Film and Darkroom User

Film and Darkroom User (
-   Books (
-   -   Adams Books. (

Nat Polton 12th January 2020 09:19 PM

Adams Books.
Are the Adams books The Camera, The Negative, and The Print worth buying?
Are they for the beginner, intermediate or advanced photographer?

I have seen a few references to them but never actually seen a printed copy of one.

Cheers folks.

Lostlabours 12th January 2020 11:47 PM

They are fine for anyone regardless of experience. The Camera is the least essential but worth having to complete the set. If just one then The Negative.

I assume you'll buy second hand so get all 3 :D


Mike O'Pray 12th January 2020 11:54 PM

I have the Negative and the Print. Of the two the negative is IMO by far the better of the two in terms of what it says about film exposure and developing. It just seems more relevant. More to be gained


MartyNL 13th January 2020 08:09 AM

They are fine books but perhaps a little out-dated materials wise so for that reason I would recommend 'way beyond monochrome' first. They come in different editions.

mpirie 13th January 2020 09:44 AM

I have all three, The Camera, The Negative and The Print.

As Ian mentions, The Negative is the most important and informative one. I've read The Negative several times from cover to cover, as it goes into depth for testing and Zone System. The Camera and The Print i'll dip in and out of depending on what's rattling around in the space between my ears.

Some of the information is a little outdated as Marty says, due to Adams' materials being different to what's available to us now......especially emulsion types and thicknesses as well as chemicals.

I would suggest they are for the intermediate to experienced photographer looking to understand what goes on.


Nat Polton 13th January 2020 10:43 AM

Thank you gents.
Next stop will be ABEBOOKS UK and EBAY.

Trouble with ebay is that once I start looking there, an hour can fly by looking at all the other stuff that I have managed to do without all my life, but just might come in handy one day.

Adams it is. Thank you all.

Bill 13th January 2020 10:52 AM

I have all three Adam’s books and found them invaluable. However since Way Beyond Monochrome second edition was released I now use that as it is more up to date and encapsulates all the Adam’s information in one volume. Another alternative is the Fred Picker Zone VI Workshop. Same information slimmer volume but presented in Fred’s own style which tends towards “This is my way and is the ONLY way”.

KeithM 20th January 2020 04:21 PM

I concur re The Negative. If the man himself plus his work are of interest, I recommend 'Ansel Adams - An Autobiography' and 'The Portfolios of Ansel Adams' (with introduction by John Szarkowski).

PanFrank 21st January 2020 06:47 PM

I adore the clarity of his wirting in the three books and I would still recommend them to everyone. As a modern update (plus something more about finding your own creative approach) Bruce Barnbaum's "The art of photography" is also very good.

JimW 22nd January 2020 04:04 PM


Bruce Barnbaum's "The art of photography" is also very good.
+1 from me. I read this one several times, and if memory serves what really stuck was the quote 'of what use are lens and light, to those who lack in mind and sight?' Puts the gear debate into context... YMMV.

Nat Polton 14th February 2020 08:48 PM

Thank you all.
I am now the happy owner of "The Negative" and "The Print",

both little gems in their own way.


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.