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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Searching for a Carpenter and Price Breakdown

     So the search for a carpenter began today to make a lens board. Honestly I may just ask my dad to do it, but I do not know if he has a drill bit big enough to make a 3.5 inch hole into the board. Anyways I am going back to old faithful... craiglist. I know people may be critical toward the site, but I have literally found all of my favorite things on this site! From 1950s sofas, Victorian stair rail, and my 8x10 wet plate camera. I have written a few people for estimates and we shall see how that goes. Here is a copy of the images I included for the estimate.


     In addition, I have begun to take into consideration how much money I have put into wet plate over the last month.... boy does it add up. The camera, tripod, lens, three 8x10 holders, and two lens boards was $575.00. The acrylic for the new silver tank was $28.00. The new brass lens was $38.00. The custom aluminum lens board attachment was $53.00, personally I believe I was ripped off on that one. I am awaiting the final total for the wooden lens board. All in all I am in a total of $694.00 to shoot an 8x10 plate for my 24th birthday. Talk about an expensive experience. Lets hope I can keep the carpenters price under control. Also, this does not include the price of producing a plate with the collodion and silver. By my calculations on plate should cost me, (and this is including every single thing from distilled water to hypo to the varnish), at around $20.80. Now this is a pretty high estimate because I assume in all my calculations shipping, tax, and time. I have done breakdowns for my 4x5 plates and done the calculations for that as well. For me an 8x10 plate would use $2.40 worth of collodion, a whopping $8.40 of silver, $2.00 of varnish, .80 cents of sodium thiosulfate and the glass is $4.64. I know everyone uses different wholesalers to buy their supplies and I personally use Bostick & Sullivan, which I love! I do have to pay for a shipping from New Mexico to Riverside and pay more obviously because they mix everything for me. I do plan to begin to mix my own materials. I do hope that would lower the price of producing a plate. Also, the since I am using glass at $4.64 that price will be lowered because each plate is not a keeper and that will also take into consideration if I use $2.00 worth of varnish. Again, 8x10 plates I think would be for me personally and for something serious. My Sinar P is my everyday rough and rugged camera. Fortunately the smaller plates are not to harmful to my pocket. I am also considering transforming my Pentax 6x7 camera into a wet plate collodion camera via a Polaroid back. 

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