Avoiding any kind of development, and making the process cheaper

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Robinson 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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    Would it be possible to simply expose an iodine sensitized silver sheet in a camera for an hour or so to get a printed out image, and then fix it in a salt water bath for a few days? I dont have much money and I just want to see an image on a plate I made myself. I am a student and dont have much money at all. I have used salt water as a fixer for film before, and as long as you are ok with a 2 day fixing time, it works. It is also really cheap.
    I digress, would the printing out idea work? I made a talbot-esque mousetrap camera with a fast f-stop of f/3.66 .What color should the plate be if only sensitized with iodine.

    Where can I find rubylith? Can I just use a deep red tinted glass? Like a deep red mason jar that I put the plate into? (the plate is small, perhaps 2×2 inches) If anyone has cost cutting methods for daguerreotypes, please let me know.

    I also plan on dabbling in heliography, but perhaps that is for another forum.

    Thank you for your input, just know some day I will pass the torch as well.



    The biggest cost is the plate, not the chemicals. If you can buy a piece of silver and iodine, the other costs are minimal. You might be able to print out an image, but why not just buy some Rubylith? It is quite cheap and Ulano still makes it. In the U.S. try this link.


    Mike Robinson

    You can expose an iodized silver plate in a camera, the result will be a negative image at first (f/4 @ 20 min or so) eventually it may turn positive as the image particles grow larger – several hours in camera. You cannot fix it in salt water unless you use clad silver plate.

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