Tintype/Rockaloid in Australia?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by hoffy, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi All,

    I have been really keen to give Tintype photography a go for quite a while now. I have actually been waiting for a workshop to come up locally to try before I commit, but it appears its not being run this year.

    Anyhow, I have decided to investigate giving it a try.

    From what I have read, the best starting point is to use the Rockaloid kits. Does anyone know if these kits are available in Australia? If not, does anyone know if Rockland overseas?

    Cheers
     
  2. LJH

    LJH Member

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Gold Street Studios is your best starting point for most alternative processes in Australia. If Ellie doesn't know the answer, she'll probably know where to find it!
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,104
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hi hoffy

    you might email rockland directly to see if they have someone local that sells their kits
    or buy directly from them.
    you might consider buying thr developer direct from them
    it is a proprietary / secret formula and there really isnt anyone with
    a formula to replace it ... from what i gather you can probably
    use any sort of liquid emulsion ...

    its fun though, when the weather cools down and school starts again i hope to start up again ..

    good luck!
    john
     
  4. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Go to Total Photographic in Kent Town, they had some Photographers Formulary kits on the shelf when I was there last week (and if not, they can order it in). Possibly more expensive than B+H, but not bad once you factor in postage. They've also got Liquid Light from Rockland, so they can also order from them if needs be (but their LL is twice the price of B+H).
     
  5. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the replies.

    I noticed that B&H won't ship the gear, so hopefully its just one of their restrictions.

    I'll give Totals a try as well.

    Then, there is the next question......I need to organise some form of camera....and trays.....and......
     
  6. craigt

    craigt Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Gold Coast,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I second the suggestion to call Ellie at Gold Street Studios in Victoria. She sells complete kits there without the crazy overseas shipping prices.
     
  7. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm pretty sure that The Analogue Lab (Alex Bishop-Thorpe of AFDUG fame) do tintype workshops or at least have done so in the past. For example.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,104
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    the rockland kits are silver gelatin tintypes .. m guess is gold street sells wet plate kits
    still a ton of fun, but a little different materials wise ...
     
  9. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes he does. I asked him back in March if they were doing one this year. At that stage they had nothing planned. I looked at their calendar on the weekend, which seems to go into the new year. They still have nothing listed.
     
  10. craigt

    craigt Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Gold Coast,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I do know that Ellie does the wet plate kits but also runs dry plate classes and would be able to put a kit together. I personally run the wet plate masterclasses at Gold Street Studios and at the Queensland Museum. I am very confident that Ellie can provide any materials that might be needed, but go with who you feel most familiar.
     
  11. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I contacted her today....lets see what she says!
     
  12. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, if you're going to get Ellie over here to do one, or convince Alex to run another one, I'll tag along as long as it's not too pricey...
     
  13. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Id love to do a workshop! My wife was going to give it to me for my birthday.

    I'll email Alex again and see what he says, if you're up for it Dr!
     
  14. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OK....while I am waiting responses re, materials, I think I might ask a few more questions.

    I have resisted the urge to buy a LF camera, but I think I have received the message from the Gods....and you'll all be pleased to know that its my "New Digital Camera" fund that I'll be spending on the purchase....

    So, I'm after some camera recommendations - I am assuming that pretty much "anything" 4x5 will do. At this stage, I am thinking a folder of some description + a lens, somewhere in the 150mm to 200mm range. Oh and I would probably start with modified sheet film holders.

    Is there any specific camera/camera type that I should be avoiding?

    As for other gear, well, if I play with dry plates first, I should have this pretty much covered with my current darkroom setup. Is there anything obscure I would need to consider?

    Cheers
     
  15. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've got a Toyo 45D for sale, as soon as I put it back together, if you're interested. It's a monorail but a really light one (because there's no geared movements or anything). Or you can at least borrow it to try until you get a real one...

    (ps, but no lenses I can lend, unless you can deal with a 150mm Comparon mounted on a Press shutter. It works and makes beautiful shots, but I don't know if it works at non-macro distances just because I've never tried)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  16. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Do you like to shoot outdoors, or uber-complicated setups indoors? If I know you at all, it's the former, which means DO NOT BUY A MONORAIL. You want a field camera. Yes it costs 4x as much, but there is no way I could imagine lugging any of the monorails that I've tried around outside on a good walk. Then again, if you only plan to shoot wetplate, you'll probably be right next door to your darkroom/lab and a cheap monorail that you can drip nasty liquids inside is a good option.

    If you like slightly-wide normals, get a 150. If you like slightly-long, get a 210. I personally have a 150 and would prefer that it was a 180, but that's probably because I spend so much time with the 110mm on 6x7. I have a 240, and it's too short for a "long" lens for me so I think I need a 360. 90 is nice; going wider than 90 usually means bag-bellows and insufficient coverage for movements unless you spend $103+.

    If you like long lenses and/or high magnifications (a close headshot is more than 0.5x magnification!), check the bellows length. My 45A barely does 300mm and that's very limiting. Some cameras have interchangeable bellows. If you want to shoot 65mm, you probably want some means of putting a bag bellows on because recessed lens boards totally suck (you can't reach the controls, sometimes need special right-angle adapters for the release cable, and tilting/swinging causes shifts).

    Try to get one with a Graflok back so that you can put rollfilm holders on it. Why modified sheet holders? Get at least a handful of normal ones and use them to practise with the camera and some cheap (Arista) film before trying the super-difficult approach. Being confident in the camera means less things to worry about when you start on the wetplate - know that your bellows are light tight, apertures and speeds are accurate, GG is correctly aligned, etc, etc.

    For the wetplate, which I understand is a super-slow emulsion, I would be tempted to drop a small quantity of cash on one of Reinhold's homemade meniscus lenses. I think they're around f/3.5 or so depending on focal length and very cheap. No shutter, but that's what your velvet-lined top hat is for :wink:
     
  17. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ^ What he said.
    I'm not a big fan of lugging the monorail (Toyo G) around, but I don't mind carrying it for 1-2km from the car. I've got my 65mm SA on a recessed Linhof board, on a recessed Linhof-Toyo adapter, even then it just reaches infinity with bag-bellows and is an absolute two-syllable bee-artch to use.
    The only reasons I'm not getting a Field is a) because as soon as I get my Travelwides I'm supergluing the 65mm to it and never using it on a real camera again, and b) because I've got a 465mm Apo Ronar and 600mm Apo-Tessar, and the monorail is infinitely extendable.

    Speaking of lenses, I've actually got a 180mm MC Symmar-S and 270mm Tele-Arton, with 1 shutter between them. Because of the tele-factor the apertures actually line up perfectly so I just swap elements between the one shutter (the 180 came on a different shutter which is now elsewhere). And the extension of the 270mm Tele Arton is only about 180mm at infinity too.

    Meanwhile, now that I've got a 617 back and an 8x10, I'm looking for a nice 150mm for the 617 (the 180 actually vignettes to 6x14 or so) and a 210/240 to cover 8x10 (to complement my 12"/300mm TR Convertible).
    Once I've got them in place I'll probably sell the 180/270 combo-lens as a package perfect for a Field, if anyone's interested in that too...
     
  18. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    All good and wise comments gents.....and having used your monorail Polyglot, I concur, a field camera is what I'm after. This time (hopefully) I have the budget to spend. I have also come to the realisation that I'm not going to optically enlarge from any resulting output, so I'm not going to put pressure on myself to buy a new enlarger.....yet.

    As for using modified film holders, this was what I thought was the simplest and cheapest option when shooting plates.

    Re, lens selection, this is always going to be a tough one for me. Personally, I would like to start with a 150 and probably a 210, if the initial budget gets me that far. (I'm thinking of a budget of between $1k to $1.5k, ready to shoot).

    Cheers.
     
  19. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I know you don't plan to buy an enlarger, but I'm trying to shift a 4x5 enlarger for a friend. He'd probably take a pretty low offer if he thought it was going to be used making good art.

    Your budget is plenty high enough. You should be able to get a good folder for $500 (I think I saw a Tech IV on here recently for about that and woodies can be cheaper if you get lucky; I've even seen a 45A go for $400 from someone who was desperate), a 150mm lens for $200 and $50 should get you 5 basic holders. Maybe $30 for a loupe, and spend an afternoon sewing fishing weights into a Spotlight/Ikea blackout curtain for a darkcloth. I think I've got under $1500 in my LF gear and that includes Toyo 45A, 3 decent lenses, Schneider 6x loupe, ~20 film holders and spot meter.

    Let's just not think about the $250 I spent on a 3010... Actually that reminds me, the guy selling the enlarger was into BTZS tubes. They might be available if you don't want to develop in trays, though they might have gone to whoever bought his camera.
     
  20. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually, I'm all set for developing, using my existing Jobo. I have 2 of those 4x5 reels, + drum/core/funnel.

    Re, the enlarger....gulp, how big is it?
     
  21. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

    Messages:
    569
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    best bet is to go for a drive one weekend and do Ellie's workshop - I've done both the Tintype and Ambrotype ones, and they are fun...and it's not that hard to do - really!

    I don't think Ellie offers a kit, but as Craig said she may be able to put something together for you. The hardest part is getting the collodion. You should be able to pick up silver nitrate locally, and the developer is fairly simple to mix. As for fixer you can use any fixer such as Hypam, Ilfofix, Foma etc....
     
  22. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

    Messages:
    569
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    as for film holders you can find second hand holders that take plates easily enough - these will work with tintypes, although I tend to use standard film holders. You just need to make the plate a bit longer and narrower than the standard film size it takes so you can slide the end under the top of the holder and fold the bottom flap over so it will hold the plate in place - this worked well enough with the 5x7's I played with a while back..
     
  23. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've also heard of people using "pack film holders" for holding wet plates, they're usually called Graflex 'Model 2' or '1234' in 4x5 (1232 is 2x3 and 1233 is 3x4). There's a few hundred of them on the 'bay for as much as a regular film holder, and (allegedly / probably) work better for anything thicker than real film. I'm not bastardising my own until I've finished my pack of 1972 Tri-X though.

    Meanwhile, cheapest silver nitrate I've found is at Auschems, $50/25g, compare that to Asis in Hindmarsh, quoted me $125 for 25g (which may just be a better grade than I need). Let me know if you want to split a pack of that or KCl / KI / KBr / NH4Br, which I'll probably also be getting soon to make my own emulsions.
     
  24. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,334
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OK, I got a message from Ellie. Apart from doing the wet collodian process, she recommends the Foma liquid emulsion for dry plate work.

    So, now I have some leads, which is great. Time to hunt down a camera.....
     
  25. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If your looking for film holder that take glass look out for MEP or MPE ? There the wooden one that are a bit thicker than normal but have a removable plate which holds the film. When this is removed a glass plate slips right in so you get two plate per filmholder unlike a modified filmholder that only allows one plate.