New hand-coated dry plates now available

Discussion in 'News' started by opticman, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. For those of you who'd like to try dry plate photography but the process of making and coating your own emulsion is just too intimidating, I would like to announce that I have begun offering for sale newly-made dry plates, otherwise known as glass plate negatives.

    The plates are of the correct historical thickness (~0.050"), and the emulsion is of "normal" spectral response, with a typical sensitivity that I've tested to be about ISO 2 (you can shoot it at faster speeds, but I haven't explored that aspect much). As such, you can tray develop it under a safelight. The emulsion is virtually grainless, and has a very nice balance of tonality and contrast. Different developers give different results.. I've settled on the higher contrast of HC-110 Dil B but it still maintains a nice tonality. Developing by inspection also opens up a whole new variable to explore which is not often available when developing negatives. Recommended developing instructions are provided on the packaging, and I think you'll also enjoy experimenting with the plates.

    I've spent several years perfecting the coating technique, and the plates have come out nice enough and consistent enough in quality that I can dare offer to share them with others, but keep in mind that these are hand-made, which provides a certain ... character ... to the final product. In most cases, however, it is a pleasing effect, and I have made some very nice enlargements which have been put on display in local galleries, public buildings, etc. Many of the prints that are seen in my etsy shop (see below) are worth looking at as examples of dry plate photographs I have taken.

    Plates are offered in all sizes: I have a handful of stock offerings, and can otherwise coat any size you want. The largest I have coated for customers are 12"x20" plates, and the smallest I have coated are 35mm "test plates" that I make to test emulsion batches. Prices scale with the size of the plate, and are priced to cover my material costs and a little extra to stock my beer fridge.

    I've been selling these for about a month. To meet the demand, I've created an Etsy storefront where you can place an order for plates. There are also examples of prints there as well, enlarged from glass negatives that I've shot and developed.

    I also set up a facebook page so that folks interested can follow along as I continously develop improvements or new variations.


  2. A scan of an example plate.

    fire truck 1919.jpg
  3. I have two boxes of plates from Jason.

    Unfortunately, I only just today received a plate holder that will allow me to use them in any of my 4x5 cameras. I had a pair of beautiful oak holders from the 1880s or 1890s, but unfortunately they are too large for any of my 4x5 cameras.

    I bought a Graflex branded plate holder that is the same size as all of my film holders(and also looks a lot like them). Since the Graflex size seems sort of a standard for newer cameras, and I also use a Speed Graphic as one of my two 4x5s.

    I'm anxious to report on my results.
  4. Ben it could be that your older oak holders are half-plate size (4.5" x 5.5" for tin-type, and 4.75" x 6.5" for plates), or possibly Cabinet Card size at 4.5" x 6.5".
  5. Jason,

    Your 4x5 plates fit perfectly in them, so I'm actually not sure about that.

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