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Kotka
9-Sep-2011, 06:05
Yesterday I finally decided to get into ambrotype photography. I'm a complete newbie with the technical aspects of vintage cameras, but Im passionate about photography.
I know what I want, but I do not fully grasp a couple of things...

What about the lens? I need to find a 8x10 camera in which you can change lenses, but I do not even understand the relationship with the bellow and lens. How do you _actually_ zoom? Pull out the bellow? Also, what type of lenses do I want to find for portraits and still life? I've seen photos made with a Wollensak Raptar 101mm and they looked great. What other brands can you recommend? Can I really put any kind of lens on any kind of glass plate camera? How can I be sure camera and lens will fit?

I'm currently living in Sweden, so I search extensively on the Swedish version of Ebay for these kind of cameras. A lot of good vintage cameras are sold very cheap since not a lot of people want them for serious photography. What kind of brands should I look for? I need names of the brands, and specifications, because the sellers rarely know anything... they just want to get rid of it ASAP, but to me it could be a potential precious thing.

Has anyone ever succeeded in using a modern FX lens in ambrotype photography?

As I wrote, complete technical newbie.

Steve Barber
9-Sep-2011, 06:56
I would suggest you start by going to this link:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/

Then, for more information go to amazon.com and search for "view cameras". I can recommend both the one by Steve Simmons and the one by Stroebel. A search for "ambrotype", also brought up at least one interesting entry you might take a look at.

After that, try googling on the internet for other subjects that you are more familiar with having read up on the basics using what you get from Amazon.

Trying to answer all of the questions you have now, with you having no knowledge of what you are asking about, would be a very lengthy effort.

alex from holland
9-Sep-2011, 07:05
First be sure that you really know what you are going to start with.
Wet plate photography isn't something you "just start with"
Book yourself a workshop. I am sure there are possibilities for that in Sweden.
On the long term it will save you a lot of money.

yes, you can use almost every lens for WP, but as collodion is relatively slow you need fast lenses.

Alex

Steve Barber
9-Sep-2011, 07:10
Has anyone ever succeeded in using a modern FX lens in ambrotype photography?

Regarding this question, I assume you are referring to the Nikon line of lenses? If so, for reasons that will become clear to you as you learn more about LF, I do not think those would be useful for large format photography.

alex from holland
9-Sep-2011, 07:37
Has anyone ever succeeded in using a modern FX lens in ambrotype photography?

Regarding this question, I assume you are referring to the Nikon line of lenses? If so, for reasons that will become clear to you as you learn more about LF, I do not think those would be useful for large format photography.

In theory it is possible, but your plates are going to be small :D :rolleyes:

goamules
9-Sep-2011, 09:59
Like Alex says, the best starting point is with a manual and/or a workshop. Quinn Jacobson, Will Dunniway, and John Coffer offer these but are in the US. John Brewer in the UK does workshops and has chemicals. Alex should know some more resources in Eu for you. Good luck with an exciting process! You will be making your own film, and not be reliant on a company to continue providing it for you!

Jimi
9-Sep-2011, 10:39
As you live in Sweden I really think you should look up Henning KlasÚn and talk to him - he is the wethead around these parts. He knows his stuff. Send me a pm and I'll see what I can do to link you up.