A compact objective lens is disclosed which is particularly suitable for infrared optical systems. The lens features a simple design with only two lens elements, namely a first lens element receiving incident radiation and having front and rear surfaces, and a second lens element receiving incident radiation from the first element and having front and rear surfaces. The lens forms an image of a scene on a focal plane. At least three of the four surfaces of the elements are aspheric surfaces. The lens has an f-number less than about 2, a field-of-view less than about 30 degrees, and an effective focal length less than about 6 inches. The elements are made from a material selected to pass radiation in the infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum, e.g., germanium. The lens is suitable for use as an objective lens for a long-wave infrared sight for small arms, e.g., rifle or shoulder-launched surface to air missile launching system, i.e., a lens optimized for operating in the electromagnetic spectrum between about 7.5 and about 15 micrometers.

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