is this camera a Daguerreotype. If so which one???

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by gary_palmer|1, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Hi All.
    I have a feeling this camera is a Daguerreotype.
    If so can anyone identify it?
    The lens is a Ross lens.
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance[​IMG]
  2. how do i add pictures. Tried everything
  3. A very cool old camera with backs and Waterhouse
    stops. Sliding focus?? What size are the plates? A
    pic of the front?
  4. it seems an english wet plate camera in the style of Ross and Dallmeyer, around 1870 - not for daguerreotypes
  5. First, it looks to be a portable camera. That makes it rather unlikely to be a daguerreotype camera, since the majority of those were studio cameras on stands.
    So that makes it more a question of whether it was a wet-plate camera or a dry-plate camera. You will have to figure out how the plate holders work. One side will have a "dark slide", a slender dark sheet (or sometimes tambour door) that can be slid out. You would slide that out after attaching the plate holder to the camera. Then figure out how the glass plate was loaded in the holder. If there's a door on the other side from the dark slide, that's typical of wet-plate. If there plate is loaded through the hole left with the dark slide out, typically against a spring holder, that's typical of dry-plate.
    Another sign of a wet-plate plate holder is that there will be silver stains all over the wood on the inside, dark black stains. They frequently got dripped and dribbled on.
    Realize that shooting either daguerreotype or wet-plate in the "field" requires you bring a portable darkroom tent or trailer with you, since the exposed negative had to be processed while it was still wet. That's why this is most likely to be a portable dry-plate camera.
    Dry plates are glass plates coated with a emulsion in dried gelatin. Wet plates had the emulsion in wet collodion.
  6. If you could post the serial number of the Ross lens that will give a rough date for the camera assuming it is original.
    I tend to agree with Carlo that it looks English. Could well be wet plate but as John says wet plate work required a portable dark room. Also mnay of the wet plate cameras I have seen have dark chemical stains on the plate holders and camera back. But maybe it did not get used much!
    The lining up of the screw heads indicates a high quality maker so surprising there is no makers plate. I have never seen a key focusing mechanism like that before so unless it is a one-off it should be identifiable.
  7. Waterhouse stops seem to have been invented in 1858. I have also seen another camera ( slightly different but an english wet plate tailboard) with a crank focusing system as in Gary's camera which was dated 1866.
  8. Camera was identified on another forum as being an English model from the mid to late 1870s, the transition period for wet to dry plates. It was used for dry plate.
    Kent in SD

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