Ambrotypes--Will this get me going?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by illumiquest, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    I've been reading the Alternative Process book one making ambrotypes and this seems to be what I'll need. Just wanted to double check before I placed the order.

    Thanks!

    COL_4. Collodion USP (500ml) $39.95 1 $39.95
    SKU1100. Ferrous Sulfate, Food Grade... $9.00 1 $9.00
    SKU18403. Glacial Acetic Acid - 1000 ml $18.00 1 $18.00
    SKU7384. Cadmium Bromide (10gm) $14.00 1 $14.00
    SKU20762. Ammonium Iodide (10gm) $11.00 1 $11.00
    SKU954. Ethyl Ether - 500 ml
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Title updated and moved to Alt. Process forum.
     
  3. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    You will need 190 proof everclear as well. Not sure if your local liquor store carries that or not? For varnish, you will need Gum Sandarac, Lavender Oil, and more 190 proof grain alcohol
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The Everclear may be a challenge. 190 proof is not available in all states and I don't know if it can be shipped. I know it isn't legal in CA or NV, so the closest for me would be UT.

    Which book are you reading? Ambrotype sounds like it might be fun.
     
  5. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Brian,
    The closest for you is more likely Arizona. You can probably pick it up at the first liquor store across the river on I-10. I get mine in Tucson when I am there for other purposes.
     
  6. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    I have friends in Kentucky who can ship me ever clear so that's not a problem. I also need silver nitrate, I'm just wondering if anyone had a cheaper source for that? The lowest I've found is 1$/gm on ebay.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  7. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Call Mike at www.artcraft.com. He is the cheapest place to get silver nitate. Buy half a pound, or a full pound to get the bestprice.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    There is an alternative to the gum sandarac for doing your varnish - Talas sells a clear acrylic varnish material that you can use and it takes a LOT less work to make than the gum sandarac version, because you don't have to filter it (unlike the gum, which you have to filter, and filter, and filter, and filter.... and get all over your hands... ). Google "Talas" to find their website - they're an archival supplies vendor for first and foremost the hand-made book trade (book restorers, etc).
     
  9. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Acrylic varnish on wet plate is NOT archival.... Sandarac is. Mark Osterman has seen issues with plate longevity with using acrylic varnish
    aswell as other substituted chemicals such as denatured alcohol instead of regular grain alcohol. Wet plate is not rocket science and is well documented. Use what works and is tried and tested. Sandarac is not hard to figure out and use once you know how.
     
  10. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    I didn't see a fixer on your list...KCN or Rapid fixer...some also use Sodium Thisulphate, but is is very slow.....rgds, Kal
     
  11. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    Listen to Andrew...short cuts in wet plate generally get you to where you do not want to be...from cleaning the plate to varnishing it. K
     
  12. Charlie Wheelihan

    Charlie Wheelihan Member

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    I agree with Andrew as well. When I first was getting into wet plate, I thought two things. I thought traditional Sandarac was going to be too tough to work with and I would NEVER use KCN as a fix.

    The first thing I did when actually started shooting on my own was make a great batch of Sandarac and started fixing with KCN. I think Sandarac is easy, gives a great result, is archival, has a great gloss, etc.

    I only use sodium thiosulfate when doing collodion negatives, otherwise I prefer KCN. But it MUST be respected when handling and storing etc. if you do that it is fine, it fixes and rinses fast. Know about safe handling before using.

    -Charlie
     
  13. Charlie Wheelihan

    Charlie Wheelihan Member

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    Oh yeah, I would highly recommend taking a collodion workshop if you can. It will likely shorten the learning curve a great deal and pay for itself.
     
  14. Swellastic

    Swellastic Member

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    I often hear that when going into wetplate photography, one needs to have some specific knowledge in chemistry. What would be some recommended reading for someone considering taking the plunge into the process?