Friday, June 24, 2011

Dry Plate Cameras

There are today two cameras for sale on the web, e-bay from the UK. One is a 10x12 and the other is a 8x15. Each has a film holder but no tripods are included.
The man I bought all mine from in India,, has some for sale today. They are the same kind of Vageeswari cameras. I did a search for Vageeswari in film cameras on ebay.
The sellers name is photolud if you are interested. He has had these ULF dry plate camera offered for a long time. They look good to me. I'm not ready to sell mine. I want to use them. I wrote photolud and told him that I now can coat glass plates for such cameras. He was listing film sources and foam inserts to use film. HA. No one knows how to coat plates that big. I want everyone to know how to do that.
Here is how to coat large format glass plates. Sand the edges smooth. Use single strength glass. Clean the top with Calcium Carbonate and grain alcohol; I use a 1 inch brush and paper towels. Rince all dust off and polish with towels, wash with alcohol and don't touch it. Have edge strips made out of plate glass that is the next size thicker and have those edges smoothed; strips should be about 4 inches wide and longer and wider so they can overlap. Butt the edges of the edge plates and leave a gap where the plate is inside the 'well'. Have one more edge strip ready to scrape emulsion with. It should overlap and ride on the edge strips. Heat it. Melt Liquid Light at 110 degrees F, pour it inside the well all over and scrape it down one time. Practice with buttermilk first and measure out how much to use. Excess is easily recovered from the wide sheets surrounding the plate. Oh yea, the glass assembly is set on a damp cloth or rubber matt. Emulsion has a way of getting under the glass and a way to lift the glass is needed. The flexable backing peels off the glass.
That's about it. I couldn't believe how easy it went on.
Be careful how and when you take it apart as the emulsion needs to stay on the edges of the plate. It doesn't cut well and rips easily. A razor blade if stainless could be used to remove excess after dry some.

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