View Full Version : Kodak 2D Wet Plate back

jeremy besecker
4-Feb-2010, 19:43
I just purchased a 2-D (5x7) and was wondering if there was a wetplate back that was or is made for this camera?

Thank you

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
4-Feb-2010, 20:22
All wetplate backs--in this century and the previous one--are custom made. You will have to have one made for the camera. As best I know there are currently three, possibly four people doing that work in the US.

4-Feb-2010, 20:45
Who are the ones you know? Steve from Black Art recently sent me an email stating he has stopped doing custom backs for customer cameras.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
4-Feb-2010, 20:57
Really? He is making one for me right now, although I ordered it many months ago. Perhaps he is sick of making backs and wants only to make cameras. Anyhow, not counting Stephen, I know of Ray Morgenweck (http://starcameracompany.com/), Ty G-somthing at Ty's tinypes. I recently heard about Clovis Davis (http://www.daviscam.com/), who apparently has been making them for some time, although I am not sure if he does adapter backs.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
4-Feb-2010, 21:24
I see you are right, and that Steve's site no longer mentions backs. Neither does Ty or Clovis (although you can always ask!), so Ray may be the only game in town. At least until someone else shows up.

5-Feb-2010, 13:52
I've just finished successfully testing a prototype of a holder I plan to put into production soon if all goes well. It is a custom build that fits any 8x10 camera with no modification and will allow a full 8x10 plate. Can't help you yet on the 5x7... but the design should work for that size as well. Full plate is next on the table.

There is always modification of a current holder if you have one you can cut into. There are many examples of this type out there and will get you up and running quickly. Just cut a 4x5 rectangle out of the septum and glue some acrylic corners in there to support your plate. Good luck!

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
5-Feb-2010, 13:58
See, someone already showed up!

I would love to see what you have made Bill, as I need a new 8x10 holder.

Louis Pacilla
5-Feb-2010, 14:01
We shout wet plate at brothers Eddies w/ a 5x7 spring back . There is certain type of holder that makes this possible. Eddie may be able to shed some light on it.

I may have a holder that is about the same as the one we all used at Eddies . I will snap a shout or two of it so you can start the hunt.

5-Feb-2010, 14:21
I've been using modified dryplate holders for years. Not the film type, the glass plate ones. You just make an insert out of plexiglass. So an 5x7 can do halfplate size, or quarterplate. You can make an insert for several sizes.

flickr gallery (http://www.flickr.com/photos/garrettsphotos/)

5-Feb-2010, 15:10
I'll get to some shots in a few days Jason. I'm extremely happy with it and have been running it through the paces for the last few days. I was a little unsure of the darkslide baffle, but thanks to a little guidance from Sandy King, all is well. I have a few small modifications for the final build and should be ready to roll. A few friends will be testing them out and we'll see where to take it from there.

5-Feb-2010, 15:20
I've got some Graflex "pressure plates" if I recall the name correctly. I have one each in 5x7 and 8x10. It's basically a standard holder that has room for a plate in it, with a plexiglass face and metal darkslide. Not being experienced in wet plate work, I'm curious as to how you did your conversion. I recently found a pair of Seneca 5x7 plate holders that I think may work. I would just prefer to see/show a pic to see if mine are usable without much work. My digisnap died and hasn't been replaced yet. Since wet plates are wet, I would think the plexiglass or darkslide (depending on holder) would contact the wet surface and damage the coating.
Got any pics of yours?

5-Feb-2010, 18:26
Sure, go to post #7 here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=54160

There is actually some space for the darkslide to move without touching. What you do is get your plexi to be the same thickness as the old dryplate. The wetplate goes into the plexi fixture, so that the wet top is at the exact level as the rest of the plexi. You have to drop the wetplate in emulsion side down, it's held by silver wires or tabs. Then put the loaded fixture into the holder, which you are holding upside down. It's hard to explain, but works great. Take a look at my pic in that post.

5-Feb-2010, 18:33
Oh yeah, another distinct advantage to this method: You can use the same holder in multiple cameras. I can use my 8x10 in my light field camera, on in my big Century studio. A back doesn't allow that - one back per camera.

6-Feb-2010, 16:29
Mine are dry plate holders. I see how they could be converted to film by spacing with card stock or something. I just need to find some kind of clip or sleeve to keep the film from touching the darkslide.
I guess the pressure plates will have to work for the wet stuff once I get all the gear together for it.