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  1. #1
    Aggie's Avatar
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    6x8

    I decided to take the plunge and learn about wet plate/dry plate/tintypes. I did the ebay thing and purchased this camera: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWN:IT

    What I would like to know is all about restoration that I might need to do with this camera. Keep in mind that wet plate photography tends to get messy so things need to be durable. Things I need to know and I know some of this stuff has been talked about before, but I can't find the threads, are: where to get new bellows if it needs it? Wat kind of finishes do you put on film holders? Should I send the lens off to SK Grimes? Where can I get some lens boards made? I do not want to spend the time making my own. Will I need more than the three film holders?

  2. #2

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    hi aggie -

    you can get new bellows through camera bellows in the uk. they can be reached through lee filters in la. if your bellows are worn at the corners, and don't have big holes in them, both bostick and sullivan & equinoxphotographic sell a liquid bellows patch that can be painted on the bellows while it is fully extended. i have read that both products work pretty well.

    sk grimes does a great job on those shutters. if you were going to use this camera for slow emulsion work, you'll be leaving the shutter open for longer than one second ... it might be nice to have the shutter cleaned &C anyways, so you can shoot film at some point, or luminous liquid emulsion ( asa 100!) but if you use other liquid emulsions they will rate at about asa .5 or 1 depending on the age &C.

    you can find plate holders, if you find you need more than 3 ( i have between 6 and 12 ... )- through the nice folks at equinox photographic. they have a bunch of different sizes advertised on their website.

    have fun!

    ps. not sure if the lens listed with your new camera will cover 5x7 without that funky extender ... ( my 135 clips the corners off )

  3. #3

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    Blondie-Rabbit!?

    First thing to do is look at the joints and take care of those. It is easy unless they are really munched but I doubt that will be the case. Then the bellows. Have fun. I loved rebuilding my 2D.
    Last edited by mark; 08-12-2004 at 10:46 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: I can't spell for Sh*t
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  4. #4
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Shhhhhh I am really a true blonde who dyed their hair red once my hair decided to go white. Those who have seen me inbetween dye jobs know I speak the truth. As for the rabbit part i use to be the Brianhead (ski resort) Easter bunny. My husband met me while I was dressed as the rabbit. Hence the nick name Blondie Rabbit. So my secret is out, what is your nick name?

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    Markey Mouse. No laughing Damnit. I don't even remember why I got it. Some time my junior year.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
    I decided to take the plunge and learn about wet plate/dry plate/tintypes. I did the ebay thing and purchased this camera: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWN:IT

    What I would like to know is all about restoration that I might need to do with this camera. Keep in mind that wet plate photography tends to get messy so things need to be durable. Things I need to know and I know some of this stuff has been talked about before, but I can't find the threads, are: where to get new bellows if it needs it? Wat kind of finishes do you put on film holders? Should I send the lens off to SK Grimes? Where can I get some lens boards made? I do not want to spend the time making my own. Will I need more than the three film holders?
    I'm in the process of tooling up for this right now also. I took a weekend workshop and learned enough to be dangerous. First, you will probably need only one plate holder. You expose the thing within 5 minutes of taking it out of the silver bath, so there is really no way of using more than one. It is sort of like a caveman style polaroid back. You coat, sensitize, expose, develop, wash, fix and look. If it stinks, you change something and try again, using the same holder.

    Ray Morgenweck at Star or Wayne Pierce may be your best bet if you want to really refurb the camera. The link that Kerik gave you on the Scully&Osterman page for making your own holder with an old 8x10 holder may be the best way to start. The thing to keep in mind is that you are going to be dripping silver nitrate onto whatever you use, so if it is an organic material such as wood, you will need to varnish it thoroughly.

    The more critical item you will need to have made are the two tanks for sensitizing and then fixing your plates. The silver bath tank will need to be light tight if you are planning on doing any of this outdoors. I would highly recommend buying the Scully and Osterman guide, the John Coffer book and perhaps the Coming Into Focus book, which has a section on wetplate. In addition, you can go to Alibris and find a copy of the facsimile edition of the Silver Sunbeam, which is a period book on the process with exhaustive detail on everything from making your studio and darkoom to making your own collodion from scratch (NOT recommended unless your insurance is completely paid up - a few people blew themselves up in the 1800's making home brew collodion with nitric acid and cotton and ether)

    There is also a collodion forum that you can find by googling robert szabo and collodion.



 

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