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Thread: lights for wetplates

  1. #1

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    lights for wetplates

    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!

  2. #2
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: lights for wetplates

    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.

  3. #3

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    Re: lights for wetplates

    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

  4. #4
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: lights for wetplates

    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...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #5

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    Re: lights for wetplates

    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.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6

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    Re: lights for wetplates

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    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.

  7. #7
    www.alexgard.com AlexGard's Avatar
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    Re: lights for wetplates

    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

  8. #8

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    Re: lights for wetplates

    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

  9. #9
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: lights for wetplates

    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!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  10. #10
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: lights for wetplates

    Quote Originally Posted by knuf View Post
    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?

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