How to Bring a 160-Year-Old Giant Petzval Lens Back to Life

How big can a vintage Petzval lens get? Markus Hofstaetter shows us in yet another awesome video. Clue: It’s really BIG!

When you’re a wet plate photographer like Austrian wedding photographer and wet plate artist Markus Hofstaetter, you have to be a bit of a handyman and craftsman. He has proven just that in previous videos about preparing his own plates, and making ground glass for large format cameras. However, always one to outdo himself, his latest DIY project involved restoring a 160-year-old MASSIVE Petzval lens he found at a flea market. Whether you’re a bit of a handyman yourself or simply enjoy anything related to wet plate photography and vintage cameras, we’re sure you’ll find this interesting!

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This Photographer Only Had 20 Minutes to Photograph Greta Thunberg

All images by Shane Balkowitsch and Chad Nodland. Used with permission. 

“I saw a wet plate online and something drew me to it,” explains Shane Balkowitsch. He continues, “My first attempt at a wet plate is a photograph of my brother, taken on October 4th, 2012.” Seven years after the fact, Shane has burst into the spotlight with a very special photograph of a hugely influential young woman. On the morning of October 7th, Shane received the call he had been hoping for. He would be photographing Greta Thunberg. Since the shoot, the images taken of Greta have blown up all over the internet. But Shane’s work goes much deeper than a single shoot. He has several fascinating projects that are more than worth your time. Excited by his rise, we spoke to Shane about his work, and to discuss what could likely be his defining moment.

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Shooting with a Cool 150-Year-Old Wet Plate Camera

It’s incredible how we can still see a 150-year-old wet plate camera in action today!

Some of you may already be familiar with Mathieu Stern and wet plate artist Markus Hofstaetter, who both share their photography passions on their respective YouTube channels. We’ve seen a lot of Markus’ work in particular: he’s one of our go-to guys when it comes to wet plate photography. A few months back, they also made a comparison of a “digital collodion” and a real wet plate photo, for those who are curious. The two are back in a more recent video, where Markus gave a nice rundown of the traditional process, and Mathieu had his hands-on experience with an amazing 150-year-old wet plate camera.

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Oleksandr Malyy Channels Solid Steampunk Vibes in Wet Plate Project

All photos by Oleksandr Malyy. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Wet plate photography, also known as wet collodion process, is among the topics we like to keep tabs on. It’s amazing how this centuries-old photographic process is kept alive in the digital age. The projects made with this process today never fail to show just how timeless the craft can be. Case in point is the wet plate photos of Kiev-based Oleksandr Malyy, which is a testament to how perfect it is for photographing steampunk-themed projects!

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This Panoramic Photo was Shot with Multi-Plate, Multi-Lens Daguerreotype

If you’re looking for novel and challenging ways to create your next panoramic photo, the “antorama” will certainly be of interest to you.

Today’s technology has given us many ways to create panoramic photos, but we bet that all of you are yet to try shooting with this technique. San Diego-based Anton Orlov has been busy experimenting with some daguerreotype techniques, but there’s one project that he was able to do successfully. He recently shared with us the results of an interesting panoramic photography method that he developed himself: the “Antorama.”

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How Markus Hofstaetter Shot 3D Large Format Wet Plates

Hands down, this one of the most impressive — if not the most impressive — wet plate photography projects you’ll see from Markus Hofstaetter.

If you’ve been following the work of Markus Hofstaetter with us for some time now, you’ll know that you can trust him to come up with the craziest and most surprising wet plate photography projects. Well, he’s at it again with his latest work: modifying one of his ultra large format wet plate cameras to shoot stereo photos. If you’ve ever wondered what else can be done with wet plate photography, prepare to be wowed by this amazing project from start to finish!

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Markus Hofstaetter Now Offers Cool Wet Plate Passport Photos

If you’re in need of some cool passport photos, wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter is definitely your man.

Just when we think we’ve seen everything from Austrian portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hofstaetter, he manages to surprise us each time. He’s pushed the boundaries of wet plate photography and what can be done for the craft. We’ve followed him in his adventures in shooting macro photography using two wet plate cameras, shooting a 91-year-old box form SLR handheld, and traveled with one of his massive wet plate cameras to shoot in the historic Museum Fotoatelier Seidel in Czech Republic. Now, he’s back with another fun project: passport photos shot in wet plate collodion.

