GoodTable Top Photography Book : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello, I just started practicing table top photography with my view camera and 210mm Schnieder lens. Focusing is my biggest challenge. Has anyone come across a good table top technique book(s)? Thanks! Craig Murphy

-- Craig Murphy (, April 26, 2000


Try Using the View Camera by Steve Simmons. His explanations/illustrations are clear, free from jargon. You can duplicate the techniques he discusses

-- Bob Moulton (, April 26, 2000.

I'll put in a plug for the always popular View Camera Technique by Stroebel. Dry but excellent.

-- John O'Connell (, April 27, 2000.

The books by Simmons and Stroebel are both excellent. I'd like to throw in three additional titles.

"Photo Know-How" (Carl Koch, Jost J. Marchesi) is a good text. It's based entirely around the Sinar view camera system, but what's in it is good info and it applies to any LF system. It's set up in a workbook layout which, once you get into it, is a nice arrangement. It covers all kinds of stuff, but it has lots of information that should be useful for tabletop photography.

The second book, while not specifically about tabletop photography, should be useful. "Professional Lighting Technique" (Jost J. Marchesi) is, as the title suggests, about lighting technique. It's based around the Broncolor system, but again, the information should be applicable to any lighting system.

"Secrets of Studio Still Life Photography" by Gary Perweiler is a great book with all kinds of cool techniques. Numerous photos are provided and then dissected in terms of technique, desired end result, etc. All the information is well laid out and easy to understand. Lighting diagrams abound and clearly illustrate the creative process from beginning to end.

Just a thought...

-- Dave Munson (, April 27, 2000.

One more book on the physics of lighting: "Light-Science & Magic" by Fil Hunter. This explained several points for me. What is 'specular light'? Reflections from metal and mirrors doesn't obey the inverse square law. How to use this to advantage. How to photograpy paintings - 45 degree lighting doesn't always work and why.

Fil Hunter is very good at tabletop photography.

-- Ben Snyder (, April 28, 2000.

Hi Craig,

For problems with focusing, take a look here:

This gives the 'hinge' rule. I don't really understand it. I thought I would print out the diagrams and then set up a table top with a softbox and try to figure this out.

I know the Sinars are set up in such a way as to make laying this out easy. Something about base tilts.

Since you are already set up, give it a try. Let me know how it works.

-- Ben Snyder (, April 28, 2000.

Here's more info on the hinge rule, Sinar base tilts and probably more then you would ever want to know about focusing a view camers:

There are even antimated videos. I think your answer is somewhere on this website.

-- Ben Snyder (, May 01, 2000.

One more title I forgot to include in my previous post. "The Photographer's Studio Manual" by Michael Freeman, Amphoto. It's an excellent book- lots of illustrations, clear instructions, and well laid out.

Just a thought...

-- Dave Munson (, May 02, 2000.

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