I have read this book twice, once back in 1992 when it was published and again recently to bone up for this review. It is a rare and remarkable work in which Mr. Goldberg summarizes a lifetime of studying the insides of cameras, or as he puts it, "the dark side of the lens." Clearly the author has a singular talent for describing and illustrating the complex mechanisms and control systems that have transformed consumer cameras into marvels of clever, intricate engineering.
The main body of the book comprises seven chapters covering focusing, exposure, time lags, viewfinders, film support, hardware, and testing. Each section abounds with mechanical and optical detail conveyed via lucid descriptions keyed to superb illustrations. This is not a book for the casual prospective camera buyer, but rather a valuable reference work for people who enjoy understanding in detail the way things work. Goldberg also provides fascinating historical perspective on how difficult technical problems have been solved in stages by ingenious designers. "Camera Technology" was written too early to cover the recent digital revolution, but a surprising amount of its content is still relevant today. After all, cameras still have bodies, lenses, diaphragms, shutters and viewfinders supported by extensive autofocusing and autoexposing subsystems. And the single-lens reflex (SLR) is still the premier configuration for professional as well as serious amateur photographers.
I think the strongest distinguishing feature of this book is the skill with which the author personally produced nearly all of its many illustrations and diagrams. From the look of the graphics, I would guess that he used a bit-mapped application similar to Apple's classic MacPaint program. Such software, while capable of many useful artistic effects, was not designed with technical applications in mind. Nevertheless I was repeatedly impressed by Goldberg's uncanny ability to illustrate intricate mechanisms and sophisticated concepts with admirable clarity. And because author and illustrator are the same person, the correlation between text and graphics is virtually perfect. An excellent example would be Figure 2.10, an isometric (simulated 3D) illustration of a Leica style three-axis focal-plane shutter and its mechanically coupled film transport components. I would call the figure a masterpiece of essentially freehand drawing on a computer.