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Robert Kalman
11-Jan-2017, 14:52
Long time LF film shooter, and I'm just about to begin a life in wet plate.

I don't remember where I read that it isn't advisable to use one's film camera for wet plate because the chemistry may "mess up" the back. I own two Ebony's, a 4x5 and an 8x10, and if wet plate may, in some way, damage the back, then I suppose I should look to purchase a camera dedicated solely to wet plate.

But today I took a look Jody Ake's holders on-line, and I'm wondering if that style holder, which fits properly into the spring back, would limit any chance of damage due to chemical leakage.

Regardless of the back/holder combination, however, what are your thoughts / suggestions about using my film cameras for wet plate?

Thanks!

Ari
11-Jan-2017, 15:18
Robert, in my limited time with wet plate, I used three cameras, and none of them suffered any damage from chemicals, or any damage at all.
Keep things clean and organized, know your steps well in advance, and it'll go very well.

Randy
11-Jan-2017, 15:20
Good question Robert - I am likewise interested in giving wet plate a go using my existing film gear.

Jim Noel
11-Jan-2017, 15:28
You won't have a problem at first because you will be so careful to do everything correctly. The problem will arrive when you begin to get lax and wet chemistry drips out of the holder onto the camera back.

Robert Kalman
11-Jan-2017, 16:53
You won't have a problem at first because you will be so careful to do everything correctly. The problem will arrive when you begin to get lax and wet chemistry drips out of the holder onto the camera back.

Just curious, Jim, did you experience this yourself? If so, do you have any advice on how, specifically, to ensure it doesn't happen?

Mark Sawyer
11-Jan-2017, 16:54
I've shot more than a thousand tintypes using converted film holders as plate holders, and have never had a single drop of silver hit the cameras. Just the occasional little drips that stay inside the plate holder.

Robert Kalman
11-Jan-2017, 16:55
Robert, in my limited time with wet plate, I used three cameras, and none of them suffered any damage from chemicals, or any damage at all.
Keep things clean and organized, know your steps well in advance, and it'll go very well.

Thanks for the encouraging words, Ari.

Randy
11-Jan-2017, 17:00
I've shot more than a thousand tintypes using converted film holders as plate holders...I thought I remembered seeing that some have modified regular film holders to plate holders - that sounds like a good alternative for those who want to give the process a try.

Bob Salomon
11-Jan-2017, 17:36
I thought I remembered seeing that some have modified regular film holders to plate holders - that sounds like a good alternative for those who want to give the process a try.

Not sure that this would work.
First, glass plates are much thicker then sheet film. So how could you modify the sheet film holder to hold the glass plates and how would you be able to use the dark slide?
Next, once you slide the glass plate into the holder how would you remove it without fingerprints or scratching the emulsion?

Perhaps you are thinking of Linhof's Glass Plate/Sheet Film Holders that had a spring loaded plate to compensate for the significant differences in thickness between the two. It also has an ejector lever on each side to push the glass plate or the sheet film partially out of the holder to make it safe and easy to remove by grabbing the exposed edges that were pushed out.
However, how they would hold up to wet chemistry on the plate would make me nervous of using wet plates in them. No problem with dry plates though.

Robert Kalman
11-Jan-2017, 17:46
I thought I remembered seeing that some have modified regular film holders to plate holders - that sounds like a good alternative for those who want to give the process a try.

Here's Jody Ake's website for modified holders. They look substantial and well designed.

dpn
11-Jan-2017, 17:51
Lund Photographics also modifies holders. I haven't used mine yet, but it was quick, the price was right, and it seems nice.

http://www.lundphotographics.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=FH002

Robert Kalman
11-Jan-2017, 17:52
Not sure that this would work.
First, glass plates are much thicker then sheet film. So how could you modify the sheet film holder to hold the glass plates and how would you be able to use the dark slide?
Next, once you slide the glass plate into the holder how would you remove it without fingerprints or scratching the emulsion?

I've seen about two dozen videos this week...the plate gets removed by flipping the holder over and letting the glass drop into your hand. Also, I believe the holders, when properly modified, have the septum removed and some kind of shim that fills the gap between the backside of the holder and the backside of the glass.

Corran
11-Jan-2017, 18:56
Jody Ake does make a good holder from what I've seen/used and I believe it's marketed to prevent any kind of potential spillage/seepage onto the camera. I let me friend use his Ake plate holder in my Linhof Technika several times and it was fine, not a single drip anywhere.

http://incameraindustries.com/

Jim Andrada
12-Jan-2017, 00:32
Hi Robert

You're correct. The septum is cut out and a small "springy thingy" provides pressure from the rear. A couple of thin wires can be fastened (glued/soldered/whatever) diagonally across the front corners of the cutout to locate the front side of the glass/aluminum in the focal plane.

Cor
12-Jan-2017, 01:02
When I did WP I used a modified holder as described above in my Toyou 810M Field camera. Although I consider myself a careful worker I did manage to get a small droplet of SilverNitrate on the aluminium film holder of my Toyo. Not a big deal, a small stain inside, but it prompted me to buy a cheap wooden whole plate folder, more in style with collodion and as a bonus had glass plate holders.

good luck,

Cor

Cor

jnanian
12-Jan-2017, 04:28
you could always make a camera its not really that difficult

LabRat
12-Jan-2017, 06:37
Doesn't silver nitrate dry black!?!!! Perfect for the inside of your camera!!!! :-X

Steve K

Tim Meisburger
12-Jan-2017, 08:16
I'm with Mark on this. I have many cameras, including an Ebony 45s, and have never gotten a drop of silver on any of them. First, you pour the plate and insert into holder in a darkroom, removed from your camera. You wipe the excess silver from the back of the plate before you insert in the holder, so there is little chance of getting any in the holder (but a lot of chance of getting some on your fingers!). Then you take the holder out of the darkroom, and as long as it has not somehow acquired droplets of silver on the outside, there is no way any will leak out of the holder.

So, no worries. Plus, silver stains would be cool!

On holders, it is very easy to modify a holder for wet plate, if you have any manual skills at all. I will not explain in detail, as you can just google it and find a lot of resources, but you do not need to buy custom holders (although they may be nicer), and unlike film, you really only need one holder. For a spring, some people just fold a small piece of milk jug plastic and slide the darkslide over it. I use a folded business card, usually.

All that being said, its nice to have a dedicated wet plate camera with a big lensboard to mount those big, fast lenses you are going to want to use.

cplkao
12-Jan-2017, 16:39
If you shoot 4x5, the easy and the cheapest plate holder mod is adapting a Pack Film Holder, they are dead cheap on eBay.
You don't have to worry about the thickness of the glass at all. (Standard glass plate holder is 2mm).

I cut a couple of thick crafting board as the tablet for the plate to adapt to the different thickness, and there is only one main place you have to seal to prevent light leak.

Kirk Gittings
12-Jan-2017, 22:06
If you shoot 4x5, the easy and the cheapest plate holder mod is adapting a Pack Film Holder, they are dead cheap on eBay.
You don't have to worry about the thickness of the glass at all. (Standard glass plate holder is 2mm).

I cut a couple of thick crafting board as the tablet for the plate to adapt to the different thickness, and there is only one main place you have to seal to prevent light leak.

That's what I did as I had a few laying around. There was a video kicking around the web that showed you how.

Liquid Artist
13-Jan-2017, 13:29
although I haven't done any wet plate photography yet, my century 8x10 was used for the process before I bought it and had several black stains.
Most of them have come out with some Murphys Oil Soap, and the rest add character.