Glass negs

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by daleeman, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Greetings,

    First post in this area, I've been lurking and have some questions.

    I was wondering who really knows a lot about glass plate negs here on APUG?
    Here is why, I have a Rochester Optical / Kodak imperial plate camera that in the 1970s and again in the early 80s I poured some emulsion on the scraped off glass left behind in the holders and took a few frames.

    So when did glass plates go out of production? Is there a following of dry plate shooters out there who long for supplies? I know you can buy liquid light and pour your own negs, but might there be a market for pre made dry plates.

    I ask this because my wife owns a glass company and I own a dry plate camera. 1+1= 3 (right?)

    Lee
     
  2. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I don't know much about them, but while reading up on a thread regarding re-using photo bottles for beer, I found a write-up that old glass plates can't be recycled for re-use as glass plates because some image is retained in the glass itself.
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi lee

    i have been pouring and shooting ( or enlarging on ) glass plates since about 1986 ... off and on ...
    i think slavich in the fsu is one of the, or the last maker of glass plates. kodak made tmx glass plates
    up untill a few years ago, and they were primarily used for scientific photography -- microscopy and astronomy
    because of the solid glass substrate instead of film. i always wanted to buy some tmax100 plates
    but unfortunately they cost $400 / 100 plates while film cost around $50 during the same time ... so i opted
    to coat my own instead.

    i like the tonal pallet of plates and paper much more than film ... and they are kind of fun to make :smile:
    if you decide to coat and sell them, let me know, as if they aren't $400 / 100 plates that is :smile:

    john
     
  4. ColRay

    ColRay Member

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    In 1959 I worked for Dufay colour just before the manufacturing part was taken over by Polyfoto. A Most of the Dufay workers got jobs with Polyfoto from what I can remember they where using 7x5 Kodak P303 glass plates.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Ilford still have a glass plate coating line in use which uses a modern coating head, anyone who's been on a factory tour will have seen it demonstarted. However the cost of coating plates is very high and Ilford's production is mainly for the Nuiclear industry..

    The last production of regular Ilford plates was some time around the 1970's I remember being given a box of outdated FP4 plates with my first LF camera in 1976.

    I've recycled old (unuseable) glass plates as ground glass focus screens and even as glass inserts for Durst negative carriers. One problem now is that for health & safety reasons the minimum thickneess of glass sold to the public is 2mm (in the UK) which can be a little too thick for some plate holders.

    Ian
     
  6. dwross

    dwross Member

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    Ian,
    I wasn't aware of the issue in the UK with thin glass. (Of course, truth be told, there are a whole lot of things I'm not aware of.) Is it possible to get thinner glass through other avenues, as with some of the more dangerous chemicals? You're spot on about the problem with some of the smaller format plate holders -- especially when a nice, thick coat of emulsion goes on. It would be a shame to rule out small plates because of glass, of all things.

    Lee,
    You shouldn't experience any problems reusing unexposed plates. I've read of problems when exposed and processed plates were reused. Apparently, you could sometimes make out a faint image of the first exposure under the current image. This phenomenon was used by spiritualists to prove there were ghosts that could be photographed by someone with the right 'connections' to the Afterworld. I take that with a grain of salt, mostly because it's just too great a story, and because I haven't found any collaborating info in scientific publications (which doesn't mean it's not there yet to be found.) I've reused plates with no problem, but I don't use plates that have been etched and subbed before coating. It seems to me that may make a difference.

    If you and your wife could supply pre-cut plates with baby butt-smooth edges in a number of thicknesses and sizes appropriate for a number of formats, and they were a reasonable price, I can imagine diy plate makers would buy. Right now, I think the attraction of the process is coating the plates oneself, but if you made a killer emulsion, that might very well change. I think there's room for the cottage industry in this arena.

    Bill,
    Do you remember the source of the info you read about retained images? I'm just sure at some point, I'll want to see if I can make ghosts walk the earth :smile:.

    d
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Thinner glass is available but just not from regular suppliers even green-house glass which used to be quite thin now has to be 4mm. There's a far greater chance of thinner glass breaking or cracking when being cut or in fact in use/storage.

    It's a changing market a couple of years ago thinner glass was relatively easy to order from my local glass shop but his suppliers no longer sell anything less than 2mm.

    I've found UK suppliers of thinner glass but it may be a case of minimum orders, buying as a business etc. I'll post back in this thread when I have details, meanwhile Ill check my plate holders.

    Ian
     
  8. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Talking with my wife she shared that so much glass today has a slight green tint to it and perfectly clear looking glass is very expensive. I'll find out more about thickness options from her but in inches I think the most common thin glass is 1/8 in the US.