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Here’s How a “Digital Collodion” Compares to a Real Wet Plate Photo

Wondering if it’s possible reproduce the wet plate look in a digital photo? We have the answer for you in this quick comparison video.

Can you achieve the unique look of wet plate photography in a digital photo? The short answer, of course, is yes. But the real question should probably be, how close does it look to the real thing? We find out in this interesting quick comparison video.

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Here’s an Ultra Macro Look at How the Wet Plate Collodion Process Works

Markus Hofstaetter has some new, mesmerizing videos showing the wet plate collodion process like you have never seen it before.

Austria-based portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hofstaetter has been sharing with us his crazy cool experiments with the wet plate collodion process, and he has yet another unique take on it for all of us to watch. It’s one thing to watch the plates develop in normal view, but these new videos in an ultra-macro perspective show us what happens in the process in a totally different — and extra magical — light.

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Here’s How You Prepare Metal Plates for Wet Plate Photography

Aside from preparing the chemicals, Markus Hofstaetter also has to make his own metal plates for his wet plate photography

Part of what catches the attention of would-be wet plate photographers and fans is the hands-on processes that come with the age-old medium. In a recent video, wedding and wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter tells us exactly how hands-on it gets by showing us how he makes his own metal plates for wet plate photography.

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“She Found Me” Kurt Moser’s Words About His Camera and Shooting Will Make You Smile

“Lightcatcher” Kurt Moser tells about his “crazy love story” with a 111-year-old camera in this Al Jazeera short film

A few months back, we had the spotlight on Italy-based photographer Kurt Moser and his mind-blowing project – transforming a URAL 375 truck into one of the biggest mobile cameras in the world to take massive ambrotypes of the breath-taking Dolomites. Today, we learn about how his love affair with wet plate photography started with the discovery of a massive 111-year-old camera.

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Grab a Deardorff Ultra Large Format 20×20 Camera for $25,000

Here’s your chance to get started with ultra large format photography. All you need is $25,000 for a Deardorff Ultra Large Format 20×20.

If you’ve ever wanted to get into ultra large format photography, we’ve got the right stuff for you. Our latest ebay find is an impressive-looking Deardorff Ultra Large Format 20×20 Camera, perfect for all kinds of wet plate photography. It can be yours if you’re willing to part with $25,000 for the camera body and its accessories.

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Markus Hofstaetter Does Macro Photography Using Two Wet Plate Cameras

When you hear about a crazy project with a wet plate camera, Markus Hofstaetter is most definitely involved.

Portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hoffstaetter is at it again with his mind-boggling wet plate photography. Previously, he did an amazing steampunk-themed photoshoot where he made double exposures with a 91-year-old box-form SLR wet plate camera. Now, he’s back with another project perfect for springtime: macro photography using two wet plate cameras!

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Markus Hofstaetter Shoots Steampunk with a Handheld Wet Plate Camera

Yes, you read it right. Markus Hofstaetter shows us how it’s possible to shoot a wet plate camera HANDHELD.

Remember portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hofstaetter and his passion for wet plate photography? He’s back with another awesome wet plate project. This time, he shot with a 91-year-old box-form SLR handheld for a beautiful steampunk-themed photo shoot.

Doing wet plate photography with centuries-old equipment and chemicals is certainly a challenge on its own. For those of us who are yet to experience it firsthand, Markus has given us an idea, first with an interview about his Generations project. Then, he shared with us a 360 video of him traveling to the Czech Republic to shoot in the historic Museum Fotoatelier Seidel with his massive wet plate cameras.

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Watch a 360 Video of Ultra Large Format Wet Plate Photography in a Historic Studio

Screenshot image from the videos. Used with permission

Wet plate photography, one of the traditional photographic methods, gives a completely different but fascinating experience as you’ve probably learned from our previous features. Portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hofstaetter shares with us another interesting look into his ultra large format wet plate process: from the cameras he uses, traveling with his wet plate gear, and shooting in a historic studio.

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Watch How Handcrafted Wooden Wet Plate Cameras are Made

Screenshot image from the video by Dieter Schneider’s video on wooden wet plate cameras

It’s always entertaining to watch how things are being made, especially if it’s a trusty camera you use all the time. But, let’s step away from the high-tech guts and circuits of DSLRs and other digital cameras for now. Instead, let’s watch something from the photography of centuries past be painstakingly handmade today. In a showcase of impressive craftsmanship, Norwegian photographer Dieter Schneider shows us how he makes his beautiful wooden cameras for wet plate photography.

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