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Tuesday, 11 October 2011


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might that work best on a half frame camera...?

If you're interested in the history of photographic optics in depth, I recommend "The History of the Photographic Lens" by Rudolph Kingslake. It's a pretty detailed history, and includes an interesting group of mini-biographies of many historic lens designers.

"I recommend "The History of the Photographic Lens" by Rudolph Kingslake."

A classic book, but buyer beware. I urge anyone interested to buy the 1989 edition from abebooks.com. The current Academic Press version is a reproduction, and a pretty poor one. BOTH are extremely overpriced; as a commercial publication this would be maybe $18.95 at most; the going price of $70-$100 makes it a tough sell. But if you're going to spend all that money, be sure to get the original edition with the more decent illustrations.


My own experience with lensrentals.com allows me to give them a two-thumbs-up, 4-star, AAA
rating. You should rent something, anything, just to try them. One warning,though, renting high end equipment you could never afford to buy becomes addictive....

best wishes,

Is the lens in the illustration for the mythical Contax half-frame SLR?

Good tip. I found Roger's recent article on variations in lens sharpness among different copies of the same lens very enlightening on a subject that consumes an enormous proportion of bandwidth on photography forums.

I'm sure that's one incredible 21mm, in build and optics- but for size alone (not to mention price), I sure wouldn't want to trade it for my 20mm Nikkor. And while it may be apples and oranges, what I do envy is the size of the 20mm Color Skopar.

I think it is no coincidence, that one of the advertisers on this site, Rivendell Bicycle Works, is another example for a company web site that is rich in information well worth reading.

By all means klick on that ad, if you are interested in cycling in a "non racing" way.

Not sure about the scale, but in the cutaway, it looks like the light has to go though more than an inch of glass before hitting the sensor.
Amazing that it comes out at all, much less without flare and distortion.
We are so lucky, to live in this century.

I just want to second what MM said. I enjoyed that little article too.

Surely he meant lens "genealogy", not "geneology"?

So which design is Mike's (and my) beloved Panasonic 20mm?

How about their 14mm?

And various zooms? It'd be nice to know how to find this stuff out.

lensrentals.com, mentioned previously, and well recommended in some posts, unfortunately does not carry lens in Pentax mounts, so I thought it appropriate to mention that "Camera Lens Rentals" (www.cameralensrentals.com) does carry both Pentax lenses and bodies and Sigma (Pentax mount)lenses.

I should point out that I have not yet rented from them, but have read praise of them in a number of places, including on DPR's Pentax DSLR forum.

And, no, I have no connection in any way with "Camera Lens Rentals" (nor any other photographic company, other than as a customer, for that matter.)

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