Another approach: Make yourself a viewing frame and use it to compose your shot away from the camera. With practice, it will also give you information about which lens to mount (how far from the eye it is). Some use a film-size hole in a piece of mat board or the like, but you can scale it down and have the same benefits. I use one of the old Zone VI viewing filters that has a 1 x 1 1/4 inch opening. It works just fine. Saves time setting up and tearing down, lets me know which lens is likely to work, and, best of all, lets me know when I should just move on and not bother setting up at all.

Once you have your composition worked out with the viewing frame, all you really have to do is get the camera pointed at the right place, get the right lens on and do the job of focusing. I often don't "compose" at all on the ground glass, since I know, after I've set up, that the composition I've chosen is "in there" already.

Finally, you will get used to the inverted image. It just takes a bit of time. After a while, you won't even notice that it's upside down and backwards, and you'll be making camera movements in the right direction without thinking.


Doremus Scudder