    Cutting to size and grinding smooth grinding edges should not be an issue, they have great jigs for that and I think everything there comes out with smooth edges (cuts down on law suits, worker's comp cases and all) always supply a good final product.

    There also might be a option to create ground glass replacements. I read the article here on apug about using coumpounds to grind/polish glass to an even frost look, and that may be kind of needed item. Just as long as I don't start causing a stir at her business, you know the Bosses Spouce thing can be distracting.

    Love hearing all the input. Keep it comming.
    Lee
     
  9. MDR

    MDR Member

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  10. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Agfa Gevaert still make APX 100 plates. However they are not cheap, I think it's over $100 for a box of 10 or 12.
     
  11. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    APX 100 Glass Plates, 10 plates, 65x90 mm / 2.5x3.5 inches, 1.5-1.7 mm thick
    126.20 (EUR) / 169.01 (USD)

    240x240 mm / 9.45x9.54 inches, apparently also available by request only (no price given)

    Ken
     
  12. dwross

    dwross Member

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    ouch!
     
  13. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Agreed...

    but...

    they are still manufactured and available...

    (although probably nowhere near as much fun as making your own...)

    :smile:

    Ken
     
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  15. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    I agree on the price being a big ouch, but it would be nice to use something like APX 100 glass plates, souping in Rodinal. But then again, I am a certified nerd. :D
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If you get a chance to see how Ilfords plate coating line works you'd understand why it's expensive and I'd guess the Belgian facility's not far different.

    Production volumes are so low these are small lines, in Ilford's case taking up the same sort of floor space as their test/pilot coating line which is used for test coatings of film and paper and also things like filters. All emulsions are test coated and checked before final coating on the main coating line. A short glass plate run is relatively labour intensive needing two people one loading the plates the other almost catching at the end of the line. However when glass plates were the norm different coating lines were in use and plates were cut to size after coating in many cases.

    Commercial plates are now used because of their high dimensionable stability, their major use is in nuclear research facilities. It's actually slightly ironic that in fact Governments have propped up and helped many emulsion manufactureers, from Ferrania in Italy, Agfa in Germany etc.

    Ian
     
  17. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Yes, I can see the price point being what it is, because of the limited demand, and being labour intensive.
     
  18. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    The problem with DIY dry plates is they have a relatively short shelf life. Would commercially prepared ones stay "fresh" longer? I have a Watson & Son half plate camera and have been interested in learning dry plate.


    Kent in SD
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Hi Kent, it must be getting cold in South Denmark :D

    Do DIY plates have a short shelf life ? How short ? It's an important consideration. I've not made an emulsion since 1986 when I worked in that field commercially but I'm getting itchy feet :smile:

    Ian
     
  20. dwross

    dwross Member

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    That's a 'rule' I haven't heard before. Perhaps you mean diy plates made with a Liquid Light-type product (??) It is possible to overcook (digest) an emulsion in the last stage. If you do, the plates can very slowly pick up fog over time. Of course, there's no requirement that you ruin the broth :smile: I suppose it also depends on the definition of 'short' shelf life. I deliberately put aside a plate for a year and then exposed it to test. It seemed as good as new.

    d
     
  21. dwross

    dwross Member

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    Ian,

    I'd give a lot to see you start making emulsions again. Please do!
     
  22. rjmeyer314

    rjmeyer314 Member

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    I did a search for Kodak glass plates. I found where in 2002 Kodak was listing T-100 and Technical Pan as available in glass plates. I'm not sure that glass plates for scientific purposes have been discontinued even now.
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You may find they've been sub-contracted like Kodak chemistry, etc.

    Ian
     
  24. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    So, what ISO would home made dry plates be? I've heard they are about ISO 1.0, or ISO 0.5?


    Kent in SD
     
  25. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I'd definitely like some. I still have some old plates with emulsion on them and have had a ball with them. For one thing, you can make decent b&w projection slides with them, which is great for those of us who don't think powerpoint can do justice to an analogue image....

    For what I have been aiming to do, it probably makes more sense to coat the plates locally, but I'd be interested in the glass at least. The only thing is, I wonder if ordinary glass is the way to go anymore. For those wanting to do alt processes, you'd probably want fused quartz or such, or perhaps plexiglas/acrylic (which is unfortunately very static prone). But the nice things about plexi would be the weight, and they'd be a lot less fragile.

    Just thinking out loud...

    Regarding (wetplate) collodion, why exactly does one have to shoot immediately? What if you vacuum sealed it on the spot while coating? Curious if it'd be possible to make collodion plates that you could, you know, unwrap and use on the fly.
     
  26. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Ilford recently announced the launch of a limited range of glass plates for the holographic market - Not cheap, but I believe that Freestyle sell them.