The Eye Sees Reality.
The Lens See Beyond Reality to Capture the Truth.
— Canon Lens Work III
Most of my childhood memories in colour and B/W were captured on film on my dad’s Canon AE-1 SLR. He had been an avid photographer with an extensive darkroom experience and although he had completely given up photography and the darkroom, I swear if I looked hard enough, I might actually find a couple of the developing trays if they hadn’t been thrown out in the two occassions that we’d moved house.
© Jan Shim Photography
The Canon brand is perhaps the only connection my dad and I have to the art. He was 100% film and I’m 100% digital, he had Canon FD lenses while and I shoot with EF lenses exclusively. I think our similarities end there and the gap must have easily been 10-15 years from the time he gave up the hobby to the time I picked it up by accident.
© Jan Shim Photography
In that time, my dad had three books which he had kept and later handed to me in Q3 of 2004 when I supposedly took over the baton with my very first SLR, the EOS 300D. In the USA and I suspect other parts of the world, this model carried the name Digital Rebel and I guess the timing couldn’t have been more appropriately ironic considering I left the IT industry somewhat against my better judgement! I swore never to look back at the dismal past and look forward to a colourful future.
So today, I have three generations of LENS WORK published by Canon. Spanning 27 years, the lens transition from FD to EF had been a significant step forward. I’ll admit, I’ve had these books for years and been caught up with work and life that until now, I hadn’t really paid much attention to how technology has shaped (not in the literal sense, of course) what we use today.
LENS WORK (FD Lenses) 1981
LENS WORK II (EF Lenses) 1996
LENS WORK III (EF Lenses)
▪ First Edition March 2003
▪ Fourth Edition February 2004
▪ Ten Edition March 2008
Looking at the pull-out section of the first publication of Lens Work, white L lenses already appeared as early as that inthe guise of FD 300mm f/2.8 L, FD 35-70mm f/4, FD 400mm f/2.8 L, FD 500mm f/4.5 L, 600mm f/4.5 and FD 800mm f/5.6 (only recently replaced with the EF 800mm f/5.6 IS L). The longest super telephoto lens at the time had been the FL 1200mm f/11.
Film SLRs such as the A-1 had so many Focusing Screens to choose from. (Microprism, Split-image, All-Matte, Matte Surface with Grid, Split-Image/Microprism, Microprism/Slow Lenses, Microprism/Slow Lenses, Double Cross Hair Reticle and 8 types on the AE-1. Thank goodness, I only had two choices on my EOS 5D and that hadn’t been a straightforward decision either! [Photo of a Canon Focusing Screen kit]