Monday, June 16, 2008

Assistants' Notes: A Camera Repair-Outfit; The Tyro's First Camera.

A Camera Repair-Outfit.

           ONLY one photographer have I ever met who habitually carried a repair-outfit when going on outdoor jobs, and his practice consisted principally in twelve by ten and whole-plate work at a distance front his headquarters. It is an idea that is well worth following, because, although the occasion for its use may never arise at all when out on a job, there is always the possibility of an accident when the means of a make-shift repair may save the job. In addition to this, there are cases when the movements of the camera are strained to their limits to include an extremely high building, or for other reasons that will occur to all outdoor operators. On such occasions as these a little slackening or even temporary removal if a few screws will prevent that strain and permit of a little extra extension of the movement.
           There is no reason why the repair outfit should be larger than those supplied for cycles. A small screwdriver, as sold for watch-makers, sewing-machines, or fretwork will be the largest item, then a small drill bit or bradawl fixed in a handle, obtainable at any fretwork shop, and a tiny half-round file will complete the list of tools. A small screw eye or two are often handy in several ways and take the place of a gimlet. A small assortment of screws, steel pins or needles, a small tube of fish-glue, and a bit of strong thread or "flex," can all be packed in a little tin, and will cope with almost any emergency.–CHARLES.

The Tyro's First Camera.

           IT is a curious fact that most people who obtain a camera (either by purchase or as a gift) soon begin to wish for some other kind. Now, every girl or boy who taken up photography as a living ought to have a camera. No one gets the real enthusiasm for the work that will get him on if he is satisfied with printing from other folks’ negatives.
           The best all-round camera to start with for pretty well every possible reason in a quarter-plate stand-camera with a double extension an ordinary R.R. lens, and a simple shutter, preferably a roller-blind. In addition to being the right sort of camera to learn most things from in a practical way it has several other strong advantages. One is that the necessary focusing and other operations preliminary to exposing the plate foster a care for ensuring that all this trouble will not be wasted by wrong exposure and careless afterwork. A magazine camera has exactly the opposite Thus, from the very start with the stand camera one gets a bigger and far more encouraging proportion of successes.
           Next, the tyro is sure, contrary to the oft-repeated text-book advice, to try his hand at portraiture, and the ability to focus properly is essential for this work. One more reason for the choice recommended, and a very strong one indeed, is that at the second-hand dealers' this particular type of camera is least in demand and a bargain can often be secured, so that the initial outlay need not be great. The buying of the second camera, when the beginner’s inclinations begin to indicate the most suitable type of instrument, will therefore be not such a costly matter, and the original quarter-plate camera will be found useful for many years afterwards, for lantern-slide making, or to form part of a copying or enlarging installation.–KINGSTON.

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