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Jbuck
11-Aug-2015, 10:58
what would be a good starters set for lights with lightformers ( softbox ) that would be strong enough for making wetplates?

probably the 250w modelling lights from a (lets say) bowens 500 gemni set are far from being strong enough.

thanks!

StoneNYC
11-Aug-2015, 11:26
Wet plate responds to UV light best so you want something that produces a lot of UV power, you're probably going to want something more like 48000ws or more.

This is why many choose natural light as the sun has a lot more UV than most strobes.

I am NOT a WP photographer yet, but this is what I have surmised thus far from reading a lot of people with the same issue as you have.

anton orlov
11-Aug-2015, 11:38
I prefer natural light any time for WP. But when I work inside I use flash and haven't used continuous (so can't weigh in there). Stone is right there - most people use over 4000ws WITH soft boxes or other diffusion. I use 2400ws with no diffusion. And of course everything will depend on how fast your collodion is and how fast your lens is. Find an f1 lens and mix your collodion fresh and you can probably get away with a Sylvania flash bulb :)

Mark Sawyer
11-Aug-2015, 12:20
Wet plate is an area where one always seems to need as much light as one can get. Modifiers like a soft box or umbrella reflector steal away at least half the light...

andy
12-Aug-2015, 13:24
I have a friend who rigged up a number of compact florescent bulbs on light stands--probably 7-10 on each stand for a simple, inexpensive, and effect continuous light source for tintypes.
138281

vinny
12-Aug-2015, 16:00
Wet plate is an area where one always seems to need as much light as one can get. Modifiers like a soft box or umbrella reflector steal away at least half the light...

That's one of the reasons most wet playe work shot with lights looks like garbage. Small, Bare sources.

AlexGard
8-Nov-2015, 07:03
Continuous 65 to 85w cfl bulbs 5500k

A bank of five 65w's and then one or two single 85w's for other secondary light (rim etc) does the trick for me. 5 seconds rated at Iso 1 with pushed development

knuf
26-Nov-2015, 03:07
Hi, i`m currently building two lights for wetplates :

1. made of 24 panels with 48 5630 cold white LEDs each - 1152 LEDs total from 40cm*20cm surface. It should give around 20k lumens at lower end of 5630 specs, 30k lumens somewhere in the middle and i hope being able to push it for short exposure periods to 40k lumens using adjustable power source (still not at max value). almost done - it weighs about 5kg (LEDs, cables, heatsink) so i consider buying cheap stand for PA speakers (tens of kg of weight capacity) instead of bothering with cheap studio lights tripod (4kg capacity).

2. made of 4 high power LED chips (90W each) made for aquarium lights. These are hybrid leds with 5 separate channels consisting of chips designed in blue part of the spectrum but with slightly different wavelengths resulting in broader blue spectrum (opposed to 20-30nm width for single wavelength emmiters) :

Channel 1) 10S x 2P 10000K 30-36VDC 700MA
Channel 2) 10S x 2P 455nm 30-36VDC 700MA
Channel 3) 10S x 420nm 30-36VDC 350MA
Channel 4) 10S x 2P 445nm 30-36VDC 700MA
Channel 5) 10S x 2P 15000K 30-36VDC 700MA

Mark Sawyer
26-Nov-2015, 10:25
It sounds like a good solution for still lifes and such. For portraiture, I've found strobes to be necessary, as hot lights are too uncomfortable for the sitter.

Looking forward to seeing the resulting images!

StoneNYC
26-Nov-2015, 15:17
Hi, i`m currently building two lights for wetplates :

1. made of 24 panels with 48 5630 cold white LEDs each - 1152 LEDs total from 40cm*20cm surface. It should give around 20k lumens at lower end of 5630 specs, 30k lumens somewhere in the middle and i hope being able to push it for short exposure periods to 40k lumens using adjustable power source (still not at max value). almost done - it weighs about 5kg (LEDs, cables, heatsink) so i consider buying cheap stand for PA speakers (tens of kg of weight capacity) instead of bothering with cheap studio lights tripod (4kg capacity).

