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The Barnet Book of Photography A Collection of Practical Articles

To buy the best lens you can afford


Each

system of holder for plates possesses its own distinctive advantages, which are preferable, depending entirely on individual needs, or tastes. Some admire one method, and some the other.

When plates are carried in one of the many forms of magazine which cameras are nowadays fitted with, it is _important when re-charging it_, that care be taken to see _each sheath and plate is laid true_ in its place, as the slightest irregularity at this point, means certain trouble when changing a plate after exposure, indeed, perhaps fifty per cent. of the misfortunes which occur when out at work, from failure to act of the changing arrangements, _are directly caused by carelessness when laying the plates in the magazine_. Given reasonable care in this matter, almost any of the modern automatic changing methods, may be relied on to answer satisfactorily. When however the slight additional bulk, weight, and it may be increase of cost is not objected to, then there can be no denying separate dark slides possess many and important advantages.

No need to fear a wasted day, caused by some plate sticking, and rendering further work impossible, without having recourse to a dark-room, which probably is miles away; and again, one must not overlook the opportunity they give of carrying plates of different degrees of sensitiveness, a matter of service, when subjects to be dealt with are varied, such as, say, clouds and water, landscapes

and figures. In the first case, when light is fairly good, the ordinary speed plate will be found amply quick enough during the daytime, and fifty per cent cheaper in price. When open landscapes are being taken, during summer time, medium rapid plates generally will be quick enough, but many opportunities, for pictorial work, arise under conditions of atmosphere and light, in which to obtain fully exposed negatives with a shutter, demands a plate of extreme sensitiveness, and if for no other reason than that they offer this opportunity of carrying a varied assortment of plates, many workers prefer dark slides, to any form of magazine.

There are advantages, and disadvantages, with both systems, and it becomes simply a question for each worker to consider which fulfills his requirements best.

_The Lens._--Good work can be, and is done, with cheap single lenses, but the opportunities offered are considerably restricted, what is needed, being such a lens as may be used at full aperture of _f_/8 or _f_/6, and will then cover the plate from corner to corner, sharply. This is necessary not only because the actinic quality of light is not always over good, but that moving subjects demand the shutter should be working with rapidity, sometimes indeed with considerable speed: under which conditions two factors are absolutely essential, a large working lens aperture, and a rapid plate. It is well, therefore, to _buy the best lens you can afford_, it more than pays in every way. For 1/4-plate work, a _rectilinear_ of 5, or 5-1/2 in. focus, working say at _f_/5.6, and with iris diaphragm, by one of the best makers, will allow work being done under any condition of weather, or other circumstances, when shutter work is possible.


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