View Full Version : View Camera Magazine, a call for peace

Jim Ewins
2-May-2005, 17:01
In a free society, one votes with his wallet. The content is there and so is my subscription.

Mark Sawyer
2-May-2005, 17:21
The visual content is excellent, the intellectual direction is what I want, the reproduction quality is exceptional, and the paper stock and binding are superior to any other magazine I receive, (well, Lenswork is great too). As long as these qualities are maintained, I can live with the occasional typo. If VC disappeared, we'd be the poorer for it.

Thank you, Steve.

Gem Singer
2-May-2005, 17:43
Thank you Michael. It's about time we all begin to realize, as Charles Farmer used to say, "We're all in the same boat". If we fail to help one another, we're going to see our favorite films, papers, and equipment disappear sooner than we realize. Steve Simmons and View Camera magazine have performed an outstanding service by helping to encourage and perpetuate our first love, large format photography.

Scott Fleming
2-May-2005, 17:47
Count me in. I mean ... I'm down wi dat.

Jorge Gasteazoro
2-May-2005, 18:22
I see nothing of value for me in VC so I dont subscribe, I dont see the point on paying more than retail price for a subscription to Mexico for a magazine that is not well edited, compared to the other magazines I susbcribe to, like Lenswork. So as it was posted above I choose to vote with my pocket, and could not care less if VC disappears all together.

Doug Howk
2-May-2005, 18:46
I've never understood the contentiousness surrounding VC magazine. As far as equipment reviews, read a digital photo magazine if you want to see what puff pieces are really like. Editing - I much prefer a writer that communicates ideas in his/her own voice, even when it might not be perfect english. Frequent attempts to promote the magazine & store - whatever it take to keep the magazine afloat. Questionable taste as to portfolios - its only questionable when its not mine ;-) or my favorite photographers. The art world is filled with questionable works that make Steve's choices look reasonable. VC remains in my top 4 choices for photo mags (Lenswork, B&W Enthusiast and B&W Photo being the others).

Ralph Barker
2-May-2005, 19:30
Gee, I thought everyone was showing restraint - until the subject was brought up again. ;-)

John Flavell
2-May-2005, 21:47
Mexico, or New Mexico?

Either way this posting just reminded me to renew. Look folks, it ain't easy. If it were, anyone and everyone would be publishing. If you look at the New York Times' first city edition every evening it's full of mistakes and the jumps don't match. That doesn't make it useless. It's life.

I remember about a month ago Steve posted a request as to what we'd like to see in the magazine and he repsonded. Future issues will have what we want and I'm willing to pay for it.

The call for peace is a good idea......"Be still, bet quiet, be at peace". Take a breath.

Jorge Gasteazoro
2-May-2005, 22:05

Yes, it is not easy, but others manage to do it without excuses.....

tim atherton
2-May-2005, 22:15
"I remember about a month ago Steve posted a request as to what we'd like
to see in the magazine and he repsonded. Future issues will have what we
want and I'm willing to pay for it. "

He's done so a couple of times over the last year or so. However, I don't recall seeing that many of the very excellent suggestions acted upon?

mark blackman
3-May-2005, 00:22
I must admit, I hadn't realised anyone was at war with View Camera Magazine. Sure, there were a few pedants on here whinging about minor mistakes in the text, but no one was forcing them to buy it.

Brian Ellis
3-May-2005, 06:03
I think this message falls into the category of a solution in search of a problem. There haven't been any flames of VC or its editor here in quite a while and many of the those in the past originated with requests by the editor for suggestions. Just drop the subject please, a little quiet would solve the so-called problem far more effectively than your proclamation will.

Ed Workman
3-May-2005, 08:37
I just with Mr. Simmons, that criminal bastard, would return my prints from 10 years ago, or at least give me some reason he won't.

Don Wallace
3-May-2005, 11:11
I buy VC every month. As with ANY other publication, some months are better than others. I have sent Steve Simmons friendly critiques in the past. I think it is great that he is part of this forum. When I was first getting started in Large Format, I sent him quite a few personal emails and he was always very helpful and enthusiastic. He is one of us.

If you don't like it, don't buy it, as several here have stated. It is just about that simple. Just don't get all bloody pious and self-righteous about it.

3-May-2005, 13:07
Have to agree with Ralph and Brian...

This thread is akin to saying, "Don't distinguish me from anyone else in the crowd but I'm the one with the lime green suit, huge pink eye glasses, and large bulbous nose pulling the big ole' white elephant!"

Personally, I buy mine off the news stand when it comes out.

My money - my choice!

If I don't like it... then, I certainly don't have to buy it.

That's called the freedom of choice. :)

You, too, can exercise that choice by deciding with your hard-earned dollars!


3-May-2005, 13:18
I have a difficult time figuring out what service VC provides. Forums like this are probably much more responsible for getting folks into LF than VC magazine. I have voted with my wallet and would not miss it if it went.

Charles Hohenstein
3-May-2005, 15:06
I don't see why there is a need for peace where there is no war. The vast majority of criticisms of View Camera have been constructive--such as the criticisms about the poor quality of proofreading. There may be a few people who have it in for Steve personally, but I'm not one of them, and I don't think most of the criticisms have constituted personal attacks.

View Camera is our only large format magazine. It is only natural that large format photographers are going to have opinions about it, and desire the quality of the magazine to be as high as possible. I don't think it is asking anything inhuman of the View Camera staff to use a spelling checker and proofread more carefully. And I don't see any reason why the magazine shouldn't be discussed in this forum. What could be more pertinent to this web site than our only large format photography magazine?

