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Thread: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

  1. #11

    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Thank you, Paul and Kent. Great stuff.
    I'm doing about 95% of what you're saying, but as always, the devil is in the details. Thus the problems I was having.
    As of today, my plates are starting to look like typical beginner developer pours, which I prefer over the ridges.

    As always, when we eliminate one problem, another appears.
    Now I'm getting vertical lines on my plates, more pronounced in the first plate:
    Any ideas as to what it is? It's not in the scans, it's on the plates. I can't think of any equipment I have that would cause the lines.
    My plates go in the silver bath the other way, i.e., horizontally.
    I did keep the collodion cold, as it was very humid today. I had an ice pack in the cooler along with all the chemicals. Maybe the collodion was too cold?

    Side note: I'm pleased with these plates, technically. While the development missed in spots, the rest is better.
    I did no correction at all on these plates other than re-size them for the web.
    Ari, how long does it take for you to submerge the plate in the silver bath? More than one second? A 4x5 plate should be submerged in one second from start to finish, as long as you are not rushing/splashing it.
    To be honest, these stripes look more like artifacts from the plate material itself. I assume this is black trophy plate? Is it bare metal on the reverse, or painted white? Do you wipe the surface with alcohol after peeling the plastic off and before pouring collodion? Have you changed brands of trophy plate? Have you tried the same image on the same day, but on glass? If you have an issue like this suddenly appear, do a control test by switching base materials: try one on glass.

  2. #12
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Hi Paul,
    It takes 1s or less, it's quick. It's black trophy plate, white paint on the back.
    I don't usually wipe the peeled surface, though I think it's caused a problem once in the last 50 plates.
    I haven't changed brands, it's the same batch of plates I bought from Lund.
    I haven't changed anything, really, except the temperature of the chemicals due to the outside temperature, and my pouring technique.
    I have no glass to compare it to, but I should make a couple plates today and will post them.
    Thank you very much for your help.

  3. #13

    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Hi Paul,
    It takes 1s or less, it's quick. It's black trophy plate, white paint on the back.
    I don't usually wipe the peeled surface, though I think it's caused a problem once in the last 50 plates.
    I haven't changed brands, it's the same batch of plates I bought from Lund.
    I haven't changed anything, really, except the temperature of the chemicals due to the outside temperature, and my pouring technique.
    I have no glass to compare it to, but I should make a couple plates today and will post them.
    Thank you very much for your help.
    I will not buy the trophy plate from Lund anymore. It introduces too many problems with streaks like what you're experiencing. That's why I asked if you were using the plates with the white backing. I've been told by other people that if you wipe the plate with alcohol after removing the plastic, you can (usually) eliminate the problem. But the longer your development time, the more like you are to see artifacts like streaks on the plate. Keep development times to 15 seconds or less, if you can. This will help you avoid those marks.

    Please report back on your results! And good luck.

    Paul

  4. #14
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    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    I've often suspected the plastic film leaves marks as it's pulled off. Will try the wipes.


    Kent in SD
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    miserere nobis.

  5. #15
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Ok, got it Paul. I had no idea about the Lund plates.
    I just ordered 10 sheets of 24x48 aluminum from Main Trophy. It arrived very quickly, unfortunately they sent me the wrong finish (gold!).
    I should have the right material by Tuesday, and I hope it won't cause trouble.
    I still have about 40 4x5 plates from Lund, and they're not that troublesome.
    I will shoot today, got a new lens to try out, and I'll report back.

    PS - development time is always 15s, that's been a constant from the beginning, thanks to your suggestion 1-2 months ago.
    I really stuck to that principle, since it's easier to adjust exposure in order to find out what's going wrong (if anything).

  6. #16

    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Ok, got it Paul. I had no idea about the Lund plates.
    I just ordered 10 sheets of 24x48 aluminum from Main Trophy. It arrived very quickly, unfortunately they sent me the wrong finish (gold!).
    I should have the right material by Tuesday, and I hope it won't cause trouble.
    I still have about 40 4x5 plates from Lund, and they're not that troublesome.
    I will shoot today, got a new lens to try out, and I'll report back.

    PS - development time is always 15s, that's been a constant from the beginning, thanks to your suggestion 1-2 months ago.
    I really stuck to that principle, since it's easier to adjust exposure in order to find out what's going wrong (if anything).
    Ari, the issue with the streaking on Lund plate material seems to be intermittent (batches vary?) and dependent on the materials used, how they are used (development times) and whether or not the user cleans the black surface after removing the plastic covering. All I can suggest is: experiment with cleaning the surface before pouring collodion, and see what happens.
    FWIW, I have never had these artifacts appear on the plates from Main Trophy, even when I have pushed my luck with long development times. It clearly seems to be an issue with the different manufacturers of trophy plate. This is why 95% of the work I do now is on glass, whether its negatives or ambrotypes. A good ambrotype backed with a really good black material (I've used UVP's Japan varnish, Rustoleum spray paint, black paper) has much better blacks (and therefore better contrast) than anything you will ever get from black trophy plate. And as a bonus, you won't have to deal with unwanted streaky artifacts.

    I'm glad to hear you've adopted a policy of keeping your development time consistent! You will learn how to properly expose plates if you stick with the 15 second approach to development. Reducing the number of variables makes troubleshooting easier!

  7. #17
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Many thanks, Paul.
    If Main Trophy's aluminum reduces/eliminates some problems, I'm a happy guy.
    Working with glass seems to be the natural progression, and I may adopt it eventually, if only to get rid of the annoying problems caused by aluminum.
    Thanks again!

  8. #18
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Here was my first plate of the day:



    Not the most inspiring composition, but a success in other areas, and mistakes elsewhere, notably:
    A touch of green/yellow on the lower left side. The dreaded ridges came back, though not as bad.
    Exposure was good, bright whites and good blacks.

    The background and surrounding area look nothing like what they were at the time. And I was using a semi-modern, coated 210mm lens in shutter.
    This is what I love about this process, the messy stuff that goes on around the point of focus, and how unpredictable it can be.

    I made a rough helper tray, and instead of pouring water on the plate to stop development, I now fill a tray with water beforehand, then drop it in the water at exactly 15s of development time.
    The timing is easier because of the helper tray, but it's messier in the dark box as a result. The helper tray really, uh...helps. A lot, in fact.\

    After this plate, I kept getting solarized plates.
    After the third plate, I realized I had mixed my fixer too weak. I mixed it thinking I'd make 400mL, but I made 1L in the end. Brain cramp on my part.
    By then, I was exhausted and ready for a beer.
    Last edited by Ari; 14-Aug-2020 at 21:29.

  9. #19
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    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Huge improvement.


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

  10. #20

    Re: Troubleshooting, or What the Hell Is That?

    Much better, Ari! Well done!

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