Tuesday, March 4, 2008

REVIEW: Photographic Lenses by Ernst Wildi

Photographic Lenses: Photographers Guide to Characteristics, Quality, Use and Design is a very technical book about lenses, MTF charts, etc... I have found it to be a useful resource for understanding lens construction and what a lens is really capable of doing if it is built properly. Warning, this book will make you want to go out and get a Carl Zeiss lens as there are numerous examples where lens perfection exists and it's a Zeiss. This book isn't for everyone. If you aren't technically inclined you'll fall asleep in the first chapter and never come back to it. Even I had times where I'd start to doze off and have to bring myself back. Despite this, there is some really good stuff in this book and it seems to be a definitive resource about lens development and facts. Despite its old and outdated appearance, it does mention all of the latest digital technologies and advancements (except for perhaps Canon's DO lens technology). If you are a Canon user, you might enjoy Canon EOS Lenswork III book. However, if you want a more objective resource and to learn more detail that is generally useful (like understanding MTF charts and their shortcomings) then this is a better resource. Skill Level: Advanced Value: Moderate ($29.95 is a bit expensive for what you get) Recommendation: For data geeks only, but if that is you then you'll love it

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