LF magazines - which are best?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi all

I'm living in Australia and there is a VERY limited range of photography magazines which discuss LF photography. Could list members please comment on which magazines they consider to be valuable resources and why, and if possible could you give me details of where to subscribe?

Thanks for your wisdom

Kind regards

Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (photo_illustration@bigpond.com), June 29, 2001


I think the response is going to be pretty unanimous. View Camera has been an excellent magazine whose central focus is on LF photography. See www.viewcamera.com to subscribe.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), June 29, 2001.

I subscribed to View Camera for a number of years, finally let my subscription lapse because the editorial quality of the magazine had deteriorated. After a couple of years I said, well, it's the only LF magazine we have, so I ought to support it, and just maybe it has improved, so I subscribed again. I am sorry to say that, on the basis of the last two issues, it's just not worth reading.

-- Dick Deimel (Bbadger@aol.com), June 29, 2001.


I agree with Neil. I would add that there are several good publications that feature high quality black and white photography, some of which turns out to be large format. So, in addition to ViewCamera, I often buy Blind Spot, LensWork, and Black and White. These magazines won't offer technical articles or equipment reviews, but I find that they provide a nice artistic counterpoint.


-- Dave Willison (dwillisart@aol.com), June 29, 2001.

Peter, "View Camera" without a doubt. We have a similar problem in the UK, ie a lack of LF journals/magazines. I get mine from Robert White as he offers a subscription service, very efficient it is too! I understand that you cannot directly subscribe if you live outside the US, so Mr White is a godsend! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (paulowen_2000@yahoo.com), June 29, 2001.

View Camera. I could quibble with various editorial choices (this photographer is represented instead of that one etc. etc.) but the bottom line is that Steve Simmons provides a very wide range of what's going on in LF. Additionally, VC is the only consistent source of product reviews and information about LF education and events.... The only other photog magazine I get is LensWork, mentioned in one of the notes above. Not specifically LF, but great magazine, a print gallery basically. -jb

-- Jeff Buckels (jeffbuck@swcp.com), June 29, 2001.

Another relatively new one that's showing some promise is called "Photovision".

While it's not specifically large format, there have been a number of LF related articles. They have also opted to stick with the "film" niche, and avoid all of the digital coverage that's taking over so many other magazines (though they acknowledge that the distinction is getting harder to make since many "film" photographers regularly scan their images and output them to digital printing devices).

Subscription information should be available at:


-- Tim Klein (timklein@qwest.net), June 29, 2001.

I think Photovision is getting there. The piece on Sexton was especially nice.

View Camera if you have to. I do.

I also like Black and White Magazine (BW). While it's geared toward collectors and features all formats, "large format" is usually explicitly referenced when applicable. If you just like good photography and are interested in auction news, seeing good portfolios by past and present artists and want to read some of the best articles out there, this is probably the best publication going. Bar none. Phone for subscriptions (UK price is $69.50US, it's 3.95 on the newsstand) is 805.474.6633 or email bnwmagag@aol.com. By the way, this month's issue, while chock-full of ads for galleries, is still 144 glossy pages. I've subscribed since their first issue.

-- Chad Jarvis (cjarvis@nas.edu), June 29, 2001.

Another vote for View Camera. I've only been reading it for 3 years, so I can't really say if anything about it has deteriorated, but I get a whole lot out of it in its current form, so I'm not going to complain in the least about it. Also a fan of Photovision, Black & White, Lenswork Quarterly, Photo District News, and Blind Spot.

-- David Munson (orthoptera@juno.com), June 29, 2001.

view camera is ok but it doesnt excite me as much as it used to. I cant put my finger on why. I generally peruse it at the newsstand and if it looks good I buy it. If it doesnt look good it doesnt come with me. I like Photovision so far although (as mentioned) it isnt strictly a LF mag. I requested Lens Work at the bookstore months ago, so I could see what its like, but it still hasnt shown up.

-- Wayne (wsteffen@skypoint.com), June 29, 2001.

Anyone remember 'Darkroom Photography' magazine? I've got about a dozen copies from 1990-92 and I treasure them...kickin' myself for not buying every issue (lots of gaps). Articles feature mainly LF stuff and the photos always inspire.

I also from Oz like Peter, but I must admit not looking around newsagents for LF mags (I already get 2 car mags a mth), I find the Net and forums like this a better alternative.

-- Andrew McPhee (macca27@rm.quik.com.au), June 30, 2001.

Thanks very much for your response guys.

View Camera seems to get the most votes, so I'll check it out and see if I can get a subscription. Andrew, yes I've also got a few old copies of 'Darkroom Photography' and I treasure those as well. They usually had a lot of LF stuff.

I'll see if I can get a copy of some of the other mags suggested too.

Thanks for your help

Kind regards

Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (photo_illustration@bigpond.com), June 30, 2001.

If you really like LF, View Camera is the only choice. No other magazine caters exclusively to our small fraternity. A better spell checker & proof reader would help as would a layout program that cleans up the small errors that continually crop up. At that, Steve Simmons puts out a magazine that is a lot more than equipment reviews. He has pieces on the photographers themselves, the philosophy of LF practitioners and the changes we all face. It has come a long way since the first stapled, cheaply produced issues. He is to be commended for producing it and more so for sticking to it and constantly improving.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), June 30, 2001.

