Why are microscope lenses small and camera lenses large? Surely having large lenses on microscopes would let you gather more light from the thing you're trying to examine and give you a clearer picture.
Would it be possible to make a telescope from two contact lenses? [more inside]
Any harm in wearing sunglasses with two mismatched lenses? [more inside]
Optics geeks: Why do some cameras matte off a rectangle in front of the lens like this? [more inside]
I'm interested in fitting odd lenses -- and making custom lenses -- to/for digital cameras and digital video cameras. I'm not terribly concerned with the electronic side of things, so you shouldn't be either. What I'm looking for is a crass/crash course in optics -- something (a book, a video, a class, a kit) that will teach me the basics of optics and allow me to force photocopier lenses, telescopes, and microscopes onto unsuspecting recording devices.