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Thread: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

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    Photojournalist/Artist Poseur guyatou's Avatar
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    Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    I'm excited to try my hand at dry plate and dry ambrotype with the Rockland Tintype kit. The kit came in today, but the weather in Oklahoma is about to get really crappy, so I'm stuck shooting things indoors.

    I've searched high and low, and can't find a single person online who has used the AG Plus emulsion in the tintype kit with strobes. Or, at least not anyone who followed up with their success or failure. The AlienBees B1600s should put out plenty of light, but will there be enough UV to properly expose the plates?

    Has anyone used the kit with anything other than the sun? If so, what ISO should I use as my baseline?

    If this goes well, I may attempt real-life wet plate this spring. I do know those would have to be done outside in bright sunlight!

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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    I don't know if this will help, but I made a wet-plate portrait tintype in the studio with a 1000 watt second Ultra Zap in a beauty dish about 30 inches from the subject and it took four full power pops to get a proper exposure. I was using a 240 mm f5.6 lens wide open to create the image.

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    Photojournalist/Artist Poseur guyatou's Avatar
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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    That is a help. But that was wet plate with traditional chemicals, right?

    How did you end up metering that? It was it mostly trial and error?

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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    Quote Originally Posted by guyatou View Post
    That is a help. But that was wet plate with traditional chemicals, right?

    How did you end up metering that? It was it mostly trial and error?
    hi there

    meter your rockland kit for iso 1
    and if you have tungsten light ( blue light ) use that

    the emulsion is slow, and some say finicky.
    and the reversal developer is also finicky.

    but the results can be beautiful ...
    metal looks like tintypes ( tonally )
    ambrotypes have a different hue to them ...

    have fun! ( and good luck )
    enjoy your coffee

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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    I've used Rockland AG Plus (which is what comes in the Parlor tintype kit as well), metered at ISO 1.5 3 days after pouring, and used Profoto Acute strobes, no gels. I photographed at f/8 1/125 ISO 1.5. The lighting is not for the faint of heart, the packs I used were two 2400 w/s packs for a combined 4800 w/s through a 5 foot Octa on one side and a 3x5 foot softbox on the other side, with single diffusion. You could feel quite a bit of heat transfer from the heads, and even through the super big modifiers, it was BRIGHT.
    A note on using AG Plus on false ferrotypes, the chemicals in the kit to make the tintypes are NOT regular paper developers, as I had originally thought. Because of this, you need to buy the chemical from them, and it oxidizes very fast, within a week, and loses strength rapidly after 10 or 15 plates. Develop in the smallest tray you have and dump the chemicals instead of replenishing them after 10 plates or once it begins to turn brownish. Make sure to wash for quite a while, or else the plates will have a matte sheen to them, making it difficult to see the image properly. I would put them in a tray of water under a dripping tap for 15 minutes and then rinse for about 30 seconds then let dry. After drying, consider coating them with a spray lacquer, as they tend to peel off the plates in cold weather, because the chemical really isn't designed to be put on non porous surfaces.
    If you have any other questions, ask away!

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    Photojournalist/Artist Poseur guyatou's Avatar
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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    Grant and jnanian--

    Thanks for the advice! I just poured the plates (and, incidentally, poured the sink as well). I only managed to make 7 plates from the tintype kit. It comes with 8 plates, but I subbed in 4 glass plates from the hardware store. Royally screwed up at least 3 plates, but a few of them are usable. I'm glad I started with the small kit, as I would have spilled a lot more $$$ worth of emulsion. Next time I'm going to heat up the emulsion and transfer it to a glass cruet with a spout for an easier pour.

    It snowed here last week, so I should have lovely bluish window light tomorrow to shoot with. I'll skip the strobes -- at 640ws each, I'd need something like 5-6 strobes to match the output you had!

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    Photojournalist/Artist Poseur guyatou's Avatar
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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    I posted the results on the Alternative Process thread in Image Sharing. I used window light, and the best results were 4 stops overexposed for ISO 3. (That's as low as my meter goes, so it's easiest for me to think of it in those terms.)

    Let me know what you think!

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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    beautiful stuff!
    i have a few plates poured last spring, never gat a chance to expose them ..
    maybe tomorrow?
    enjoy your coffee

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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    well, its now january14th and i finally have gotten around to using the plates i poured last spring.
    they turned out OK ... unfortunately my developer turned black so i had to concoct my own tintype developer
    from hints in googlebooks and articles written in various fora .
    what i used was black/expired. very old sumatranolC, as a second bath
    and some ansco130 with hypo ( not speed fixer ) and some thiocyanate
    mixed in and it seemed to work well ..
    my exposures have been very long ( dull light, overcast rainy day with no light ) but
    i can't complain ... the plates are drying ... eventually ill post them..
    the emulsion was wicked expired liquid light VC i was gifted by a friend ..
    so nothing was by the book ... old emulsion, expired developer+fixer
    long exposur ... so my results are probably not typical
    enjoy your coffee

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    Re: Using Rockland Tintypes Indoors with Strobes

    sorry i didn't upload them,
    the images are in my blog

    nanianphoto.com/blog

    this week, more to follow (actually using a strobe )
    and either metal or paper plates ...
    enjoy your coffee

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