Whilst we continually marvel at the
technological advances made in several
aspects of camera design, similar advances
made in the area of lenses do not always get the same respect or attention. In the 60’s and 70’s, the lens market was confined to fixed focal length lenses and even in that market a wide-angle was a 28mm. I remember reading about the launch of Zeiss’ Hologon 15mm f/8 lens in the late 60’s. In its time, it was considered a technological wonder. The lens created quite a stir when released. However, it was big, unwieldy and a commercial flop. Since then, advances in computer engineering has enabled manufacturers to design lenses with finer tolerances and much wider maximum apertures. The significant improvement in anti-reflection coatings has also allowed manufacturers to use more elements in the design of the lenses. The end result is a fabulous range of high quality and high precision lenses.
The ultimate beneficiary is you, the consumer, as you are spoilt for choice in a market where the variety of lenses available is near infinite.
H. S. Billimoria