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Wet Plate Collodion Photography Forum 

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1 year ago
smieglitz
I have for sale my mobile RV darkroom. It is a 1969 Ford Econoline 300 cab with a Shasta box on the chassis. About 16' long, it is about as big as an ambulance. After I remove the tricked-out stereo and speakers I had installed, I'm down to selling it for what the new tires are worth; $500 plus Michigan tax and title transfer fee. Should total about $45 for those fees. It is located in Kala
Forum: Collodion Classifieds
1 year ago
smieglitz
Carl, Speaking of darkboxes, I'm trying to sell my wetplate RV $500 net and will post a classified soon. I thought you might be interested since Lansing is only about an hour away. I've tried to PM a message to you but the forum software keeps giving me error messages. Joe p.s., To answer your other questions, I've never had a problem with the red windows but I haven't set that darkbox
Forum: General Discussion
1 year ago
smieglitz
Carl, I built a darkbox somewhat like you've shown several years ago. It was hexagonal with a red window at top and an angled red viewing port. The silver bath was dropped through the floor and I also put in a drain on the base and a valve and hose that brought water down from a storage jug that could be placed on the top. The rear walls were made as sliding doors to permit easy loading of
Forum: General Discussion
1 year ago
smieglitz
My first darktent employed 3 12"x12" sheets of red acrylic on the side walls and a 12"x24" sheet in the ceiling. I had trouble with fogging in direct sunlight once but solved the problem by setting up in the shade or baffling the windows when needed. I've also used a red sensitizing tank without issue and have red acrylic over the windows of my RV. Never had a problem with either. Of course,
Forum: General Discussion
2 years ago
smieglitz
Anyone currently selling Japanned ferrotype plates?
Forum: Collodion Classifieds
2 years ago
smieglitz
In this picture you can see the base of the reducing adapter sits on the routed interior rabbetted edge of the holder. Normally, the front surface (i.e., facing the lens) of a larger plate would be coincident with that routed plane. The acrylic adapter has strips that form the triangular supports in the corners to rest the smaller plates upon. These acrylic strips are glued to the front surfac
Forum: General Discussion
2 years ago
smieglitz
I check it daily as well and would hate to see it disappear. It has a different orientation and tone than the other forum and that also helps it be a valuable resource. Joe
Forum: General Discussion
2 years ago
smieglitz
Having made a few bellows myself, I'd agree that it is a pain. Not really hard to do, but tedious. Unless you have a good reason for doing so (e.g., want to DIY at least one time, period correctness, etc.), I'd suggest just ordering one from someplace like Custom Bellows in the UK. They will cost more than materials you'd need for a personal project but then again, "time is money."
Forum: General Discussion
3 years ago
smieglitz
Sean, If you are thinking of toning salted or albumen prints made from collodion negatives I would not recommend selenium toner, at least not the Kodak brand. Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner is compounded with about 40% ammonium thiosulfate, aka, "Rapid Fixer," IIRC. That chemical will bleach the fine silver in the albumen, salt, kallitype, etc., prints. OTOH, the gold toner protects prints fro
Forum: General Discussion
3 years ago
smieglitz
So as consumer digital cameras are replaced by cell phone cameras, Kodak decides to sell those patents and lose the revenue from licensing fees? Yeah. That'll work. I hope those poor Kodak workers in Rochester somehow survive this corporate stupidity.
Forum: General Discussion
3 years ago
smieglitz
Not my project. Just posting a link here since this seems to be in the spirit of older itinerant collodion photography.
Forum: General Discussion
3 years ago
smieglitz
Here's a link to a project seeking funding to convert an old travel trailer into a mobile darkroom for itinerant work in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. I thought it might be of interest to some. Tin Gypsy
Forum: General Discussion
3 years ago
smieglitz
FWIW
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
How about a great period tintype or ambrotype?
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
I only have one stop for my 3A but this will get you the dimensions. The ruler was scanned at the same time as the stop so they are to scale.
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
Thanks for these great references and illustrations. I'll be trying this soon.
