Use film instead of glass plates?

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titrisol
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Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by titrisol »

Guys, I have a 45x107mm stereo camera but it has become nearly impossible to find glass plates for it.

However, when I was in my moms house this time I found a box of negatives taken in the 60s, using sheet film (hand cut)
I think this is neat idea but was wondering if there are any caveats?
I think the film will fit in the holders, however there is the issue of thickness of glass vs film and flatness.

Any ideas?
The camera in question
Image


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Brazile
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Re: Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by Brazile »

Yes, during the period after sheet film was introduced, there were a lot of solutions for reusing plate holders with film, mostly involving inserts. I believe this is one reason why plates were true to size (e.g., 4"x5") while the same nominally-sized film is slightly smaller in both dimensions. So it's worth a try!

Another solution? Make your own plates. I enjoy making and shooting my own plates. I go all the way to making my own emulsion, but you can buy premade emulsion and work with that. "Liquid Light" is I think still out there for sale.

But if you're interested in the fun of making your own emulsion, I can explain that a bit.

Robert
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Re: Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by P C Headland »

The metal sheet in the middle of the picture, with the folded over edges, looks like a film insert. I have similar looking film inserts / sheaths for my 9x12cm camera. Load the film in the sheath, put the sheath in the holder, the sheath ensures the correct overall thickness. Or, if I've got a 9x12cm glass plate, that goes straight into the holder.

If you're feeling generous / adventurous, maybe enquire with Zebra Dry Plates (for example)?
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Re: Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by Brazile »

Yes, Nejc (Zebra) is a good guy and I'm sure will help you if he can. I know Jason Lane (J. Lane) is gearing up to restart production after his move to Arkansas as well. There should be options...

Robert
titrisol
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Re: Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by titrisol »

Brazile wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2024 7:32 am
Yes, Nejc (Zebra) is a good guy and I'm sure will help you if he can. I know Jason Lane (J. Lane) is gearing up to restart production after his move to Arkansas as well. There should be options...

Robert
Thanks, yes those inserts are for the glass plates so that you can have 10 in the magazine.

I contacted both, JLane said that it will be 6-9 months before he is able to send me some; Zebra hasnt answered.

In the meantime, I ordered some X-ray film to give it a try, the price is right and I can cut them by hand under dim red light.
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Brazile
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Re: Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by Brazile »

Yes, that seems like a good interim solution. Will be much faster than plates as well. Just be gentle with the X-ray film, that stuff scratches pretty easily.

Exactly what size do the plates need to be to fit your holders? What thickness (in mm) would slip in there? It wouldn't be all that hard for me next time I make a new batch of emulsion to cut and pour a few plates for you to try out at some point, although getting them to you might be a bit more challenging. I'll tell you now that learning to shoot them (blue- or at most blue- and green-sensitive only, rather slow) has its own learning curve. But outdoors in decent light is pretty easy.

Robert
titrisol
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Re: Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by titrisol »

Brazile wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2024 7:54 am
Yes, that seems like a good interim solution. Will be much faster than plates as well. Just be gentle with the X-ray film, that stuff scratches pretty easily.

Exactly what size do the plates need to be to fit your holders? What thickness (in mm) would slip in there? It wouldn't be all that hard for me next time I make a new batch of emulsion to cut and pour a few plates for you to try out at some point, although getting them to you might be a bit more challenging. I'll tell you now that learning to shoot them (blue- or at most blue- and green-sensitive only, rather slow) has its own learning curve. But outdoors in decent light is pretty easy.

Robert
Thanks for the offer!
This was an amateur camera from the early XX century, plates were 45x107mm and thickness was variable, I'll measure the space for plates when I get back home tonight
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even duct tape can't fix stupid.... but it can muffle it (SilentObserver)
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Re: Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by Brazile »

Well, cheap window glass from Home Depot (or similar) is fairly thick, about 2-2.5mm. I managed to barter a box of thinner glass from Jason Lane that I can use if necessary, more like 1-1.5mm (need to caliper it, can't recall immediately).

The beauty of this stuff is that, if a plate comes out poorly, you can just clean it off well and pour some more emulsion on it and reuse it. I have plates that have probably been reused 20 times, given how awful I was at it when i started.

Robert
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Re: Use film instead of glass plates?

Post by titrisol »

Brazile wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2024 6:14 am
Well, cheap window glass from Home Depot (or similar) is fairly thick, about 2-2.5mm. I managed to barter a box of thinner glass from Jason Lane that I can use if necessary, more like 1-1.5mm (need to caliper it, can't recall immediately).

The beauty of this stuff is that, if a plate comes out poorly, you can just clean it off well and pour some more emulsion on it and reuse it. I have plates that have probably been reused 20 times, given how awful I was at it when i started.

Robert
~1.5mm sounds about right for the thickness.
If you can't fix it with a hammer... you got an electrical problem
even duct tape can't fix stupid.... but it can muffle it (SilentObserver)
My Flickr -ipernity
Thanks CE Nelson ;)
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