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Hi Ken, and welcome!

As Mike says above, adding a spacer nearly as thick as the plate thickness would be a good shout to start with.

With the exception of something being impossible, most folk in here would definitely fall on the side of 'Do!' rather than 'don't' :)

Given the recent addition to the Chroma lineup, perhaps @stevelmx5 has some thoughts on this?
Hi @Kenneth Ness, welcome to the best part of Talk Photography ;)

As above, I own/design/build Chroma Cameras, as well as the new ChromaGraphica double dry plate holders. The earlier advice about using sheet film in glass plate holders is spot on. All you're doing is ensuring that the light sensitive face of the film sheet is in the same position as the light sensitive face of the original glass plates. Any material that's thick enough, and rigid enough, to push the sheet of film against the underside of the rails on each side of the holder (beneath the dark slide) and keep it flat will be fine. The glass plates that my holders are designed for are 1.3mm thick, so the entire channel is 2mm thick with springs below. I'd assume that your holders were designed for the same, or similar, thickness glass plates.

With regards to different holder compatibility, you should be able to use any 4x5 standard sheet film holder, not just MPP brand, if you'd rather not have to use a spacer in your glass plate holders.
 

ChrisR

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By the way, I thought I saw someone very recently offering coated dry plates for sale at £48 for one, IIRC! I nearly fell off my chair...

Seriously, are they so much better, or is this another retro experience thing?
 

Asha

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By the way, I thought I saw someone very recently offering coated dry plates for sale at £48 for one, IIRC! I nearly fell off my chair...

Seriously, are they so much better, or is this another retro experience thing?
£48 for 10 plates looks to be the going rate with analogue.

I would say that no they won’t be better than sheet film in so far as image quality.
Perhaps I will be proved wrong and pleasantly surprised but for me the wish to obtain a suitable film holder is to have a play with a method that relates to yesteryear, a little like using old brass barrel lenses on LF which is another project I am presently on with.
The resulting images obtained with my old lens may be brilliant, they may not, but like using glass plates, they will have their own style ( for what of a better word), which I suspect will be marmite.

If I like then I’ll continue with the same methods of obtaining a photo, if not then I’ll simply abandon the ideas.
 

ChrisR

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Hmmm I am considering the 25 iso over the 2 iso …….What do you mean by the higher iso not being the real deal?
The earliest coatings were sensitive to only UV and blue, and very slow. At some point, sensitising dyes were added which extended the spectral range (the 25 ISO plates are orthochromatic, and go up to 610nm, which is into orange). I don't know how the sensitivity increased - not sure if it has something to do with the dyes, or some other change in the chemistry. The different halogens might affect both sensitivity and spectral range, so maybe later gelatin coatings used a different halogen, or maybe the process just got refined enough to enable more halogen and silver to be absorbed into the coating gloop.

Either way, it's a question of what sort of rendering you're interested in. With the 2 ISO plates, you'll get something where everything that isn't blue or reflecting UV will come out relatively dark, compared to the 25 ISO plates, where reds and maybe some orange will be darker compared to panchromatic emulsions. The speed might also be a factor in which one you choose - 2 ISO can go well into several seconds exposure time (the test photo of the castle that I did on the Marion was 16 seconds, rating at about 1.5 ISO).
 
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Asha

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The earliest coatings were sensitive to only UV and blue, and very slow. At some point, sensitising dyes were added which extended the spectral range (the 25 ISO plates are orthochromatic, and go up to 610nm, which is into orange). I don't know how the sensitivity increased - not sure if it has something to do with the dyes, or some other change in the chemistry. The different halogens might affect both sensitivity and spectral range, so maybe later gelatin coatings used a different halogen, or maybe the process just got refined enough to enable more halogen and silver to be absorbed into the coating gloop.

