New wet plate portrait with 1850s lens

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by paulbarden, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    This week I acquired an 1850s 15" Lerebours et Secretan f5 portrait lens, and this is the first work I've done with it. This is an 8X10" wet plate collodion image on aluminum. I used the UVP-X formula from UV Photographics, and it was much faster than freshly made Old Workhorse! (OWH took 22 seconds to expose and UVP-X took 7 seconds in open shade on a bright day)
    This is an amazing period lens, with superb center sharpness and just the right amount of bokeh.
    A larger version of the image can be seen here.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Very nice Paul!

    That is amazingly sharp for such an old lens.
     
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    paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    Thanks CJ :smile:
    This is how these old lenses were designed to work: shoot wide open and what you get is enough depth to keep the face in sharp focus. These lenses are spectacularly good at what they do!
     
  4. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    Nice shot
     
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    paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    Thanks very much :smile:
     
  6. tezzasmall

    tezzasmall Member

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    I just love the colouration of these type of prints, along with tintypes that I have seen. BUT, I have only ever seen them on screen. :sad:

    So, is your picture close to what it actually looks like on screen Paul? And does any one know either a paper or toner (or a combination of the two) that would give this type of colouration?

    A great print btw Paul.

    ...and a good new year to all on the forum. :D

    Terry S
     
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    paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    Hi Terry. Happy New Year to you as well!
    The original plate looks a lot Ike what you see here, but because tintypes generally have fairly subdued highlights, I brighten then a tiny bit for display on the Web. The color is very close to accurate, but the actual plate is perhaps a bit more coffee in hue. It’s difficult to get an accurate scan of these plates, colorwise.

    If I were to try and emulate this look with silver gelatin materials, I would start with a paper like Ilford’s Warmtone FB and apply a light sepia toning at the end. The one paper I know of that would have been even better would be Agfa’s Portriga Rapid, a chlorobromide paper that was exquisite in its warmth and tonality. But Portriga Rapid hasn’t been made in at least 15 years. I’d buy it by the truckload if I still could. It was exceptional. There’s nothing like it made these days, but maybe give the Ilford’s paper a go.

    Glad you like my tintype! Thanks.
    Paul
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi paul
    your wp work is a real treat to look at.
    you make nice pours and good exposure/processing
    look really ez !
    thanks for posting !
    john
    ps KCn or speedy fixer ? im guessing warm tone =KCn ...
     
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    paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    Thank you John! I appreciate it :smile:
    I guess having good hand-eye coordination helps with this craft; I find it quite easy to pour a clean plate. I can see how it might be difficult for folks to get a handle on, especially if you approach the process with trepidation. You can't be nervous when pouring collodion or you will make a mess! (Its easy to slop collodion even when you're NOT nervous, trust me)
    I use B&S's rapid fix for wet plate work. I see no reason to use KCn unless you are working at a reenactment event or some such, in which case historical accuracy matters. I don't care to handle KCn in my home, and the look I get from plain old rapid fix suits my tastes just fine.

    Thank you for your comments :smile:
    Happy 2018 to you, too!

    Paul
     
  10. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    That's a great photo. The lens also did a great job on keeping him sharp and the swirl of the bokeh. Well done. Looks like a lot of fun.
     
  11. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Bravo!
     
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    paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    Thank you both!
    Its a great lens to work with, as it was designed for wet plate photography.
     
  13. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Very nice portrait, Paul.
     
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    paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    Thank you very much:smile:
     
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