View Full Version : Newbie questions forum?

21-Jul-2007, 10:22
There are many many stupid questions I would love to ask but don't as I don't want to litter the forums with numerous questions. I don't know how many other green members have questions they don't feel like asking in the regular forums, but I would imagine the number would be large enough to make use of its own forum. Just a thought.

neil poulsen
21-Jul-2007, 10:27
Please don't hesitate to ask questions here. That's the reason this forum exists. You can divide them up according to the different forums.

At the same time, you can also try the search engine to see if you can find some answers in the archives. Check out Tuan's webpage. There's a bundle of information there for people just getting started in LF.

Ole Tjugen
21-Jul-2007, 10:42
About 80% of all questions here are "stupid" - meaning basic, simple, informative, and easy to answer.

The rest are controversial... :D

Scott Knowles
21-Jul-2007, 13:25
Ask all the questions you want. I only started in 4x5 in January after spending 2+ years researching and reading as much as I can about the cameras, lens, methods, film, etc., and save money for the camera system. To help I started a blog on my efforts, and while much of it is either obvious or thinking out loud, it helps relieve much of the learning curve. I think it's the idea that if you've think you're smart, you haven't learned enough and especially to be a better photographer.

I guess the one piece of advice I would give is to go slow and give yourself some learning exercises to learn it in increments with one new thing in each lesson. And don't forget to go back and redo lesson (scenes or sites) when things didn't work. I do this with a list of sites with one idea to learn. You'll be surprised how hard the simple is.

Good luck.

Randy H
21-Jul-2007, 14:52
There are many many stupid questions I would love to ask...

I have always told people that the only "stupid" questions are the ones you don't ask. Cause if you don't ask, you'll never get the answer, and will remain "stupid"

22-Jul-2007, 04:05
I'm sure a lot of us like "stupid" questions as they take us back to fond memories of just starting out in LF and knowing absolutely nothing. Lump a few of your questions together in a generic "help a newbie" post and fire away...

Kevin M Bourque
22-Jul-2007, 07:11
Ask away! Sometimes those questions aren't as dumb as you think they are.

I would encourage you to search the archives first, and perhaps indicate that you've done so. That'll keep you from getting responses like, "This has been discussed to death " or "Google is your friend".

Also avoid well-intentioned but unanswerable questions like, "What's the best camera?".

Good luck!

Bob Gentile
22-Jul-2007, 09:55
LMAO! So true!!!

John Schneider
22-Jul-2007, 14:15
The only stupid questions are those that you, with a little bit of thought or action, could answer yourself. E.g.,
Q: I have this xyz lens. Does someone know what size filters it takes?
A: Have you tried measuring the filter ring?

Part of learning a new subject is knowing what and how to teach yourself, and also knowing when to ask for help or advice. For the latter, this forum is a great source of collective knowledge and experience.

22-Jul-2007, 16:21
A9. Ansel Adams used a Hasselblad -- and they are very inexpensive now, and as good as 4x5.

Ahh, so it is true! I've been waiting for the definitive answer.

p.s. Velvita is not currently available in US, but we do have a Velveeta. :D

22-Jul-2007, 16:51
Actually, I think it's an excellent idea.

Dave Jeffery
25-Jul-2007, 03:05

Be prepared to do some reading as there is a lot to learn.

The home page of this forum is a great place to start as a lot of the information you may need is well laid out under the various headings there. If a question comes to mind look for relevant headings on the home page. I read through most of the information as well as using Google to find similar information. I didn't need to ask any questions at first because of the wealth of information linked to the home page. Most of the questions had been asked by others at some point over the years and a keyword search would turn up the answers.

Also a number of books are always highly recommended repeatedly on this site and I bought a few of those books which I think were a giveaway for the price. Three of the most popular are

Using the View Camera by Steve Simmons, The Negative by Ansel Adams, and Basic Techniques of Photography by Ansel Adams and of course there are many more.

Google is the ultimate information search tool as others have stated and when you are on a topic search the archives for a few other opinions on the same topic as well.

It's good to title the questions you post as "newbie" or "begginer" posts as that will attract the people that most willing to respond and maybe a seperate forum may not be needed.

After you get a good grasp on the basics you will be amazed at how much there is to learn and how many nice people there are on this forum with a lifetime of experience that are willing to help.

I appreciate Scott Knowles stating that he spent two years reading and studying as I have spent about a year and a half and I still know very little.

Once you get in the field shooting you will be hooked.

I hope you enjoy it half as much as I have.

25-Jul-2007, 14:04
Though any question is always answered here, I simply thought it would be a swell idea to consolidate newbie questions to its own forum to keep the other ones clean of threads most vets wouldn't want to read but to answer a question. Thanks for the book advice Dave. I actually have yet to read any books on LF, I've been using a mix of intuition, esoteric google searches, and the advice of the community so far and have been getting pretty good results considering the macguiver approach I've been using.

25-Jul-2007, 17:50
What about a FAQ index of some kind, since there are a certain predictable set of basic questions everyone needs to get past at some time. I suspect a really good set of answers would eventually result, better than what happens on a piecemeal basis.



25-Jul-2007, 18:14

Isn't that the Newbie Faq? Complete every one of those steps and you'll not be a Newbie any more -)

Clay Turtle
28-Jul-2007, 09:42
A Newbie question& answer forum . . . na, might be a good thing then those of similar level of experience can go off & play together . . . then maybe some kind of heart old timer might browse through to make sure they didn't become lost in their own misinformed opinions? Like game site, they rate players abilities so they can play against others of similar experience, unfortunately the best in play is generally when matched against better players so too the answers generally come from the most experienced photographers, at least what they are willing to share.

Ha, ha ya Nick, I checked the link & ya I made most of those mistakes more than once & will probably make some of them again . . .

28-Jul-2007, 09:50


or this hypothetical forum could be a place for amateurs to ask questions.

Dave Jeffery
30-Jul-2007, 01:06

If you send me an email I will send you all the links I thought were the best (in a Word file) as well as other information that was cut and pasted as I studied that I thought was worth saving . Things you have already read you can just skip over. This may save you some time and it won't take me long to condense things.

I used to carry the list of mistakes to study when I had some free time. I also edited the list of how to operate the view camera for my specific camera and visualized and memorized the list for my very first shoots. I use readyloads and have asymetrical tilts which made modifying the sequence necessary. Studying and following a set sequence of steps was very valuable for me as well as the list of ways to save time.

Have Fun!

Dave Jeffery

Robert Hughes
31-Jul-2007, 10:25
I don't think a newbies forum is all that necessary for 2 reasons: (1) the basic info is already out there in faq form for anyone to read, and (2) more experienced photographers will get tired of answering "What's the best camera" and "how do I white balance a 4x5" questions. I actually saw someone ask about white balancing a film camera earlier this week on a motion picture forum.

Bob Gentile
31-Jul-2007, 12:38
"... I actually saw someone ask about white balancing a film camera earlier this week on a motion picture forum..."

Geez! Doesn't he know that the white balance is set when they first put the pixels on the film emulsion?