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
Robert, I believe it was Nate mentioned on the other forum that he'd seen a period advertisement for a large white card with hole held a couple feet from the camera. Eddie Gunks also showed me a vignette holder that was several feet long and meant to be operated from the studio camera position. The card would have to be blown out so it would need to be some distance away from the lens. (It
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
I just realized I don't know how to create a light vignette on a positive wetplate (unless it was a dodged copy). A dark vignette would be easy, but I can't get my head around the technique that would produce a lighter vignette on a dark substrate (japanned ferrotype or black-backed ambrotype). Would the photographer have to mask (dodge) the sitter and grossly overexpose the foreground & back
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
DougHarding Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Are these Yankee trays plastic or hard rubber? What are the Confederate photographers to use?
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
I participated in the workshop along with Steve and Marek. (Nice to see you both again.) Kudos to Mike for putting on a very productive workshop. I left with very nice half-plate and quarter-plate cases made during the workshop and I feel confident I can produce these cases and others easily at home once I assemble the materials. Mike's workbook also lists vendors in addition to instruction
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
Paul, I'll speculate the relative amount of ethanol vs ether might be contributing to the film strength problem because your working collodion with only added ethanol would have more water in it than if additional ether was used. If your collodion is thin as well, why not try reducing the amount of ethanol you add? That should thicken the collodion and decrease the total water content you
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
Paul, I'm not sure which solvent would be best but I would probably start with ether since it doesn't have the water content the grain alcohol has. I'm not surprised that a collodion formula containing a sodium salt would dry very rapidly on the plate. When I was messing around with the various salts, I found rapid drying to be an effect of sodium salts. John Hurlock later confirmed that o
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
I'm curious as to what is stabilizing the ether. I've heard BHT may cause problems but don't know what those problems would be specifically. I've started to use ethanol-stabilized ether instead with no problems so far. Based on the period reference texts, I would expect a salted collodion with cadmium iodide to be more viscous than one with any other salt. One thing I'm unsure of is the s
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
I just read about some other tests done with this fabric on other forums. As a result, I have to correct the information. After reading about a flashlight test, I retested with a laser pointer. It went through the new BK-5 stuff but not a piece of the old stuff I had from Porters. I thought the paper test would be sufficient. Sorry to disappoint. I hope no one ordered this stuff because of my
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
I've found a replacement for the shroud/bellows material Freestyle and Porter's used to sell. It is called BK5 fabric and is available from Thor Labs. It comes 60" wide x 3 yds long for $44.20 USD. Other continuous lengths can be specified. The material is 0.005" thick making it lightweight and flexible. I tried to stretch and scratch it, but it resisted that minor abuse and seemed pretty st
Forum: General Discussion
4 years ago
smieglitz
Sale pending on the 16" f/3.8 lens.
Forum: Collodion Classifieds
4 years ago
smieglitz
I have a couple fast Wollensak Vitax (Petzval) lenses that will cover 8x10. I plan to keep one of them. The smaller is a 16" f/3.8 which is in nice shape. IIRC, there is a ding in the lens shade and the rear bezel, but the glass is fine and the mechanics such as the soft-focus adjustment also work correctly. The other is its big brother, a rare 20" Vitax. (I've only heard of two of these 20" V
Forum: Collodion Classifieds
4 years ago
smieglitz
Ellen, I have three double-plate bookform Rochester 14x17 holders. The exterior measurement is 16.125" wide x 19.25" long x 1" thick. The light baffle strip is at the very end of the holder. I'm not sure how light-tight these are since I've never used them, but the one I pulled to measure seems in decent shape. Does it sound like the holders would fit your camera? Joe
Forum: General Discussion
5 years ago
smieglitz
Vic, I'm assuming you don't need the darkbox to be period correct and that gives other options. I use red transparent cast acrylic sheet and the area of the window doesn't seem to be a concern as long as the light is indirect. My first tent had 3 @ 12" square on the sides and a 12" x 24" in the top. I never had any problems as long as the light was not direct sunlight streaming onto a plate
Forum: General Discussion
5 years ago
smieglitz
John, Is silver acetate detrimental to sensitizing bath in some way other than binding some of the available silver? A chemist friend of mine suggested nitric acid is a better choice for acidifying a silver nitrate bath since the nitric component would already be present and adding acetic acid would form silver acetate. He didn't indicate why the acetate might be detrimental so I'm left wond
Forum: General Discussion
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