The Kodak book of Large-Format Photography (Kodak Publication, No. O-18E.
Covers all the basics, clearly and concisely, but without much
detail. A OK starting point.
Using the View Camera, by Steve Simmons
The basics are well covered, and the writing clear.
In addition, there is a discussion on
equipment with details on some
specific lenses. However, what distinguishes this book
from others is a section which gives examples of large format images
comments on how they were made. This is also a good starting point.
To be complete, there are also two books at the same level of detail, one
by Harvey Shaman
(The View Camera)
and the other by Jim Stone
(A User's Guide to the View Camera)
- there is a rule that only people whose
names begin with S can write about view camera technique-, but I
didn't think they were as useful.
Camera Technique, by Leslie Stroebel
This is by far the most detailed and comprehensive book, and contains everything
you need to know, including topics which are not specific to large
format cameras. A bible for LF photographers.
Being more academically
oriented (it is a sort of text), this is a tough read,
especially if you haven't used a LF camera before. The style is dry.
want to keep it as a reference and to go through it in
small doses rather than trying to absorb everything,
however it will answer questions that no other book does.
It has a fairly comprehensive comparison of cameras and lenses
specs. The last edition has material on digital imaging.
The Camera (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 1)
The book by the Master, written in an engaging and readable way. Lots of topics and tips
covered at a fairly general level. There is a specific section on
camera movements, but a lot of the material is not specific to large format.
The Negative (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 2)
The sequel of the previous book, this one is mostly about
exposure and development of
B&W films. It contains a clear
exposition of the Zone System by the person who developped it.
The Art of Photography : An
Approach to Personal Expression by Bruce Barnbaum
This book evolved from Barnbaum's workshop notes, and is very well written.
It shares not only his
technical (Zone system
and darkroom techniques)
and artistic (composition,visualization) tricks,
but also his philosophy (the importance of communicating
a message to the viewer).