Either way, it's a question of what sort of rendering you're interested in. With the 2 ISO plates, you'll get something where everything that isn't blue or reflecting UV will come out relatively dark, compared to the 25 ISO plates, where reds and maybe some orange will be darker compared to panchromatic emulsions. The speed might also be a factor in which you choose - 2 ISO can go well into several seconds exposure time (the test photo of the castle that I did on the Marion was 16 seconds, rating at about 1.5 ISO).
Long exposures don't bother me at all except if I don't want blurry foilage in breezy conditions.

The info about how the two different speeds / coatings may offer differing results in terms of what colours will show up darker etc will prove very handy ...Thanks.

Looks like I may well end up trying a box of each speed tbh as I'm not obtaining a suitable holder to just run 10 plates through it then use it for sheet film with suitable sheaths/ septums.....I have enough standard cut film holders to do that with.
 
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Looks like I may well end up trying a box of each speed tbh as I'm not obtaining a suitable holder to just run 10 plates through it then use it for sheet film with suitable sheaths/ septums.....I have enough standard cut film holders to do that with.
Sounds like a plan. I noticed that they have 9x12cm packs as well, which would suit an old 9x12 plate camera I've had for ages (an Ica Volta, with three holders). I'm wondering whether to go with the 2 or 25 ISO...
 

ChrisR

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It's a pack of 10 exposures - 10 plates.
Yes, turns out you're right, though for ages I couldn't find anything indicating 10, and was fooled by "Pack size:1". The information about the number of plates appears in the 3rd graphic, couldn't see anywhere else!

EDIT: d'oh, just seen the "Exposures: 10" bit just above the pack size. :coat:
 
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Asha

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photography game to the next level
Hmmm what type of photography are we talking about?....Film, Digital?? Small format, Medium format or Large format.
Is it techniques, exposure, composure, Post processing, or what?

Why can you not just link us directly to the free ebook that you mention?
 
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I love 4x5, not happy with my current camera, a Stenopeika Hyper, too much flex in the front and rear standards if trying to use in in the slightest breeze, looking to upgrade to a Wista 45DX. I have a range of lenses from 65mm to 240mm. Looking to make an adaptor for the 65mm so I can fit it to the rear of the front standard to allow for better movement and focusing. Nice to be here
 
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Woodsy

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Welcome to the best section of the forum Karl, good to have you :)

If you have an online gallery of you work, I’m sure we’d all like to see!
 
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I wasted a whole afternoon trying to modify a Glass Plate holder to take sheet film. Thanks Asha, I did follow you suggested link but in the end though "sod it" and went and bought two film holders for £30.

I also spent the day cleaning the MPP of dirt and dust. Shock horror; I used WD40 on a number of seized parts and think I got away with it. A toothbrush and foaming cleanser of the outside and together the thing is actually starting to look ok!.

Now the shutter works properly and travels (mostly, except in bulb where it is still a bit sticky - but that is not really a big issue) its full path. I will not be using the focal plane shutter as I feel the blind is a bit fragile and could break up. The rack is now moving freely and the infinity stops are back in action. the front shutter release plunger now works again and finally I managed to get the hood release to work again so it comes off easily.

Ok, there is a strong smell of WD40 everytime you open it up, but I'm sure that will go eventually when it gets out into the open.

I'm quite pleased that a camera that was used to take photographs of Kings, Prime Ministers and famous golfers on the Old Course at St Andrews, may again live. Most of the images are available in St Andrews' University in the Cowie Collection. Thousands of glass plates which passed through the plate holders of this camera are still there to be viewed. No wonder the poor thing looks a bit tired!

Regards

Ken

_DSC0731.JPG _DSC0732.JPG _DSC0733.JPG _DSC0735.JPG
 
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I wasted a whole afternoon trying to modify a Glass Plate holder to take sheet film. Thanks Asha, I did follow you suggested link but in the end though "sod it" and went and bought two film holders for £30.

I also spent the day cleaning the MPP of dirt and dust. Shock horror; I used WD40 on a number of seized parts and think I got away with it. A toothbrush and foaming cleanser of the outside and together the thing is actually starting to look ok!.

