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  1. #31
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyaniv
    An ISO of .005 will require some calculations but that is part of the fun, right?
    As I wrote above, the plates are orthochromatic, and a significant part of the light comes from the UV, so don't expect to actually use your meter for anything about the roughest of estimations. What meters are good for actually is judging the contrast in a scene. Dag plates have about 2 to 2.5 stops of latitude, so a meter and a bit of Zone System knowledge comes in handy figuring out where and how to place your exposure.


    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
    what is used nowadays as a silver plate to actually take the daguerrotype on?
    Copper remains the most popular base. While it is fairly expensive ($3.50 for a 4x5 sheet of printer's Mirror Finished Copper), it electroplates very well and is pretty easy to work with. Some people do use trophy brass, but I have found it a bit flimsy. Most, if not all practicing Daguerreotypists make their own plates, but you can purchase prepared (but not polished) plates from one or two sources, I think Theiss Plating in MO sells plated trophy brass, and Mike Robinson sells silver clad copper. I have never tried either.

  2. #32
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    Am I mistaken, or does electroplating the plates require cyanide?

  3. #33
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
    ... does electroplating the plates require cyanide? ...
    You are correct. I don't know of anyone who does their own. I send my plates to a place in Chicago.

  4. #34
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    Probably a good idea to not do them yourself, then. What are you looking at as an approximate cost for the plate (silver coated, polished etc., but not sensitized)? - in 4x5?

  5. #35
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Copper cut to sizes runs about $3.50, and silver electroplating costs anywhere from $7 to $10. Add shipping and other consumable materials (polishing wheels, compounds) and you are at about $15 a plate, not including the price of the polishing motor or other one time purchases or the incredible amount of labor.

  6. #36
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    Has anyone actually tried Daguerreotype on a chemically silvered glass substrate? Should be *LOTS* cheaper than silvered copper plate, and you can apply the silver yourself, fairly quickly, burnish with cotton balls and jeweler's rouge, and be ready to fume in a few minutes per plate (starting with plates cleaned in nitric acid, standing in a distilled water bath). No cyanide involved, and though silvering chemicals used to explode occasionally, modern formulae aren't prone to that. At one time, there was even a commercial "instant silvering" system that used spray bottles, one with silver solution and the other with the reducer; very handy to apply a quick & dirty coating for optical testing, though I doubt that would be suitable for Dag plates.

    Also related to "modernized" Dags, what happens if you develop the exposed plate chemically (i.e. in either a tintype developer based on ferrous sulfate etc., or in an organic developer like p-aminophenol, metol, etc. like a modern film or paper developer)?
    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.

  7. #37
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    I like that idea, Donald ... front silvered glass [searches junk box for front silvered mirrors]. Why wouldn't it work - if you can coat the silver onto brass, copper, steal, etc., why should glass make a difference?

    And I'd think that a normal developer wouldn't work; if it did it would've been tried within the pas hundred some-odd years ... but you never know.

    If silver glass works, well, then I just may try this sooner than I thoght.

    I've seen silvering of glass done before but the chemistry escapes me - Donald, how's it done?

  8. #38
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    Also related to "modernized" Dags, what happens if you develop the exposed plate chemically (i.e. in either a tintype developer based on ferrous sulfate etc., or in an organic developer like p-aminophenol, metol, etc. like a modern film or paper developer)?
    Sometime back I tried to develop a plate in a FeSO4 based wet-plate developer, it did produce and image but had a terrible fog. I never tried again because no matter how much I polished I could never get rid of the fog, so it ruined the plate. I am sure however that it should be possible to do with enough time and money.

    I don't know anything about silvering glass, but will look into it.

  9. #39
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    Well, that's interesting, then. It's always seemed to me that a developer requires some type of a binding agent for the silver to be in to work ... This seems like more of just a deposition on silver ... perhaps if you sprayed the developer on?

    But it would be neat to see about the glass thing.

  10. #40
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Donald,

    I took a quick google for silvering solutions and am very interested. It doesn't look very complicated, and would allow me to make much larger plates than I can now afford. Thanks for the suggestion, I can easily get the chemicals locally, and will probably try it this summer. Will let you know how it works.

    Regarding the "deposit of silver" that is how Daguerreotypy is different from all other forms of photography, it doesn't employ a "film" or binding agent, but rather the AgI and AgBr simply sit on the surface of the plate. This makes Daguerreotypes very fragile, at least until they are gilded.

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