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.
Tripod. The tripod - one of the telescopic type, which permits of the legs being adjusted to any desired length - should be rigid and firm when set up. This will permit one to work on uneven ground, or to place the camera at varying heights. When working on marble or smooth surface floors or pavements, some device should be employed to avoid the slipping of the tripod legs. Pieces of cork or small rubber tips placed on each point will answer the purpose. A very convenient attachment, and one that will make the tripod absolutely rigid and free from slipping, is the wire tripod stay. This attachment is easily adjusted, being clamped to each leg by means of a thumb-screw.
Adjustable Tripod Head. An adjustable tripod top which permits of the camera being tilted at any angle, even at right-angles to its normal position, will be a necessity for many classes of work. It will be invaluable when photographing detail work in interiors, as well as in the photographing of still life subjects which are to be arranged on the floor or table, instead of fastened to a copying-board. (See Illustration No. 1.) We might add that it is advisable to use the former method whenever possible, for then unsightly tacks or similar supports are entirely done away with.
Commercial Photographer's Outfit. There are, practically speaking, two classes of commercial photographers. We have the commercial man who makes a business of making general views, school groups, groups of workingmen, pictures of public buildings, construction work, views for post-card reproductions, small flashlight work, interior photographs, etc. For this class of commercial work, the following outfit will be sufficient:
34. One 8 x 10 long, square bellows view camera, fitted with a rectilinear or convertible lens and a good shutter, accompanied by a camera brace for long focus work; one additional 8 x 10 wide-angle lens for interior work; one good rigid folding tripod, fitted with tripod stay; one tilting tripod top; and from eight to twelve double plate-holders.
35. In addition to the above camera, you should be provided with a 5 x 7 hand camera, fitted with rapid lens and shutter, at least six to eight plate-holders, and one ordinary flash machine for small flashlight work. If a 5x7 anastigmat lens is used for the hand camera, this same lens can be made to answer for the wide-angle work with 8 x 10 camera, for by stopping to f. 32 an 8 x 10 plate will be covered sharply to the edge.
Complete Equipment For Advanced Commercial Work. The photographer who wishes to equip himself for all classes of commercial work will require the following outfit:
38. The camera should be fitted with a rapid convertible lens and shutter, and at least two double plate-holders should be included in this outfit. A 6 to 8-foot heavy tripod will be necessary.
39. The above apparatus is for use on special occasions, and for special work, such as flashlight work for large banquets, theatrical work, large groups outdoors, college work, etc., railroad work and large construction work.
40. In connection with the above, a set of smokeless flashlight bags (at least six in number) should be provided. If much work is to be made on 11 x 14 plates, an extra 11 x 14 camera should be added to the outfit.
41. For the moderate size work, one should be provided with an 8 x 10 long, square bellows view camera, fitted with a good rapid convertible lens and good shutter, including a four-times color-screen to fit over the lens; also an extra wide-angle lens, 8 x 10, to be used for interior work, etc., a good rigid tripod, with an extra tilting tripod top, and a tripod stay for holding the legs of the tripod from slipping on smooth surfaces; and at least a dozen plate-holders should be included. Also, a 5x7 Reflex camera, to be used for speed work and at-home portraiture.
This camera should be fitted for use with plate-holders or roll-holder attachment for films, or in place of the roll-holder a film pack will be found very convenient.
43. In providing cameras with lenses, where the anastigmat type of lens is procured, an 11 x 14 anastigmat lens can be successfully used for 16 x 20 wide-angle work, by stopping down to f. 22, and an 8 x 10 anastigmat can be made suitable for work on 11 x 14, by stopping to f. 32, and a 5 x 7 anastigmat can be used on an 8 x 10 stopped to f. 32. By selecting this class of lens you have at hand a wide-angle lens for use on any of your larger cameras.
44. It is advisable to have a four-times color-screen to fit over any of the lenses, for by means of the screen some extraordinary improvements can be produced over the use of the lens alone.