2. made of 4 high power LED chips (90W each) made for aquarium lights. These are hybrid leds with 5 separate channels consisting of chips designed in blue part of the spectrum but with slightly different wavelengths resulting in broader blue spectrum (opposed to 20-30nm width for single wavelength emmiters) :

Channel 1) 10S x 2P 10000K 30-36VDC 700MA
Channel 2) 10S x 2P 455nm 30-36VDC 700MA
Channel 3) 10S x 420nm 30-36VDC 350MA
Channel 4) 10S x 2P 445nm 30-36VDC 700MA
Channel 5) 10S x 2P 15000K 30-36VDC 700MA

I thought wet plate relied on UV light? Do they make LED's that emit high UV now?

TXFZ1
26-Nov-2015, 16:27
People are building UV light boxes with them for alt printing.

David

knuf
27-Nov-2015, 01:37
I thought wet plate relied on UV light? Do they make LED's that emit high UV now?

well, some say combination of UV-rich light and vintage (uncoated) lens is fastest, but i would really doubt the UV transmittance of any glass. Looking at salted collodion spectral sensitivity, it starts at 500+nm, peaks at 450nm/420nm (bromide/iodide) and extends to UV.

But wikipedia says : "Most types of glass will allow longwave UV to pass, but absorb all the other UV wavelengths, usually from about 350 nm and below. For UV photography it is necessary to use specially developed lenses having elements made from fused quartz or quartz and fluorite."

So you still have only ~50nm of near-UV portion usable for exposure with common lenses. Next thing is that conventional UV-rich light sources as mercury vapor lamps or MH should be really considered as "hot", uncomfortable or even dangerous for sitter.

That`s why i think that in searching for ideal wetplates light, it would be better to find source which is rich in 400-500nm band and hybrid LEDs seem ideal in this. Broad blue light should be more comfortable as eye sensitivity is lower in blue (opposed to collodion) and LEDs can be switched on/off immediately and repeatedly or diminished (opposed to gas discharge lamps) saving the sitter from unnecessary exposure to near-UV/blue light (see UV / blue light hazard).

And the best thing : Those hybrid aquarium LEDs were designed by/for different community. Some manufacturers offer customized LEDs - you can have any combination of chips with wavelengths from 350nm to 800nm easily. So we could have a 90w LED with channels in 360nm,380nm,400nm,420nm,450nm.

StoneNYC
27-Nov-2015, 11:53
well, some say combination of UV-rich light and vintage (uncoated) lens is fastest, but i would really doubt the UV transmittance of any glass. Looking at salted collodion spectral sensitivity, it starts at 500+nm, peaks at 450nm/420nm (bromide/iodide) and extends to UV.

But wikipedia says : "Most types of glass will allow longwave UV to pass, but absorb all the other UV wavelengths, usually from about 350 nm and below. For UV photography it is necessary to use specially developed lenses having elements made from fused quartz or quartz and fluorite."

So you still have only ~50nm of near-UV portion usable for exposure with common lenses. Next thing is that conventional UV-rich light sources as mercury vapor lamps or MH should be really considered as "hot", uncomfortable or even dangerous for sitter.

That`s why i think that in searching for ideal wetplates light, it would be better to find source which is rich in 400-500nm band and hybrid LEDs seem ideal in this. Broad blue light should be more comfortable as eye sensitivity is lower in blue (opposed to collodion) and LEDs can be switched on/off immediately and repeatedly or diminished (opposed to gas discharge lamps) saving the sitter from unnecessary exposure to near-UV/blue light (see UV / blue light hazard).

And the best thing : Those hybrid aquarium LEDs were designed by/for different community. Some manufacturers offer customized LEDs - you can have any combination of chips with wavelengths from 350nm to 800nm easily. So we could have a 90w LED with channels in 360nm,380nm,400nm,420nm,450nm.

Very cool!

A friend, who does only WetPlate for a living (and he makes a TON off his work which are huge 16x22 size wet plates, once told me that he thought the whole lens thing was bunk, that he had used modern coated glass and there was no difference in exposure and the only reason he preferred brass was for the look he could get, not the "un-coated-ness" of the older lenses. So I'll just throw that out there as second hand knowledge. Would love someone to double blind that test.

But the UV LED's are a neat idea, varying and controlling the frequency, neat!

