35mm Wetplate Collodion and without Ether
I am thinking to use a 35mm camera and 35mm glass pieces to take wet plate collodion negatives. Than I will scan them on the scanner and put to the gallery. My biggest problem is ether, I think I cant order it and I dont want to fall off or kill myself. Is it possible to make this process without ether ?
I will miniaturized every alternative process due to health concerns , expenses , weight and even at that size , possible resolution exceeds the gallery capacity with scanners.
I am researching wetplate, carbon, lithophane, palladium processes and I am thinking to take and print 35mm size.
I belong to several wet plate groups on Facebook, one person is coating microscope slides and shooting them in a Nikon. Later today, when I have more time, I will send you the link to the Group.
You could probably substitute the 190 proof grain alcohol for the ether - they perform similar functions. Try it and see. The other thing to think about with this process is that you will have to devote a camera to it, and you'll have to not be too invested in that camera's long-term survival. The wet collodion plus silver nitrate will corrode the metal of the camera over time, even if you are careful and wipe down the film transport area between each exposure. You'll also have to modify the film pressure plate so that it does not break the glass when you close the door. You won't be able to use one of your Leicas for this, as they don't have a back door to load the plate through.
You cannot totally get away from using ether in the process. Collodion is nitrated cotton (nitrocellulose) dissolved in a solution of diethyl ether and grain alcohol. Both ether and alcohol are needed to dissolve the nitrocellulose. Ether or alcohol alone won't do it. Commercial collodion already has ether in it.
You can substitute 190 proof grain alcohol or some brands of denatured alcohol for any additional ether called for in popular formulas for wetplate photography but, the properties of the working salted collodion will change to some degree. The changes may include longer setting times, different viscosity, texture, etc. Not necessarily bad changes, but different.
Originally Posted by smieglitz
i went to a factory that produced collodion .. the addition of ether ( at least for their uses )
was the last step ... after the linens were nitrated ... they were washed / rinsed thoroughly and then
soaked in alcohol to remove the remainder of the water ... then they were dissolved in ether ...
if you buy your collodion pre-made, make sure it isn't "flexible collodion" that you can get in some of the pharmacies
( at least here in the usa ) it has camphor and other things in it that will foul-up your photographic uses ..
if you decide to make dry plates in your 35mm camera contact me, i have made some dry plate tintypes inmy 35mm camera and it is a piece of cake!
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Please put Facebook link here - I would like to see this as well
Originally Posted by Chris Johnson
@Umut - great idea, I was thinking which camera can serve best to this purpose? Some cheap FSU?
I dont have any idea why wet plate collodion negatives of William Henry Jackson seem to me the most beatiful. I saw some similar effects at some Leica shots , some pyro negatives and carbon prints.
If Ether is exactly necessary, I went in to some surgeries and I know how these stuff is rock solid powerful and I run away.
What is the closest process to wetplate collodion without nasty stuff ?
John, I read you , please write a little bit more about your experience and a scan.
Darko, I think an ABS box and a Summar lens would be great.
Flying Camera , Now I have only one Leica , Leica Mini zoom with Vario Elmar 35-70 and sometimes it amazes me ! Its all plastic.
has the home brew developer ... you need to make sure your water is alkaline for it to work ..
i haven't scanned some of them
this was done on photo paper that i exposed with room light on to turn it black, then i coated it with liquid emulsion
and exposed it @ asa 1/2 ...
i have some more black paper coated but have been too busy to expose it ...
i think you might have trouble in your leica because you need to expose it for 1/2second f16 bright sun
and maybe your camera can't be forced to be totally manual ? IDK ...
these were done on metal ( the first one in a pentax k1000 )
and glass ( old clunker 4x5 plate cameras ) ...
sorry i can't post more examples i have trouble getting my scans to look like my plates
and have to 'tweek" them more than apug allows so i don't post them ..
I liked your images very much. There is nothing wrong to post process your images . If you play with curves too much to feel it right , what is wrong with that ? I liked your blog post and I felt that you are an artist , not only an photographer.
Thank you for sharing them ,when I feel better , I will write more.