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Monday, February 27, 2012

Getting Down to Brass Tax and UPDATE

     Old collodion is nearly gone and it is time to prepare some new mixtures for my 8x10 and 5x7 cameras. I have ran some numbers and figured out the prices for three formulas. I found these formulas online and provided in forums. Formulas I have chosen to try and see: old workhorse, poor boy, and Quinn Jacobson's formula. I am not sure which one I will ultimately select, but my budget is allowing me to try a sample of all three. I am glad most of the chemicals overlap. I hope to select a formula that works best for me... in the end they may all perceive to be the same to my eye... again purely experimental for myself. I have always wanted to mix my own chemicals and with a good knowledge in the collodion practice my troubleshooting will hopefully help if problems arise using these chemicals. I have also found formulas for positive developer provided by Quinn Jacobson's on the forum .
   I have also chosen to purchase my chemicals from Bostick and Sullivan. Art Craft in New York offers the same exact prices, but they do not sell ether and offer larger quantities for some items I only need a little of. I buy all my silver nitrate from Art Craft because they have the best deal! I also already have a grain alcohol I purchased in T. J. In addition, distilled water I get by the gallon for about a dollar and I buy my denatured alcohol at Big Lots for a buck as well.

I am currently inquiring as to the shelf life of Quinn's formula and Poor Boy.

I have not included the annoying shipping and taxes.

Chemical price list for everything.


Glass Cleaner



    So I slept on the idea of giving all three chemicals a try and my head was just spinning on which to choose. In the end I am going to go with Quinn's mixture which is actually a quick clear formula from M.H. Ellis' book "The Ambrotype and Photographic Instructor" published in 1856. I am going to give this formula a go. So I am going to place my order with Bostick and Sullivan including chemicals to make my own positive developer and glass cleaner.

    Here is a screen shot of my order. This should provide for 600ml of glass cleaner, a lot of developer, and about 1,140 ml of collodion. So I am completely set and ready to go for awhile! I also have my silver baths cleaned, sunned, and measured. 
   While researching last night I also found information on bringing back old collodion using acetone. From what I have seen or read it works for the majority of the time, but when it comes to varnishing there can be some issues. I suppose it depends on your varnish? But roughly to clear old collodion from dark red to a nice yellow would be .5ml to 75ml or 20 drops of acetone to 150ml of collodion, or 2ml acetone to 1000ml of collodion. From the responses last night those are ratios people came up with. I am going to try 20 drops to 150ml of collodion and see how long it takes to clear.

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