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on 1 January 2011
I read the original Langford Basic Photography in 1973. I had just bought an SLR and wanted to find out more about the fundamentals of photography. This last year I bought a digital SLR and wished to update my knowledge, and so looked to the updated Langford.
I found that the updated book was much better illustrated, and a great deal of the technical detail which had originally been in the main text was now, if included, usefully tucked away inside the Appendices.
There are several errors to do with figure references. Some of the photograph comparisons are labelled the wrong way round - b should be a etc. Also, page 384 reference to a figure... of frames made by Tony Rae, a non existent reference that should be deleted.
Apart from these minor errors, I found the book a good read. It maintains a great deal of information around the analogue, or film camera. It does discuss digital in some separate chapters, but makes useful comparisons between film and digital throughout the text. The text is clear, and straight forward. It does not overwhelm the reader with science, but clearly lays out the basics. Where appropriate it makes comparison between different technologies. Terminology, and basic ideas are well explained. The authors realise that in depth discussion of any one technology is futile, and will date, and aim to give the reader the a basic understanding of the principles allowing them to go on to make their own decisions regarding cameras, lenses and processing methods.
The aim of the book is to give the reader an understanding of the principles and tools used to make photographs. Getting there exposes the reader to criteria by which to judge their own and others photographs. I enjoyed the book, and look forward to reading the second volume - the Advanced Photography - when it is re-issued in the near future.
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To the best of my knowledge, this is the most current version of this classic.

I had originally purchased this book and a couple of other of Langford's titles, not because I was new to photography but because they collectively provided an insight into modern photography, or rather the way it was in the late-80's or early-90s and pre-digital.

The late Michael Langford was a lecturer in photography in one of the major art colleges and quite highly regarded. His books were very well-written, informative and sold in high numbers through several reprints and updates. As far as I can recall, he was in the process of updating some of the books for digital photography, which had not then taken over from film quite so thoroughly as now and that demanded substantially different approaches, when he died. The reins were taken up by others and there have been yet further periodic updates as digital photography continues to expand.

Initially, digital cameras were of one of two types; the viewfinder cameras that had a simple optical system to provide a view of the approximate image field and the DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) which used the shooting lens and the camera sensor to display an image in an advanced optical viewfinder. The latter often had additional features including a much larger sensor, multiple exposure modes, a wider range of shutter speeds and faster lenses that were also interchangeable. A little later came the bridge camera, a cross between the two, that basically used the physical size of the former and some of the features of the latter, but in a rather simplified form. Professional forms of both original types also surfaced and since also two more, the compact (a compressed version of the former) and the system compact, a semi-professional version with interchangeable lenses with a quality similar to those of the DSLR and with similar speeds.

In essence, the book is periodically updated to reflect the broader changes in the cameras being manufactured and sold. Film is now rarely used and then only by few professionals needing the ultimate in image quality, many of the established favourites are no longer manufactured and most of the photo-labs that once existed have either closed or converted to digital. The only option for many wishing to use film is to 'do-it-yourself'.

If another update has not been released since this version, there will be in the not-too-distant future.

A very worthy addition to any photo library, although you do not need to purchase every update.
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on 1 February 2011
This is an excellant book for people taking up photography for the first time. The HNC students at the college use this book for there studies.Full of great info brillient book.
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on 30 January 2012
This book teaches you the basics of photography in a simple, easy way. It's been around for a while, but even if your edition is already old and talks about film cameras, the principles stay the same and help you take better pictures. If you're interested in learning more about photography, this is the book you should start with. And of course, practice a lot!
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on 31 March 2011
I started a beginner photography course last year and my tutor recomended this book. It I really intresting but it can be a bit complexed for a basic beginner. I would recommend the beginner Langfords photography book for a start and this one for a more advanced look into photography
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on 22 November 2012
I'm on a BTEC level 2 photography course and am starting from scratch with zero technical knowledge. This book was recommended by my tutor and I'm using it as background reading to get me up to speed quicker. It's brilliant - contains everything you need to know to support practical work, including lots of references to well-known photographers for research.
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on 10 September 2013
Starting my photography degree in the next few weeks and this was suggested to help me learn pretty much everything you would need to know. so far id say its quite in depth and very useful for someone in my position. Alot of artist references in it as well relating to whatever technique you're reading, which i thought was great!
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on 10 September 2014
Plenty of detail about all aspects of photography. The version I bought is an older copy and leans heavily towards film and film processes, but still interesting to read. An up to date version covering purely digital would be more interesting for me.
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on 9 June 2013
This is a fantastic book for first time photographers. I used it a lot for doing my first year in photography and I have no doubts at all that is will be even more helpful for me continuing my studies.
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on 29 October 2011
for all beginner photographers this is the perfect book for the technical aspects of creating a photograph and using a film and digital camera. brilliant buy, i have never stopped reading it!
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