EF Lens Work III: The Eyes of EOS details the history and technology behind Canon’s EF lenses. Suitable for displaying on your coffee table, the book begins with several large, double-page spread images to whet your appetite and encourage you to clear out your checking account.
It continues with a look at the history of Canon lenses, from the R Series, the FL Series, the FD Series, and finally the current EF Series. Pages 40-41 depicts all of the cameras that Canon has produced from 1930 to 2003. The next section, EF Lens World, examines Canon’s current lens collection. From the ultra-fast 14mm f/2.8L ultra-wide prime to the 1200mm f/5.6L super telephoto, each lens has technical specs beside a nice, large photo of the optics. All of the images in the this section were taken with an EOS-1Ds digital SLR except for a couple of photos taken with a Digital Rebel and the 18-55mm EF-S lens. If you have ever picked up a Canon EF Lens brochure at a tradeshow, you’ll note that many of the book’s images will look familiar. That’s because a large majority of content has been lifted straight from various Canon web sites and marketing materials.
Published in September, 2003. the book doesn’t mention the following lenses:
- EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
- EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
- EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
- EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM
- EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
I guess these will have to wait until EF Lens Work IV.
The remaining sections cover various aspects of photography, including SLR basics, photographic technique, optical terminology, and EF lens technology. I especially like the spread on pages 132-133 showing the relationship of focal length and lens choice. The same scene is shot using lenses ranging from 14mm, 15mm fisheye, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, to 1200mm! Other sections depict the changes that digital image sensor sizes have on the effective angle of view. It’s this part of the book which I’ll be reading more carefully in the weeks ahead.
The beauty of this book lies not in what is being said — you can find the same information spread across several web sites, brochures, and books — but in consolidating all this photographic and lens information into one concise, easy-to-read book. If you have a sizeable Canon committment, definitely check out EF Lens Work III!