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.
Cameras. The proper equipment for commercial work depends, to a great extent, upon the class and kind of work required. Different localities require different sized prints, and an instrument large enough to meet these requirements should be procured. For general view work an 8 x 10 camera usually answers every purpose. For general professional commercial work, however, one should be equipped with a camera capable of making pictures at least 11 x 14 inches in size. The camera should be fitted with a long bellows and have full range of movement.
20. In addition to the large camera, one should possess at least one smaller instrument, say a 5 x 7. This camera will be found very useful for small work, and convenient in many instances where a larger camera could not be used at all. An 8 x 10 instrument will often be useful, yet where the expense of instruments is considered an obstacle, the 5 x 7 and 11 x 14 will be found the most serviceable for all around work. The 11 x 14 camera may be used for 8 x 10 pictures, as well as for large work.
21. For speed photography the reflecting type of camera is to be preferred, although if one has but little of this work to do the regular view camera may be fitted with a focal plane shutter and very successful results obtained of rapidly moving objects. All cameras should have a full range of movement and be fitted with long bellows, which latter should have rings attached to different sections, to enable one to gather the bellows forward and attach to the front of the camera when normal and wide-angle lenses are used. This will prevent the cutting off of the picture by the folds of the bellows. Some view cameras are supplied in regular equipment, with patent bellows support attached to each side of the wooden frame of the camera and to the bellows. When the bellows is drawn out, the arms of the support are pressed down, holding the bellows nearest the plate in a rigid position and preventing sag, thus avoiding cutting off of the picture. It is important to have a generous amount of rising and falling front, also a double swing-back, with a reversible ground-glass frame for both horizontal and vertical pictures.
22. For practice work a 4 x 5 camera may be employed, yet a 5 x 7 instrument is to be preferred. The initial outlay necessary for the outfit and materials, which more than proportionately increases with the size, is an item worthy of some thought. Considering the lens alone, a couple of lenses may be purchased for a 5 x 7 instrument at about the cost of one for an 8 x 10 camera. In addition to this, it is well to bear in mind that lenses of short focal length do not require the same extent of stopping down to obtain depth of focus. This allows of larger apertures being used, calling for shorter exposures, which is of considerable advantage when working in dark interiors. From 5x7 negatives of good quality, 14 x 17, or larger, enlargements can be made without much loss of definition. In fact, these enlargements are often difficult to distinguish from direct work.