View Full Version : Best LF book for starters?

3-Mar-2014, 18:22
What book to recommend to someone who is new to LF, that discusses camera technique?

Brian Schall
3-Mar-2014, 23:01
"Large Format Nature Photography" by Jack Dykinga. Gives you all the basics in a nice easy format to read.

3-Mar-2014, 23:10
Stroebel's View Camera Basics (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0240802209/)

Using the View Camera: A Creative Guide to Large Format Photograph (http://www.amazon.com/Using-View-Camera-Creative-Photography/dp/0817463534)

3-Mar-2014, 23:39
"Large Format Nature Photography" by Jack Dykinga. Gives you all the basics in a nice easy format to read.


For darkroom, Way Beyond Monochrome and Beyond the Zone System

4-Mar-2014, 04:03
Depends on how deep the starter wants to dig... Personally I would always recommend View Camera Technique by Leslie Stroebel (http://www.amazon.com/View-Camera-Technique-Leslie-Stroebel/dp/0240803450/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393930889&sr=1-1). Many helpful drwaings and shots, which often explain the movements and so on very well even without having to read the text (which gives a lot more helpful information).
I guess this might be the most in-depth book about it.

4-Mar-2014, 06:20
Any postwar (WW2) edition of "Graphic Graflex Photography."

Drew Bedo
4-Mar-2014, 07:10
I started out with Steve Simmon's book "Using The view Camera" and "View Camera: by I.M. Stone.

neil poulsen
4-Mar-2014, 07:19
If you get into black and white and doing your own darkroom work, Ansel Adams' books, The Camera, The Negative, and The Print are masterful.

John Kasaian
4-Mar-2014, 07:32
I started with Using the View Camera by Steve Simmons, then the Ansel Adams trilogy and his 40 Photographs, then a copy of Lister and Lister's Graphic Graflex Photography.

Eric Biggerstaff
4-Mar-2014, 08:35
I have several that are mentioned, but for a beginner I like :


Steve's book is an easy read and you can get it as an e-book now which is nice. It covers all the basics and will get you moving in the right direction. The price is right a well.

Alan Gales
4-Mar-2014, 10:18
I started with Steve Simmon's book. I found it very easy to understand and highly recommend it for starting out.

4-Mar-2014, 10:45
+1 more for Steve Simmons book. the best part to the book is the early on advice. Get your hands on it. Start learning the feel of each step so set up and shoot is a set of patterned movements well known and not a challenge every time. It will ut some pleasure into the work. (PS I found a nice set of wooden blocks on line to play with perspective, swings and tilts as in the demonstration photos).

4-Mar-2014, 13:11
I am a rank beginner. The first material I read was a selection of articles on this forum's main page. Great Free Stuff!! Thank you, Forum authors!!

Based on suggestions gleaned from the forum, I bought a used 1999 copy of L. Stroebel's View Camera Technique. It is somewhat dense, but I like dense texts. Illustrations are very clear. It looks like a good reference volume as well as providing explanations of camera types, movements, etc. However, for inspiration, I like Jack Dykinga's LF Nature Photography. This is good for showing why he chose the lens, camera, movements, film, etc for individual photos, which I find helpful. I am most interested in landscape photography, and had a hard time understanding just which movements and degrees of movements, and other camera features, might be useful to me, as opposed to useful for indoor architecture or other highly demanding use. Plus, the photos are just plain gorgeous. I am also working my way through the Ansel Adams Camera-Negative-Print series. Finally, for deciphering the lens nomenclature in the FS ads, the article set from View Camera Magazine seems to be worth the money.

5-Mar-2014, 03:57
Steve Simmons: "Using the View Camera" - a good introduction.
Leslie Stroebel: "View Camera Technique" - highly technical; very good if you're comfortable with that.
Ansel Adams: "The Camera", "The Negative", "The Print": everyone should have these. :)

If you really want to get technical about the details of focusing the view camera, Harold Merklinger has some rather interesting books and articles on the net, at http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/. The place to start, IMHO, is the two-part article that was published in View Camera magazine, and found here: Part 1 (http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/VCFaDOF1.pdf), part 2 (http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/VCFaDOF2.pdf).