View Full Version : book on lenses

Richard Schlesinger
24-Sep-2005, 12:31
Seeing the question about books on optics I decided I want one. I am mathematically and intellectally challenged, so I am looking for something simple with small words and no numbers to speak of. But I would like to know what a plasmat is, what an acromat is and does (or did?) etc. I read the really good stuff on the LF site. I looked up about all the books mentioned, but they are very expensive ($95 +) and sound much too mathematical and general for what I thinkI want. Steve Simmons book doesn't sound as if it covers either.

Is there something that has definitions and diagrams of the various designs, i.e. Tessar, plasmat, Angulon etc. with their pluses and minuses? At a price that won't break my piggy bank? I hate to buy really expensive books only to find they are off the mark.

Apparently some of you are knowedgable and educated in this area. I would be most grateful for recommendations.

Dan Fromm
24-Sep-2005, 12:57
You might try searching the used book sellers (a few, in alphabetical order: www.abebooks.com, www.addall.com, www.amazon.com) for used copies of A. Cox' Photographic Optics or R. Kingslake's Lenses in Photography.

Craig Wactor
24-Sep-2005, 13:37
I just checked out "photographic optics" by Arthur Cox from my school's library. It has an index of many lenses (although the book is from 1971) with angle of view, speed, design, etc. It also has a couple hundred pages of "how lenses work" and all that nerdy stuff.

Dean Tomasula
24-Sep-2005, 14:25
Probably not exactly what you're asking for, but you should check out the Lens Vade Mecum. It has descriptions and history on practically every lens ever made, is not very technical, easy to read and a great reference to have. You can probably find a seller on eBay selling a PDF on a CR-ROM for about $30 or less.

Anything by R. Kingslake also is worthy of keeping in your library. He's "the man" when it comes to lens design.