The Value of Lenses
If it were not for the fact that a lens can be held at such a distance from an object as to make the image larger than the object, it would be impossible for the lens to assist the watchmaker in locating the small particles of dust which clog the wheels of the watch. If it were not for the opposite fact - that a lens can be held at such a distance from the object as to make an image smaller than the object, it would be impossible to have a photograph of a tall tree or building unless the photograph were as large as the tree itself. When a photographer takes a photograph of a person or a tree, he moves his camera until the image formed by the lens is of the desired size. By bringing the camera (really the lens of the camera) near, we obtain a large-sized photograph; by increasing the distance between the camera and the object, a smaller photograph is obtained. The mountain top may be so far distant that in the photograph it will not appear to be greater than a small stone.
Many familiar illustrations of lenses, or curved refracting surfaces, and their work, are known to all of us. Fish globes magnify the fish that swim within. Bottles can be so shaped that they make the olives, pickles, and peaches that they contain appear larger than they really are. The fruit in bottles frequently seems too large to have gone through the neck of the bottle. The deception is due to refraction, and the material and shape of the bottle furnish a sufficient explanation.
By using combinations of two or more lenses of various kinds, it is possible to have an image of almost any desired size, and in practically any desired position.