Q. - What book to you recommend for a beginning photographer?
A - Unequivocally, the first volume of the Encyclopedia of Practical Photography published by Amphoto and Eastman Kodak. I have now seen later volumes in the series and I feel that they measure up to the first book.
Basically this series is a collection and re-editing of all those useful Kodak how-to books. What makes it unique is that all the material is arranged alphabetically, well-edited, well-illustrated and practical.
Some examples: Backgrounds and how to control them through selective focus and camera position; bird photography, what lens and film to use (a focal length of 200 mm is recommended and a high-speed color film like the new Ektechrome 400); camera and lens care - did you know; for example, that the vibration of an airplane in flight can work out and loosen those tiny screws on your camera, and that the solution is to carry the equipment in a cushioned case?
Besides these practical hints, there are a lot of techniques, such as how to combine two transparencies or negatives and trasnparencies to print for special effects, how to add clouds or birds to your scenics and how to print a negative for the best effect.
The Encyclopaedia of Practical Photography can be brougth one volume at a time at $11.95 each.
Q - What's the preview button for?
A - Depress the preview button to see what the picture will look like before you take it. This isn't necessary on ordinary scenes, only when you want to check the depth of focus or the background sharpness. The button is beside the lens on the right side of the camera body.