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  1. #1

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    Authentic, Fast Dry-plate tintypes?

    I'm interested in Victorian photography, mainly tintypes, ambrotypes and would like to produce my own plates at some point. I'd like to give wet-plate a 'go' but the methods involved are a little bit too demanding for me at the moment.
    So my only other option, I think, is dry-plate. There doesn't seem to be an awful lot of information available on the dry-plate tintype. Maybe I've been looking in the wrong place, I don't know...So my question is:
    Can anyone suggest a good book or website outlining the authentic methods used for making dry-plate tintypes from 1880 to the 1950? ...with pictures.
    I live in the UK, so getting my hands on Rockford's tintype chemicals might be problematic.

  2. #2
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    One way is this way: http://www.alternativephotography.co..._dryplate.html but it may be too "modern" for you, maybe. It should get you started and let you have an inkling of how it works and if it is for you, without too much trouble finding chemicals, etc.
    Last edited by Jerevan; 09-18-2006 at 01:42 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: making myself a bit more clear
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  3. #3

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    Thanks for that Jerevan that's sort of what I'm looking for, but I'd really like to produce images on metal. I believe that dry-plate tintypes were still being made by the late 1940's so there must be a formula out there - Were tintypists using collodion or gelatin by the late 19th? Hmm...

  4. #4
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    I suppose using liquid light on metal would work, otherwise the AJ-12 recipe for gelatin emulsion is in the chemistry section could be something of interest maybe. If you want to do positives on metal with gelatin/silver emulsions such as liquid light, you probably want some kind of reversal process developer of some sort. But that's about the limits of my knowledge.

    This book is an old but good one, although it needs some understanding of chemistry and an urge to experiment (The Silver Sunbeam): http://albumen.stanford.edu/library/...eam/index.html.

    And this one (A manual of photography: intended as a text book for beginners and a book of reference for advanced photographers):
    http://name.umdl.umich.edu/AEL5141.0001.001
    Last edited by Jerevan; 09-18-2006 at 03:56 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  5. #5
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    I believe John Towler's mid-19th century book entited "The Silver Sunbeam" has a section on early dryplate collodion methods. Googling should turn up the online version.

    joe

  6. #6
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    Mexican street photographers were still doing direct positive paper portraits and collodion tintypes as late as the early 1970's. I believe many are still doing direct positive paper, but I have not been south of the border in a good many years so I don't know if they are stil doing tintypes.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  7. #7

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    I understand that the early collodion dry-plates were coated in egg and were much slower around the 1870's... Now, Mexican Street Photographers doing Tintype in the 1970's! Must...find.....out!

    (gotta get out more)

  8. #8
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    It can be done with liquid emulsion on plates; I believe that Rockland sells a kit, though there's no reason why you can't homebrew something.

  9. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242 View Post
    It can be done with liquid emulsion on plates; I believe that Rockland sells a kit, though there's no reason why you can't homebrew something.
    Talk to Calamity Jane about the Rockland stuff... it was a gross waste of money if I recall correctly. She may be able and willing to point you to something more viable.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
    If you want to do positives on metal with gelatin/silver emulsions such as liquid light, you probably want some kind of reversal process developer of some sort. But that's about the limits of my knowledge.
    As far as I know, none of the tintype or ambrotype processes were positive. They look positive because the backing is deep black.

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