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Simple Magnification Question

  1. Aug 28, 2013 #1
    My question is simple but i can't seem to find a straight answer. Can a single lens, a biconvex lens let's say, have a fixed magnification.I know that magnification is a factor of focal length, and object distance so the answer should be no. However, i often come across examples of simple lenses that are given some magnification number like X6 ; i've seen this in both optics books, and magnifying glasses.Magnification is Distance of image/Distance of object, and Distance of image=1/((1/F)-(1/Object)), so if the distance of an object is a factor of magnification how can a lens have a fixed magnification which doesn't take into account the distance of the object of interest.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    This refers to linear magnification.

    This refers to angular magnification.

    Your optics book(s) should discuss the difference between the two. Actually, the angular magnification can also vary, strictly speaking, but there is a common formula for a "standard" angular magnification which is what the 6 in 6X refers to.
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