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Thread: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

  1. #1

    Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    Hi all,

    I'm considering trying out wet plate collodion and wondered if anyone had experience of either using these lenses or knew of their suitability for the wet plate process.

    I have seen a large number of these lenses for sale on the bay, they look to be uncoated.

    I saw an example wet plate image that I am pretty sure was made was made with this type of lens and I liked it as it was lacking the swirly/aggressive bokeh which I really don't like. Im really looking for a lens that produces images with attributes that are similar to the look of a contemporary lens, not something that feels overly Victorian, as I don't like the aesthetics of those lenses (petzval type design for example).

    Any info on this lens or indeed other lenses that produce images that don't look like the image was captured through the bottom of a jam jar would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    What lenses do you already own? Use any contemporary lens that is a decent price.

  3. #3

    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue4130 View Post
    What lenses do you already own? Use any contemporary lens that is a decent price.
    Hi, really? I thought that I had to use an old uncoated lens as the newer coated lenses had some kind of uv coating which meant that the wet plate chemistry would not work properly??

    Thanks

  4. #4

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    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by DannyTreacy View Post
    Hi, really? I thought that I had to use an old uncoated lens as the newer coated lenses had some kind of uv coating which meant that the wet plate chemistry would not work properly??

    Thanks
    Just the glass in all lenses will cut UV, but wet plate has some sensitivity in the blue range, so any can be used (coating not an issue)...

    Steve K

  5. #5

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    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    Petzval lenses were used in Victorian Studio Photography because they were fast - down to F2.5. The shallow depth of field could be used to make very striking images. Now there was not much in the same plane as the sitter's face and as the focal plane is quite a curve, things like books, telescopes held at a distance could be quite sharp too. The nasties you mention about the Petzvals (Swirlies etc.) do not appear if you use the right Petzval and right lighting/background for the plate size use you are using. Petzvals do have an image circle which encourages "misuse" beyond the plate size they are made for.

  6. #6

    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue4130 View Post
    What lenses do you already own? Use any contemporary lens that is a decent price.
    I have a:
    Rodenstock Macro-Sironar N 210mm 5:6
    Schneider Symmar S 360mm 6:8
    Schneider G Claron 210 9:0
    And a 150mm and 90mm for the 5x4

    My subject is stones on a beach, shot from above, long exposure so that the waves register in a blurred manner (which is one of the reasons that wet plate appeals for this).

    Another question, does anyone know if sea water is useable in the final washing process for wet plate?!

    Thanks

  7. #7

    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    ... Another question, does anyone know if sea water is useable in the final washing process for wet plate?!...
    No, it is not usable. It will leave all sorts of awful marks.
    For what it is worth, Daguerre initially used sea water (boiled down a bit) as fixer....

  8. #8

    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Greenberg Motamedi View Post
    No, it is not usable. It will leave all sorts of awful marks.
    For what it is worth, Daguerre initially used sea water (boiled down a bit) as fixer....
    Thanks for the info. So if the final wash was done in regular water is there any stage of the process where salt water could be used without damaging the image?

    I'm just thinking conceptually about photographing the sea and also the sea playing a part in the final image.

    Thanks

  9. #9

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    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Greenberg Motamedi View Post
    No, it is not usable. It will leave all sorts of awful marks.
    For what it is worth, Daguerre initially used sea water (boiled down a bit) as fixer....
    Just be aware that salt water talks 24+ hours to fix an image.

  10. #10
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Jena Tessar 300 5.6 Info required for 10" x 8" wet plate photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by DannyTreacy View Post
    I have a:
    Rodenstock Macro-Sironar N 210mm 5:6
    Schneider Symmar S 360mm 6:8
    Schneider G Claron 210 9:0
    And a 150mm and 90mm for the 5x4
    Any of the lenses you listed will be fine for what you want, and the only difference you'll see between images made from those and an old Rapid Rectilinear, or other old lens would be a slight increase in contrast thanks to the anti-reflective coating. The signature of wet plate will overwhelm any subtle signatures from the lenses; the only lens signatures you'll notice in wet plate are from lenses with a very heavy signature, like a fast Petzval or a soft pictorial lens.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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