Re: wet place collodion and old 4x5 cameras with new 4x5 lenses

From: Richard Knoppow ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 06/08/04-07:00:05 PM Z
Message-id: <002e01c44dbd$36821930$34f95142@VALUED20606295>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Adam. Waterson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 2:14 PM
Subject: wet place collodion and old 4x5 cameras with new
4x5 lenses

> Okee-- 2 questions...
> 1. My intern and I have decided to make Ambrotypes, with
the help of my
> best friend, Christopher James (well just the book) we are
going to
> make this our summer project. Where the heck do u get
ETHER from?!
> Someone's gotta have a good source. I haven't tried
TriEss, but I feel
> like they SHOULD have it.
> 2. I have a Graphix View camera with a lensboard with a
38mm opening,
> but I wanna buy a newer Copal 0 shutter that has a smaller
> How reliable are handmade lensboards?! If I get masonite
or really
> really dense cardboard, and construct the opening myself
and seal it
> with tape, is it going to have decreased image quality or
just look
> ghetto?
> Cheers!
> Adam.
> ps- sorry I haven't posted in a long time, I've been doing
video work,
> and that isn't considered an "alternative process" even
though the
> majority of the conversation is captivated by printers.

  The Graphic View cameras take standard 4x4 inch
Anniversary series Speed Graphic boards. While the originals
are made of metal rather than wood the wood ones work fine.
  I make temporary lensboards from cardboard. I use two
sheets of corrugated cardboard with the corrugations placed
at right angles. The inner part has the dimentions of the
rebate on the standard board. I put a layer of black masking
tape, sometimes called camera tape, around the periphery of
the board. The bottom edge is then squeezed in with the
fingers to fit the camera. Finish with flat black paint.
   Graphic View boards have a raised boss instead of an
inner section.Use this dimention for the inner part of the
cardboard lensboard.
    Cardboard lensboards are surprizingly strong. The lens
flange is screwed to the cardboard with large washers on the
back of the board. Retaining rings may be more trouble but
will work.
    I have several cardboard boards for various cameras
built as temporary expedients over the years, all still are
servicible. If painted they look like the real thing.
    Its not hard to make lensboards of wood or metal for the
Graphic View.
    I have no idea where to get ether but you might try it
under its chemical name. The problem with ether is that it
is unstable and becomes explosive when oxidized.
    For lots of information on wet plate photography try
John S. Craig's web site. He has links to several wet plate

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Received on Tue Jun 8 19:01:04 2004

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