Yours truly loves to do video and stills, but you, my loyal readers, already know that. With that passion comes a cost, something you folks already know as well due to the fact BRT always talks about costs relating to any endeavor, in this case, the bulkiness of glass lenses used to create so-called "masterpieces", a form factor for capturing imagery that has not changed for almost 200 years until now.
Just 2mm across and far thinner than a human hair, the tiny device can magnify nanoscale objects and gives a sharper focus than top-end microscope lenses.
It is the latest example of the power of metamaterials, whose novel properties emerge from their structure.
Shapes on the surface of this lens are smaller than the wavelength of light involved: a thousandth of a millimetre.
"In my opinion, this technology will be game-changing," said Federico Capasso of Harvard University, the senior author of a report on the new lens which appears in the journal Science.
The lens is quite unlike the curved disks of glass familiar from cameras and binoculars. Instead, it is made of a thin layer of transparent quartz coated in millions of tiny pillars, each just tens of nanometres across and hundreds high.
Singly, each pillar interacts strongly with light. Their combined effect is to slice up a light beam and remould it as the rays pass through the array (see video above).
Computer calculations are needed to find the exact pattern which will replicate the focussing effect of a conventional lens.
The advantage, Prof Capasso said, is that these "metalenses" avoid shortfalls - called aberrations - that are inherent in traditional glass optics.
"The quality of our images is actually better than with a state-of-the-art objective lens. I think it is no exaggeration to say that this is potentially revolutionary."
The only lenses that don't have chromatic aberrations are reflex mirror lenses like the Nikkor 500mm and the Hubble telescope, both beautifully crafted instruments using tech designed by Dmitry Dmitrievich Maksutov, a visionary Russian Astronomer of the first order.
The image below shows just how different this metamaterial derived tech is from the type of lenses used by us rubes.