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Thread: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

  1. #1

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    Question Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    Hi all,

    Within the next few months, I'll be in the market to purchase an 8x10 camera for wet plate collodion. In the meantime, I wanted to get started on my research on where to buy, what to look for, and any general tips that could benefit a neophyte.

    So far, my cursory google searches have unearthed Black Art Woodcraft, Star Camera Company, and Ty Guillory Cameras. And of course, eBay.

    I'm just soliciting opinions and advice, and both are much appreciated in advance.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    Me (Ty Guillory), Ray (Star Cam), and Steve (Blackart) are it. Clovis Davis used to make them as well, but I was told he has quit.

    Of course there are a few guys out there who have made super nice ones for themselves.

    I have an 8x10 on my site (In Stock tab) that was a custom order, then the customer opted for a different format.

    Also, Ray and Steve make conversion/adapter backs to do wet plate with film cameras, I do not. Keep in mind that if you just want to dip yours toes into wet plate, you can make a cheap brownie from an antique store work without too much investment.

  3. #3

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    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    I have a wet plate camera made by Ray at Star and it's a nicely constructed camera--no complaints. I also have a silver box made by Steve/BlackArt and the construction is beautiful--he does great work. My studio mate has a back that Ty made and the construction is top notch. Ty's 8x10 camera looks gorgeous, so if you don't want to wait 6 months, I'd jump on that deal.

  4. #4

    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    Whatever you do, ensure that you have enough bellows. Because you will probably be using longer and larger lenses (perhaps 15" to 18" for 8x10) WP cameras often need more extension than film cameras. With 8x10 I have found that I often need 38", double the size of my 19" portrait lens. This is a lot of bellows, but I have found that I am not happy with less. I routinely have my Deardorff at maximum draw (32"?)

  5. #5
    Michael Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    Ditto for the 8x10 Ty has for sale:

    http://www.tyguillory.com/Wet%20plat...for%20sale.htm

    That's who made mine.

    Mike

  6. #6

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    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Greenberg Motamedi View Post
    Whatever you do, ensure that you have enough bellows. Because you will probably be using longer and larger lenses (perhaps 15" to 18" for 8x10) WP cameras often need more extension than film cameras. With 8x10 I have found that I often need 38", double the size of my 19" portrait lens. This is a lot of bellows, but I have found that I am not happy with less. I routinely have my Deardorff at maximum draw (32"?)
    Jason--Is that for portraits? Because 38" is a 1:1 (life size) magnification for 8x10. 19" is probably longer than most wet plate artists use for portraits on 8x10, although everyone has their own preferences. These days, even finding a fast 19" Petzval is a major undertaking--let alone paying the bill. I think a 16", like a Dallmeyer 3A, is a good usable length for 8x10. A long bellows is great, but the length of the rail (and size of the folded camera) will increase as well. For still lifes with a greater magnification-- I find a shorter lens is more useful.

  7. #7

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    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    Ty--I spent a lot of time on your site today, and I've got to say that I'm really impressed. I laughed (in a good way!) when I read that you "know what I'm looking for in a camera," because I really believe you do. That being said, if the 8x10 you have in stock is still around in August/September when I'm going to buy, you've got yourself a customer.

    Jason & Barry--I plan on using the camera in the field as well as at home, so something at least semi-portable is desired (emphasis on semi--I'm not trying to come off as unrealistic). Barry, you mentioned that a 16" lens is a good useable length? Would you mind expanding on that?

    Thanks guys...this is helping me out a lot.

  8. #8

    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    I use a 19" f6 for portraits, it is really a 10x12 lens, but I prefer longer lenses. Anyhow, I agree Barry, a 16" Petzval is fine for 8x10. Even still, a tight head shot on 8x10 will be 1:1 or nearly so, and then you will need 32" of bellows. So what I am trying to say is that two feet of bellows won't be sufficient for portraits, at least not for me.

  9. #9

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    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ty G View Post
    Me (Ty Guillory), Ray (Star Cam), and Steve (Blackart) are it. Clovis Davis used to make them as well, but I was told he has quit.

    Of course there are a few guys out there who have made super nice ones for themselves.

    I have an 8x10 on my site (In Stock tab) that was a custom order, then the customer opted for a different format.

    Also, Ray and Steve make conversion/adapter backs to do wet plate with film cameras, I do not. Keep in mind that if you just want to dip yours toes into wet plate, you can make a cheap brownie from an antique store work without too much investment.

    Hi Ty

    You mentioned there are adaptors for film camera's, I have a 5x7 Toyo view deluxe are they available for them.

    David

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Re: Wet Plate camera manufacturers?

    David, the adapter backs are custom made; so Ray or Steve would need your camera in their shop. You would need to get in touch with them for more. I was doing them for a while, yet I am plenty busy doing complete wet plate cameras.

    Another note: there is a guy either here or on APUG that just started doing modified film holders for wet plate in 8x10. I think his first name is Bill ... something. Whoever he is, I apologize for not remembering his name or if I got the description wrong. Maybe someone can chime in with his name.

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