Originally suggested by Maksutov, a Maksutov microscope objective (or eyepiece) is a reverse Gregorian type reflective objective. It has high numerical aperture and has corrected spherical, coma and color aberrations. It requires a field flattener to correct the field curvature, but for on-axis observations, it has a long working distance and short total track.
Stock optical components are very attractive option for a developer. You get parts ASAP, keep prototyping costs down and one gets fitting optomechanical parts to go, and you can do all by yourself as well. Then again, there are whole factories spewing out same parts to your competitor, with same instructions and howto’s. So it comes down to this: what SPECIAL can you do with stock optical parts? Turns out, quite a lot. However, they might need an optical engineer to pull them off. I’ll go through some examples of common tripping points of stock optical components, and a short description on how an optical designer can overcome them.
For prototyping purposes, our company engages in creating different applications with stock optics. This time we focused on a fast MWIR (3-5μm) optics. Available stock optics are severely limited, but we managed to pull off a 50° FFOV diffraction-limited objective. Field would benefit from custom optics, but most prototyping and proof-of-concepts are quite possible with just stock optics.