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  1. #1
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Fresh dry plates in a variety of sizes

    For those of you who'd like to try dry plate photography but the process of making and coating your own emulsion is just too intimidating, I would like to announce that I have begun offering for sale newly-made 4"x5" dry plates, packed 10 plates to a box, that I prepare during my coating runs as extras above and beyond what I expect to use myself.

    The plates are of the correct thickness (~0.050"), and the emulsion is of "normal" spectral response, with a typical sensitivity that I've tested to be about ISO 2 (you can shoot it at faster speeds, but I haven't explored that aspect much). As such, you can tray develop it under a safelight. The emulsion is virtually grainless, and has a very nice balance of tonality and contrast. Different developers give different results.. I've settled on the higher contrast of HC-110 Dil B but it still maintains a nice tonality. Developing by inspection also opens up a whole new variable to explore which is not often available when developing negatives. I think you'll enjoy experimenting with the plates.

    I've spent several years perfecting the coating technique, and the plates have come out nice enough and consistent enough in quality that I can dare offer to share them with others, but keep in mind that these are hand-made, which provides a certain ... character ... to the final product. In most cases, however, it is a pleasing effect, and I have made some very nice enlargements which have been put on display in local galleries, public buildings, etc. Many of the prints that are seen in my etsy shop (see below) are worth looking at as examples of dry plate photographs I have taken.

    I am selling these to keep my wife happy about being able to cover my photography hobby expenses, restock my darkroom's beer fridge, and share the fun of a limited-access alternative process to the wider large format photography community.

    Since I prepare the plates in my spare time, availability is relatively limited for now. I have set up a shop in Etsy so that I can post available quantities. I encourage you to purchase boxes of plates through there: https://www.etsy.com/listing/5812747...ates-10-plates
    There's a way to get notification when I update the quantities, but I must admit I'm not savvy enough to know how to do that. If the quantity there is greater than zero, then I have plates available. Plate holders are available online at various sites.

    Sold in boxes of 10 for $35 + plus shipping (cheaper than Kodak!). I can ship internationally, just ask me.


    I'm more than happy to entertain requests for other sizes... I make 4"x5" plates because that's what I use (as well as 5x7's). I cut the glass from 12"x12" sheets, so I can make plates that are anything up to that size (the cost will be different, of course).

    Once you get the boxes in-hand, please contact me and ask questions if you have any as you are using them. I want you to enjoy them and be successful! Of course, as you test the plates and use them, I am hopeful that you will share your results and testing.


    Thank you for the interest
    -Jason
    Last edited by Nodda Duma; 28-Dec-2017 at 06:07.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/Pictoriographica
    .. because my wife is happy when I can cover my photography expenses!

  2. #2
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    In!
    Last edited by Randy Moe; 28-Dec-2017 at 06:57.

  3. #3
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    Great! Thanks, Randy.

  4. #4
    SE Penna. chassis's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    Jason, congratulations on a new product. Questions: do the plates fit into a stainless film hanger, so that they could be processed in a hard rubber tank rather than a tray? What advice do you have on plate holders (brand name, things to be aware of, etc.)? Do plate holders fit into "normal" Graflock/international camera backs, or is a specific plate holder back needed?

  5. #5
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    Quote Originally Posted by chassis View Post
    Jason, congratulations on a new product. Questions: do the plates fit into a stainless film hanger, so that they could be processed in a hard rubber tank rather than a tray? What advice do you have on plate holders (brand name, things to be aware of, etc.)? Do plate holders fit into "normal" Graflock/international camera backs, or is a specific plate holder back needed?
    Hi,

    Thank you! My hope is that more people use and enjoy dry plates, they are a lot of fun for such a little-visited alternative process. And that I earn enough for all my the effort to keep my beer fridge stocked. . Or at least cover my material costs. It's all in fun.

    About your questions...

    Stainless film hangar: I typically tray develop the plates in the darkroom under the (0C filter or equivalent) safelight, so I can keep an eye on them and develop by inspection if I accidentally under or overexpose (which, thankfully, doesn't happen as often now as it used to). That said, the closest I have to hangars is this:



    Which they seem to fit just fine as you can see. I develop sheet film in an SP-445, so I just don't have sheet hangers and can't say.

    The glass is 0.050" thick, so you can measure the inside width of the hanger with calipers and you'll know (please share your findings if you do). Of course, the hanger needs to be straight, so something like a yankee agitank won't work. In any case, I've always tray developed, since I wanted to see how the emulsion turns out while I was perfecting my coating technique. Have I mentioned that I prefer to tray develop the plates?

    Plate holders: Any 4"x5" actual plate holder will work (take the film adapter out). Sometimes fitting the plate in will be tight, but I fit check the plates in a spare holder before packaging.

