Anyone ever make Lippmann plates?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by BetterSense, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    It sounds like a difficult process of limited displayability, but it seems intriguing in that it appears to reproduce the color spectrum in its entirety rather than using any RGB approach. I'm interested in more details as to how it's done.
     
  2. phritz phantom

    phritz phantom Member

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    for everyone else who is as clueless as me.

    sounds extremely interesting. good luck.
     
  3. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    There's a PDF file from somebody in the UK about making lippman emulsion and taking color photographs on it; it even includes a sample photo of the author. I'll see if I can find it and post a link.
     
  4. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Okay - found it. Hans I. Bjelkhagen wrote a paper concerning Lippman photography experiments that he did. He used commercially available panchromatic holographic plates manufactured by Slavich, which are available fairly inexpensively.

    I've attached a PDF of the article.
     

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  5. c.w.

    c.w. Member

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    Ok, after reading that paper that sounds pretty awesome. If you wind up trying this please post the results!
     
  6. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    Well that's pretty darn cool. I may try and get my father-in-law ( optical physicist ) to translate and see if we can set up an experiment. Thanks for the pdf.
     
  7. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    It may also be worth it to shoot the author of the article an e-mail. He's somewhat known among the holography forums (HoloWiki and such), and is apparently receptive to questions.
     
  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I definitely support your cause, for what it's worth.

    This is definitely the most intriguing color "process" out there. When I initially learned about it not more than 6 months ago I (a) didn't understand it and (b) once I did understand it couldn't believe it!!

    The pictures in the PDF are pretty damn good, I'm gonna print it out and read it soon.
     
  9. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Anyone still reading this thread??

    http://www.slavich.com/technical.htm

    This company sells the plates which Bjelkhagen used for his Lippmann plates. It looks as though purchasing the PFG-03c is fairly expensive, at least for one person. The minimum quantity looks to be 25 at 237 euros (about $320) PLUS shipping I'm sure, from russia, at 3.3 kG. Probably pretty expensive.

    HOWEVER, a joint purchase would make this more viable. If there's interest, let me know or PM me. I'll inquire about smaller quantities.

    UPDATE: Ok, so i added it to my basket to check shipping and it doesn't offer the US as a shipping location! What a blow to our egocentricity! I'll investigate futher...... ok, done. Looks like there is a distributor in San Francisco, and the prices are more reasonable.

    http://www.laserreflections.com/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2010
  10. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    I've been doing quite a bit of reading on the topic. I was disheartened when I saw the price on the 4x5 PFG-03c plates. Plus these plates will fog without exposure, so you need to have a clearing brew on hand to defog them ( possibly ) prior to use. Also, while there is a fair bit of discussion about creating them ( mostly arcane & theoretical ), the people who have successfully made them are extraordinarily few and far between.

    But I have not abandoned the idea of trying. What I have found is
    1. You don't have to use the full color plates, you can get by with the film, but you won't get a full color spectrum ( as far as my little brain can figure ). So you could at least find out if you can get the inference pattern recorded.
    2. You can't fix the plates as it will shrink/alter the inference pattern you are trying to record on the surface of the emulsion. So they have a couple developer formulas that include a bit of hypo in the developer, but you don't want the plates ( after developing ) to be in full sunlight.
    3. The 10 deg Weirner prism is just a glass plate cut at a 10deg bevel, but it needs to be big enough to cover the image. It just so happens I have an assortment of these from 1 to 20deg, but they are only 1" square. I have not been able to find a source for purchasing the prisms.
    4. You can make your own DCG plates. These are gelatine coated plates that you sensitize with Ammonium Dichromate. But I'm not clear as to many factors in using the DCG plates, like if they will work with the air-film reflection & how you develop the plates & if the plates need to soaked in H2O for viewing.

    But, I would be interested in splitting an order of the 2 1/2" plates ( 30 for $95 ) . That way were only out $50 - $60 when/if the whole thing falls flat.
     
  11. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    They definitely sound like fickle plates indeed. I'm in the process of reading more about modern Lippmann stuff, but once I get it all straight in my head, I might be willing to split an order with you. However, one more person would sweeten the deal, as 10 would be just enough probably.

    Furthermore, what plans do you have for holding the film? Any idea how thick the PFG-03c plates are? I actually emailed laserreflections but they've yet to get back to me with the answer.
     
  12. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    The plates are 2.5mm thick.

    I had a couple of ideas for a holder. Cannibalize one of my 4x5 film holders and insert a piece of 4 x 5 matt board with a 2 1/2" square opening. Or try and modify an old 4x5 dry plate holder I have. That's about as far as I've gotten.

    Yes, a third person would be even better. If I can't get something in 10 tries, then I'll probably throw in the towel.
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Yeah, I guess one could sacrifice a plate to build/modify a holder; working with it in the light. That's probably the least of our worries :wink:

    I recall reading about the developing formulas, something about a Lumiere (autochrome?) developer formula being suitable. Probably in the linked PDF a few posts back. I emailed Hans Bjelkhagen and he sent me some files/articles about it. If you are interested, PM with your email and I can send you them. That goes for anyone else as well who might be gleaming this thread.

