Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Civil War Portraits 2018

  1. #1
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,108

    Civil War Portraits 2018

    There are a few Civil War re-enactor events in my region, and I try to go to each. Earlier this month there was one at Ft. Sisseton, SD. I only took a 4x5 camera, a couple of early Petzval lenses (c.1845 Ross & c.1858 Derogy), and a bunch of film holders (FP4) and a couple of glass plate holders. I managed to get some shots of three guys dressed up as Union cavalry officers, and posed them by a field piece. Ironically, the three guys really ARE officers in the U.S. 7th Cavalry! There was a captain and two lieutenants, all three active duty! They are into the history of the unit. They gladly posed for me.

    I shot two glass plates of them (ISO 2, 1s, f3.5 with 3 stops ND,) and two sheets of FP4 (ISO 125, 1s, f3.5, 10 stops ND). Only one plate came out; the other three were inserted into the holders reversed! All film shots were perfect, as was one of the plates! This is my second attempt at shooting dry plates, and I am very encouraged! I bought another box of 10 and will continue practicing for the bigger Civil War event in August, in Minnesota. It's a lot of fun doing this, and the guys loved the way the shot came out. I'll add I used the Derogy Petzval for both shots.

    The plates were sent to Blue Moon for processing, and the film was sent to Citizen's Photo. I'm curious what caused the wrinkling of the emulsion on the plates? And, why is the image from the plate not as sharp as that from the film? I'm hoping the plates don't focus differently from what I see on the GG. The Derogy Petzval is about 5 inch FL, and was obviously made for quarter plate. I took the shot with the intention of cropping a lot of it off and just used the center.

    Any comments or suggestions? I do love the look I'm getting. I'll take all the help I can get.


    Kent in SD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails thumbnail.jpg   SeventhCavM.jpg   SeventhCavFilmM.jpg  
    The first five days after a weekend are the roughest.

  2. #2
    Randy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Re: Civil War Portraits 2018

    Kent, the "wrinkling" on the plate is either a "problem" during the coating of the plate or a problem during processing. I am going to guess it occurred during processing - perhaps a slight lifting of the emulsion. But really no way to determine at this point... I guess.

    As for the sharpness - I have to assume it was due to operator error during focusing or plate holder insertion. I know these dry plates are capable of being extremely sharp. I have only done a few so far - here is one with a close crop. It is super sharp and basically grain-less:



    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  3. #3
    tgtaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    4,031

    Re: Civil War Portraits 2018

    Ironically, the three guys really ARE officers in the U.S. 7th Cavalry! There was a captain and two lieutenants, all three active duty! They are into the history of the unit.
    Although some members of the 7th Cavalry did serve in the Civil War - especially its illustrious commander during the Indian Wars George Armstrong Custer, the unit itself wasn't formed until 1866: http://www.first-team.us/assigned/subunits/7th_cr/

    Thomas

  4. #4
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    5,256

    Re: Civil War Portraits 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Ironically, the three guys really ARE officers in the U.S. 7th Cavalry! There was a captain and two lieutenants, all three active duty!
    The Army allows beards now???!!!

    For reenactments, I'd suggest a longer Petzval. You'll lose most of the Petzval signature, but that signature was avoided at the time. Has that Derogy been sharp for other photographs? May be mis-assembled...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    digital nomad.
    Posts
    29

    Re: Civil War Portraits 2018

    skip this
    Last edited by hornstenj; 19-Jun-2018 at 11:48. Reason: couldn't provide direct link. someone else will answer

  6. #6
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,108

    Re: Civil War Portraits 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    The Army allows beards now???!!!

    For reenactments, I'd suggest a longer Petzval. You'll lose most of the Petzval signature, but that signature was avoided at the time. Has that Derogy been sharp for other photographs? May be mis-assembled...
    No, the Derogy has never been really sharp. See the film shot I made above--that's as sharp as it gets. I use a loupe to focus and am pretty careful about not moving the camera after focusing etc. Pretty sure I checked the rear group, but maybe I should take another look. As for longer Petzvals, I have an 1847 Voigtlander 7 inch and an 1865 Voigtlander 8 inch. I have those mounted on Gundlach boards for my 1925 Gundlach Korona 5x7 (plus 4x5 back). My intention is to start using that camera, partly because I can shoot 5x7, partly because it looks cooler. The bigger Petzvals are too heavy for the little Chamonix 045n, so I use quarter plate Petzvals on it. (I have c.1845 Ross, c.1855 Grubb, c.1879 BF French & C. Petzvals too.)


    Kent in SD
    The first five days after a weekend are the roughest.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Arlington, Mass.
    Posts
    188

    Re: Civil War Portraits 2018

    If you're using old plate holders, you might check the T-distance on your plate holders vs your ground glass holder. Things weren't necessarily standardized back then, and I've found that some of my plate holders hold the plates at varying distances. Got a bunch of stuff slightly out of focus until I figured that out.

    Robert

  8. #8
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,108

    Re: Civil War Portraits 2018

    Will check the distance, it was something I thought of. These are newer Graflex holders, not the real old all wooden ones. Acting on the tip from Mark, I pulled the rear elements out and very carefully checked them against a diagram. It looks like the rear most element was indeed backwards! I reassembled and checked, and it is now noticeably sharper. When used with the f16 washer it is certainly sharp enough. Alphonse is probably rolling his eyes at me.


    Kent in SD
    The first five days after a weekend are the roughest.

  9. #9
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    5,256

    Re: Civil War Portraits 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Acting on the tip from Mark, I pulled the rear elements out and very carefully checked them against a diagram. It looks like the rear most element was indeed backwards! I reassembled and checked, and it is now noticeably sharper.
    I'm always right, and I never lie.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 7-May-2018, 19:10
  2. January 2018 Portraits
    By Rick50 in forum Image Sharing (LF) & Discussion
    Replies: 81
    Last Post: 3-Feb-2018, 11:54
  3. Civil War Pretenders
    By Two23 in forum Image Sharing (LF) & Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 15-Jun-2016, 11:06
  4. My first Civil War Reenactment
    By Corran in forum Image Sharing (LF) & Discussion
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 21-Jul-2015, 08:36
  5. Civil War Era Lenses?
    By icefan13 in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 9-Jan-2009, 09:45

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •