View Full Version : WTF! Please tell me this is wacked?

01-31-2008, 09:10 PM

I was looking on ebay for wet plate holders and came up with the above. Please tell me the seller is smoking something. If this is what it costs to get a wet plate holder I may never get into this.

01-31-2008, 09:43 PM
Well, wetplate was only in vogue for less than 3 decades 150 years ago so original equipment is rare, expensive, and generally not used. You can convert a modern film holder (http://www.collodion.org/plateholderconversion.html), make (http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZodippold) or buy (http://www.companyphotographer.com/) a wetplate holder for a lot less.

01-31-2008, 11:17 PM

I was looking on ebay for wet plate holders and came up with the above. Please tell me the seller is smoking something. If this is what it costs to get a wet plate holder I may never get into this.

The guy owns it. He can ask whatever he wants. I of course have been guilty of sending messages to Ebay sellers asking them if they had any clue as to the value of their... possessions. I usually get a nasty note back telling me to mind my own business. As is correct.

So no, it's not whacked. Make one yourself, I am sure you can figure out the plans, or have one made. Or wait till a reasonable priced one comes down the pike. It only becomes difficult if this guy actually sells one. Then a benchmark is posted and all Ebay sellers think that they can sell their plate holders for that amount.

tim in san jose

02-01-2008, 07:05 PM
Maybe this guy is Mathew Brady VI, and is selling some family heirlooms, who knows? Or maybe he is like the guys trying to sell old, rusty, 6-cyl Mustangs like they are mint Boss 429's or something. Maybe he wants to retire early. Remember the e-bay motto, If you dont like what you see, go someplace else.


Neil Miller
02-05-2008, 01:20 PM
The price seems a bit high but there are two of them, and they are genuine antiques, after all. And they are a bit special - not many of them left compared to old dryplate and film holders.


02-05-2008, 03:42 PM
Pity they didn't sell. :(

I happen to have a pair of fine old 18x24cm wet plate holders here... :p

jd callow
02-05-2008, 05:12 PM
When I was selling photo stuff on ebay for a crazy hungarian photographic pack rat I'd occasionally get someone who would take issue with an auction price, description or my spelling and grammar. I would always thank them, offer my condolences for their lack of a life and ask if they wouldn't mind proofing the other 24 auctions I was running.

Neil Miller
02-05-2008, 05:28 PM
Nicely put, Mr Callow!

02-05-2008, 07:49 PM
FYI, I have never purchased or sold anything on ebay. What I have done is to learn more about cameras (and other stuff), the different types, the different accessories and associated parts and stuff. Sometimes just seeing something will answer questions I may have, and Hay, it doesnt cost me anything just to browse around. It may not work for you, but it works for me.


Neil Miller
02-06-2008, 08:50 AM
It works for me too, Paul! It can be a good learning resource, but you have to treat it a bit like Wikipedia - descriptions are written by individuals who may or may not be experts. I bought a lens from one buyer that came minus the rear cell. He said he wasn't to know it was incomplete - he was no expert. Because I treat Ebay like an auction - it is described as such - I work on the principle of caveat emptor/buyer beware, so I didn't whine or complain - I bought it sight unseen and the risk was mine. A lot of people seem to treat online auctions like shops. I don't. I don't expect to be able to complain to the seller before the auction ends, or even afterwards. I should have thought beyond his description saying that he was selling-off all his late fathers gear, that the father was a pro and that as far as he knew everything worked. I should have asked for a picture of the back of the lens. I didn't do any of these things, so I had to bite the bullet.

I wouldn't have the impudence to email someone over their grammar and price - what does it matter? - but I might ask a question to clarify something. Especially since buying that lens! I know I'm not getting a guarantee (at least, none is offered for the sort of stuff I buy) and if I don't like the starting price I don't have to bid.

A little research helps a lot. The holders in question crop up far less often than other holders, and I've even seen decades old 10x8 film holders go for 80 - 100 US, so I'd expect the antique ones to be more expensive. Also, these old holders seem to have been made in a bespoke way to fit individual cameras. I don't think you could reasonably expect to use one as-is with a modern camera. The size and thickness would be different from a more modern film-holder, and the viewing screen would be in the wrong place, so you would most likely have to have a bespoke back made for your camera, complete with viewing attachment. That would bump-up the price considerably! I've seen prices from 300 - 375 US. Just for the back-adaptor. And you have to send your camera (or at least the back part) to the maker so that he can ensure a fit.

Of course, you could make your own back adaptor. If you can do this, you might as well have a go at making the plate holders as well. But if you are going to baulk at a few hundred dollars, you might as well adapt one of your existing film holders to do the job. Then you have to get used to the price of collodion, ether, silver nitrate and salting chemicals. The holders are the least part of it, to my mind!


02-21-2008, 10:04 AM
I got a nice long mail from a concerned grammar expert who took issue with my improper use of the word ubiquitous regarding a Kodak 2D camera. I stood my ground. Might be fun to explore some of the wacky mail you receive about your auctions in another thread.

Dan Fromm
02-21-2008, 11:53 AM
I dunno, Jim. The last time I looked under my bed there wasn't a 2D under it. Cat, yes, camera of any kind, no.

And I've been paying attention to what I can see on my daily commute, also on my treks to our local Mexican grocery. Haven't seen a single 2D, let alone one on every street corner. They may be more common than other 8x10s, but I think ubiquitous is a stretch. The only part of the world that's much like your lair is the place itself.