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  1. #1

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    Collodion on Acrylic?

    I'm interested in the collodion process and have wondered about using acrylic sheets instead of glass. The material is much lighter, can be clearer, and will not break if dropped/mishandled. It does of course scratch quite easily, but no more so than sheet film. So, I suppose my question should be: will the emulsion take to the acrylic surface? Anyone tried this?

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    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I wonder if the ether used in collodion would dissolve the acrylic sheets. Have you checked this out?

    PE

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    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    The ether will not affect the acrylic, so you could probably use it, however I am unsure of the collodion would stick to the acrylic. I use acrylic inside my plate holders, and the collodion seems to peel off quite easily. Worth trying I suppose, but I think the scratching would be a pretty major drawback.

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    Hmmm - that's an interesting idea, what about doing it on acetate film like regular old sheet film - could it be done on a non-rigid surface?

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    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
    Hmmm - that's an interesting idea, what about doing it on acetate film like regular old sheet film - could it be done on a non-rigid surface?
    I suspect the collodion would start flaking off as the film is flexed. Sandarac varnish with lavender oil is flexible, but probably not flexible enough.

  6. #6
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    When I used to seal model airplanes with nitrate dope (which is very similar to collodion), we used to add a few drops of castor oil to a batch of dope that needed to remain flexible or not shrink as it cured. I expect something similar to this (generically, a "plasticizer") would help a lot if you wanted to try collodion on acetate or other flexible base. However, you'll probably also find you need to sub the base, or use a textured material (like drafting acetate, which is frosted on one side). And I expect acetate would be a bad choice for collodion, since many of the solvents that dissolve cellulose nitrate also dissolve cellulose acetate.

    Oddly, *paper* takes nitrate dope well, so might accept collodion well also...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.



 

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