University of Sheffield Photo Soc

The Camera

“First, of the Camera. This essential tool should be light, strong, and have all the necessary movements. It must at the same time be observed that in some modern cameras there are movements which are not at all necessary, and appear to be added only for the purpose of displaying the ingenuity of the inventors. These clever machines defeat the object for which they are intended. If a camera is efficient, it cannot be too simple. With a perfect camera a photographer of even small experience knows how it works at once, and what to do. The tripod stand should be firm and rigid, as well as light and portable. This you will easily judge for yourself.

The lens is always considered the most important of all the tools the photographer employs. So it is, but I should like to say boldly that, within limits, I do not care what make of lens I use. It is as well to have the best your means will allow, but there has always been too much made of particular variations in the make of lenses. It has been the fashion to think too much of the tools and too little of the use made of them.

I have one friend who did nothing last year because he had made up his mind to buy a new lens, and could not determine whose make it should be, and he was tired of his old apparatus. His was of the order of particular and minute minds that try to whittle nothing to a point. I have another friend who takes delight in preparing for photography, and spends a small fortune in doing so, but never takes a picture.”

– H.P.Robinson, 1888

Category: General

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