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Thread: Glass plate film still around?

  1. #1

    Glass plate film still around?

    I'm trying to find glass plate film. Found a forum answer from '01 that listed two sources--B&H, and a German company. Couldn't find any on either. Is it still available? If so, where from?

  2. #2

    Glass plate film still around?

    Other than making your own, Slavich (Russian made) glass plates are available from:

    Kodak stopped making them a few years ago.

  3. #3
    Photo Dilettante Donald Brewster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Malibu, CA

    Glass plate film still around?

    Well, not sure exactly what you are looking for as there really isn't any film with glass plate photography. There was the earlier Collodion wet plate process, and the later gelatin dry plate process for making glass plate negatives. The dry plates were at one time commercially produced, but I don't think you can find them anymore. The wet plate chemicals are still sold by Photographers Formulary and Freestyle Photo. You can also get TinType plates at Freestyle. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    USA, North Carolina

    Glass plate film still around?

    IIRC, Kodak made Tmax in 4x5 glass plates up until a few years ago. I doubt that many people know what they are or what they are for, but some might make it to the auction sites. And some photo stores undoubtedly still have some in stock if anyone left in the store knows where it's hiding. Couldn't hurt to call Kodak and ask.

    Bruce Watson

  5. #5
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Honolulu, Hawai'i

    Glass plate film still around?

    Slavich still makes glass plates (dry plates). You can get them from holography suppliers. They make a panchromatic emulsion and an ortho emulsion that could be used for pictorial photography.

  6. #6
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    North Carolina

    Glass plate film still around?

    Be prepared for sticker shock -- the Slavich plates (which, BTW, are also available from Retro Photo in UK) cost around $8 *per plate* in a box of 6.

    There are a bunch of workers doing wet collodion -- it never completely disappeared, but is starting to return to the First World and make a statement as an art form, as well as appealing to American Civil War reenactors and Wild West roleplayers. It's seen as glass plate negatives, ambrotypes (glass negative on a black background, so the scatter light from the silver image shows as a positive) and tintype, aka ferrotype, similar to ambrotype but coated directly on a black enameled metal plate. The process is a bit hazardous (it inevitably involves ether as a solvent for the collodion, and ether is incredibly flammable; some workers also use potassium cyanide as a fixer), but some find it attractive in spite of that (or because of it, perhaps).
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  7. #7
    Doug Dolde

    Glass plate film still around?

    History will show that film never disappeared either.

    In 2025 when the great oil crisis stopped the petrolium based economy dead in it's tracks, the more energy conservative use of film in fact dominated the energy hungry digital imaging processes.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 1998

    Glass plate film still around?

    I interviewed large format editorial and advertising portrait photographer Dan Winters last year. At some point in the recent past he did a project using 4x5 Tmax 100 glass plates, so you might try contacting Kodak through

  9. #9

    Glass plate film still around?

    For what it is worth, the TMax plates were primarily intended for scientific use; I picked up a few boxes a couple years ago from an electron microscopy lab at my university.

    I also saw these:, what ever they were intended for (perhaps aerial photography?)

  10. #10

    Glass plate film still around?

    20 years ago, when I was learning electron microscopy (TEM), I was using a glass-plate microscope. Even at that time, glass plates were pretty rare.

    Nowadays, TEM's typically don't even have a film cassette. They are all digital. I checked a couple of the electron microscopy supply houses and couldn't find any glass plates.


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