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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Speaking of Old Products Reborn...

...Hans O. Mahn & Co., distributor of MACO photo products, has announced the availability of the Rollei Retro 100 black-and-white emulsion on glass plates. Why waste your time haunting eBay in search of cut-film sheaths when you can fill those old plate holders you've got sitting around the house with the genuine article?

Alas, your dream of authentic retro-photography may be shattered when you see the price: €358 (about $457) for 12 plates in the European 9x12cm size; other sizes quoted on request.

Posted by: OREN GRAD


Blogger David A. Goldfarb said...

Since Maco doesn't seem to manufacture anything themselves, could these be anything other than Slavich plates, available from holographic suppliers? Some holographic plates are sensitized for optimal performance with lasers of certain colors, but there should be no difference between panchromatic plates sold for holography and panchromatic emulsions for ordinary pictorial photography (and by the same token, ordinary film could be used for holography, as I understand it).

Hunting around the net for Slavich PFG-03C panchromatic plates, the going rate seems to be $220 for 25 4x5" plates.

At prices like these, it would pay to coat your own. I sat in on part of one of Ron Mowrey's silver gelatin emulsion workshops, and the future of handcoated B&W negative materials tends toward plates rather than film, because it's easier to obtain flat glass than a suitable film substrate for handcoating. He's developed an ISO 40 ortho emulsion that isn't too hard to make at home and is working on others for the small scale handcoater.

11:23 AM  
Blogger oren said...

David -

I looked at the Slavich site before I wrote the post, saw only reference to holographic plates, and didn't put two and two together.

The "Retro 100" brand is used for film as well. One might assume that it's the same emulsion - but that's not necessarily true. 'Tis a mystery.

Ron is wonderful...

12:59 PM  

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