Dry plate questions
I'm apparently a bum because I can't afford a real 8x10 camera so I've constructed an 8x10 wide angle pinhole camera. I want to coat 8x10 glass and use it as a negative but the liquid emulsions I've tried off the shelf are crap! in my opinion. I want to make my own but cant find the silver nitrate. Anyone know a cheap source for it? Is silver halide cheaper and would it work? Cliff
you can find silver nitrate through places like
Originally Posted by Clifford Davis
bostick and sullivan
and the photographers formulary.
you had bad luck with off the shelf emulsions ?
i have used liquid light since 1986 mostly for glass coating
and never had trouble.
have you been to thelightfarm.com ?
it is a website of emulsion makers ...
good luck + have fun !
Liquid Light and Formazo
My efforts have been with off the shelf Liquid Light and now Formazo emulsions from Rockland and Formulary. I coat 4x5 plates by hand. There are some pictures on this site and more in my blog, http://newlightfarmer.blogspot.com/ Some day I'll try to coat a 8x10. From my experience and pouring by hand it will take two full 35mm film canisters or 60ml to cover. I just bought my second pint last night of Light because it is thicker than the other one.
I'm very interested in making my own dryplates as well. I need a little pointing in the right direction. I'm thinking cheap I still need to find 4x5 plateholders
There is a whole forum here on APUG devoted to emulsion making and coating.
I routinely make in ISO 40 orthochromatic emulsion for dry plates. Formazo also makes a very nice dry plate but it is mostly UV/Blue sensitive.
It's been a little hard lately to find plate holders, at least at a reasonable price. Fortunately, that's not a problem if you're willing to do a little woodworking. Find some old wood film holders. They're still pretty available, and beat-up is just fine. What you want to do is take each apart and convert a two-sheet film holder into a one-plate holder. It's pretty intuitive, but here's a few instructions. http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/DryP...PlatePart6.htm
Originally Posted by randy6
Congrats on stepping into a great process!! Good luck and fun.
Come to think of it, I have seen some plastic 2 sheet film holders converted to plate holders as well.
I suppose it might have to come to that someday when all the old wood holders are gone. I tried with the Lisco/Fidelity version. They. at least, have what looks like a seam. I still managed to shatter the plastic trying to get the halves apart. The Riteway holders don't even have seams. The plastic Riteways look a lot like wood. Could be what you saw (??). I think it might be possible for a metalworker with the right tools to cut the septum out, leaving the plastic frame intact, but hopefully, new plate holders will be available before the cheap, old wood film holders are gone.
Randy, You mentioned being on a budget so I didn't mention that Chamonix cameras is planning on coming out with a couple of plate holders soon. I imagine 4"x5" will be one of the sizes. Bound to be expensive, but also gorgeous. http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/accessory.html
What I saw came back to mind. I saw several made by Mark Osterman. He cut out the septum and placed small corner supports in the holder for the plate. The length of the cutout was shorter than a plate by a fraction, but the width was correct. The plate slid in and was supported by the 4 small corner supports. He used 2 different styles IIRC.
We talk about this sort of thing at lunch. ;)
What will we do when they stop making the plastic holders? And, 4x5 cameras?
I really don't see LF cameras as being any way in danger of disappearing, and the same people making the cameras will almost certainly also make holders. The plastic holders in circulation now will last as long as any plastic thing. Whether or not any of it will be 'cheap' remains to be seen, but photography has always been an expensive undertaking. Cell phone jpegs shot to email screens is probably as affordable as photography's ever been. Paradoxically, I think it's making the whole film experience (at least LF) all the more attractive.