Now the shutter works properly and travels (mostly, except in bulb where it is still a bit sticky - but that is not really a big issue) its full path. I will not be using the focal plane shutter as I feel the blind is a bit fragile and could break up. The rack is now moving freely and the infinity stops are back in action. the front shutter release plunger now works again and finally I managed to get the hood release to work again so it comes off easily.

Ok, there is a strong smell of WD40 everytime you open it up, but I'm sure that will go eventually when it gets out into the open.

I'm quite pleased that a camera that was used to take photographs of Kings, Prime Ministers and famous golfers on the Old Course at St Andrews, may again live. Most of the images are available in St Andrews' University in the Cowie Collection. Thousands of glass plates which passed through the plate holders of this camera are still there to be viewed. No wonder the poor thing looks a bit tired!

Regards

Ken

View attachment 266926 View attachment 266927 View attachment 266928 View attachment 266929
Great story. :)
 
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Got a "new" camera yesterday - an impulse purchase after seeing it in the window of an antiques shop.

It's a "folding tailboard" design so it focusses by moving the rear standard. It does fold into a reasonably compact package, though I forgot to photograph it folded, and weighs about 4.5lbs.

There is no indication at all of the maker, on the body or the lens. The wooden tripod is "The Arrow Tripod" by Sherwoods. The lens has no shutter but it does have marked apertures, from f11 to f64.

DSC_0090.jpg

DSC_0094.jpg
It has rise on the front standard (shown above) and the rear standard tilts backwards and forwards (shown above)

DSC_0098.jpg

I think the film size is 5x7, however there were no film or plate holders included. The four clips shown above, which would potentially keep a film holder in place, do not have enough clearance from the body, so I would have to fashion a new mechanism with my non-existent DIY skills. I suspect the previous owner was using a reducing back for 5x4 because there is a 5x4 rectangle marked on the ground glass.

I bought it mainly as a display item, and if I get it working that's a bonus. I'm not going to rush into buying a film or plate back which might not fit as I don't want to spend more than I've already paid for camera. And the price - originally marked at £110 including a wooden tripod but I got them both for £70 !
 
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Got a "new" camera yesterday - an impulse purchase after seeing it in the window of an antiques shop.

It's a "folding tailboard" design so it focusses by moving the rear standard. It does fold into a reasonably compact package, though I forgot to photograph it folded, and weighs about 4.5lbs.

There is no indication at all of the maker, on the body or the lens. The wooden tripod is "The Arrow Tripod" by Sherwoods. The lens has no shutter but it does have marked apertures, from f11 to f64.

View attachment 267486

View attachment 267487
It has rise on the front standard (shown above) and the rear standard tilts backwards and forwards (shown above)

View attachment 267488

I think the film size is 5x7, however there were no film or plate holders included. The four clips shown above, which would potentially keep a film holder in place, do not have enough clearance from the body, so I would have to fashion a new mechanism with my non-existent DIY skills. I suspect the previous owner was using a reducing back for 5x4 because there is a 5x4 rectangle marked on the ground glass.

I bought it mainly as a display item, and if I get it working that's a bonus. I'm not going to rush into buying a film or plate back which might not fit as I don't want to spend more than I've already paid for camera. And the price - originally marked at £110 including a wooden tripod but I got them both for £70 !
It's very nice!.
 

RaglanSurf

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That's very nice, be great to run some film though it.
 

Asha

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Very nice Kevin and at a bargain price!

It's of the same style of the Whole Plate Marion Tailboard camera that I sold to @Nomad Z last year.
IIRC , going by the adress on it's name plate, the Marion dates back to 1887 ( definetly the 19th century anyway.) so it's quite possible that this one of yours is of a similar era.

I'm sure if you have questions concerning using this beauty, that Nomad will be happy to offer advice.
 
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I was able to pick up a Brass & Mahogany wooden camera some years ago complete with four lenses, 3 film/plate holders and a load of bits including aperture slide thingys from a customer for £180. It is in good condition and, like Kevin, it is a display piece. The plate holders are about the 5 x 7 size and there ia s plate on the front that says "Watson" (probably the dealer/shop. The lenses vary in sizes but have no shutters so it would be very much a "cap" exposure. I di have a Thornton Pickard with a shutter some time back but think I must have sold it. Collecting cameras is fun but costly, taking imagers is more satisfying. _DSC0736-1.jpg _DSC0738-1.jpg _DSC0737-1.jpg
 

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Countryfile today was based around Dungeness, and included a sequence with a photographer using a LF camera. I've no idea what it was, and got quite confused; I thought 4x5, but then the guy came out of his darkroom with something that looked more like 6x17 (cm) black and white contact print, which wouldn't work cropped from a 4x5 negative. Pretty sure it wasn't a 8x10 camera, so maybe 5x7?
 

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Countryfile today was based around Dungeness, and included a sequence with a photographer using a LF camera. I've no idea what it was, and got quite confused; I thought 4x5, but then the guy came out of his darkroom with something that looked more like 6x17 (cm) black and white contact print, which wouldn't work cropped from a 4x5 negative. Pretty sure it wasn't a 8x10 camera, so maybe 5x7?
Quite possibly 5x7 ….He would have had to crop it substantialy to obtain a 6x17 print mindst
 
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Very nice Kevin and at a bargain price!

It's of the same style of the Whole Plate Marion Tailboard camera that I sold to @Nomad Z last year.
IIRC , going by the adress on it's name plate, the Marion dates back to 1887 ( definetly the 19th century anyway.) so it's quite possible that this one of yours is of a similar era.

I'm sure if you have questions concerning using this beauty, that Nomad will be happy to offer advice.
I'm hardly an expert, but my impression is that most of the mahogany and brass cameras are likely to be from the second half of the 19th century. Some would be earlier, but are probably simpler designs like a fixed box, or sliding box rather than the classic style with the bellows. At some point around the turn of the century, a 'black look' seemed to become the vogue, where cameras were covered with black leather or leatherette. Box Brownies an obvious example. I have an Ica Volta 9x12 plate camera that dates from about 1920, and that's all black. The black look can be seen in printed adverts from the time as well. Notably, camera bodies started to become more complex, with additions like reflex mirrors. I suspect this sort of thing would be hard to make from wood, and that sheet metal was the better choice, which was conducive to the black leatherette finish.
 
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Countryfile today was based around Dungeness, and included a sequence with a photographer using a LF camera. I've no idea what it was, and got quite confused; I thought 4x5, but then the guy came out of his darkroom with something that looked more like 6x17 (cm) black and white contact print, which wouldn't work cropped from a 4x5 negative. Pretty sure it wasn't a 8x10 camera, so maybe 5x7?

Dungeness is/was one of my favourite places for derelict boats (the subject of my Associate panel; derelict boats) Last year went down there only to discover that the beach had been abused by "photographers" doing commercial work. As a consequence they have banned/ restricted access for the likes of us. There are signs everywhere saying "Keep Off". Special permission might still be possible, but as I was on holiday, it wasn't worth asking for a permit.

Ken
 
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Both of those cameras are quite something!
 
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The saga continues. I have now two film holders in addition to the four glass plate variety. I have "modified" them to accept film (and only time will tell if I have been successful) and managed to get out into the stormy weather and shoot three frames, two on the modified holders and one using the film holder. I'm still waiting for my view cloth to turn up from China (wish I had asked the wife to knock me up one, but there you go) but never the less I had a go in harsh bright winter sunshine with exposures of 1/30sec at f/22. I have tried out the "taco" method of development in the past with mixed success so decided to continue the spend and buy a MOD54 insert for my Paterson tank. I have heard they take a bit of getting used to but if I persevere, I should manage it. So my exposures will have to wait until it arrives.

