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John Patrick Garriga
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That sounds very hazardous. Might be okay if you only hike in New Jersey or Massachusetts, but other places, at least some hikers routinely carry things to defend against bears.

Meanwhile, I've seen (presumably analog) IR goggles (yes, single sensor so no depth perception) on Amazon for around $100. You'd have to improvise a trap for the display light to avoid fogging with what doesn't go in your eye(s), but compared to what this stuff cost twenty years ago, this is cheap.
I live for danger....


How would you even be able to do anything in the dark without depth perception? Doing stuff in the daylight without depth perception is hard enough as it is.
 
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John Patrick Garriga
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I've been making emulsion at home for about a year now and agree that glass plates are much, MUCH easier than film. I've tried the Dura Lar Wet Media film as recommended by @dwross2 in The Light Farm and found it exceedingly difficult to work with due to how thin it is and how badly it wants to curl while drying. Glass plates are dead simple to hand-pour and dry flat, and "feel" much more historically authentic.

Do you have a recipe?
Also, how do the glass plates fit in a 35 mm camera? Of course you can't roll one up into a film canister. It seems like it'd be hard to load it in a standard 35 mm camera in the daylight.
 

Donald Qualls

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How would you even be able to do anything in the dark without depth perception?

You'd get used to it.

I had almost no depth perception for several years in my early teens because there was enough difference in glasses lens strength between my right and left eyes that the image size difference limited my ability to fuse images. Fortunately, I grew out of this before learning to drive (getting contact lenses helped a lot, too, because they affect image size much less than glasses the same diopter strength). Also worth noting a fair number of people have (vision in) only one eye, or have a severe strabismus, or their brain simply ignores one eye. They get by.

You'd still be ahead of working in total darkness, after all, and most of us manage to handle film in the dark without excessive mishaps. Your hands will "remember" the height of your work surface, you know at a reflex level where one hand is relative to the other -- you might have too much fun with the first couple plates, but you'd hardly notice the lack of depth perception by the time you'd done a dozen.
 
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John Patrick Garriga
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You'd get used to it.

I had almost no depth perception for several years in my early teens because there was enough difference in glasses lens strength between my right and left eyes that the image size difference limited my ability to fuse images. Fortunately, I grew out of this before learning to drive (getting contact lenses helped a lot, too, because they affect image size much less than glasses the same diopter strength). Also worth noting a fair number of people have (vision in) only one eye, or have a severe strabismus, or their brain simply ignores one eye. They get by.

You'd still be ahead of working in total darkness, after all, and most of us manage to handle film in the dark without excessive mishaps. Your hands will "remember" the height of your work surface, you know at a reflex level where one hand is relative to the other -- you might have too much fun with the first couple plates, but you'd hardly notice the lack of depth perception by the time you'd done a dozen.

I may have to try this, then. My vision isn't the best by any means, but you're right, there are people that get by with far worse. Just need to learn to make emulsion...
 

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Just need to learn to make emulsion...

You could start your experiments with commercially sold liquid emulsion (made for making prints on "objects"). This gives a multi-contrast material similar to modern enlarging paper. I saw a fairly detailed video from YouTuber "Lost Light Art" just last night about coating glass plates with this (he was doing reversal positives).
 

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You are talking about making your own Kodachrome, right?

 

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You are talking about making your own Kodachrome, right?


😆😆😆

Was there ever any more info on this project?
It seems all the info I could find is at least 15 years old.
Of course, Kodachrome services were never that fast anyway. 🤨
 
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"If they were doing it in a lab 50 years ago, you can do it in your kitchen today."- unknown
Well, they were making film since at the very least the 1800's, and I think we've had cameras for roughly (2500???) years. So, I've never seen anything on making your own film at home. It's always about making a homemade darkroom or red room or making your own cameras or what-have-you. So, as far as I've seen, film is just silver salts over some thin plastic. Any way to possibly make film at home?

Only if you have no other problems in your life
 

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Do you have a recipe?
Also, how do the glass plates fit in a 35 mm camera? Of course you can't roll one up into a film canister. It seems like it'd be hard to load it in a standard 35 mm camera in the daylight.

