“The Cine Lens Manual” published – An in-depth guide to cine lenses


“The Cine Lens Manual” is a comprehensive guide that promises to walk you through all the fundamental concepts related to cinema lens. From the history of cinema lenses to choosing the right series, this detailed manual covers it all. Written by Jay Holben and Christopher Probst, ASC, the book is now available for purchase for $175.

Choosing the right glass is definitely one of those choices that has the biggest impact on the look and feel of a film. However, it is not without its challenges. In fact, when getting to know and comparing the character of different series of cinema lenses, it is easy to get lost in the technical and creative aspects of optics.

“The Cine Lens Manual” is here to help you navigate this vast sea. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cinematographer, I’m sure you still have something to learn from this book. Let’s take a closer look at its content.

The cover of the Cine lens manual. Source: cinelensmanual.com

“The Cine Lens Manual”: the ultimate lens guide

“The Cine Lens Manual” is certainly among the most comprehensive books ever written on the subject. Its chapters roam between all the technical and aesthetic aspects of cinema lenses, from the history and evolution of optical designs to learning how to properly test and maintain cinema optics.

The authors have worked hard to simplify the most difficult concepts, thus providing a simple approach suitable for a wide audience. In fact, they claim that no specific prior knowledge is required, be it scientific or artistic. Additionally, the book is amply illustrated to help readers absorb even the most difficult subjects.

The Cine Lens Manual. Source: cinelensmanual.com

“The Cine Lens Manual”: the authors

The book, published by Adakin Press, was co-authored by Jay Holben and Christopher Probst, ASC. Both authors were technical contributors to the American cinematographer magazine for years, but that’s not it.

Jay is an independent director and producer based in Los Angeles, USA, who has already published two books on cinematography under his name. On the other hand, Christopher is a goal enthusiast famous for being part of David Fincher’s team. spirit hunter as camera operator A and additional cinematographer.

Jay Holben (left) and Christopher Probst (right). Source: cinelensmanual.com

Their joint effort is already receiving praise from world-renowned directors and filmmakers. For example, here is Greg Fraser, ASC, ACS’ take on their manual:

“What Jay and Christopher have done with this book is to help demystify the often technical nature of optics, to enable people like me to become more skilled at articulating my feelings and instincts with an expanded vocabulary to discuss the appearance of lenses. This is essential text for all filmmakers.

Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS

Everything you need to know in 9 chapters

“The Cine Lens Manual” consists of 836 pages divided into 9 chapters, arranged as follows:

  • Defining Glass: The Basics
  • Defining Lens: Optical Concepts
  • Making the Glass: Optical Designs in Action
  • Lens Manufacturing: Mechanical Designs
  • History and evolution of cinematographic formats
  • Lens Use: The Creation and Progression of Cinematic Lens Designs
  • Modification of the glass: customizations and retouching
  • Evaluate the lens: test and qualify the lenses
  • Lens Care: Service and Maintenance

Price and availability

The book is now available for purchase from The Cine Lens Manual website for $175. In the Look inside the section of the site, you can also find an overview of the contents of the book. It’s a must-have for cinematographers, but it can also be useful for directors, 1st CAs and rental house technicians who want to learn more about this subject.

What is your knowledge of film lenses? Do you think this book can help you learn more about optics? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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