Books on Canon Collecting and Photography
Collecting cameras leads to all kinds of printed material: Instruction Books, Advertisments, Registration Forms, Boxes, even original Bills of Sale. So what do you do with this stuff? Well, my Canon Library is the answer. These are good sources of information and instruction and they are part of the back story to any collection. So, like the cameras, when I come across this stuff, and it does not offend copyright (with the possible exception of Canon’s – but look at the free advertising they get!) or trade on the work of another, I will scan and post these things right here in the Library. Again, I caution you to be patient. I am creating this site live on the internet so you can watch every step and view incomplete pages. It is easier for me and keeps you the more up to date.
I have a few dozen booklets in my possession which do not appear here. I will slowly be posting these here as time permits. I want to do really good scans which takes a lot of time (which I don’t have!). I am looking for more to include. If you are browsing here and you have some Canon material you don’t know what to do with, drop me line. I may be interested in it and if you send it to me I will share it with everyone in the Canon community.
I have acquired the following reference books on Canon Cameras, and cameras generally. Of course I do not have rights to the material in these works and cannot reproduce them here for you. However, if you are interested, I highly recommend them to you.
Canon M39 Rangefinder Lenses 1939-1971 Peter Kitchingman (2008)
I like books. I am a reader from away back. There is something about the feel of a well made book; there is a sensuousness about it. Not everyone feels this way I know. My wife wants all those books “out of the house!”. But for me, they are magic. And this book by Kitchingman is one of supreme magic. The depth and breadth of detail, the illustrations, the physical presentation, this book is stunning. Expensive but all good things tend to be. If you are interested in early Canon lenses, this is the bible.
This book is a godsend! I know very little about the Canon rangefinder cameras and start into collecting them will be expensive. This is a marvellous guide to the whole subject with ample photographs, lots of history, and an explanation of the variations of each type. Peter has been a collector for a long time, has known and talked with people most of us will never have access to, and he tells us what he has learned. Completely invaluable. This is a book that I pick up constantly as I try to learn about these cameras. Buy it!
Canon Rangefinder Cameras 1933-1968
Eric Scopec (Hove Collectors Books – 2001)
Eric’s book is full of information. He describes cameras but I think the real value here is that he describes series, relationships, he makes lists, he makes the families clear. The style is different than Peter’s book (above) but this little volume is equally useful and very entertaining to read.
Lens Work III
the Eyes of EOS (March 2011 – 13th Edition)
I had just finished (January 2018) posting PDF files of the various chapters of Canon’s Lenswork III when I came across a new print copy of these collected PDF articles in a Kerrisdale Camera shop in Coquitlam.
This very handsome volume is a Canon publication and to a large extent is an unabashed 272 page advertisement for Canon EOS lenses. But it’s well worth the investment for any Canon lover. The book is above average in quality of paper, binding, photography: in short, a joy to hold and read. And it contains a great deal of useful information.
In particular, the section entitled Optical Terminology is a gold mine of technical definitions and explanations. Overall, this a valuable addition to any camera library.
The History of Photography
from 1839 to the Present – Beaumont Newhall
This book, unlike 500 Cameras, above, is a history of the people and processes. Although it discusses the cameras, the pictures are of … well … pictures and the text is about people, processes and what those people thought about their craft. Is it art? If not, what is it? It is a wonderful discussion.
The Dictionary of Photography
Adrian Bailey – 1987
I found this book in a used book store near my home. It is a simple volume and yet the entries are profusely illustrated and very comprehensive. I actually think it is a good reference work although topics are not covered in any depth. However, the price was right and it will be useful.
170 Years of Photographic Innovation – Todd Gustavson (2011)
This is a picture book of cameras from the earliest models to digital with descriptions and historical perspective. But it is mainly pictures. And they are luxurious. If you are interested in the history of cameras, then this is a book for you.
On the down side, it does not discuss the people and events of that history. There is no consideration of the processes and the people that developed them. This is a book about machinery. And as a reference work, it is a good one.
From Adams to Stieglitz
Nancy Newhall – 1989
Nancy Newhall knew the great photographers of the 20th century and wrote engagingly about them. This volume is a collection of her writings about the pioneers of modern photography. It takes inside inside the people, politics and development of the art over a 50 year span of years. A great read!
Ansel Adams – An Autobiography with Mary Street Alinder 1985
If you love his photography, you will love this book. It is written in a folksy kind of way that draws you in to his story. There is nothing truly exciting about hard work, attention to detail, and a desire to take pictures, but still, the story is engaging. For anyone interested in the man’s art, this is the story behind the art.
The Keepers of Light
William Crawford – 1979
This is one of my favorite books on photography. It’s a history of photography with excellent discussions about the early processes used to capture images. But more than the processes, it discusses how photography fits into the graphic arts and how the early innovators viewed this. It is a book I go to time and again for information and for just plain entertainment.
Stieglitz on Photography
Compiled and Annotated by Richard Whelan
I bought this book as part of my education on the early thinking about photography as art and it has been a blessing. Stieglitz is a little hard to read after all these years and the changes in popular writing style but the effort is well worth the effort. This book contains some of the foundational writings on photography by a giant in the field. It also contains examples of the work of early contemporary photographers as well as works by Stieglitz himself. Worth every penny!