This book is an attempt to provide a systematic and accessible presentation of the practical lore of electro-optical instrument design and construction: in other words, it's the book I needed as a graduate student, but couldn't find.
It's intended in the first instance for use by oppressed graduate students in physics and electrical engineering, who have to get their apparatus working long enough to take some data before they can graduate. When they do, they’ll find that real-world design work has much the same harassed and overextended flavor, so in the second instance, it’s intended as a self-teaching guide and professional reference for working electro-optical designers.
Update: January 14st 2022
BEOS 3rd Edition Coming Out In January 2022
It's fully revised, and about 30 percent longer, besides bringing in things learned in twelve years of consulting with EOI. The ebook is available now, with the hardback due later this month.