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A History of the Photographic Lens



By: Rudolf Kingslake(Author)

Language: English

Genre: Science & Nature

Publisher: Academic Press; First Edition edition (22 Nov. 1989)

Format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

The original title of the book: A History of the Photographic Lens

The lens is generally the most expensive and least understood part of any camera. In this book, Rudolf Kingslake traces the historical development of the various types of lenses from Daguerre's invention of photography in 1839 through lenses commonly used today.
From an early lens still being manufactured for use in low-cost cameras to designs made possible through such innovations as lens coating, rare-earth glasses, and computer aided lens design and testing, the author details each major advance in design and fabrication. The book explains how and why each new lens type was developed, and why most of them have since been abandoned. This authoritative history of lens technology also includes brief biographies of several outstanding lens designers and manufacturers of the past.

"This book is well illustrated, clearly written and a most useful source of knowledge about lenses. It will interest historians of photography, camera collectors and amateur photographers. For any first-time would-be buyer of a good camera, it will prove an invaluable aid."--NEW SCIENTIST"[Kingslake has written] an instructive and entertaining account of the development of lenses from the earliest simple double convex lens to the meniscus, to doublets and triplets, achromats and apochromats and even aspherics, and including the most elaborate telephoto and zoom lenses used today."--John N. Howard, OPTICS NEWS"Kingslake has done an outstanding job of writing a readable book....Rudy Kingslake is today's first name in optics. His new book belongs in every camera collector's library."--SHUTTERBUG MAGAZINE"Rudolph Kingslake is eminently qualified to write this book...It is...a rich source of references to books, papers, and most importantly patents, where much of lens design knowledge is archived."--JOURNAL OF MODERN OPTICS

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  • By TRA on 2 January 2010

    My copy of this book was ordered on 1 Dec 09 at 21:37:51 European time and was printed in Tennessee, USA on 2nd Dec. Perhaps that explains the high price - even though it was a Marketplace purchase that was much cheaper than the list price. It was delivered to me in continental Europe on 14 Dec 09.The front cover does not have any of the illustrations shown in the illustration beside the book description - just title and author's name. However, it is well printed and has a high quality hardcover binding, and includes all the illustrations and photographs throughout the book. This is a reprint, not a photocopy, and the quality of reproduction is high. A few of the photographs of lens designers are of poor quality, but this probably reflects the quality of the original photographs, generally taken in the 19th century. All diagrams are produced faultlessly.As regards the content, this book is an excellent introduction to the history of the photographic lens. It is easy to read and covers hundreds of lenses in greater or lesser detail, with a useful index of lenses at the back. The period covered is approximately 1780 (i.e., prior to the invention of the photographic camera) to 1985. Most types of lens are illustrated with a lens diagram. The second part (approximately the final third) of the book consists of brief (single-page) biographies of some of the principal lens designers from the period covered by the book. This, too, makes interesting reading.A knowledge of the basic algebra required for lens design formulae is assumed, and the terms used in the formulae are not adequately defined. However, if one can obtain this information from another source, then this book shows how the formulae were applied in practice in the design and manufacture of lenses.Lens coating is not really covered, earning just a passing reference and a definition in the (useful) "Glossary of Optical Terms" at the back of the book.However, for a person interested in learning more about the development of lenses for photography, this book is an extremely helpful guide that has my full recommendation.

  • By G W on 28 August 2013

    I don't need to add more save underline that the copy is very overpriced. I've only given it three stars because of this and the quality of reproduction which is well documented by others. Judging by comments in a review of the book given in Photographica World - No. 52 March 1990, experts in the subject will find occasional fault with accuracy. I'm still reading it (and no expert!) so other comment not possible other than finding it a comfortable and interesting read so far!. Basic knowledge of optics is assumed - I've forgotten mine but Wikipedia is helping...

  • By Savvas Sidiropoulos on 25 December 2014

    I read references to this book in others and was intrigued to find it. It was a revelation to read the history of lens evolution and what was considered good, bad or desirable a century ago. A must read for anyone seriously interested in photography equipment.

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