    Looking forward to trying this, albeit down the road a bit. Not prepared to pull the cord just yet.

    By the way, if you're interested in attempting integral photography, that's another realm where I'd need somebody to split a minimum order on a fly's eye array. However, better focus on one thing at a time, eh? Hahaha...
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Working with Mercury is the problem if you are doing color.

    PE
     
  16. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    With the new method there is no mercury mirror involved. The reflection is from the air-film behind the emulsion. With the air-film reflection, the inference pattern is right on the surface of the emulsion which makes development more difficult, so your processing can't shrink the emulsion.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

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    And of course, prevention of shrinkage or any size change is very very difficult.

    PE
     
  18. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    Yes, it's probably the Achilles heel of the whole process. But they have some developer formulas that are suppose to work and it sure would be cool.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Several textbooks show the change in dimension of gelatin during silver development. Unfortunately, all gelatin changes during development and forms cracks and shrinks (or expands).

    PE
     
  20. Hologram

    Hologram Member

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    Anyone ever make Lippmann plates?
    It sounds like a difficult process of limited displayability, but it seems intriguing in that it appears to reproduce the color spectrum in its entirety rather than using any RGB approach. I'm interested in more details as to how it's done.


    I did put many French, German and some English written files related to Lippmann photography online - see http://www.holowiki.com/index.php/Lippmann_Papers

    It may also be worth it to shoot the author of the article an e-mail. He's somewhat known among the holography forums (HoloWiki and such), and is apparently receptive to questions.
    htmlguru4242 is offline


    There's also a forum on Lippmann photography: http://holographyforum.org/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=14&sid=ac12d8966be90d8d3cded0a99631bd6f

    This company sells the plates which Bjelkhagen used for his Lippmann plates. It looks as though purchasing the PFG-03c is fairly expensive, at least for one person. The minimum quantity looks to be 25 at 237 euros (about $320) PLUS shipping I'm sure, from russia, at 3.3 kG. Probably pretty expensive.

    In addition to Slavich there are COLOURHOLOGRAPHICS, ULTIMATE and SPHERE-S that sell panchromatic sensitized holographic AgX emulsions.
    Layer thickness of these emulsions may be in the 5-10um range whereas for Lippmann work you'd rather need 1-3um.
    So you may be better off trying one of the traditional recipes found in these old papers (http://www.holowiki.com/index.php/Lippmann_Papers).

    With the new method there is no mercury mirror involved. The reflection is from the air-film behind the emulsion.

    Actually, the „new“ method has equally been introduced in the late 19th century.

    But they have some developer formulas that are suppose to work and it sure would be cool.

    Yes, those are colloidal developers. Shrinkage is virtually absent, since no material is lost by the development.
     
  21. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Do a search in the plate camera forum for sources of slavich plates.

    tim in san jose
     
  22. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    Well, since I have been addicted to various alt processes I am accustomed to high failure rates and plodding thru problems. In an odd way that is part of the fun.
    But after I get an image on the factory plates, I wanted to try out making my own emulsion so I could make bigger plates. The pdf files Chris got from Hans have the recipe & procedure for making the fine grain emulsion. Your input, PE, would be immensely valuable. If you would like I can forward the files to you. :D
     
  23. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    Thanks, I have spent quite a bit of time reading on the holography forums Lippman section ( including your posts ) and there was lots of info there.

    Would the pyro formula I have come across in several places be a colloidal developer? I could not decide if the GP-2 or pyro developer would give me the best chance of success.
     
  24. Photo Engineer

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    I would be happy to help in any way, but I am not sure what I can do for you as I have never worked with Lippmann emulsions.

    PE
     
  25. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hey, thanks for everybody's input. Especially the holo links.

    What factors go into successful developing, that is, how can you avoid shrinkage? (no jokes necessary.... :wink:)

    Is it temperature dependent, agitation, chemical, etc.? Lemme guess, all of the above! I wonder what the success rate is.

    So here's a question... if you used mercury, would the shrinkage problem be minimized? Why must one use mercury? I guess it's because the mirror has to actually be in contact with the emulsion? So just sandwiching a mirror wouldn't work I suppose.

    For what it's worth, making emulsions is way out of my league at the moment; I'll stick with the limitations of the available plates.

    Lastly, could someone explain this sentence.... "The Slavich [PFG-03c] emulsion requires pre-development hardening in a formaldehyde solution." Is this the fogging that R Shaffer was referring to??

    BTW: Lippmann plates can be projected, which to me seems like one of the most practical ways to display. It requires an aphengescope type projector (basically an opaque projector as far as I can tell). Here is a book link that describes it.... http://books.google.com/books?id=pq...=0CAYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=aphengescope&f=false
     
  26. Photo Engineer

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    Hydroquinone and HQ related developing agents cause micro cracks and shrinkage more than most other developing agents. Any tanning developer would cause this same type of effect to some degree, on a micro scale.

    Prehardening with formalin or the like helps prevent such micro cracks and shrinkage.

    PE