Isn't this Large Format fun?

Ken
 

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The saga continues. I have now two film holders in addition to the four glass plate variety. I have "modified" them to accept film (and only time will tell if I have been successful) and managed to get out into the stormy weather and shoot three frames, two on the modified holders and one using the film holder. I'm still waiting for my view cloth to turn up from China (wish I had asked the wife to knock me up one, but there you go) but never the less I had a go in harsh bright winter sunshine with exposures of 1/30sec at f/22. I have tried out the "taco" method of development in the past with mixed success so decided to continue the spend and buy a MOD54 insert for my Paterson tank. I have heard they take a bit of getting used to but if I persevere, I should manage it. So my exposures will have to wait until it arrives.

Isn't this Large Format fun?

Ken
Yes LF is fun

A large black t-shirt works well as a darkcloth as does a jacket,scarf, sweater etc should you get on location to realise the ‘proper’ darkcloth is in another camera bag at home!!

Thé mod54 will accept a max of 6 sheets at a time but I always found that complications arose with several sheets including loading difficulties so I chose to develop one or two sheets at a time.
More chems but less chance of stuffing half a dozen frames in the same session.

Tbh I rarely use my mod54 now, much preferring the orbital and typically I dev each sheet individually.

1/30 @ f/22.....flip i can’t recall the last time I used 1/25...... typically 1/2 - 1/8 , maybe 1/15 and that’s if I’m outdoors.

I’m guessing that you’re using 400 asa film and no filters?
 
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ChrisR

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I did initially order a large black T shirt, but it never arrived, so I thought, maybe I'd better get a proper one. But the dark cloth I bought is a pain in the neck... it's huge, and doesn't have any way of attaching to the camera. It falls off the side, drops over the lens, I can't find my way out when I'm under it. Definitely thinking of junking it!
 

Asha

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I did initially order a large black T shirt, but it never arrived, so I thought, maybe I'd better get a proper one. But the dark cloth I bought is a pain in the neck... it's huge, and doesn't have any way of attaching to the camera. It falls off the side, drops over the lens, I can't find my way out when I'm under it. Definitely thinking of junking it!
I’d make good use of it ;)
 

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I had a proper dark cloth and like @ChrisR couldnt get in with it, I copied @Woodsy ‘s black t-shirt idea and haven’t had any problems, cheaper than a dark cloth and easier to use.
 
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I wish I could take credit, @RaglanSurf , but I too got the idea from Gandhi (Spencer, not Mahatma :D) about a decade ago :)
 

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@stevelmx5

bit of a daft question but whats the longest lens the Chroma can accommodate and focus at infinity?
 

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@stevelmx5

bit of a daft question but whats the longest lens the Chroma can accommodate and focus at infinity?
Probably 300mm / 320mm
I used one briefly and iirc it had a standard bellows draw of about 300mm so that will be the longest focal length possible with maybe a little room for movements... forward tilt but nothing extravagant.

Of course there are Télé lenses which might offer a solution for say a focal length of 400mm but only requiring about 240mm bellows extension.....these figures are simply expressed as an example of what may be available.

Édit just for info and in case you don’t already know, 1:1 close up reproduction requires the bellows to extend to double the lens focal length thus 1:1 is possible with a 150mm lens and bellows draw of 300mm
 
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Thanks Asha, I thought it was about 300mm which is what I'm thinking of getting, not too bothered about macro at the moment but its something I will have a go at with the Chroma later.

I've basically decided that I can't justify having 2 large format cameras (I shoot LF only rarely anyway due to the cost) so I'm going to sell the Wista.... don;t want too as it is lovely but the Chroma is newer and does everything the Wista does without worrying about the bellows falling to bits or parts falling off :jawdrop::D.
I currently have a 65mm, 135mm and 180mm lens set (and an old brass one with no shutter thats about 180mm) and sometimes I feel that something longer would be more appropriate hence I'm looking at 300mm ish.
 
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