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Thread: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

  1. #1

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    Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    Curious, I'm sure I'm not the only person that was thinking J Lane dry plates might be a good compromise to going full wet plate? Specifically, I've been wanting to go to a local market days in a small town where I think doing 1800's style Polaroids would be really fun. But I'm not quite ready to go full wet-plate, and that involves steps that J's dry plates solve.

    The problem of course is you get a negative normally and I found, at least using HC-110, that simply putting something dark behind the glass (like black cardboard) doesn't create a positive look. But I noticed in his FAQ (https://www.pictoriographica.com/tec...-and-tips.html) he mentions using FF No.1 MONOBATH DEVELOPER to create an Ambrotype.

    Has anyone tried this? Being a monobath, that would couple well with doing 'field' development rather well!, though I generally have avoided monobaths like the plague but in this case, it might be worth a shot? I'm curious what makes it work like this compared to, say, HC-110?

    Likewise, are there any other developers that could be used to try and get a positive look or has anyone tried a reversal process?

    As far as the J Lane plates themselves, while I've only shot one so far (waiting on a proper dry plate holder in the mail for ease of loading and unloading), it turned out beautiful! Super excited to shoot more!

    EDIT: Aha! I think this might be dated info, but a bit more info about what's going on (and an optional dev non-monobath dev):

    https://www.pictoriographica.com/sto...ambrotype.html

    Those are hand coated onto black glass. I see only 8x10 is in stock though. I would guess J Lane is probably super busy now that his plates are available in several places outside of his Etsy store, but I might reach out to see if this is still an option.

  2. #2
    RedGreenBlue's Avatar
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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    Just a suggestion. To make an ambrotype try exposing and developing another plate so that you get a thin negative. Ambrotypes are actually thin negatives with a black backing.

    Scott

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    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    I ordered J Lane 8x10 Black Glass ASA 25 today

    2 more sets of 8X10 left

    If i mess them up, I can reuse the plates after cleaning them, wet or dry

    Back in the day, child labor cleaned used plates for reuse
    2022

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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedGreenBlue View Post
    Just a suggestion. To make an ambrotype try exposing and developing another plate so that you get a thin negative. Ambrotypes are actually thin negatives with a black backing.

    Scott
    Oooooh great point! That might be part of it. My test shot was done in HC-110 to the specified times and it's a bit dense. I had the pleasure of taking to J Lane himself today about the ambrotype method and he also has a developer he sometimes has available that may perform better than the FF Monobath (though I ordered a bottle to try out). You can also order black glass occasionally from him. I think that info gets posted on a Facebook page though my New Years resolution was to not use FB However for others, that's something to consider.

    For now I'm going to try using my current clear black backing just to see. Good call on the thin negative though. I definitely think that's part of it. That test shot scanned fine but I haven't tried printing it (contact or enlarging). I'll likely do that after I shoot a few more shots that aren't just haphazard portraits with a color chart

    If I can get decent result with clear glass with a dark backing, this may work out better I think. If means I can frame the print with the emulsion facing inward and while that might look odd at off-angles, it might better protect the emulsion? I'll have to do some testing with that though, but sure would be nice to give folks a ready to take home result, frame in all, that was also reasonably protected so hoping that works.

    I guess we'll find out once the monobath and my proper dry plate holder arrives!

  5. #5
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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    Quote Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
    If means I can frame the print with the emulsion facing inward and while that might look odd at off-angles, it might better protect the emulsion? I'll have to do some testing with that though, but sure would be nice to give folks a ready to take home result, frame in all, that was also reasonably protected so hoping that works.
    Yes, the backing is applied over the emulsion and the ambrotype is viewed through the glass. I think there's no need to be concerned about viewing through the glass - that was the method. And of course, the emulsion is protected by the black coating. I hope this works out for you.

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    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    https://blog.scienceandmediamuseum.o...ive-ambrotype/

    However a few here have moved the game

    Tri Tran for one
    2022

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    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    The method OP is referring to is the combination of using the dry plates and a developer which causes (as far as I can tell) dichroic fog of a type resulting in an off-white toned silver grain.

    In addition, results look best on smooth black glass plates that I found for wet plate shooters.

    It’s still experimental, but as you can see looks very promising. These are 8x10’s, emulsion coated on black glass, shot at ASA 25, developed in a monobath developer designed for the purpose by Lee Lira

    Further refinements awaiting a shipment of more black glass, as I am almost out of the first shipment. That and my day job is super busy (I’m presenting a formal detailed optical design review every week from mid-February to end of April for the project I’m leading a team of lens designers on)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    Ok first, your day job sounds really cool!! Second, that's one thing I kept meaning to ask in our Etsy convo (I'm BitByBit Photo over there) - there wouldn't really be any difference in processing between the ISO 2 normal plates and the ISO 25 speed plates right (other than maybe time)? That is to say, the ISO 2 plates should still produce the ambrotype like effect if using the same developer?

    I think for doing the ambrotype method for portraits, the speed plates seem like the way to go but I have several of the normal plates still since I had planned on using those mostly for not-people and enjoy being able to shoot at a super low ISO in large format. It's fun! I had though, too, the normal plates might be a decent option if I couple it with strobes (noting I'd have to do quite a bit of testing there, and may need some pretty powerful strobes as well).

  9. #9
    multi format
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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
    The method OP is referring to is the combination of using the dry plates and a developer which causes (as far as I can tell) dichroic fog of a type resulting in an off-white toned silver grain.

    In addition, results look best on smooth black glass plates that I found for wet plate shooters.

    Itís still experimental, but as you can see looks very promising. These are 8x10ís, emulsion coated on black glass, shot at ASA 25, developed in a monobath developer designed for the purpose by Lee Lira

    Further refinements awaiting a shipment of more black glass, as I am almost out of the first shipment. That and my day job is super busy (Iím presenting a formal detailed optical design review every week from mid-February to end of April for the project Iím leading a team of lens designers on)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have been thinking a lot about dichroic fog

    thanks Jason !! great stuff you do!
    John
    enjoy your coffee

  10. #10
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Making J Lane Positive Plates? (Famous Format Monobath?)

    Quote Originally Posted by jnantz View Post
    I have been thinking a lot about dichroic fog

    thanks Jason !! great stuff you do!
    John
    John I don’t know if you’re on facebook, but if so this is an ongoing active topic of conversation in Dry Plate Photographers group.

    If you had any thoughts, Lee Lira would love to hear them...he’s been obsessed with trying to make it work.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

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