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Thread: Any experiences using dry plates?

  1. #1

    Any experiences using dry plates?

    hello,

    I intend to use an old 8x10 dry plate camera, because of this fantastic Vogtländer Heliar lens, do someone have experiences in dry plate photography, self coating of glass plates, info on emulsions and so one? Is there a possibility to buy precoated plates commercially?

    Kind regards,
    SK.

  2. #2

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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    I've seen dry plates available...but haven't used them...

    I use the Rockland Colloid type dry plates - and have had pretty good success, as yet...google their tintype bulk kits...

    Their kits are liquid emulsion based - and include emulsion, plates, developer and additive for positive, and fixer....both 4x5 and 8x10 sizes available...

    I rate the emulsion outdoors around 6 ISO....indoors, even under heavy floods was much slower...

    Thanks,
    Dan

  3. #3
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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    i have never used the tintype kits
    but plain vanilla liquid light on glass.
    first did it as a student in the 1980s ..
    - in camera and under and enlarger.
    it isn't hard and a lot of fun to
    clean and coat the glass.
    between iso 1 and 6 worked well.
    if you can find a copy of the book
    "silver emulsion" it has a ton of info on the subject
    of hand coating papers and plates.

    good luck
    john

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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    Hi SK,

    There's a good deal of information on the subject here:
    http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/DryP...PlatePart1.htm

    Also, there are people making dry plates and talking about it on APUG (silver gelatin emulsion making forum). For some reason, the conversation has never generated much interest here -- strange to my way of thinking because dry plate is a LF natural. Maybe you can change that.

    Good luck and fun,
    d
    www.thelightfarm.com

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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwross View Post
    Hi SK,

    There's a good deal of information on the subject here:
    http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/DryP...PlatePart1.htm

    Also, there are people making dry plates and talking about it on APUG (silver gelatin emulsion making forum). For some reason, the conversation has never generated much interest here -- strange to my way of thinking because dry plate is a LF natural. Maybe you can change that.

    Good luck and fun,
    d
    www.thelightfarm.com
    What would be the advantage of using dry plate vs film?

    Don Bryant

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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    Don,

    I wouldn't say there is much of an advantage using glass negative dry plates versus film, beyond artistic value or expression - primarily, I would think, it would be from hand coating - but tonal range from the higher concentration of silver, or the manner in which the emulsion favors blue, may also contribute.

    I do know that on my hand poured dry tintypes, the bokeh from one particular lens I use, cannot be duplicated in film - and I have spent a good amount of time in the attempt.

    Thanks,
    Dan

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    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    Quote Originally Posted by D. Bryant View Post
    What would be the advantage of using dry plate vs film?

    Don Bryant
    Wife came home from an estate auction with a 5x7 Conley camera with triple convertible lens and half a dozen plate holders. It seems like a fun way of making use of a $40 camera!

    Mike
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    Quote Originally Posted by MIke Sherck View Post
    Wife came home from an estate auction with a 5x7 Conley camera with triple convertible lens and half a dozen plate holders. It seems like a fun way of making use of a $40 camera!

    Mike
    Hi Mike,
    Frank just got a 5x7ish plate camera with one convertible holder, The holder is pretty cool with inserts for the plate sizes...Evan

    P.S. Wife came home with a camera for you, how good does that get!!!..EC

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    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    Quote Originally Posted by evan clarke View Post
    Hi Mike,
    Frank just got a 5x7ish plate camera with one convertible holder, The holder is pretty cool with inserts for the plate sizes...Evan

    P.S. Wife came home with a camera for you, how good does that get!!!..EC
    She's a keeper, that's for sure. Although sometimes what she brings home... last weekend it was a large wooden carrying case for slides, looks like from the 60's, new in the original box. I think I've shot two dozen 35mm slides in my life! She said she thought that maybe I could carry 8x10 film holders in it. After some surgery with a saw, maybe. But her heart's in the right place!

    Mike
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

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    Re: Any experiences using dry plates?

    Quote Originally Posted by D. Bryant View Post
    What would be the advantage of using dry plate vs film?

    Don Bryant
    Dan summed it up nicely. I can just add my agreement with his opinion, plus a few more details.

    Antique artisan emulsions are pre-panchromatic, i.e. 'colorblind' or 'ortho'. Colorblind emulsions are only sensitive to UV and the far blue end of the visible spectrum. This is almost the same sensitivity band as wet plate collodion. Orthochromatic emulsions pick up all but red. It was the favored portrait emulsion for a couple of generations and was responsible for fire engine red lipstick rendering as black lips. Also, unlike modern film, handmade plates are prone to halation, which I think is beautiful and I try to encourage in my own work.

    The reason to make your own dry plates with the old emulsions is because you want to. It's basically the same reason anyone makes anything handcrafted. In the case of silver gelatin emulsions, there is the added reason of being part of a historical 'rescue', and also doing something very few others are doing. The field still belongs to people willing to dig in for their own answers. It can be a little lonely, but even that has its own certain appeal.

    One extra appeal is that dry plates are made in a darkroom and carried out into the field like any other photographic product. You don't have to haul a haz-mat darkroom with you. No offense intended against wet collodion. It's a beautiful process and I fully understand its appeal, but dry plate is an easier and safer method of making your own negative materials.

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