Fluorite and UD Lenses
If you hold a prism up against sunlight, a rainbow spectrum will appear. This is due to the fact that different wavelengths of light refract – or bend – at different points within the prism. The same phenomenon occurs to a lesser degree in
photographic lenses, where it is known as chromatic aberration. It's most noticeable in photographs as colour fringing at the edges of objects. Combining convex and concave lenses helps to correct the problem but does not entirely
Fluorite, which boasts a very low dispersion of light, is capable of combatting the residual aberration that standard optical glass fails to eliminate. Canon succeeded in artificially creating crystal fluorite in the 1960s, producing the first
interchangeable SLR lenses with fluorite elements. In the 1970s, Canon achieved the first UD (Ultra Low Dispersion) lens elements incorporating low-dispersion optical glass. This technology was further improved to create Super UD lenses in the 1990s. A
combination of fluorite, UD and Super UD elements are used in many of today's super-telephoto L series lenses, telephoto zooms and wide-angle lenses.