View Full Version : Wet Plate/Collodian

7-Mar-2008, 18:38
i was wondering if anyone knew where i could acquire wet plate 4x5 holders? i know that there is a website that shows how to convert your 4x5 holder into a wet plate holder, but i am not confident enough in my makeshift skills for that procedure. please help.

Petzval Paul
7-Mar-2008, 19:36
I've heard that one could use the old dry-plate holders. Not sure if modern window glass would fit, but framing glass should be fine. If you shoot tintypes then it's no problem. You need lots of varnish on the inside of the holder, too, in order to avoid rotting the wood and avoiding contamination from the metal parts. Never tried any of this myself as I had a custom plate-holder made for my 8x10.

Most would use a modern film-holder and cut out the septum to fit a quater plate size. There are some links and even a pic and some instruction in the book "Coming into Focus." If one wants to get into wetplate photography, he could not do better than to order John Coffer's DVD and manual which covers all of these topics and much, much more.

- Paul

Brook Martin
7-Mar-2008, 22:49
Converting film holders is really quite easy with tools you probably already have, a drill, a hacksaw and some super glue. I made one sitting in my kitchen, cause it was -10f in the garage. Makeshift skills are perfectly adaquate for the task. If you are testing the waters to see if it is something you are really going to get into, it is a pretty good way to go, as you will be burning up a bunch of cash getting the chemistry.

Like Paul said, you really need to get one of the manuals, and a workshop wouldnt hurt. Its not exactly the safest way to make a picture, but it might be the most habit forming....

7-Mar-2008, 23:13
thank you for your help, both of you. do you know where i could purchase the DVD?

Joe Smigiel
8-Mar-2008, 05:46
Perhaps Wayne Pierce (http://www.companyphotographer.com/) or The Star Camera Company (http://www.geocities.com/starcameracompany/) could make a dedicated wetplate holder for you in that size. Regular wetplate holders are less hassle to use than converted ones. Check the links (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/WPC/WPC3/wpc3.html) list on my "Getting Started In Wetplate Collodion Photography" article (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/WPC/wpc.html) for a list of other resources including online manuals, workshops, etc.

While I'm at it, I may as well plug my wetplate workshop June 23-24, 2008 in northern Michigan (http://www.northlightworkshops.com/workshops/collodion/). I've also taken a workshop from John Coffer (http://www.johncoffer.com/) and recommend him highly. He is a very interesting guy and his manual and DVDs are very helpful. You can only obtain these resources from John directly via snail mail, so check the contact information on his website.