View Full Version : How Lower Resolution Lens Works on Large High Resolution Wet Plate Negative

Mustafa Umut Sarac
16-Jan-2014, 12:30
I read William Henry Jackson Wet Plate era lenses have lower resolution than todays ULF lenses. There remains two factors remains in that quality results.

- High resolution of wet plate chemistry.

- Larger recording medium

If we select an 2 inches area on wet plate negative , can we count highest lens resolution for each milimeter of that negative area ? Or do we count even higher resolution than lens because of chemistry ?

If we lower the size of print medium 4 times when we use that large wet plate negative , would be the resolution of printed medium 4 times higher ?

Mustafa Umut Sarac

16-Jan-2014, 14:39
Hi. I'm not sure where he wrote that, but I don't believe it's true. The resolution of 1800s Petzvals and Landscape meniscus lenses are very good. They would compare favorably to current lenses, in any contact prints. You don't usually enlarge wetplate glass negatives, and Jackson never did. All were contact printed.

Drew Wiley
16-Jan-2014, 15:04
You are only as good as your weakest link. So there is no way for any film to record a degree information which the lens itself cannot communicate. With lenses of
this vintage, the primary part of the subject was often in acute focus, but the corners of the field lost it some. But these were intended for contact printing, so
even a so-so lens by today's standards could make a sharp-looking image. The view lenses we have today are intended for cameras with significant movement
capability, with image circles often much larger than the nominal film size, whereas back then the cameras were basically box design. But glass plates do have an
advantage in that they remain flat. Sheet film can bow or buckle under certain circumstances, and probably did quite a bit when it first came out.