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Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Justin Maramba, Feb 4, 2009.
Is it worth reading all of it, or just better as a skimmed book?
Which one? I have issues from 1897(ish), through to the 1950's...
And you bought them all new as soon as soon as they were released
Just joking Bob. The last Ilford versions before it became the Manual of Photography are useful resources, ideally the late 60's early 70's version with the Phenidone formulae in. Like Bob I have a copies of most editions, as well as the Selo Manual which is aimed more at the amateur market.
They are good solid books of their time. Some of the content is out-dated as materials, cameras & ways of working have changed, they aren't that long so skimming/reading the relevant parts won't take much time at all.
I'd say it's definitely worth reading a lot of the material regarding sensitometry and also lenses, etc. I found it way more informative than the Ansel Adams trilogy. I have three copies, one from about 1897, one from about 1970 and one from about 1980, as well as a photocopy of one around 1984.
Long before my university degree in fine art/visual arts the Ilford Manual of Photography was the standard reference tome for people keen on learning photography in a scientific way before embarking on serious study. I still have my much annotated, rabbit-eared orange-covered book published in 1974 and the principles discussed are timeless. I concur with other posts here that today, much of the content is quite dated. In fairness, there are many hundreds of excellent references besides Ilford's, just that it was then very much a definitive technical and explanatory reference in the 60s and 70s. One of the more modern gems is Canon's Lenswork books (I to III): read up on the Five Aberrations of Seidel which leads to understanding lens MTF curves and thus potential and real performance.
I used to have one, no idea which year, the best book on photography that I ever owned!
Reference books are seldom intended to be read from cover to cover continuously, but The Ilford Manual is the first book I reach for to look something up. I have all the editions, which were approximately 1897, 1935, 1942, 1958 and 1970 (the last-named was the "Manual of Photography" publsihed by the Focal Press). In fact, I learned my photography from the 1942 edition, which I bought new but shop-soiled for 2/6d (12.5 pence).
I have the Manual of Photography after the Ilford name had been dropped from it.
I've got a copy from I think the late 1950's. Very informative book, with clear explanations.
As an added bonus the formulae in the appendix are listed in ounces and grains, as well as metric, which is a good match for the vintage Eastman Kodak chemical scales I bought recently.