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Talking to ZEMAX from Python using PyZDDE

This article describes:

  • How to use PyZDDE to communicate between Zemax and Python
  • The three modes of operation of PyZDDE using examples
  • Brief description of the PyZDDE toolbox, and few use cases

Authored By: Indranil Sinharoy (Lyle School of Engineering, Southern Methodist University, TX)

Published On: January 22, 2014

How to Identify Specific Rays Using Filter Strings

This article explains how to use filter strings to identify and isolate specific rays in a non-sequential system. Examples are given which show how to isolate rays that have undergone surface scattering and bulk scattering, as well as rays that undergo diffraction and fluorescence.

Authored By: Sanjay Gangadhara

Published On: June 26, 2009

Zemax Narcissus Analysis Macro


This article will demonstrate how to analyse narcissus effect in infrared systems with cooled detectors. In summary:

  • Ghost files generated with Zemax ghost generator are loaded and for each file vignetting and transmission data are gathered
  • According to user input temperature data (housing, detector and ambiant) narcissus integral coefficient is calculated
  • Surface NITD contributions and total NITD results are displayed
  • All numeric NITD data are written into a text file

Authored By: Serhat Hasan, shaslan@aselsan.com.tr

Published On: July 13, 2013

How to work in global coordinates in a Sequential Optical System

When working with a Sequential optical system, it is usually most convenient to work in local coordinates. However, there are cases when working in global coordinates is easier: typically, when working with perturbation data produced by finite element analysis (FEA) in systems with complex 3-D tilts and decenters. This article describes how to switch between Sequential local and global data entry methods.

Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: June 22, 2007

Exploring non-sequential mode in OpticStudio

This article is intended to introduce prospective and new OpticStudio users to the suite of capabilities available in the software’s Non-Sequential mode. Topics include Mixed Mode, source modeling, complex geometry creation, and detectors and analyses. Ray tracing functionalities such as splitting and scattering and non-sequential analyses are also discussed.

Authored By: Akash Arora

Published On: October 8, 2014

Programming Custom Light Sources and Uniform Deviates

This article explains how to program custom light sources and uniform deviates.

Authored By: Jeff Casey of Rockfield Research Inc.

Published On: September 24, 2013

ZPL Macro for Scaling the Weight of a Range of Optimization Operands

This article introduces a quick and simple macro that can be used to scale the weighting of a range of optimization operands.

Authored By: Dan Hill

Published On: September 24, 2015

Zemax Diffractive Optical Element Sag Macro

This article explains how to measure the sag of a diffractive optical element using a sag macro in OpticStudio.

Authored By: Serhat Hasan ASLAN

Published On: June 24, 2015

Why is the Optical Performance Sometimes Different at the Image Surface Versus a Co-Located Surface?

This article explains why you may see different results at two co-located surfaces that are at the same location in space, when one of the surfaces is the image surface.


Authored By: Andrew Locke

Published On: December 25, 2015

Why Are FFT and Huygens MTF Results Different on Tilted Image Surfaces?

An explanation of why FFT MTF and Huygens MTF yield different results in system with tilted image surfaces.


Published On: December 23, 2015

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