Disclosed are lens apparatus in which a beam of charged particlesis brought to a focus by means of a magnetic field, the lens being situated behind the target position. In illustrative embodiments, a lens apparatus is employed in a scanning electron microscopeas the sole lens for high-resolution focusing of an electron beam, and in particular, an electron beam having an accelerating voltage of from about 10 to about 30,000 V. In one embodiment, the lens apparatus comprises an electrically-conducting coil arranged around the axis of the beam and a magnetic pole piece extending along the axis of the beam at least within the space surrounded by the coil. In other embodiments, the lens apparatus comprises a magnetic dipole or virtual magnetic monopole fabricated from a variety of materials, including permanent magnets, superconducting coils, and magnetizable spheres and needles contained within an energy-conducting coil. Multiple-array lens apparatus are also disclosed for simultaneous and/or consecutive imaging of multiple images on single or multiple specimens. The invention further provides apparatus, methods, and devices useful in focusing charged particle beams for lithographic processes.