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Looking for a book about optics


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#1 Troy Warr

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 01:27 PM

I'm interested in picking up a book about photographic/cinematographic optics, one that's fairly technical but not too terribly preoccupied with higher-level physics and mathematical theory. I'd also like to avoid other fields of optics that are not closely related to photography/cinematography, if possible.

In other words, I'd like to learn more about lens components like elements (spherical, aspherical, dioptric), groups, doublets, etc., and terminology like dispersion, refraction, diffraction, spherical aberration, chromatic aberration, coma, etc., as well as the theory of lens design, construction and optimization. I'm not looking to become a lens designer or repair technician, but a lot of the experimentation that I do (and plan to do) involves unusual adapters and optical setups that I would like to be more comfortable working with and more capable of putting together and optimizing. I'm stable on the basics but would really like to delve more into an advanced look at how modern lenses work, and why they work the way they do.

I looked through the book recommendations on this site, as well as Amazon.com, but didn't really see anything that immediately stuck out. One book looked like it had potential; some books were prohibitively priced textbooks ($100+) - though I'm happy to spend that much if need be, I'd like to find something under $50-60 or so if I can. Any recommendations?
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 03:25 PM

I'm interested in picking up a book about photographic/cinematographic optics,they do.

I looked through the book recommendations on this site[/url], as well as Amazon.com, but didn't really see anything that immediately stuck out. [/url] looked like it had potential; some books were prohibitively priced textbooks ($100+)...........though I'm happy to spend that much if need be, I'd like to find something under $50-60 or so if I can. Any recommendations?

Do you know about http://www.bookfinder.com/ ? I've got some great bargains searching that site. Latest deal was the current edition of Harry Box's book for $25 including shipping.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 03:37 PM

A quick Amazon.com search took me to this book: http://www.amazon.co...P...TF8&s=books

It's at least within your price range

This is probably more of a textbook, but if you're starting out it's probably a good choice (based on reviews) although it's out of your price range: http://www.amazon.co...c...TF8&s=books
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#4 Troy Warr

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:20 PM

Do you know about http://www.bookfinder.com/ ? I've got some great bargains searching that site. Latest deal was the current edition of Harry Box's book for $25 including shipping.


Thanks for the recommendation, Hal! I was not aware of that site, but it looks like a great resource. I used to use half.com for that type of thing, but that was way back when the "half" actually often meant "half price." I haven't found a deal there for a good while - or at least they get taken way too quickly.

A quick Amazon.com search took me to this book: http://www.amazon.co...P...TF8&s=books

It's at least within your price range

This is probably more of a textbook, but if you're starting out it's probably a good choice (based on reviews) although it's out of your price range: http://www.amazon.co...c...TF8&s=books


Jonathan, your search capabilities are admirable. :) Thanks for your help - I didn't find the first book that you mentioned, and I glazed over the second due to the high price and lack of customer reviews. But, the "Applied Photographic Optics" book, at least, is *precisely* what I was looking for. I read through the table of contents and it covers at least 95% of what I was hoping to find. I guess it's time to start saving up!

These two books actually look like they might complement each other well - the cheaper one being a more concise primer, the textbook expanding upon that with some very in-depth information that's still very practically oriented. The introduction even mentions that the book is intended for someone working in the art or industry of photography/cinematography, not for an aspiring technician or lens designer or engineer.

Thanks again - looks like I've found what I was looking for.
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:28 PM

Jonathan, your search capabilities are admirable. :) Thanks for your help


It's what I do :)

Glad to help

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 08 January 2007 - 04:28 PM.

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