Preliminary questions before I begin purchasing equipment.
Hello everybody, I'd just like to start my first post by saying I'm amazed I haven't come across this forum until now. I'm enthralled such a forum exists and look forward to the many years to come in my journey with analog processes. I'd also like to inform you that this community comprises about 0.000008% of the worlds population based on a real time world population clock and the amount of members in this community. I consider this a good thing.
After reading most every post in the "Plate Cameras and Accessories", I have a few specific questions that I couldn't find answers to in the posts previously made. I'd like to make a list of all the equipment necessary to make an exposure using the dry plate medium and their respective cost (Denise did most of this work, much appreciated!). I have in my possession an enlarger and I plan on doing both contact printing and regular printing (placing the plate in the enlarger to make an exposure on retail light sensitive fiber based paper) with the dry plate negatives, so I was wondering, which camera is best for this (4x5, 5x7, 9x12, etc)? If you could point me towards a resource that lists all the types of dry plate view cameras and their various formats that would be great. When I search for "dry plate camera" in the shopping section on google, most of my results come up with cameras used for the wet plate process, and from what I understand, the holders of the plates for the two processes are slightly different. I've bought Alan Greene's book "Primitive Photography" which lays out plans for a sliding box, or folding box camera that accepts paper negatives (uses a FILM holder and not a PLATE holder), so I was wondering if there were plans for the construction of a dry plate holder that I could adapt to Greene's camera (I understand this would require me to fabricate a shutter mechanism)....
Now that I think about it, with Denise's comprehensive layout of darkroom procedures and equipment, all I really need to know are the options available to me for cameras and where I can purchase them and their glass plates. So again, thank you Denise, you've done the world a tremendous favor!
First off, welcome!
It is reassuring to know that APUG is only a sampling of the film shooters; so for every one here, there are hopefully thousands of others out there.
Well, it sounds like you're going to be making gelatin emulsions and coating on glass, and you'd like to be able to shoot these in a view camera? If that's the case, searching for a "dry plate camera" isn't going to get you very far. In fact, that's not a term I hear said very often.
What you really need is any view camera, but with a plate holder. My recommendation would be to get any of the hundreds of 4x5" cameras out there, and then find a good pressure-plate film/plate holder. There are some modern Linhof holders that are very nice, but a bit pricey, and then there are many older style plate hodlers which can be had quite cheaply on eBay if you can find them.
Getting a 4x5" will give you the most versatility. It's the LF format of "choice", with the widest selection of films and accessories. Remember that there aren't near as many enlargers accepting of formats bigger than 4x5".
I hope that helps; below are a few pics of said holders.
If you are the big tree, we are the small axe
Ok, hypothetically, I have my 4x5 view camera without the plate holders...
Can a modern 4x5 view camera accept ANY 4x5 plate holder? I was under the impression that modern view cameras were only compatible with 'film' holders for fear of the plate holders being to thick. I may be wrong. Thank you for giving me some clarity on the subject and resources for the holders, it certainly helped!
also, will I need to have single strength glass cut down to size for the plate holders. I'm aware that Slavich in russia makes holographic plates but if I'd like to go the route of making my own emulsion, how do I acquire the glass plates?
I have a couple of these MPP holders - They are fractionally thicker than a regular plastic film holder and fit a modern 5x4 camera just fine. If a spring back on a modern camera can accommodate a QuickLoad/ReadyLoad holder (which my Wista does), it will cope with the old wooden MPP plate holders.
Originally Posted by holmburgers
You will find Ilford also do holographic glass plates (for a price) and if you opt for coating your own, get the glass from a glazing supplier cut to size.
Last edited by paul_c5x4; 06-02-2012 at 08:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Add note about glass plates
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Are the dimensions for the plate exactly 4"x5" or are they a bit smaller? If so, would you kindly tell me the dimensions for plates that fit in a 4x5 view camera? Or point me in a direction that gives me information on plate sizes for a range of LF cameras?
Last edited by lostin_ostin; 06-02-2012 at 08:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I have 1 4x5 plate holder with a couple of unexposed glass plates inside.
The plate size is very close to 4x5 perhaps 1/32 of an inch less.
I'll second the Linhof holder idea. I just picked up a 2x3 for $9 and a 4x5 for $14 from KEH.com. They are really nice and can be used with either film or plates. Try searching for Linhof Doppelkassetten on Ebay worldwide.
Last edited by smieglitz; 06-03-2012 at 01:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Ok, any suggestions for a camera? Denise recommends the "Speed Graphic" to start out. Anybody care to share what they started out with so I can get some ideas?
also, I'm quite disappointed in the amount of Gelatin Dry plate images available for view online...are there many in the apug gallery? I'm very low on money due to a recent injury so I can't subscribe just yet :/