I generally use a slightly modified version of TheLightFarm's plain silver emulsion (which itself is adapted from the Kodak AJ-12 formula) with added erythrosine for ortho sensitivity and a dash of hypo and iodide for slightly more speed, although it is terribly slow (around ISO 0.5). I've played around with faster ammonia-based recipes too but they tend to be foggy and too low in contrast for me.

With emulsions this slow, handheld cameras are pretty useless, so I generally shoot both 4x5" (for contact prints) and 2x3" (for enlarging) plates in press cameras (Crown Graphics) with plate holders made from old pack-film adapters. Since most exposures are multiple seconds even in bright sun, I don't need a shutter.

I suppose there's no reason in principle a 35mm SLR or rangefinder couldn't be modified to take very small plates if you wanted to devise your own plate holders. I just don't necessarily see the advantage over a "medium" format plate for enlarging, since you'll be using a tripod either way.
 
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...although it is terribly slow (around ISO 0.5). I've played around with faster ammonia-based recipes too but they tend to be foggy and too low in contrast for me...

Are glass plates grainy at all? I'd think so, but I've heard that they were developed as a less-grainy alternative to paper negatives.
 

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The paper negatives glass plates were alternative were Talbot's Kalotypes. Glass had several advantages over these, though it was a while before glass dry plates with gelatin emulsion appeared. The glass plates that first replaced Talbotypes were collodion, and they have incredibly fine grain (though they're also pretty slow, the fastest formula is around ISO 1 or 1.5 equivalent -- and they're blue-sensitive, a few formulae extending slightly into green). The first gelatin dry plates were only a little faster than wet plate collodion, but storability was a HUGE step forward.
 
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The paper negatives glass plates were alternative were Talbot's Kalotypes. Glass had several advantages over these, though it was a while before glass dry plates with gelatin emulsion appeared. The glass plates that first replaced Talbotypes were collodion, and they have incredibly fine grain (though they're also pretty slow, the fastest formula is around ISO 1 or 1.5 equivalent -- and they're blue-sensitive, a few formulae extending slightly into green). The first gelatin dry plates were only a little faster than wet plate collodion, but storability was a HUGE step forward.
Wow, thanks.
I may have to get one of the collodion cameras for landscapes, things like that. Maybe astrophotography? Though it may be too slow for an exposure, daylight coming before I could get a proper exposure.
 

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I very much doubt you could make useful photographs of any astronomical subject dimmer/smaller than the Moon with collodion. Most folks get the best results for things like star trails or planetary images with films that have relatively high effective speed after accounting for reciprocity effects. Tech Pan used to be at the top of the list -- slowish, but with almost no reciprocity related speed loss. I have no idea what the reciprocity characteristics even are for collodion -- normal exposures run from seconds to a minute in good light, though, and exposure seems to be mainly a matter of experience since everyone's collodion is that little bit different (which changes the sensitivity, both speed and color response, of the resulting halides).

The other problem with astrophotography on collodion is that you have to sensitize, expose, and develop before the collodion dries too much, which gives ten to fifteen minutes of working time from pour to wash. I doubt you're going to get much of a star image at that film speed in, say, five minutes at most after sensitizing bath and still keeping time for development...
 

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I have no idea what the reciprocity characteristics even are for collodion

Problematic. What happens is that the collodion dries out during long exposures and that usually doesn't end well. For all intents and purposes you're really limited to maybe a few minutes with collodion, and it does depend on environmental conditions a lot.
That's for wet plate or course; for dry collodion it would be different
 

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for dry collodion it would be different

But dry collodion is so much slower, you're ahead to just jump to gelatin dry plates.
 

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Are glass plates grainy at all? I'd think so, but I've heard that they were developed as a less-grainy alternative to paper negatives.

Graininess in any emulsion, regardless of the substrate, is usually related to the size of the silver halide crystals and thus to the emulsion's speed. Faster emulsions (such as those made with ammonia or with additives like sulfur or gold) have larger grain, whereas the "plain" silver emulsions that are easiest to make at home are usually close to grain-free, at the expense of being terribly slow.
 

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"If they were doing it in a lab 50 years ago, you can do it in your kitchen today."- unknown
Not necessarily. 50-70 years ago it was much easier to buy chemicals and some that you might need are restricted or unavailable today. I'm thinking of things like the heavy metal salts, such as mercury and cadmium that were used in emulsion making.
 
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