    Here's how the old school holders I use fit in the Graflok back.



    It works great (the lighthouse pic in my etsy store was taken with this setup), but just doesn't stick out very far so you gotta grab the dark slides with your nails. I've learned to deal with it.

    Be aware of the rib stop position when you're sourcing plate holders.



    Most have the rib stop in the standard location like this Seneca Century plate holder, but Rochester Optical Co (as one example I know of) doesn't, so just be aware of that when you're looking for a plate holder.

    Also, for the Speed Graphic, I've measured the distance to the plate surface vs for film and found the difference to be very small..in fact much smaller than the variation in distance between lensboard to each corner of the ground glass! That was an eye-opener, and I spent the rest of that day aligning my Graflex. So you should expect the plate emulsion to be parfocal (or, more technically, within the practical Depth of Focus) with film emulsion.

    Great questions, let me know if you have more. And, of course, I hope you try them out and report your results!


    I'm always curious to know if other sizes are desired.

    -Jason
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/Pictoriographica
    .. because my wife is happy when I can cover my photography expenses!

  6. #6
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    I think if they fit plate holders they will fit SS hangers. I sure will try that soon. Mine are shipped.

    I have a Primo or Cycle 4X5 camera set with nice plate holders. Ball Bearing shutter is wonky, but not a problem.

  7. #7
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    5X7 will be next.

    Lets me try the first batch.

  8. #8
    Foamer
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    Re: Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    I've been wanting to try wet plate for a long time, but the logistics of it are daunting! I'm after that glass plate look--blue sensitive and some halo. I'm assuming dry plate will give me that. I do have a couple of questions. First, I assume that with dry plate I can load the holders, take them out in the field & shoot, and return home to develop? How long do I have to develop once they've been exposed? second, it's cold (-25F) this time of year where I live. I'm thinking that as long as I don't allow the plates to freeze I should be OK? Finally, I've never developed any film in several decades. Do you have a website or link so I can see what I need and what the process is? I have a nice collection of antebellum lenses I'd love to try some plates with! ISO 2 will actually be a help here.


    Kent in SD
    Jauchzet frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage!

  9. #9
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    The below makes sense if you read 223 signature in the post above.

    German always looks and sounds so angry. So I let Google show me the joy.

    "Celebrate, rejoice, rise up and praise these days,"

    Then I look at the German and it all seems obvious! I guess these words are from Latin, I should have noticed that. I couldn't figure out English until I studied Latin for 2 years.

    A favorite song of mine, mit organ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    I've been wanting to try wet plate for a long time, but the logistics of it are daunting! I'm after that glass plate look--blue sensitive and some halo. I'm assuming dry plate will give me that. I do have a couple of questions. First, I assume that with dry plate I can load the holders, take them out in the field & shoot, and return home to develop? How long do I have to develop once they've been exposed? second, it's cold (-25F) this time of year where I live. I'm thinking that as long as I don't allow the plates to freeze I should be OK? Finally, I've never developed any film in several decades. Do you have a website or link so I can see what I need and what the process is? I have a nice collection of antebellum lenses I'd love to try some plates with! ISO 2 will actually be a help here.


    Kent in SD
    Last edited by Randy Moe; 28-Dec-2017 at 17:45. Reason: splainin

  10. #10
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    Re: Fresh 4" x 5" dry plates

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post

    "Celebrate, rejoice, rise up and praise these days,"

    Then I look at the German and it all seems obvious! I guess these words are from Latin, I should have noticed that. I couldn't figure out English until I studied Latin for 2 years.

    A favorite song of mine, mit organ.

    It's the opening line from Bach's "Christmas Oratorio." It's my favorite Christmas piece. The libretto to the opening part of the first cantata:


    Cantata for the First Day of Christmas
    (Weihnachts-Oratorium I)

    1. Chor
    Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage,
    Rühmet, was heute der Höchste getan!
    Lasset das Zagen, verbannet die Klage,
    Stimmet voll Jauchzen und Fröhlichkeit an!
    Dienet dem Höchsten mit herrlichen Chören,
    Laßt uns den Namen des Herrschers verehren!

    1. Chorus
    Celebrate, rejoice, rise up and praise these days,
    glorify what the Highest has done today!
    Abandon despair, banish laments,
    sound forth full of delight and happiness!
    Serve the Highest with glorious choruses,
    let us honor the name of the Supreme Ruler!

    My favorite performance:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98UjjwzJBFE


    It's a remarkable piece. It caps what has been a remarkable year for me, considering I very narrowly escaped death last February. Auf, preiset die Tage!
    So anyway, I don't want to put off doing things I've always wanted to do, such as shooting plate photography.



    Kent in SD
    Jauchzet frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage!

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