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The Lens: A Practical Guide for the Creative Photographer [Perfect Paperback]

NK Guy
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 46.95
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Book Description

Oct. 18 2012

Which lens should I buy for my camera?

It's such a simple question, but choosing the right lens or lenses is actually one of the most important photographic decisions you can make. Nothing affects the quality of a photo more than the lens. It's no longer just about the megapixels-it's the glass that makes all the difference!

Many first-time buyers of DSLRs don't venture past the basic lens included in the box. While some are reluctant to spend more money, others are confused by all the buzzwords or are overwhelmed by all the choices out there. It's really a shame, because interchangeable lenses give you amazing scope for quality photography.

Take in vast sweeping scenes with a wide angle lens. Capture faraway birds with a telephoto lens. Examine the tiniest detail of a flower with a macro lens. Record the perfect portrait with a prime lens. Anything is possible when you choose the right lens for the job!

This book isn't a simple catalogue of available lenses. New products are coming out all the time, and comparing specific lenses can be difficult. Instead, author N.K. Guy gives you all the information you need to make smart buying decisions. Optical technology is demystified, arcane terminology is decoded, and practical tips are provided.

The Lens will help you build the perfect lens collection to suit your needs-now and in the future.

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Product Description

About the Author

NK Guy is a Canadian writer and photographer living in Britain. He specializes in travel photography and event portraiture, is the author of the Photographer's Dictionary and is the creator of, a popular online resource for photographic education. He no longer lives aboard a barge on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal in London, but wishes he still did because it makes for great book bio copy.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is allways something more to discover. April 9 2013
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a short review of NK Guy’s The Lens.

This book is valuable to beginners and intermediate photographers. Advanced photographers may find some interesting information but would have to sift through a lot of basic and intermediate topics.

During my read I reviewed some basic topics, expanded my knowledge on others and got in a roundabout way introduced to manual focus Russian lenses. All thanks to this book. Because of that discovery the hobby of photography has become much richer and more interesting to me.

Loaded with information, great pictures and loads of interesting trivia this book is a great read. Not aimed at any particular manufacturer but rather focused on the instrument and its purpose this book is a neutral read that can be enjoyed by any brand loyalist in the field. Quite an achievement if I may add.

So if you just bought your camera and are ready to expand your lens collection you should definitely read this book so you can make an informed decision before buying that low priced low quality or novelty lens that you may never or seldom use.

Portrait, landscape, prime, macro, tilt shift, fisheye, creative and any other lenses you may think of are explained in the book. What lens to use, when, why and how, tips from someone who knows what he is talking about are certainly worth the price of this book and the time it takes to read it.

And if you do buy and read it do pay attention to the picture on page 204, the one with the swirly bokeh, it may lead you down a path seldom traveled in this hobby one that is exiting and entirely unknown to many.

I am Zoozig and I liked this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars thorough and concise May 20 2014
Format:Perfect Paperback
Goes through all the various lens types: telephoto, prime, wide angles, fisheyes.. describes what each is used for. Talks about the different types of motors, USM, STM, and the Nikon. Sony, and third party equivalents. Talks about lens coating, lens hood, filters and lots of other terms. Even talks about what to watch for when buying second hand lenses. Great for beginners who are getting into photography. Lots of examples on the settings to use for each picture presented in the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really Nice March 23 2014
By Mik
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
....and a great read. This is one of those books you can pick a bit, then come back to without missing a beat. Lots of pictures, and very well written in a prose that is casual and fun to read. I'd recommend for any photog out there.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the Only Book You'll Need on the Subject Nov. 15 2012
By John Jacobson - Published on
Format:Perfect Paperback
This book appears to be a coffee table book. Full color photographs, expensive paper, text interspersed with photos on every page, Wide text margins. One might think the publisher was trying to stretch inadequate text and fill the remaining spaces with photos. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a serious book about a serious subject, the camera lens. Almost any topic that deals with the lens is covered in this book. Starting with a historical perspective, it then explores the wave action of light, explains in moderate detail the physics of lens, and then goes into a description of why most modern lens are compared to the lens of 35 mm cameras.

Aperture, F stop, lens elements, fast lens, slow lens, metering, mechanisms, the list goes on and on. Lens from different manufacturers are described, an explanation of why the "perfect" lens doesn't exist, matching the lens to the project, choosing the right lens letting your creativity free . . .

And it's not just the completeness of the presentation that beckons, the simple clarity of the text is a model for those who write of technical subjects for the amateur. The book is not likely to interest the professional or serious amateur, they'll already know most of the material. But for the beginner to middle level amateur, there is much here to study.

This is a very impressive book. If you love cameras, if you'd like good advice about choosing lens for your camera, if you'd just like to understand the relationship between aperture and focal length in composing pictures, and more, then this is a worthy addition to your collection. And maybe the coffee table isn't such a bad spot for this book, you'll be able to pick the book up regularly and learn a bit more about the camera eye view of the world.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected........ Jan. 5 2013
By ddz - Published on
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
this was and excellent book. I thought i was buying a guide to buying lenses, and instead I got an education on lenses. History of optics, overview of light, lens mechanics, and then the info i bought the book for.
Five star book : well written and organized, AWESOME photos, and this will be a reference guide for me.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll definitely want this book Jan. 7 2013
By KT - Published on
Format:Perfect Paperback
The lens is easily the single most complicated piece of equipment in any photographer's arsenal. Yet even some accomplished photographers find it hard to grasp all the intricacies and nuances and camera lens hows and whys. That's where this book comes in. Whether you want to learn, need a refresher, are buying this book for a novice photographer, or just want a handy, thorough reference, pick up The Lens. At Amazon's price it's a steal.

And even if you do know everything there is to know about lenses and optics, the photography in this book is awesome.

Can't recommend it highly enough.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading for a wide range of photographers Nov. 20 2012
By Foti Massimo - Published on
Format:Perfect Paperback
I am an amateur photographer, with a strong inclination for technology (due also to my real-life job as a computer programmer). As such I tend to spend a lot of time investigating photo gear, especially lens. I had a pleasant experience reading the book even if, looking back, I have to admit I hardly learned anything new (apart maybe for the chapter on MTF). But I honestly wish I've read this book a few years ago.
In other words, there is nothing here you can't learn spending a significant amount of time on the web. Yet the book provides a very useful and well balanced amount info inside a nice package. I think it would be worth reading for a wide range of photographers, not only beginners, but also seasoned veterans that often don't spend too much time investigating lens (because, unlike me, who spend too much time on gear, they are busy taking great pictures).
Bottom line, the book can help you save an outrageous amount of time and even some significant amount of money. Since lens aren't cheap and a bad choice can badly affect your wallet.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lens by NK GUY July 31 2013
By unclemikey - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Either very knowledgeable or very well researched Mr. Guy offers one of the best tutorial books I've seen since college. Although most photographers aren't engineers it is important to know what goes into making a quality piece of equipment. One needs to know why one is plunking down a house mortgage payment for a particular lens and how it will play a roll in your particular style of photography. His chapters on the history of lens making alone are worth the price of this book.
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