View Full Version : My Journey To 16x20 TinTypes: Step 2 - Plate Holders

8-Aug-2018, 18:39
Greetings everyone,

I'm slowly moving forward to being able to shoot 16x20 tintypes.
Some of you have answered/helped already! So thanks!

So far I have a lens. 480mm f/4.5 (schneider).

I believe the next step is buying plate holders and after that would be to build the camera back/rear carrier based on the dimensions of the plate holders.

I'm looking into svedovsky.com plate holders as they are the cheapest I've found so far.
Based on their materials used in the construction of the plate holders, would they hold up to the chemicals used in tintype photography?
Anyone have experience with their plate holders?

Well, thanks for reading this!
Take care!
Kevin H.

9-Aug-2018, 21:07
They're advertised as wet plate holders, so I'd certainly hope so.

Gary Samson
13-Aug-2018, 12:02
Are you sure your lens will cover the 16x20 format?

13-Aug-2018, 14:48
They're advertised as wet plate holders, so I'd certainly hope so.

It won't at infinity. If he's shooting portraits, it ought to though.

13-Aug-2018, 17:26
lol, I think you quoted the wrong post. I was very confused there for a second :p

13-Aug-2018, 19:14
Hello all,

Thanks for the comments. I guess I was wondering about durability and resistance to corrosion of svedovsky.com's plate holders.

Thanks again!
Have a great new week everyone!

13-Aug-2018, 23:47
Even wooden plate holders hold up pretty well if you clean the dregs of emulsion out properly after each exposure, I'd expect an aluminum one to be pretty daggum durable. Just make sure you wipe out the inside every time you use it (I think more than any of the actual chemicals, the things you go through the most of shooting wet plate are nitrile gloves and paper towels).

14-Aug-2018, 10:32
lol, I think you quoted the wrong post. I was very confused there for a second :p

I totally did. :rolleyes: My bad.

14-Aug-2018, 17:41
Hi bieber!

Thank you for your advice and the tips!
That's exactly what I was looking for :)

Thanks so much!
Have a great rest of your summer!
Kevin H.

20-Aug-2018, 13:11
Hey everyone,

Finding, buying or building plate holders and camera parts is starting to look like a very long adventure.

I'm thinking to start my tintype journey with shooting 8x10s while also, buying and building everything needed or 16x20 portraits.

Could anyone recommend a 8x10 plate holder maker? (wood vs plastic vs aluminum)
Does anyone know the common dimensions for plates that fit 8x10 holders?

Here are 3 obvious sources:




Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge!

Kevin H.

Nodda Duma
20-Aug-2018, 15:06
I always recommend ebay for people looking for dry plate holders. But of course wet plate is different.

20-Aug-2018, 20:08
Hey, Thanks Nooda Duma! :)

21-Aug-2018, 20:57
I would definitely recommend starting with 8x10, or even 4x5 plates. Pouring your first plates is tricky enough without pouring such a large plate that you need a support to keep it rigid. There's also the fact that you're gonna need all the light you can get, and with 16x20 you'll be in bellows factor city if you want to get to portrait magnification. As far as holders go, I've never heard of the Rayko brand. I have owned both Chamonix and Ake holders.

First of all, they both might take some time to get to you: the Chamonix holder because it comes from China, and the Ake holder because he makes them from time to time in batches. If time is a factor for you, you might want to check with Jody Ake and see how long it would take to get your hands on one: I think he did a batch of 8x10s around a month or so ago, but I'm not sure if there's any left.

For quality, the big obvious difference is that the Chamonix holder is made of wood while the Ake holder is made of plastic and metal. The Ake holder is going to be more durable, and apparently you can even wash it in water if you feel the need. The Chamonix holder will probably wear out eventually, although I've heard that they can easily last for years if you clean them out properly, and you can even revarnish when it starts to decay. When it comes to the actual build quality, the Chamonix holder comes out ahead IMO. The Chamonix holder feels like more of a commercial product, while the Ake holder is a little more obviously hand-made. The one I bought actually came in defective (the dark slide scraped emulsion off the plates), although Jody immediately offered to either replace or refund it, so don't worry about getting stuck with a bad one.

All things considered, if money weren't a factor, I would probably prefer the Ake holder except for one catch: Jody Ake's holders fit actual 4"x5" and 8"x10" plates, while the Chamonix holders fit 4x5 and 8x10 film sized plates, which are ever so slightly smaller. At first I assumed full sized plates would just be simpler when it came to ordering and so on, but there's a catch to using full size plates. They won't fit in storage media designed for large format negatives. So ultimately I stuck with the Chamonix holder, because it lets me fit my 4x5 (well, 3 7/8 x 4 7/8) plates into print file pages designed for 4x5 film.

23-Aug-2018, 12:42
Hello bieber,

Wow, that was an awesome reply. Thank you for your time, advice and help!

Do you happen to know how people pour ULF plates?
I plan on buying some books and read from other sources for 4x5 plates.
But I do plan on taking a workshop or two when I'm ready to start shooting 16x20.
I thought I would just ask in the mean time.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts/experiences!

Kevin :)

23-Aug-2018, 18:36
You can find a video or two of it on Youtube, I think generally if they're pouring aluminum they put something stiff underneath it, like glass, to keep it from flexing around as they pour. Glass I would assume you can pour on its own, since it's nice and rigid (also cheaper, and that matters once you start getting up to that size).

28-Aug-2018, 16:12
Hi Kevin, I shoot 16x20 glass and would agree with the other chap who suggested starting with smaller formats. The cost of shooting big plates like that is considerably since you'll need a silver tank and around 500$ of silver as well. I built my own camera and holder which works pretty well for me but diy is definitely not the cheap way to go either.

28-Aug-2018, 17:12
Hi bieber, Thanks, I will look up youtube now. Good connecting with you via private messages!

Hey gphoto, Thanks for your advice! I think I'm gunna take a few workshops, and buy some books before I move forward. I have an 8x10 camera and a reducing back, so I will probably use those formats
until I get consistent and calibrated results. But I will definitely invest eventually into 16x20" portraits and maybe even a bit larger.

Thanks again to you both :)