1 A brief history of optics

1.1 The science of light

At its simplest, photography is about recording waves of light and creating two-dimensional pictures. And fortunately, light behaves in very predictable and reliable ways—at least in a photographic context. Over the centuries the science of optics and the technology of manufacturing have been developed and refined, resulting in the lenses we see today.

This chapter outlines some of the basic historical discoveries that made optical technology possible.

1.2 The path to the lens

It all starts with light—and the ability of glass to bend it.

In short, two strands of human knowledge had to come together: ...

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