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
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    Answers are probably best as community wiki & one book per answer? Just my suggestion. – Unapiedra Sep 18 '13 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 '13 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 '13 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  • Books on history of anything are not easily going out of date, unless they are about too recent history to be accurate and not fully covering the subject. I believe history of camera technology should be a stable enough subject and those books are therefore not going out of date anytime soon. – Esa Paulasto Sep 19 '13 at 7:24
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    There's a wikipedia page about history of photography too. – noob Sep 19 '13 at 16:14

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

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  • 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! – Kaushik Ghose Sep 19 '13 at 15:19
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    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 '13 at 12:56
  • That article has excellent references too. Thank you! – Kaushik Ghose Sep 21 '13 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

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Here are some books you can check:

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  • Hi @Jez, do these slant towards the technical side of things, and do they have technical illustrations/drawings? Thanks! – Kaushik Ghose Sep 19 '13 at 10:38

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