle various topics in ophthalmic optics. However, the mathematical background expected of the reader is rather minimal. The necessary mathematical material is built up in the text or in the appendices.

The foundations are laid down in chapters two and three. The following chapters deal with ophthalmic lenses, the lens–eye system, astigmatic systems, intra-ocular lenses and contact lenses (including a good discussion of bitoric and toric designs), multifocal lenses and low-vision aids. There are other chapters on lens materials and lens manufacturing, including freeform technology. The six appendices cover matrix theory, differential geometry, lens power matrices, Seidel and wavefront aberrations and multilayer films.

This profusely illustrated book has a relatively up-to-date list of references (more than 400). One drawback is that there is no discussion of computing and software, though reference is made to popular optical design programs.

There are many good things about this book. I don’t believe that it can be used as a regular textbook in courses on lens design or ophthalmic optics, in that it lacks such things as exercises and problems. However, it will be an invaluable reference book for researchers and graduate student in ophthalmic optics or for optical engineers who desire to know more about the field.

Review by Vengu Lakshminarayanan, University of Waterloo, Canada

The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or OSA.