I came across the Canon EF Lens Work III book the other day and couldn’t resist adding it to my library. As a Canon shooter, it’s fun to look back at the history of the Canon SLR line going back to the 1930s.
For years, Canon released these books as sort of fluff marketing books but they offer some interesting details about camera and lens technologies. There’s nothing really too technical though, which is a bit unfortunate, and there’s really nothing that you can’t find online in terms of understanding Canon terminologies or even the photography pointers the book gives. However, being able to look at the history of Canon SLRs on a two-page spread is enough to hang onto the book.
You can actually find the 2006 version of EF Lens Work III on Canon UK’s website in PDF format, albeit a chapter at a time. I have the 2008 edition (seen in these photos) and the most recent version that Canon appears to have released is the 2013 edition, which you can buy used as a hard copy for under $10.
For those who remember, these books remind me of a branded version of the old B&H SourceBooks that were so glorious before blogs and e-commerce took over the industry. I can’t count the number of hours I spent looking at the various B&H SourceBooks before smartphones existed. While you can still get the hard copies of B&H’s catalogs, the SourceBook died around 2007 but are still available in PDF form as they existed at the time.
As someone who lives in a digital world all day, it’s sometimes nice to sit back with a book and just flip through the pages. I’m sure the marketing budget from Canon can be used for something with better ROI, but I would love to see more technical brand-centric books released by Canon and other manufacturers.
Does anyone else have these on your shelves? What are the key titles of similar books from other brands? Let me know in the comments below.