View Full Version : Ultra Large Wet Plates. 24X48 in

10-01-2008, 02:56 PM
Hey guys, just wanted to throw this out. I have been shooting 8X10 Wetplates for some time. I have recently been considering building an ultra large format box camera to shoot 24X48 in ambrotypes. I have been having some trouble scaling up the math for my focal distance to my plate.

Any suggestions!



10-01-2008, 03:20 PM
I'm assuming you mean inches in your question?
youd have to have a lens that will cover that size. Unless you intend to shoot pinhole images.

A normal lens for a plate that is 24"x48" would be roughly 54" focal length or 137cm or 1370mm lens. Not many of those out there. I think there is a 1000mm Germinar not sure if it would cover the plate fully though (maybe thats okay). The "normal" focal length basically coming from the diagonal of the plate size (53.7" +/-)
You might want to try and get in touch with John Coffer, he shoots mammoth sized plates (20x24) and might have suggestions on lenses for that huge a plate.
I hope you have ALOT of working space. I've shot a bunch in the 8x10 and smaller size range, and a handful in the 12x20 size and it is a whole world of difference (the painful kind). Can't imagine trying to pour collodion on a plate that big, how much silver nitrate you'd need, and much less varnishing a plate that large....
Would be fun though and I bet the plate would be a thing to behold.

Hopefully some of the more knowledgeable collodion folks (smieglitz, billschwab, kerik, etc) will see this and chime in. They likely will have more info.

10-01-2008, 04:56 PM
The lenses are out there if you have patience. I have a 1250mm brass lens from 1890s Belgium that is almost like two stacked coffee cans. I've seen at least one similar lens on eBay this year.