Mark Sawyer
27-Nov-2015, 12:31
A friend, who does only WetPlate for a living (and he makes a TON off his work which are huge 16x22 size wet plates, once told me that he thought the whole lens thing was bunk, that he had used modern coated glass and there was no difference in exposure and the only reason he preferred brass was for the look he could get, not the "un-coated-ness" of the older lenses. So I'll just throw that out there as second hand knowledge. Would love someone to double blind that test.


I'll confirm from first-hand experience, the AR coatings don't affect exposure times on wet plate. I often switch back and forth between coated and uncoated to control contrast. If people aren't doing this, they're sacrificing a valuable option...

cgrab
1-Dec-2015, 02:27
Eric Antoine (http://www.ericantoinephoto.com/) recommended using 250w compact fluorescent light bulbs at a Workshop I took with him. You can get them at "grow-shops", most other lighting sources will not have them in stock, but might order them.

Tobias Key
1-Dec-2015, 02:52
Eric Antoine (http://www.ericantoinephoto.com/) recommended using 250w compact fluorescent light bulbs at a Workshop I took with him. You can get them at "grow-shops", most other lighting sources will not have them in stock, but might order them.

Interesting. Just hope the police aren't watching the store when you emerge with enough lights to start a small drug empire!

Mark Sawyer
1-Dec-2015, 11:07
Interesting. Just hope the police aren't watching the store when you emerge with enough lights to start a small drug empire!

Especially when you also buy the biggest grow-tent to use as your darkroom!

goamules
1-Dec-2015, 14:34
To me, the best light for wetplate is that which is free: the sun!

cgrab
3-Dec-2015, 07:10
Interesting. Just hope the police aren't watching the store when you emerge with enough lights to start a small drug empire!

Wet-plate mugshot selfie!
Because the Police have gone all digital nowadays.

MAubrey
6-Dec-2015, 14:11
Eric Antoine (http://www.ericantoinephoto.com/) recommended using 250w compact fluorescent light bulbs at a Workshop I took with him. You can get them at "grow-shops", most other lighting sources will not have them in stock, but might order them.
They're online, too, for about $50 a pop. How many do you think we're talking about for a decent exposure? A 250w CFL is like a 900w Halogen in terms of lumens, but obviously, that's not UV...

Fr. Mark
7-Dec-2015, 19:32
The wet plate guy who does period costumes etc in Gettysburg had both a big skylight and a bank of daylight balanced fluorescents, I am not sure, it's been a couple years, but I think he had at least 8 four footers, maybe more or longer (8 foot) bulbs. On a cloudy Thanksgiving weekend or late November northern hemisphere, Pennsylvania afternoon, it was a 17 second exposure lens couldn't've been more than about f5.6 onto a 5x7. I would not be in a hurry to photograph people in UV, I have a very odd picture of my brother on Xray film (green sensitive) which I think is due to the use of sunscreen (uv absorbing paint by definition...) he looks splotchy and patchy. Much of women's makeup also contains UV absorbers, too. UV is also hard on the eyes---think cataracts etc.

goamules
7-Dec-2015, 19:48
To me, wetplate portraits taken with florescent often make the person's skin look pasty and fake. Review plates for a short time, and you can easily spot those with florescent. The strobes give a good effect, and are easier on the sitter.

To get enough light to get a relatively short exposure (3 to 9 seconds), you need a ton of florescents. If you use less light, you need your sitter to hold still for 30 seconds or so, making an unnatural expression.

Ask Mark, he used two banks of those compact bulbs, about 16 in a bank, for a while. You have to have them about 2 feet from the sitter. It's like sitting in a tanning booth. The flashes are much easier on the sitter. And the skin looks more natural.

MAubrey
8-Dec-2015, 08:31
Ask Mark, he used two banks of those compact bulbs, about 16 in a bank, for a while. You have to have them about 2 feet from the sitter. It's like sitting in a tanning booth. The flashes are much easier on the sitter. And the skin looks more natural.

Ugh. Good to know.

