Poll: Would you buy dry-plates?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Jul 9, 2014.

Would you buy dry-plates?

  1. Yes, definitely.

    24 vote(s)
    23.5%
  2. No, probably not.

    23 vote(s)
    22.5%
  3. Maybe, I'd definitely try a box.

    55 vote(s)
    53.9%
  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    If somebody manufactured gelatin dry-plates in the most common large format sizes, would you realistically buy/use them?

    I'm talking about a slow, color-blind, black & white emulsion on glass.

    Bearing in mind that you may have to find/fashion a glass plate holder and become accustomed to shooting with a material that is quite different than panchromatic (or even orthochromatic) stock.

    Assume for the moment that this product will be well made, reliable, expertly packaged & shipped, easy to purchase, and capable of producing very beautiful photographs.

    Yay or nay?
     
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Absolutely not.
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Vote then please.

    And how about a constructive comment as to WHY?
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Voted for I'd definitely try a box.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i'd try a box ... for sure!
    i love shooting glass plates!
    should we start calling your george, chris ? :wink:

    - john
     
  6. Daire Quinlan

    Daire Quinlan Member

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    I just finished off a box of 6.5x9cm plates I lucked into on the auction site. Certainly very unique look to them. Of course I managed to ruin almost all of them by developing too long or using warm water to wash them post development but one or two worked out

    [​IMG]

    They'd likely have to be CHEAP though, I don't know how sustainable it would be for you. Any more expensive than a couple of euros per plate and I'd be shading toward making my own :smile:
     
  7. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Nice to see you back on APUG!

    I voted "no" primarily because a blue-sensitive emulsion would be virtually impossible for me to work with under most of my shooting circumstances. As you noted they'd also require different/modified holders. If they were high quality, I'm guessing they'd also be beyond my budget other than perhaps for occasional use.

    I'd likely try a box because I've always liked the idea of plates vs a flexible base (not to mention they're just plain cool), but that's about it.

    On the other hand, just thinking out loud, slow, fine grained, blue-sensitive plates could be great for making certain types of masks for negatives if they had the same quality of coating as films, but I'm not sure that's possible.
     
  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I've shot a few old-stock plates with sometimes-good results, but I think blue sensitivity would limit my interest as compared to even an ortho emulsion. I'd experiment with them, but I doubt I'd make regular use of a blue-only emulsion on any substrate.

    -NT
     
  9. dwross

    dwross Member

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    Nate,
    That's excellent feedback for Chris. He could make ortho just as easily as colorblind. The attraction of offering strictly colorblind is that it can't be bought commercially. Colorblind on glass can make some truly unique and beautiful images. The state of the craft has come a long way since you visited my studio (how many?) years ago now
    2 cents,
    d
     
  10. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I think the appeal would be something that is historically accurate in terms of color sensitivity. Not only could be it used for art, but for living history demonstrations/re-enactments, art history, etc. .We've got the old lenses, old cameras, old clothes, everything but the plates.
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Add me to the "maybe" group. The need for holders is what keeps me from considering a "yes, definitely" vote. Also, I'd be more interested in archaic sizes since those are the only plate holders I have.
     
  12. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    I'm mainly interested in products that give a unique look to the final work and are unavailable commercially. The following products would be a definite yes for me.

    --Azo paper on warm cotton rag base (friend went up to GEH and made this, think the base was Rising Stonehenge--anyway, it's beautiful)

    --Calotype Paper

    --Dry Collodion Plates

    --Autochrome Plates
     
  13. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I once used a packet, obviously long outdated, which I was given as a student and was surprised by ease of processing in dishes and the quality and kind-of-old-fashioned look of the results.
    I'd probably buy a packet to try again out of interest and nostalgia, but couldn't see myself using them regularly. (Apart from anything else, there's the problem of storing sheets of glass....30 years of negs, prints and slides are a big enough headache as it is !)
     
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  15. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Although I have plate holders for each of the formats I use, I probably would not buy them now. In the past I would have loved them. I did wet plate for a while and really enjoyed it. But at 85 I am beginning to pull in my horns. Good luck with the project.
     
  16. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    If they made them in 35mm I would :smile:

    Seriously, though, I will have a 4x5 someday. I certainly would try some, though I don't know that I'd use them a lot.
     
  17. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Well.... Ilford do glass plates for specialist applications, but at a price. They also introduced a line for holographic applications a couple of years back...

    If someone introduced a range of plates today, it would have to be of comparable cost to sheet film before I could seriously contemplate using them on a regular basis.
     
  18. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    Yes indeed but only if available in whole plate size...

    RR
     
  19. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    They used to! Plate backs for the Contax rangefinders show up occasionally. It's hard for me to imagine what the niche for such a product was.

    I suspect that the greater interest would be in plate-camera sizes---9x12, 6.5x9, whole-plate---rather than the current common LF sizes. Some of us have a few stray plate holders for the modern sizes, but it's gotta be a minority as compared to modern sheet-film holders.

    -NT
     
  20. michr

    michr Member

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    I've always wanted to try plates, but the lack of availability and high price puts me off. The appeal of film, is even now, it is relatively easy to obtain and commonplace. If the plates were available by the boxful and cheap, then sure, I'd work with them as often as I could. I know this is unrealistic. Rather, when a material is precious in some sense, either in cost or availabilty, I'm less inclined to take risks with the material in fear of using up my stock. I want to play around with glass plates. I don't want to invest in them.
     
  21. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    I chose to vote "Nay. probably not." as I already coat and use my own plates. But I'm sure plenty of folks would enjoy using them. My biggest concern would be cost.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2014
  22. chrisaisenbrey

    chrisaisenbrey Member

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  23. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    If they can look like finished wet plates, they are an object to behold and worth a little extra. In the right light a wetplate negative looks like a positive, etc... Skin tones shine with real silver on the glass, part reflective, part backlit. Looking at scans of glass plates on the interwebs does not do the medium justice.
     
  24. konakoa

    konakoa Member

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    I vote no as while the plates would definitely be cool, equally important would be finding a plate holder that matches my ground glass (in terms of focus) and that the holder itself would be in good condition. No one is going to make new plate holders and I'm tired of chasing down and buying used beat up junk. So no.
     
  25. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I already have a few boxes of Dry plates and I'm due to collect a large quantity at some stage in the next few weeks. I have plate holders in quite a few sizes (and cameras that use them).

    I would coat my own emulsion if needed cost is a major factor, I have commercial experience of emulsion manufacture and coating and have seen Ilford's commercial plate coating line in action like many others on factory visit.

    Ian
     
  26. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I voted maybe as I think I have a plate holder for my great-grandfather's camera. I just have to get the camera to work. I really don't see myself using plates a lot, though. My time for shooting just never seems to align with the right light for shooting.