Selected by the American Library Association's 'Choice' magazine as "best technical book", the first edition of this book soon established itself as the standard reference work on all aspects of photographic lenses and associated optical systems. This is unsurprising, as Sidney Ray provides a complete, comprehensive reference source for anyone wanting information on photographic lenses, from the student to the practitioner or specialist working with visual and digital media worldwide.

This third edition has been fully revised and expanded to include the rapid progress in the last decade in optical technology and advances in relevant electronic and digital forms of imaging. Every chapter has been revised and expanded using new figures and photographs as appropriate, as well as extended bibliographies. New chapters include details of filters, measurements from images and the optical systems of digital cameras. Details of electronic and digital imaging have been integrated throughout. More information is given on topics such as aspherics, diffractive optics, ED glasses, image stabilization, optical technology, video projection and new types of lenses.

A selection of the contents includes chapters on: optical theory, aberrations, auto focus, lens testing, depth of field, development of photographic lenses, general properties of lenses, wide-angle lenses, telephoto lenses, video lenses, viewfinder systems, camera movements, projection systems and 3-D systems.

chapter 1|1 pages


chapter 2|2 pages

The role of the lens in photography

chapter 3|2 pages

Optical requirements

part |238 pages

Optical theory

chapter 4|6 pages

Light and energy

chapter 5|19 pages

Properties of light

chapter 6|9 pages

Image formation by simple optical systems

chapter 7|4 pages

Image formation by compound lenses

chapter 8|9 pages

Combinations of elements

chapter 9|16 pages

Optical components and their imaging roles

chapter 10|10 pages

Thin-layer coatings

chapter 11|17 pages

Aberrations – defects in imaging systems

chapter 12|13 pages

Optical materials

chapter 13|10 pages

Colour correction of lenses

chapter 14|16 pages

The speed of a lens

chapter 15|7 pages

Lens and camera flare

chapter 17|14 pages

Physical optics of lens systems

chapter 18|12 pages

Design, manufacture and testing of a lens

chapter 19|11 pages

Evaluation and calibration

chapter 20|9 pages

Focusing an optical system

chapter 21|14 pages

Autofocus and focus maintenance methods

chapter 22|19 pages

Depth of field and depth of focus

chapter 23|11 pages

Perspective and projection

part |210 pages

Lens types and properties

chapter 24|16 pages

Evolution of the photographic lens

chapter 25|17 pages

General properties of a lens

chapter 26|8 pages

The standard lens

chapter 27|6 pages

Large-aperture lenses

chapter 28|3 pages

Medium long focus lenses

chapter 29|5 pages

Extreme long focus lenses

chapter 30|8 pages

Telephoto and stabilized lenses

chapter 31|3 pages

Convertible lenses

chapter 32|8 pages

Short focus wide-angle lenses

chapter 33|5 pages

Retrofocus wide-angle lenses

chapter 34|7 pages

The fisheye lens and immersed optics

chapter 35|4 pages

Catoptric systems

chapter 36|5 pages

Catadioptric systems

chapter 37|15 pages

Zoom lenses

chapter 38|7 pages

Enlarging lenses

chapter 39|8 pages

Macro lenses

chapter 40|5 pages

Process lenses

chapter 41|5 pages

Copying lenses

chapter 42|8 pages

High-resolution lenses

chapter 43|5 pages

Underwater lenses

chapter 44|5 pages

Aerial lenses

chapter 45|7 pages

Projection lenses

chapter 46|5 pages

Anamorphic systems

chapter 47|3 pages

Soft focus lenses

chapter 48|5 pages

Perspective control lenses

chapter 49|3 pages

Ultra-violet lenses

chapter 50|5 pages

Infra-red lenses

chapter 51|4 pages

Lenses for cinematography

chapter 52|11 pages

Video lenses

chapter 53|12 pages

Lens attachments and accessories

part |185 pages

Photographie optical systems

chapter 54|7 pages

Viewfinder systems

chapter 55|7 pages

Direct viewfinder systems

chapter 56|13 pages

Screen viewfinder systems

chapter 57|10 pages

Viewfinder focusing

chapter 58|11 pages

The optics of camera movements

chapter 59|9 pages

Optics of systems with moving film

chapter 60|8 pages

Scanning optics

chapter 62|8 pages

Optics of copying systems

chapter 63|12 pages

Optics of printing systems

chapter 64|19 pages

Optics of projection systems

chapter 65|18 pages

Optics of stereoscopic systems

chapter 66|11 pages

Optics of light metering systems

chapter 67|10 pages

Optics of lighting systems

chapter 68|8 pages

Optics for video systems

chapter 69|12 pages

Optical filters

chapter 70|8 pages

The optics of digital cameras