Could you please suggest a book that

  1. Tracks the evolution of photo equipment from inception to modern times
  2. Has diagrams and cutaways of equipment and mechanisms, including shutter and aperture mechanisms and lens design
  3. Includes notes on the thinking (the engineering) that made the evolution possible
  • 1
    Answers are probably best as community wiki & one book per answer? Just my suggestion.
    – Unapiedra
    Sep 18, 2013 at 19:25
  • @Unapiedra In general, those don't work very well -- we get a few good suggestions and then an unmaintained list, just creating more of meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/1833/…
    – mattdm
    Sep 18, 2013 at 20:13
  • As useful and interesting as this might seem, I really think it's the wrong fit for the Q&A format. Basically, it's just too broad.
    – mattdm
    Sep 18, 2013 at 20:14
  • Books on history of anything are not easily going out of date, unless they are about too recent history to be accurate and not fully covering the subject. I believe history of camera technology should be a stable enough subject and those books are therefore not going out of date anytime soon. Sep 19, 2013 at 7:24
  • 1
    There's a wikipedia page about history of photography too.
    – noob
    Sep 19, 2013 at 16:14

3 Answers 3


An excellent book for lens information is, "A History of the Photographic Lens" by Rudolph Kingslake.

  • Ah, this is awesome, thanks. It's exactly what I was looking for! If you could add a book that does the same for camera mechanisms (shutters etc) I would like to mark this as the answer! Sep 19, 2013 at 15:19
  • 1
    Kaushik, an article available on-line about shutters is available here: randcollins.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/shutters .There are a few useful links at the end of the article.
    – P.Barrow
    Sep 21, 2013 at 12:56
  • That article has excellent references too. Thank you! Sep 21, 2013 at 14:45

Roger Cicala wrote about certain historical aspects of camera and lens history on his blog on Lensrentals: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/category/photography/history


Here are some books you can check:

  • Hi @Jez, do these slant towards the technical side of things, and do they have technical illustrations/drawings? Thanks! Sep 19, 2013 at 10:38

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