This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Camera And Stand. While any regular 8 x 10 portrait camera and stand may be employed, we present in Illustration No. 4 a model studio outfit. An ideal studio camera is manufactured by the Century Camera Company, known as the Century Studio Outfit. This camera and stand is equipped with all the modern attachments essential to high class work. For portrait work, no matter what camera you have, it should be fitted with a double swing-back, which is very important when making groups and full-length pictures. The advantages of the double swing is that it permits the tilting of the back containing the ground-glass, either horizontally or vertically, thus securing a more uniformly sharp image of objects situated at various distances. For instance, take a group picture where some of the members are seated and others standing; those in front would be, perhaps, three feet nearer the camera than those at the rear, and it would require a considerable amount of stopping down of the lens to get all of the figures in focus. By properly tilting the swing-back, it will not be necessary to stop the lens down at all, and in addition the perspective will be far better when the swing-back is employed - the members in the foreground being in better proportion to the rear figures.
84. Again, the side-swing is useful where one end of the group is further away from the camera than the other. By adjusting the ground-glass by means of the side-swing both ends of the group can be made equally sharp. Or, the photographing of children or seated subjects may necessitate the tilting of the camera; then the swing-back is brought into play, to bring all parts into focus.
85. The bellows of the camera should be of normal length, and the rack and pinion should allow of fine and accurate adjustment. Although the camera stand may be light, it should be strong and durable, and supplied with a tilting device as well as a simple arrangement for raising or lowering the bed. In addition to this it should have large castors, which will permit the moving of the stand easily and noiselessly. In addition to the Century Studio Outfit there are numerous others, as well as special cameras and stands adapted to studio work. The New York Studio Outfit is an excellent instrument, and not quite as expensive as the "Century."
86. The most serviceable stand to use in studios which specialize in child portraiture is the "Semi-Centennial" stand, which is constructed on an entirely different principle from the ordinary stand. The bed of the camera moves between two perpendicular posts, in which are controlling springs, permitting the camera to remain at any desired height. The most important feature of this stand is that the camera may be placed within 18 inches of the floor, which, for child portraiture, is very desirable.
87. The most convenient holders are those fitted with a curtain slide, or the portrait attachment which is fitted to both the Century and New York Studio Outfits, which permits of cabinet or 5 x 7 plates being used in either a vertical or horizontal position. While the camera shown is also fitted with an 8 x 10 holder, the cabinet or 5 x 7 attachment is much more convenient than to use the large 8 x 10 holder for all cabinet work. You will find that the slight additional investment made for this portrait attachment will be well worth the amount in its convenience and the saving of time.