Fr. Mark
8-Dec-2015, 22:15
Could it be that the people who get poorer results with banks of fluorescent lights have the wrong color balance lights?
I've done enough oil painting to know the light affects the perception of the pictures.
I think Flashes/strobes typically are daylight balanced unless gelled. Most fluorescents are not and don't have a very smooth spectrum of output either. There's a real difference between 5000K and 6500K. Many fluorescents and LEDs are 2700K which is very yellow compared to the higher color temp bulbs. I think but am not sure that many strobes are more like 6500K or higher. All what I have to say is mostly theoretical I have essentially zero experience with wet plate even if I used to be a chemist.

Ari
12-Dec-2015, 19:05
For those considering flash for wet plate portraits, I have a suggestion for a light modifier.
I just tested my new beauty dish/octabox, and found that the loss of light with the box was only 7/10 stop.
With an Alien Bees 1600 (640 w/s) at half power from 5 feet, bare bulb, I got f16.5
With the octabox/beauty dish and front screen diffuser on, the reading was f11.8. Usually soft boxes will reduce output by 1.5-2 stops, so I think this is pretty good.
With a more powerful strobe, you could use this type of modifier without losing too much light, and still be able to provide some decent modelling on your subject.
Attached is a photo of what I'm using; you can look up "beauty dish octabox" on eBay.

MAubrey
13-Dec-2015, 17:18
For those considering flash for wet plate portraits, I have a suggestion for a light modifier.
I just tested my new beauty dish/octabox, and found that the loss of light with the box was only 7/10 stop.
With an Alien Bees 1600 (640 w/s) at half power from 5 feet, bare bulb, I got f16.5
With the octabox/beauty dish and front screen diffuser on, the reading was f11.8. Usually soft boxes will reduce output by 1.5-2 stops, so I think this is pretty good.
With a more powerful strobe, you could use this type of modifier without losing too much light, and still be able to provide some decent modelling on your subject.
Attached is a photo of what I'm using; you can look up "beauty dish octabox" on eBay.
Nice. I'm looking at a couple White Lightning X3200's, which are about double the B1600. That looks like a pretty decent option!

Ari
13-Dec-2015, 17:52
I have yet to use it on a person, so I don't know how much spill there will be vs a real beauty dish, but they do look promising.
And B&H has them: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1068343-REG/interfit_int780_foldable_beauty_dish_with.html
You just need to get the appropriate adapter: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838100-REG/Impact_bda_ali_Beauty_Dish_Adapt_For.html

lfpf
14-Dec-2015, 15:59
To me, the best light for wetplate is that which is free: the sun!

+1 Free sun. If more is wanted then outdoors or through a window use a plastic fresnel (3' x 4') and or multiple mirrors (Home Depot), rolls of foil, solar oven, concave acrylic mirror but be careful to not burn the subject. It's cheap, no-tech, portable, easy and might suit your subject.

Ari
14-Dec-2015, 18:15
To me, the best light for wetplate is that which is free: the sun!


+1 Free sun.

Gentlemen, I agree 100%; the sun is free and should be used whenever possible.
But unlike you two So'westerners, I haven't seen the sun in a few days. Next time I do see it, it's likely to be below freezing, because that's when the sun shows up in wintertime - only on very cold days.
Then I'd like to see who's willing to pour a plate! :)

lfpf
15-Dec-2015, 12:42
Gentlemen, I agree 100%; the sun is free and should be used whenever possible.
But unlike you two So'westerners, I haven't seen the sun in a few days. Next time I do see it, it's likely to be below freezing, because that's when the sun shows up in wintertime - only on very cold days.
Then I'd like to see who's willing to pour a plate! :)

While enjoying the cool clear north until Spring, perhaps assemble an indoor scale model, wait for clear blue and 22 then take it for a trial run. Springtime can present full scale opportunities.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Giant-Fresnel-Lens-Deathray-An-Experiment-in-Opti/

While only a concept with wet plate, I have burned 2" x 4" lumber inadvertently with very bright light and with no extension cord or batteries. Might be fun on your way to either the dumpster or darkroom, depending. Enjoy the adventure.

goamules
15-Dec-2015, 12:51
No sun! My Gosh Ari, did people populate places where the sun doesn't shine!?

