I am pleased to announce that Burley Camera of Hythe, Kent, in the UK is now stocking J Lane Dry Plates! Burley Camera specializes in antique film and plate cameras, making dry plates the perfect match for photography the old school way. Burley Cameras is initially stocking traditional British Dry Plate Sizes of Whole Plate, Half Plate, Quarter Plate, and 6th Plate for both lines of plates: The ASA 2 J Lane Dry Plates and Orthochromatic ASA 25 J Lane Speed Plates. Feed your dry plate camera! If they don't have a size in stock that you'd be interested in, let them know and they can get those plates for you.
Burley Camera's contact info and link to their website is listed on the Where To Buy page of the website.
Characteristic Curve for Batch #53 of J Lane Dry Plates (ASA 2 Plates). The batch number can be found on the back of the box, in purple.
Here are measured Characteristic curves for the latest batches of J Lane Dry Plates (#52) and J Lane Speed Plates (#O-22).
As always, feel free to contact me with questions!
Quick post to share characteristic testing of recent ASA 2 and Orthochromatic ASA 25 emulsion batches. You can determine batch # by looking on the back of the box of plates.
J Lane Dry Plate Batch 44 has great tonality, but as you can see the contrast is low with a gamma around 0.45. I recommend metering at ASA 1.5 to ensure you are out of the toe entirely. It will scan nicely (see the MacBeth chart below).
J Lane Speed Plate Batch O-14 came out really well. Pretty much exactly where I want it.
Quick blog post to share the characteristic curve for the latest batch of Orthochromatic 25 emulsion. Compared to the previous batches, I was able to reduce the base fog significantly. It is a bit fast and you can probably meter at ASA 32, and contrast is a bit high as well but it is what it is! I will tame that with the next batch.
I'm pleased to announce that Don's Photo Equipment of The Lone Star State is now stocking J Lane Dry Plates and J Lane Speed Plates!
With similar motivation as myself in getting the wonderful cameras of the dry plate era off your shelf, Don's Photo Equipment is an awesome store supporting analog photography in the Dallas area. Currently stocking plates in 4x5 and 8x10.
Check out their contact info on our "Where to Buy" page.
A year in the making, the ChromaGraphica Double Dry Plate Holder Kickstarter campaign was launched on Friday, 9 August 2019 at noon. By the end of the weekend, the campaign had already raised 50% of its funding goal.
Designed to be affordable, familiar in operation, and a good quality product, if successful the ChromaGraphica will be the first mass-produced double dry plate holder to be available new in decades. The holder, released in this campaign in 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10, is designed to fit all standard backs in their respective sizes. In 4x5, the holder will also fit Graflok backs.
In such a niche market as large format (not to mention dry plate), the support of the community has been essential and, may I say, overwhelmingly awesome!
If you are interested in getting your hands on a holder or two, please pledge your support to the campaign. Don't assume that the campaign will be successful and that these will be available after. The campaign is going to cover the costs of manufacturing an initial production run. It cannot be overstated how critical it is that the campaign succeeds, for only by reaching the funding goal will these become a reality.
The link to the campaign page is below. Feel free to take a look and enjoy the presentation we put together.
I've slightly reformulated the emulsion to remove some lingering base fog and also make the highlights a bit punchier. So batch 42 was a test batch to do this stuff. I characterized this batch to baseline the emulsion recipe going forward.
Base fog: 0.09
Development was per box recommendations, except developer temperature was 22C. I would expect contrast to be slightly lower at 20C.
I really like how plates from this batch look, as demonstrated by Portrait Test Victim #3 taken with a 150mm f/4.5 Voigtlander Heliar onto 4x5. Metering was at ASA 2 on a gray card next to his face.
I've been annoyed by and dissatisfied with how J. Lane Dry plates lose so much speed in wintertime, so I've been working almost non-stop over the past two weeks (and at a less hectic pace before then) to refine the emulsion formula so that the plates give denser negatives in the winter when metered at ASA 2. Essentially this means I've kicked the speed / contrast up while retaining the extremely fine grain. To give you an idea of how much testing, I have a stack of about 200 plates worth of Stouffer Step Wedges that I've developed over the past month or so testing and retesting tweaks and additions to get the emulsion right. (Those will be cleaned and repurposed for future orders, in case you were wondering).
Starting with Batch 37 (printed on the back label of each box), you'll find a significant increase in speed and contrast. I actually overshot the mark a bit with Batch 37 and it might be a bit *too* fast for ASA 2 metering this time of year (not that I think anybody would complain), so I'll dial back the speed / contrast a stop or so for batch 38. I actually considered dumping batch 37 but to be honest I've been making and tossing so many emulsion batches and developing so many plates that I'm a bit burned out and would rather just get this out into the world since it has such nice grain and tonality.
I also saw that the swirlies were starting to rear their ugly head again but I think I beat that down with additional stabilizer.. we'll see if that does the trick. That seemed to have helped, but time will tell.
The first few boxes of batch 37 will be going to Bostick & Sullivan, who ordered them to restock 4x5 if you're interested in trying some out. I'll be filling my own orders from existing inventory, so it'll be a bit before the new emulsion is cycled through my store. Or, after the short vacation we're going on I might just say f' it and strip all the emulsion off the plates in inventory and recoat them.
Now back to my regularly-scheduled refinement of Speed Plates emulsion and the dry plate holder prototype testing. :)
In collaboration with Chroma Camera, I'm pleased to announce that I've begun testing the prototypes for new, affordable dry plate holders!
More info can be found here: www.photrio.com/forum/threads/dry-plate-holder-kickstarter-incoming.164990/