Focus Techniques - Reommended References? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have gained a very basic understanding of view camera focus techniques by reading Steve Simmons "Using the View Camera" and similar basic descriptions (as well as practicing). I'd like to get a more in depth understanding of degrees and types of movements for practical field application. I've found the on-line Merklinger articles somewhat helpful, but more theory and mathematics than I can digest without much coffee and concetration. I'm wondering whether his book "Focusing the View Camera" is a more helpful practical reference, or if there would be other recommended books to help out. Thanks for the advice.

-- roger rouch (, November 07, 1999


Roger, Photo Techniques magazine had two very good articles on this subject in the same issue. After doing a search , I found these articles in volume 17 issue 2. These are very useable techniques and take the guess work out of focusing a view camera. Have fun.

-- Jeff White (, November 07, 1999.

There is a PDF file for Addendum to FOCUSING the VIEW CAMERA, which is the summary directly extracted from the book. See if this book is what you're after. You can find this file at the Merklinger's web site.

-- Masayoshi Hayashi (, November 08, 1999.

I think Jeff White's suggestion will be of immense help. I've adopted the technique described in one of those two articles and the only time it has failed me is when I get careless. Haste does makes waste! If after reading, you decide to try it, you'll need a good, accurate millemeter scale to easily affix to your camera. I might suggest the Cobalt Precision rule from Grayson Precision Technologies of Edison NJ. This is a laser deposited .007" polyester rule that can be easily cut with an Xacto or even in your cutting board. I glued my strip on the old Wisner with some very tiny dabs of Silicone adhesive (clear) applied with the end of an unbent paper clip. I then made a witness mark on the moving part of the focusing rail with a fine brush and some plastic model enamel. It works great! That rule is a work of art. I've never seen a more accurate or easier to read scale. Good luck.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, November 08, 1999.

Bob and Jeff, Thanks for the suggestions. I located the web site for Photo Techniques magazine and ordered the back issue today. I'll look forward to reading the details.

-- Roger Rouch (, November 08, 1999.

I believe the reason others have suggested glueing a scale to your rail is so you can measure the displacement of the rear standard between the extremes of the near and far points of focus. Personally, I find the scales on the rail kind of difficult to read. I usually measure the displacement of the rear standard from a fixed point on the camera using a depth scale. The Garrett Wade company sells one for about $10.

-- Larry Huppert (, November 08, 1999.

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