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  1. #1
    Calamity Jane's Avatar
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    Anybody doing tintypes?

    Just getting my fingers wet in tintype, with the Rocklands AG-Plus and "tintype developer" and hoping someone here can asnwer some questions.

    #1 - The developer mixed up the colour of strong tea. It was purchased directly from Rockland only recently but I had read that the brown colour indicates it is "oxidized". The process isn't working well for me, so could this be part of the problem?

    #2 - Coating thickness. When I spread the AG-Plus with my finger into a nice thin sheet, it all seems to just "wash off" in the developer and leave no image. When I paint it on thick with a brush, I get a better image but it is still REALLY dark (even when exposed up to f5.6 @ 3 seconds - books says f16@.5S in sunlight) Could this also be the developer? How thick should the emulsion coating be? As thick as a sheet of paper? As thick as a sheet of photo paper?

    I have the opportunity to market "olde tyme photos" to 10,000 to 15,000 people over 4 days in July but I am rapidly loosing faith in the reliability of the tintype process!

  2. #2
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    I see you've come from the LF forum to here! Glad to see you. Can you show us some of your results? As for #1, is your developer a stock solution or is it a dilution that is being made up each time you use it?
    Diane

    Halak 41

  3. #3
    Aggie's Avatar
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    how thick is the stuff you are trying to spread? Is it thick like a paste, or thin like cream? You need to let the stuff be thin, not thick, and if it is a pre packaged liquid light stuff, it needs to sit in a container of hot water bath. it is best at cream 9thin0 consistency. It should also have to dry prior to usage.
    Non Digital Diva

  4. #4
    Calamity Jane's Avatar
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    Hi Diane, nice to see you here (to)

    My developer is Rockland tintype developer. Their instructions only cover making a working solution, no one-shots or anything else. It mixed up with the colour of strong tea, which I understand indicates it may be "oxidized". In their FAQ on the Web page, they indicate bad devloper is one of the possible causes of a dark plate. Rockland is sending me another batch of developer.

    Unfortunately even the best images I have so far are so dark they probably won't scan.

    Aggie: Yes, it is quite thick and I stand the bottle in HOT water to thin it, then pour some into a smaller jar, also standing in hot water.

    I have tried everything from VERY thin coatings to quite thick and a broad range of exposures.

  5. #5
    Aggie's Avatar
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    PM a member here, quinn, he is one who is a major player in the tin type area. He starts from scratch mixing chemicals for it, but i'm sure he has done your version too.
    Non Digital Diva

  6. #6
    Kerik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calamity Jane
    My developer is Rockland tintype developer. Their instructions only cover making a working solution...
    Hi Jane,

    I've never used the Rockland product, but I do traditional tintypes and ambrotypes using the wet plate collodion method (I currently have one posted on the opening page of my website). Have you considered going this route? I'm relatively new to wetplate, but I've found it pretty easy to learn and have not experienced the problems you are having. Plus, you're then more autonomous and don't have to depend on a commercial product that may disappear when you least expect it.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com

  7. #7
    Calamity Jane's Avatar
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    Hi Kirk!

    looking at the tintype on your cover page, my images aren't a WHOLE lot darker than that. Maybe I am closer to the limitations of the process than I realized.

    I briefly considered plate process but didn't find any plate holders readily available (at a reasonable price). I also did want to make one right now. With tintype, my plates are thin enough to fit in a standard sheet film holder.

    I may venture into "rolling my own" when I get a little more experienced with the process. I was hoping a commercial set of chemicals would give me good repeatable results to go after one particular commercial opportunity this summer. If I don't get the tintype working reliably, I'll switch to POP for this event and come back to play with tintype later.

  8. #8
    Andy K's Avatar
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    The following link will take you to a page on the National Geographic site, where photographer Robb Kendrick did a Zip USA article using tintype photography. On the right of the page is a box titled 'Multimedia', in that box there is a three part video of Robb at work, part one covers his tintype process.

    http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature6/


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  9. #9
    Kerik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calamity Jane
    Hi Kirk!

    looking at the tintype on your cover page, my images aren't a WHOLE lot darker than that. Maybe I am closer to the limitations of the process than I realized.

    I briefly considered plate process but didn't find any plate holders readily available (at a reasonable price). I also did want to make one right now. With tintype, my plates are thin enough to fit in a standard sheet film holder.
    Jane,

    If the image looks very dark on your computer, that may just be a difference between your monitor and mine. Tintypes tend to have a bit of a "muted" look to them, however. And as far as your holder, if it holds the tin you're using for the Rockland process, it should also hold a plate for a collodion tintype.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com

  10. #10

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    Kerik, glad you posted on this..have not been by your site to see the latest work. Very nice, love the range of tones you got with this and find the image sharpness very nice. Did you use a vintage lens on this?
    Mike C

    Rambles

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