Wow. "Sheep, mere sheep" (King Edward the Longshanks in Braveheart) for a moment, I thought the unanimous response was going to be "Arca Swiss" :>)

But it's View Camera this, View Camera that. Well, since Large Format photography is really about craftmanship from exposure through process and printing, I'm very suprised no one mentioned the indespensible and singular magazine "Photo Techniques". IT really should get top vote, come on guys!!!

-- Andre Noble (andrenoble@yahoo.com), July 01, 2001.

In that case, how about the old Zone VI newsletters? Plenty of good LF stuff in there. Besides, Fred Picker's ranting makes for some pretty interesting reading.

-- David Munson (orthoptera@juno.com), July 01, 2001.

I have to agree with Andre and David - Photo Techniques is a great mag which has more in-depth articles about LF techniques (especially darkroom stuff) than even View Camera. Howard Bond regularly contributes to it (as does Bruce Barnbaum, etc.) and a large part of the magazine is LF-specific. (View Camera itself is also a must-have for anyone into LF for the quality of its reproductions if nothing else, as well as for Steve Simmons' willingness to put out a quality mag in a very niche market. As a magazine writer, let me tell you - there are easier ways to make money!)

And the old Zone VI newsletters are great - back issues used to be available from Zone VI (now Calumet) and I have them all. Some of the specific technical advice may be questionable, but from a philosophical point of view it's pretty interesting. I've often thought that a book edited from those newsletters would make a great LF volume.


-- Mark Parsons (polar@thegrid.net), July 01, 2001.

There is one very good reason so many of us refer to "View Camera this, View Camera that". It is the only LF magazine on the open market. Others have some LF. But Steve Simmons has two separate magazines going. One, View Camera... is only LF photography. The other, Camera Arts... covers miniature to medium format work. It should be no surprise View Camera gets the votes as it fills the bill as the only LF magazine on the market today, unless Linhod is still publishing their LF magazine. If they are it would be nice to know as I haven't seen it anywhere for years. At that, even with some good articles is was an inhouse advertising magazine not generally available. At least View Camera, flaws & all, is available on the news stands.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), July 01, 2001.

Have any of you seen the magazine "The World Journal of Post-Factory Photography"? It's heavily oriented toward art and alternative processes, has a lot of history in it, and is kind of wacky sometimes but is a real delight to read and has thorough pieces on, for example, bromoil, making gold toners, and obscure and all-but-forgotten imaging techniques. They're on issue #8 now. A fascinating magazine for those LF shooters who do work other than straight landscapes. Subscriptions are 24 $ US for four issues(about a year's worth), 38$ US to "The Pacific" which I suppose means Australia.

info@post-factory.org; Post-Factory Press, 61 Morton Street, New York, NY 10014.

-- Erik Ryberg (ryberg@seanet.com), July 01, 2001.

I think we all agree that there are a number of fine publications available, but ceratinly the LF nich is not as rich with offerings as we would all like.

I find the following list of bi-monthly and quarterly pucblications to add inspiration and sufficient reading pleasure.

View Camera Magazine Photo-Techniques Lens Work Aperture B&W Magazine

I especially enjoy Lens Work with it's publication of portfolios, interviews and editorials all pertaining to making art. Very refreshing.

Good Shooting Mike

-- Mike Kravit (mkravit@kravit.net), July 01, 2001.


I too, have been frustrated by the lack of quality LF mags in Australia. Frankly I am quite offended by Steve Simmons decision that the rest of the planet is undeserving of his precious publications (with the exception Robert White in the UK). Thus a few weeks ago I was amazed to see View Camera (and Camera Arts) on sale when in Melbourne (I live in Sydney). You can purchase copies at Borders in Chapel St, Prahran. Not inexpensive however, at AUD22.10. I have no idea whether the Borders in Sydney also stocks it, as I've never been through their doors.

I'll reserve my final judgement until after I see a subsequent issue, but needless to say I was largely underwhelmed by the May/June 2001 copy. For this sort of money you are far better to look at putting your hard-earned $$$ towards some monographs by established photographers (at least for inspiration). If you're near Melbourne, try The Printed Image Bookshop (also in Chapel St) http://www.tpi.com.au/

Best of luck!


-- Ross McLeish (loksi@dingoblue.net.au), July 05, 2001.

I subscribe to PHOTOVISION and so far I have not regreted it. The editor, Steve Anchel, has made a good job of providing a mix of technique, interviews, essays and last but not least, portfolios of both known and unknown photographers. With no girlie eyecatchers in the cover to attract attention it certainly makes a change!

For those of you how appreciate a controlled approach to exposure and development I thoroughly recommend the "D-Max Newsletter" issued quarterly by Darkroom Innovations (www.darkroom-innovations.com). The D-Max Newsletter is centered around Phil Davis' methodology known as BTZS (Beyond The Zone System).

Phil is a great educator and there is always an article or two by him in every newsletter. He is a no-nonsense guy and writes with tremendous insight. I recommend ALL newsletters, which first appeared in 1992.

-- Mako (info@mako-photography.de), July 05, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