In my own comments about View Camera I have always been careful to include my appreciation for the content of the magazine. I think that the issue I received yesterday is superb. All the articles were of personal interest to me, which is quite an accomplishment. And, furthermore, I think that Steve is to be commended for printing a scanner article which distinguishes between claimed resolution and dmax figures and the actual results as tested. Most photography magazines wouldn't dare to do that. Their equipment articles read like advertising copy from the manufacturers. Bravo Steve.

But if I see problems, I am going to continue to point them out. Steve has several times solicited suggestions for the magazine. I have never seen him claim that he is immune from constructive criticism.

In this latest issue, I really like the new sans serif type face on the cover and elsewhere in the magazine--at least, I believe that it is new. Or maybe it is just that Steve has stopped using bold for the smaller type. I do think that small caps, with large caps at the beginning of words, would look better than all caps. And it struck me as peculiar that Voigtländer was spelled correctly on page 40, but that elsewhere the umlaut was omitted without substituting an additional "e." I realize that a lot of Americans treat European diacritical marks as if they were purely decorative and optional, but why then the correct spelling on page 40? At least no one stuck an "h" in it! No, I have to take that back--the Lens and Repro ad still puts an "h" in Voigtländer, and has done so for several months. And the B&H ad still refers to "Schnieder" loupes. I expect Steve will repeat his previous statement that he has "no control" over ad copy. I have always wandered what page layout program that is, which refuses to accept corrections to ad copy!

I wondered what lens cross-section was represented by the letter "d" in Figure 1 of the Voigtländer article. There is nothing about "d" in the caption, but I think it must be the Telomar.

The caption to Figure 3 in the scanning article refers to the "terst" scanners. A spelling checker should have caught that.

I note from page 2 that View Camera does have a copy editor (Becky Noland). No doubt she will get better with practice.

Charles Hohenstein
3-May-2005, 15:21
Oh, I forgot to say that I loved the Kerry Thalmann article on barrel lenses. But I have never seen a Kerry Thalmann article that I didn't really appreciate. The article on asymmetrical tilts was also great. As I said, I thought that everything in this issue was quite interesting.

Carsten Wolff
3-May-2005, 21:24
Stop whinging all, start your own mag (as if!), enjoy life, excercise, drink less, dust off your Deardorff, Arca, whatever, get out there and take photos (unless that's not what you're about... ;-)).

Goodonya, Steve, for producing a decent mag, we're happy it's there.

Well, I'm off now. Sun's about to rise at Uluru...... Now, where's my Komura....

Graeme Hird
4-May-2005, 00:28
Hope you had a permit, Carsten ....

Arne Croell
4-May-2005, 05:14

as the (German) author of the Voigtländer article, the original manuscript in Word that I sent to Steve had all the umlauts in it. For some reason the umlauts as well as some other special characters like the "µ" were not compatible with the typesetting/editing system Steve uses and were tranformed into some weird characters in the proof. He then changed the umlauts by hand to "a" instead of the "ae", and sent me the proof. We spent some time on the phone removing many more glitches of that type. This was actually not so long ago, shortly before it went to print and I agreed to leave it in the "a" version then. Most people are not aware of the rule the ä=ae, ö=oe and ü=ue anyway - I know, since my last name does contain an umlaut and I am adressed as "Croll" more often than "Croell" if people see "Cröll". I am not offended by that. I did make sure there was no h in Voigtländer in the manuscript though!

Arne Croell
4-May-2005, 05:21
I don't have the new VC yet, so I don't know if there is something amiss, but the caption for figure 1 d) should read:

d) the Telomar [24]; note that the elements of the front group of the Telomar are not cemented, but separated by a small airspace.

Sal Santamaura
4-May-2005, 10:47
Thanks Mr. Cröll. See, even this forum's treatment of ASCII can handle your umlaut!

Arne Croell
4-May-2005, 11:16
Sal, I know, and I don't know what the problem was on their side. Especially since in a table sent later, the umlaut did go through. But I have seen too many glitches in file exchanges to be too astonished about the problems. I remember that several times I got (work-related) pdf's with diagrams from Japan, where all the lettering (numbers) in the diagrams had been replaced by weird symbols. Only after I loaded the Japanese character set (even though there was no japanese character in the whole thing), did it work. And this was a pdf, that is supposed to be pretty universal!

Alec Jones
5-May-2005, 20:45
I find it hard to overlook an index which misspells the name of the camera being discussed [there is no such thing as a "Graphlex" camera], as well as misstating the page number of the article [only missed by 10 pages]. And, I'm not thrilled with the increasing emphasis on digital printing [OK, I'm living in the past, but isn't that a lot of what LF is about?]

I'm tired of waiting for Becky to "improve". I'll not be renewing my subscription. That money can be put to better use buying additional paper [the kind with silver coating].

Kevin Crisp
5-May-2005, 20:57
Alec: Are there ever any days when you're in a really good mood? Are those the days you don't post?

Alec Jones
6-May-2005, 07:24
Gee, Kevin. Nice to know your watching over me. Don't know who appointed you King of the Castle though. You have your opinions and I have mine. How I feel is none of your business.

I notice you're full of unsolicited "advice" lately. Too much time on your hands?

Steve McKinney
6-May-2005, 21:07
I pay for a subscription but View Camera has relieved my the burden of actually receiving what I've paid for.

From reading the posts above, I must assume that this is the best of both worlds.