They are not sexy in the realm of other cinematography technology; no shiny buttons or bows, and only two or three moving parts to manipulate. But oh, how they make our images captivating. I speak of glass; a precise collection of optical science, mechanical ingenuity and a dollop of “secret sauce” that constitutes the modern lens system. Here, in a series of white papers from Canon, is an approachable explanation of lens system design that illustrates the herculean effort that goes into creating a great lens, and explains how each lens maker imparts their unique personality into a lens.
“The Personality of the Canon Cinema EOS Lens” series will give you a new found appreciation for lens design, and respect for the associated yet frequently maligned price tag (often erroneously juxtaposed with the cost of the attached camera). A lens is a work of technological wizardry. Particularly interesting is the paper on Contrast, and the hurdles of negating the 8% loss of light through each lens element, which should also instill a sense of gravity for using a properly adjusted matte box.