Posts tagged “negatives

Collodion Negatives & Suction Cups

Forgot to mention that in the previous post; the last two shoots I did making clear glass ambrotypes I finally got around using a suction cup for pouring the plates. The clear glass is so thin (it’s leftover glass  from broken frames at work) that when pouring collodion on it while waiter-traying you’d notice the heat of the fingertips leaving clearly visible marks. You can of course use the cantilever method (hold the plate in a corner while pouring) but I find that to be a very uncomfortable manner and with a 4×5″ it leaves you with a relatively large stain in one corner. Suction cup is THE way to go! Anyway, thought I’d share 🙂


P.s. When developing I just use the waiter tray method; so far so good. Perhaps when I’ll change the developer and need a really extended development I’ll get back to using the suction cup because the heat of the fingers might come into play again.

Linhof & Enci Maastricht

My schedule has the finicky habit of changing the very last minute. The plan was to write a blog post last night, go cycling today in the morning somewhere and print the image for the exhibit in Aachen during the rest of the day. Found out on Monday we had a theatre show planned for Tuesday evening…darn. I rescheduled the printing to Monday evening / night, cycling with a friend Tuesday afternoon and go the theatre (cabaret) in the evening. Hmmm what to do with the Tuesday morning…Linhof yeah! I still had everything packed from Sunday, switched a couple of things, reread the Linhof manual, the bits that mattered anyway, and went on a trip this morning.

Seeing that the time would be limited I picked the Enci as a good place to shoot. Been there before in 2011 (see this link), easy parking, easy access, not many people around, close to home and was eager to see how it looked after two years. Nature has found its way; really beautiful there. Unfortunately they made a sort of bar and introduced paid parking (blood suckers) but luckily for us this wasn’t opened and we did not see the parking meter 😉


I chose to work with the darkbox this time as it would work faster with setting up etc. The flashlight I bought to function as a darkroom light with red foil works like a charm! Plenty of light, you can switch it off to save battery life and easy to hang from its detachable hand strap: good purchase! The Jody Ake back works really nicely, the ridge the plate rests on is relatively small and will fall off during printing because of the ridge in the glass plate holder of the enlarger. I had trouble focusing; don’t have a dark cloth for 4×5″ and I really need one outside; the foldable hood from Linhof itself is not good enough, certainly not with an f/14 lens. But, the lens was properly attached this time! 🙂

A fresnel will be one of the next purchases for the Linhof to improve focusing as well. On top of that I focused for the background; the line of trees at the other side of the water but the foreground comes out sharper than the back..? Maybe there was wind on the other side of the water..(35 seconds exposure time)? And I find it hard to ‘read’ the negatives. As in if they come out a little foggy perhaps? Not sure. I still have to adjust developer for them, in the first place to build up more silver on the plate. Did it here by multiplying regular exposure by 3 times and overdeveloping a little.


A first timer this shoot was the use of glycerin to keep the plates wet until I got home to give them a final rinse. I ordered two liters of glycerin and added 2 liters of water to them in a large canister. Left it overnight to properly become one. France mentioned you were supposed to coat the plate with the substance like you do with collodion and it’s supposed to lay on top of the plate. This solution was not thick enough for that so I covered the plates in the boxes to make sure they stayed wet enough. Have to read up on that a little more but it seemed to work out just fine. In the scans I can see some strange cringes in some parts of the plate; have to look with a magnifier to determine if it’s the scan or in the negative. Will report back on this when I do.


I left the plates in there for several hours, around 5 hours even I guess, before I gave them their final rinse. I fixed on the spot after the shoot, placed them in a rinsing bath to get the fixer off and then placed them in these boxes you can see up here and covered them with glycerin. When I took the plates out at home to rinse them I poured the glycerin back into the stock bottle for re-usage.


Anyway, enough of the boring’s the plates we care about! They are all 4×5″ clear glass ambrotypes shot using a Berthiot Perigraphe 90mm f/14 with an exposure time of 35 seconds.



Not perfect but fun we had and better they will get! Looking forward varnishing them and seeing how they will print. Have a good day! Already excited about my next adventure 🙂

P.s.: the cabaret turned out to be a duo singing their songs for the entire show..right. I took Bart out for Sushi, much better!

New Toy: Linhof Master Technika Classic

Ahhh how goes the saying? “Toys for Boys”? No way! “Toys for Gals”! Doesn’t rhyme but sure feels fine 😉

As you know I was saving up for a Chamonix Camera together with a wet plate back (they make great looking ones!) and a cover. I was saving up for this camera to use it out in the field for 4×5″ Collodion Clear Glass Ambrotypes which I can enlarge using my Omega D2 lith-style. The big advantage over such a camera compared to the one I use now is saving weight, +- 20 kilos to be more precise and that’s quite a bit. Lighter camera, lighter tripod, smaller silver bath etc.

Anyway, then this Linhof Master Technika Classic crossed my path. I already have a hard time controlling myself when things like this come up but I managed to restrain myself. But then a friend said: “I’d get it if I were you”, it was simply impossible for me to walk away. So…here it is! My all new portable camera to couple with my Berthiot Perigraphe 90mm lens! It is in immaculate condition, I bought it from the first owner who got this beauty in 2000. It’s about 1,5 kilos heavier than the Chamonix camera but I don’t have to deal with the import duties and 1,5 kilos..well…I’ll get over that part! Get ready for some awesomeness..

linhofMT_manual_blog linhofMT_side2_blog linhofMT_bottom_blog linhofMT_back_blog linhofMT_matglas_blog linhofMT_close2_blog linhofMT_close3_blog

I have a collodion shoot planned the 5th of May where we intend to visit a practically deserted village in Belgium called Doel which will be his official inauguration. Looking forward working with this beauty! Will have to convert a film back to hold collodion plates first, hopefully later this week, and have to attach my lens to the Technika lens board, also this week.

-Happy Happy Joy Joy! ❤

New Lens: Berthiot Perigraphe Serie VIa 90mm f/14

Seeing that I want to buy a 4×5″ light field camera for making collodion negatives on location, solely landscapes, I also wanted to find a proper landscape lens for it, with a wider angle for that size than my current Steinheil which is a 150mm, and so that I can keep that Steinheil on my 10×10″ camera. Not many have been made for that size but Jeroen pointed me towards Berthiot Perigraphe lenses on Ebay. Extremely small with a proper angle at 4×5″. I found one, placed a bid and am now awaiting its arrival!

A, like new, Berthiot Perigraphe Serie VIa 90mm f/14. Not fast with its f/14 but during the summer I have to stop my Steinheil down to at least f/11 to get a shutter speed of a couple of seconds which I need to remove and put back the lens cap for the exposure. It’s supposed to be really sharp so I’m looking forward to this little gem. At f/14 the light for focusing will be rather little but with the help of a focusing cloth (and landscapes, I mean, who gives a damn up to infinity) I should be fine.


There are (probably the older versions) brass-colored models of this lens available on Ebay but this one looked so immaculate with pristine glass I just had to jump the gun. Not sure if the glass is coated though, I’ll find out soon I guess. If present, on such a disturbing level, I’ll just sell this one and buy an older version. Anyway, looking forward to it! My last lens purchase is quite a while back. Oh, and not giving a rats ass about the overly popular swirly Petzval effect keeps my wallet from complaining 😉

For those wanting to read a little more background on these French lenses check the following links:
Collection Appareils