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Thread: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

  1. #51

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    I've been keeping my collodion in a refrigerator and not had a problem. When out in the field and temp is over 75 I keep an ice pack in the cooler bag that has my chemicals. So, what's a good commercially available collodion for negatives?


    Kent in SD
    Lea Formula 7 is good for negatives, but it ages quite quickly: plan to use it up within two months.
    UVP 4 is good for negatives also, and being a two cadmium recipe, it’s very slow to age and with proper storage can remain usable for many months.
    Also formulated by UV Photographics is a proprietary “house blend” called UVP-X. It uses 2 bromides and 2 iodides which makes for faster collodion (about 1 stop faster than most other recipes). It is also a very stable recipe, so you can expect it to remain usable for about a year if stored properly (cool, dark). I recently finished a bottle of UVP-X that was 18 months old and still worked well! (Though it had lost some speed).

    To a degree, collodion recipes just aren’t that different when it comes to results. However, the following is generally true about salted collodion recipes: the iodides in a recipe contribute to contrast, and the bromides help create more middle values. Though it may seem counterintuitive to say, positives (tintypes) don’t need to be as contrasty as negatives. So a collodion recipe for producing good negatives will typically have more iodide than bromide. But I must say that in my experience, all but the most extremely contrasty scenes will produce a negative that’s fairly low in contrast regardless of which collodion recipe you use, in which case they benefit from some intensification or (better still) re-development to build density and contrast.

    What you need to decide once you’ve made a negative is: what will it be used for? if you’re going to scan it for post-processing, or make a traditional silver gelatin darkroom contact print from it, then you may not need to intensify/redevelop the negative. I’ve found a property exposed negative with good contrast will print on a grade 2 or grade 3 paper. But if you intend on printing your negative on albumen or salt paper (or even platinum/palladium) then the extra density achieved by redevelopment or intensification is pretty much mandatory. How you choose to make a negative is going to depend on how you’re going to use it. This is where Quinn’s book is going to be very helpful to you.

    Also bear in mind that there are so many variables in the process that no two people will have exactly the same results when seemingly using the exact same techniques. Your output is going to depend on 1) the state of your silver bath (it’s age, pH, silver content, etc.), 2) your choice of developer, 3) your water quality, 4) temperature and humidity on any given day, 5) your choice of collodion, and it’s age, and of course 6) your technical proficiency. That’s a lot of variables. So take what advice I offer as being just “general recommendations”. What works for me may not work for your circumstances. A certain amount of trial and error is going to be needed for each practitioner to find their sweet spot.

    PS: I hope you haven’t been storing collodion in a fridge that’s also used for food! No matter how tightly capped, a collodion bottle still leaks Ether fumes which can be absorbed by food items.

  2. #52
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Good suggestion. I am getting 4 cold packs a month with my eye drops

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    I've been keeping my collodion in a refrigerator and not had a problem. When out in the field and temp is over 75 I keep an ice pack in the cooler bag that has my chemicals. So, what's a good commercially available collodion for negatives?


    Kent in SD
    sin eater

  3. #53
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post

    PS: I hope you haven’t been storing collodion in a fridge that’s also used for food! No matter how tightly capped, a collodion bottle still leaks Ether fumes which can be absorbed by food items.

    No. Stored in a small dorm sized refrigerator. I only keep a very small quantity--the B&S kit. Ether/collodion kind of makes me nervous. Have heard only good things about UVP-X. Will wait until I use up what I have before ordering a bottle though. I'm trying to minimize on hands.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #54

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion questions answered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    No. Stored in a small dorm sized refrigerator. I only keep a very small quantity--the B&S kit. Ether/collodion kind of makes me nervous. Have heard only good things about UVP-X. Will wait until I use up what I have before ordering a bottle though. I'm trying to minimize on hands.


    Kent in SD
    Yeah, I try to limit how much Collodion/Ether I have on hand at any given time, too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Seriously, I never store large amounts of Ether for long without either using it in a Collodion mix, or mixing 50/50 with Ethanol for long term storage. If you mix the Ether with Ethanol, it stabilizes the Ether and you no longer need to worry about creating explosive peroxides in your Ether. Its also very handy to have an Ether/Ethanol bottle available to add to a collodion that has become too viscous through evaporation of the solvents.

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