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Re: Victorian Glass Plate Cameras

June 24, 2020 10:46AM
The glass plate exposure times were long (that's why no one smiles much-try holding one for several minutes) but the details are exquisite. Years back I happened to be able to preview contact prints taken from Darius Kinsey glass plates when the University of Washington acquired a bunch. The contact prints were about 11"x14" as I recall (which was a huge blowup for my 35mm's at the time), and you could just about count flies. I don't know how you could scan all that detail in for the current data bases, and those I saw were a rush job just to share what they had. I'd guess you could do a blowup that would tempt you to walk into the frame.

I actually looked in to what it would take to do it again; photographers were not lightweights in those days! Between the camera's weight with its tripod and secure transport for the heavy plates (both unexposed and exposed) you just didn't grab your camera and run out the door.

Timothy
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