Exploring simple lenses: An in-depth practical guide to creative image-making

by John Evans (1945 – 2021), the book is being sold by John Evans’ widow Angela Evans.

Buy “Exploring simple lenses” directly from John Evans’ family

Exploring simple lenses: An in-depth practical guide to creative image-making by John Evans 

$12   download book in pdf format direct – you will receive an email.



Why buy it here?
When you choose the option to buy directly from the author, the book is shipped by the author ensuring most of the money goes to the author. When buying from Amazon the author will get a small percentage – but also a good option!

A very practical book from the author of Adventures with Pinhole and Home-made Cameras

Customer rating:

9 of 10   Rated 9,18 – 78 votes

Read the review

About the book

Exploring simple lenses is a truly comprehensive examination of the fascinating world of shooting with single-element lenses. It features twelve main chapters, twelve appendices, and a glossary. Its highly detailed coverage includes an extensive Gallery section, as well as diverse practical topics, such as construction methods, more than 50 lens assembly ‘case histories’, and guidelines on basic and advanced exposure control. More esoteric areas deal with image-formation using non-optical household items, and unconventional lens mounting and focusing techniques.

All the photographs use traditional film-based image-capture, with a wide variety of equipment, including 35mm SLRs, 35mm rangefinder cameras, medium format SLRs, medium format rangefinder cameras and large format cameras.

  • PDF 25MB in Landscape Page Setup
  • Copyright: John Evans/ photoinnovations.net © 2006
  • Language: English
  • First Edition


Canon T90 with 250mm f/2.8
Canon T90 with 250mm f/2.8

Mamiya M645 with 150mm f/3.4
Mamiya M645 with 150mm f/3.4

Pentax 6x7 with 90mm f/1.8
Pentax 6×7 with 90mm f/1.8

Voigtlander Bessa T with 23mm f/9.5
Voigtlander Bessa T with 23mm f/9.5



Cover of book Exploring simple lensesBecause of its highly specialized nature, Exploring simple lenses is an eBook as a PDF.

The PDF has been designed in Landscape Page Setup, so each page is presented on the monitor screen as a complete design – you never need to scroll down.

There are 1490 pages, with a total word count well in excess of 250,000. The eBook also contains more than 350 photographs, 150 illustrations and 60 summaries of tabulated data.

About John Evans, the author:

Exploring simple lenses and their effectsJohn Evans is a UK-based photographer and writer with a background in professional photography, publishing and education. His previously published print-medium books include Photographic Lighting in Practice (David & Charles/ Element) and Adventures with Pinhole and Home-made Cameras (RotoVision). John was editor of Photo Technique magazine (Penblade Publishers) during the late 1970s/ early 1980s and has contributed hundreds of articles and regular features to many other magazines. His current activities are all centred on alternative photographic techniques, with a strong emphasis on unconventional in-camera image-formation, rather than post-exposure manipulations.

Effects of lenses

Feedback on the e-book Exploring Simple Lenses:

“I’m very satisfied with both the product and the shopping process. While I haven’t had an opportunity to do much more than skim through the book, I’ve read enough to determine that the book is exactly what I had thought it would be.”

-Michael Grice

“I give you a big 10 all around. The e-book was well done. And the shopping process was excellent. Thank You.”

-Dennis Sullivan

“The package was dispatched promptly and I received it soon thereafter. I rate the product and the shopping process as 10 out of 10 and will surely shop again soon.”

-Joseph Gerges

“I bought your c.d. and really didn’t know what to expect. This type of photography absolutely resonates with me. I am viewing your CD right now and I totally love the images. Really glad I purchased it. I have a lot of experimenting to do!”

– Maria Griffin

“Fast shipment, the product was excellent and the service too.”

-Israel Ariño

“I really liked the CD. I learned a lot, sometimes too much.”

-Dan Abbott

“The book is an excellent example of how digital publishing, unconstrained by the costs of paper and printing, can provide an astonishing amount of information for very little money. Anyone interested in opening their eyes to the optical possibilities that surround us, from glass marbles to Pringles container tops and bits of broken bottles will love this book. Not for the Super-Apo-Everything crowd, of course, but great fun and inspiration for those of us who still feel the magic in making images.”

-Myron Gochnauer

“Interesting format for a book. An easy to read & informative book. I’m going to give it a try!”

-Andy Schmitt

“The book is well written, clear and rich of passion. I find it very useful, and it’s a pleasure to read it. Great!”

– Marco Scataglini

“It would have been nice if it was available in a traditional book format.”

– Don Mills

5 thoughts on “Exploring simple lenses: An in-depth practical guide to creative image-making”

  1. This book put my photography on a totally new path. While I eventually came up with my own camera build project and didn’t replicate any of the almost countless builds so far, the book provides the reader with an invaluable amount of information and inspiration. A breath of fresh air and creativity in defiance of sharpness and megapixels. The amount of work John Evans must have put in creating this book is awe-inspiring and the price gives value for money a whole new definition. Highly recommended.

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