Mark Sawyer
15-Dec-2015, 13:08
If I power my strobes with solar panels, does that count? :confused:

Ari
15-Dec-2015, 13:58
No sun! My Gosh Ari, did people populate places where the sun doesn't shine!?

Unfortunately, for me, Garrett, yes. After 30 winters here, I'm still not sure why it's so populated.


If I power my strobes with solar panels, does that count? :confused:

No, but you will get a thank-you note from Al Gore.
Written on recycled paper, of course. :)

Tim Meisburger
15-Dec-2015, 20:03
Every time I go to Ottawa people proudly tell me it is the second coldest capital in the world (after Mongolia's Ulan Bator). Here we get cold if it drops into the seventies...

lfpf
16-Dec-2015, 08:14
Magnesium flash
File:Cars coming out of shaft, Comstock Mine, Virginia City, Nev. By O'Sullivan, 1867-68 - NARA - 519526.jpg

seezee
10-Feb-2016, 12:50
I have yet to use it on a person, so I don't know how much spill there will be vs a real beauty dish, but they do look promising.
And B&H has them: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1068343-REG/interfit_int780_foldable_beauty_dish_with.html
You just need to get the appropriate adapter: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838100-REG/Impact_bda_ali_Beauty_Dish_Adapt_For.html

Ari, most beauty dishes can be gridded, including the one made by PC Buff. Octoboxes usually cannot.

Scott Davis
10-Feb-2016, 14:13
Not all flash manufacturers these days make flash tubes without UV-blocking coatings, but I know Bowens has them available. I have one in one of my heads for my Calumet Elite 2400 pack, which puts out enough to get maybe f8 or f5.6 on collodion.

seezee
11-Feb-2016, 10:01
Ari, most beauty dishes can be gridded, including the one made by PC Buff. Octoboxes usually cannot.

Correction to my earlier statement. Actually, many octoboxes, including PCB, can be gridded.

RPippin
24-Feb-2016, 07:08
I have a need for a strobe kit for tintype and wet plate that can get me up to 4000w+, and after reading post after post I'm still not sure what to get. First off, I'm new to collodion work, new to using strobes as my studio has continuos lights, mostly spots, and has been fine for black and white film work, but I need a kit for tintypes. I've ruled out uv fluorescence, as well as any other form of lighting, and really need a kit that I can use in the studio as well as traveling to other locations where I have to shoot indoors. What I've found in looking at the mainstream brands are good prices on used 2000w to 2400w to 4300w second lights, but not that much on power packs. The ideal light would not require an external power pack, but I don't know it thats realistic or not. What I'm seeing is prices for a complete outfit running from around $1000.00 to $1500.00, and I'd like to find something for a bit less. I'll either have to sell a kidney or worse, my Kodak Masterview to come up with the funds. So, to the point, whats a good choice for used, high wattage for tintype and wet plate, that will last and can still get parts for. Oh, and idiot proof if possible.

Neal Chaves
26-Feb-2016, 08:10
RPippin, I sent you a PM about a 4000WS Norman set I have (two P2000Ds and an LH4000) in your price range and close enough for local pick-up a few days ago but you haven't responded. The most knowledgeable electronic flash guys I know are Brent Hollister and Ed Taylor at Holly Enterprises www.hollyflash.com. They will be happy to advise you on any prospective purchase of used equipment over the phone at (8128) 892-9020. They will suggest that you avoid all 4000WS packs due to reliability and repair costs. Two 2000WS packs and a bi-tube head are a better choice.

knuf
1-Mar-2016, 15:20
finally got all materials needed to test the LED lights - my first wet plates ever

two lights from 200 cm placed next to camera lens to get even illumination

1st light : 24*48 5630 LED panels (cold white)
2nd light : 4 * 90W hybrid aquarium LEDs

