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Thread: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

  1. #1
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Fairfax Iowa

    Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

    Today on APOD they feature the moon taken with wet plate

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day


    Quote Originally Posted by John Jarosz View Post
    Today on APOD they feature the moon taken with wet plate

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

    Linda Conner had access to some of the glass plate negatives from the Lick Obsevatory. She made some excellent POP images from them.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Re: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

    Not sure I understand. Even in one second the moon is pretty blurred. How would that image be made with an 8x10 camera?

  5. #5
    Joe O'Hara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Marlton, NJ

    Re: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

    Telescope with a tracking motor. With the right telescope mount, only one axis of rotation is needed.
    Where are we going?
    And why are we in this handbasket?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Re: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

    Wetplate was used for astronomy for many decades, even after film. But this part of the caption has me scratching my head, what are "modern chemicals?" "This modern version of a wet-plate collodion image celebrates lunar photography's early days, reproducing the process using modern chemicals to coat a glass plate "

  7. #7

    August 21,2017 total solar eclipse on wet plate

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a series of wet plate images I made in Oregon during the total eclipse. I custom made the camera using a 47.5 Red Dot Artar and used a half plate holder.

    I was in a serious car accident that left me with a broken arm, 13 broken ribs and a pulverized heel only 5 months before the eclipse but managed to build the equipment I needed and get it to Salem Oregon in time. I made 6 images with the exposure at f/128 for 1/10 second. It would have been better to have opened the lens and shoot faster but the shutter was acting up and I ended up just capping the lens. At one point I had a plate soaking in the silver nitrate for the next shot while I was exposing the first shot. I didn't want to be stuck in my darkbox and miss the big event outside so I held off developing as long as possible.

    De La Rue did a better job in 1860 but he had a crew helping him shoot the 40 8x10 plates that were made. I hope to do the same in 2024. The ether fumes in the collodion helped ease the pain in my broken leg. It was a fun project.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Central TX

    Re: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

    Wow! What scope mount did y'all use to facilitate tracking? I'm initially assuming the 8x10 camera is stationary. I recall seeing a mount on the Stellafane website where the axis corresponding to the north/south angle was rotating a mirror to get a bit of sunlight into a shed for observation and the remainder of the equipment or observer stays stationary. That's not common gear these days. Most scopes if they track at all (my 2 Dobsonians don't (yet!)), they move the eyepiece which means you have to drag the camera around while tracking. Adding an 8x10 to either of my scopes would mess up the balance, badly.

  9. #9 tgtaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

    You can piggyback off a telescope if the mounts motor is strong enough to carry both the OTA and camera while remaining balanced. I can piggyback a 35mm SLR with 300mm lens on my Meade 10" SCT and probably the P645NII with 400mm lens and 2x tele-extender. Check your mounts weight specifications beforehand. With the appropriate adapted you can also shoot prime focus using the telescope as your lens. On my scope that is equivalent to a 2500mm lens. With the correct adapter you can also shoot high power close-ups via eyepiece projection. For medium format photography through the telescope you will need the appropriate adapters and a scope with a 4" focuser (

    A relatively inexpensive option, which would be necessary for 8x10, is a dedicated mount to drive just the camera such as this mount which can handle a 22lb payload:

  10. #10
    William Whitaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    NE Tennessee

    Re: Wet plate on Astronomy Picture of the Day

    Perhaps a "barn door tracker" to support an 8x10?

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