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Hello all,

I am extremely keen to get my wetplate practice up and running by this summer but have been stopped in my tracks by buying a dud 19C camera.

I know this forum has not got many practitioners on it but is there anyone out there who knows where I can buy a new or old camera that is suitable for wetplate use - i.e. it must have a usable or converted darkslide and must be in working order but I don't care if it doesn't 'look the part' at this stage.

Any help gladly appreciated!

Gavin.

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Hi Gavin,

Depends on your budget and what size plates you want to shoot.

I've no spare cameras at the moment having just sold a batch.

Do you have a 5x4 camera by any chance? You could get hold of a MPP plate holder, thats easy enough.

Or maybe use a box brownie if your not fussed on plate size and a slow aperture.

If you want something made theres a few people in the US and one I know of in the UK who makes bespoke wet plate cameras.

What was wrong with the one you bought?

Tony

Hi Tony.

Its a little bigger than a 5x4 - I know this because I bought a 5x4 darkslide for it and its too small - though i'm not sure where/how you measure to find out....maybe you can tell me?

One of the joists in the central folding mechanism is totally eroded and the camera can't sit still as a result so is no good for taking pictures. I have thought of putting some kind of putty in there.

Its hard to get a  photo of but I've added one of the camera and one of the joint. You can't really see that there is bassically just a big hole where the screw is supposed to go.

Any advice is appreciated.

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Hi Gavin,

Measure the ground glass screen at the rear of the camera, that'll tell you the plate size. If its a little bigger than 5x4 its probably half plate.

Would a decent wood glue not set that joint? Is the insert that the screw screws into amongst that big resinous blob?

You can buy metal inserts but they are probably a different thread to the bolt thats on there.

Tony

Thanks for getting back to me Tony.

the plate is 6 1/2 x 4 3/4 so I guess thats half plate?

The 'big resinous blob' is part that the screw should screw into which is supposed to be sitting tight in the wood.

I haven't looked at in almost a year but know that I do i think that perhaps hope is not all lost. Perhaps with a touch of wood glue and replacing some of the smaller screws (victorian-screw-replacements.co.uk?) it might well sit tightly once again.

Then I just need to get or adapt a darkslide for wetplate.

I took a couple better photos to give an idea. You can see how the wood has completely rotten away on one side.

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A bit if wood filler might help. That third image shows the metal insert I mentioned. You might be able to cobble something together.

Is there any sign of a manufacturer? You might get lucky and get a half plate holder to fit although they are made in all shapes and fits. Not standard at all.

Tony

No, neither the lens nor the camera has a makers mark, frustratingly. 

I suppose i'll have to keep trying half-plate holders 'til i find one that fits. You're right an MPP one might do the trick.

I suppose you probably have a lot of experience adapting plate holders - do you know of any good websites with hints and tips, etc?

I doubt very much the MPP one will fit. Its pot luck to get a wooden book form holder to fit. I have no half plate ones to send you to try unfortunately.

This is converting a 10x8 but you get the idea. These are a different fit to your camera. Thats why I asked if you had a 5x4 camera.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Vlb7DRoSSVI

Gavin I have dozens of plate holders of various sizes you can try. You're welcome to come up and spend a few hours at my Manchester studio. Drop me an email if you're interested. john at johnbrewerphotography.com

Hi John, thanks for the offer but I ma based in London. If i'm ever up your way i'll give you a shout.

Best,

Gavin.

Gavin,

I've missed out on this as i've not been checking on this site for a few weeks, but I live in Guildford, Surrey, easy to get to from London, and have pleanty of plate holders of all sorts of sizes, also might have a suitable camera for you, amongst my collection of wood and brass. As I'm only 35 mins on train from Waterloo, you are welcome anytime. I do have an 1850 Daguerrotype camera, as well as a Dubroni, which might interest you.

regards

Jeff
 
Gavin Maitland said:

Hi John, thanks for the offer but I ma based in London. If i'm ever up your way i'll give you a shout.

Best,

Gavin.

Hi Jeff.

Thanks for getting in touch, that sounds amazing! I grew up near Guildford so I know the area. I would love to come down and have a look. Perhaps you can give me your email and i'll be in touch or email me on gavinmaitland80@hotmail.com.

 

Cheers!

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