2nd light is about 5 times brighter than 1st in blue portion - measured with arduino + tsl235r + blue filter

indicated exposure with sverdlovsk 4 spot meter at ISO3 against grey card : 1 second @ f8
raw frequency from tsl235r + blue filter placed in the middle of the scene : 34500 Hz

actual exposure : 2 seconds @ f11

materials and process: 9x12 black aluminium, OWH (3 weeks old), MD-4 developer, developing time : 15~20s, fixer : fomafix with water (1:4), without varnish, scanned with v500



this is my 2nd wet plate attempt (first plate was for the test strip) and these lights seem promising for wet plates (especially the hybrid LEDs)




http://i66.tinypic.com/255ugqa.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/a0yudx.jpg

seezee
1-Mar-2016, 17:13
finally got all materials needed to test the LED lights - my first wet plates ever

two lights from 200 cm placed next to camera lens to get even illumination

1st light : 24*48 5630 LED panels (cold white)
2nd light : 4 * 90W hybrid aquarium LEDs

2nd light is about 5 times brighter than 1st in blue portion - measured with arduino + tsl235r + blue filter

indicated exposure with sverdlovsk 4 spot meter at ISO3 against grey card : 1 second @ f8
raw frequency from tsl235r + blue filter placed in the middle of the scene : 34500 Hz

actual exposure : 2 seconds @ f11

materials and process: 9x12 black aluminium, OWH (3 weeks old), MD-4 developer, developing time : 15~20s, fixer : fomafix with water (1:4), without varnish, scanned with v500



this is my 2nd wet plate attempt (first plate was for the test strip) and these lights seem promising for wet plates (especially the hybrid LEDs)




http://i66.tinypic.com/255ugqa.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/a0yudx.jpg

Mind pointing us to your suppliers? How much did you spend on materials to build the lights?

knuf
2-Mar-2016, 00:47
1st light : 24x 48LED panels (5630 type)

- 24 panels : 80 USD
- heatsinks : 30 USD
- power supply : 30 USD
- light stand : 15 USD
- frame, cables, screws... : 15 USD

Total 170 USD


2nd light : 4x 90w hybrid aquarium LEDs with 5 channels (10000K+15000K+420nm+445nm+455nm)

- 4 LEDs + reflector + lens : 147 USD
- heatsinks : 20 USD
- power supply : 30 USD
- light stand : 15 USD
- frame, cables, screws... : 15 USD

Total 227 USD


you`ll find many suppliers for the LEDs and power supplies on the internet, rest of the materials is from local warehouses

note: hybrid LED manufacturer si able to make LEDs with custom wavelength configuration (e.g. 360nm,380nm,400nm,420nm,450nm)

carerre
11-Apr-2017, 07:57
Thank you so much for your great sharing! You are awesome.

Joshua Dunn
12-Apr-2017, 08:03
When I was shooting wet plate I bought a set of LED lights and found they simply didn’t produce enough UV light for wet plate use so I returned them. I doubt you will have much success with them unless you find an LED light source that is specifically made to produce light in the UV spectrum. I then purchased two Photodiox C-1600 lighting kits (each light had 16 florescent bulbs) with soft boxes and those bulbs produce enough UV light to be effective with wet plate. I looked on Amazon and on Photodiox’s websites and the C-1600 does not appear to be in production any more. Most manufacturers are just making LED lights for people looking for continuous light sources.

Photodiox does still make some decent looking florescent kits however they don’t have nearly as many bulbs as the C-1600.

-Joshua

carerre
12-Apr-2017, 17:34
When I was shooting wet plate I bought a set of LED lights and found they simply didnít produce enough UV light for wet plate use so I returned them. I doubt you will have much success with them unless you find an LED light source that is specifically made to produce light in the UV spectrum. I then purchased two Photodiox C-1600 lighting kits (each light had 16 florescent bulbs) with soft boxes and those bulbs produce enough UV light to be effective with wet plate. I looked on Amazon and on Photodioxís websites and the C-1600 does not appear to be in production any more. Most manufacturers are just making LED lights for people looking for continuous light sources.

Photodiox does still make some decent looking florescent kits however they donít have nearly as many bulbs as the C-1600.

-Joshua

After much reading and research. The problem with those 'LED lighting set' is that they don't give give enough of the required spectrum for wet plate. Deep inside me, I think I figured out what is the blend.

Just curious, in a studio setting. How fast can your exposure reach?

Neil

Joshua Dunn
14-Apr-2017, 08:10
Neil,

It depended a lot on how close my lights were to my subject. But they were anywhere from 4-20 seconds.

-Joshua