Markus Hofstaetter's blog » diy

Archive for the 'diy' Category

Friday, January 5th, 2024

Darkroom ventilation and humidity control

This topic sounds very simple but is probably more complicated than you thought. In this case I will explain the solution for my darkroom, but it could also be a solution for other cases.
In this video I show you the construction (with a nice fail) process and the whole ventilation system including how I reduce humid air in my darkroom. Underneath I share some additional information to the video.

As said in the video, if you work with chemicals like ether and alcohol, a mask alone is sometimes not enough. Because when there ar enough fumes in the room, your skin will absorb them and that way it could damage your liver. Thats the reason I always ventilated my pouring room in-between bigger wet plate sessions. When you ventilate typically with an open window, you will cool down or heat up the room (depending on the season), beside that you get for sure some dust into your rooms. Luckily my friend Wolfgang has a company ( https://www.leit-wolf.at ) who is specialised in how ventilations system and opened my eyes. Thanks a lot for that! Let’s start with the preparation. To make this ventilation system work, I needed some holes and for that I commissioned a company to do some core drilling.

I marked the places for the ventilation pipes, so the company knows where to do the core drilling, so there are no electric wires in the way (sarcasm – see why in the video)
to make the drilling as precise as possible for the ventilation system, I ordered the “shell installation kit WS 75 RSAP” https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/details/p/shell-installation-kits-g61068/ws-75-rsap-p124746 this makes masking the holes very easy
this monster of a core drilling machine made it possible to get fresh air into my darkroom.
Because every hole needed to be drilled wet, they brought also vacuum machine that sucks all the dirt and water in. In any way you will get lots of dirt into your room, but they cleaned up very well.
after all holes were drilled, I mounted the shell installation kit and glued the ventilation pipes into the wall. For sure not my most beautiful job, but at the end everything worked as expected.
The next step was to mount the Ventilation unit on the wall. I chose the “Ventilation unit Maico WS 75 Powerbox H” because it has a heat recovery that reduces the cooldown of the rooms. There are also dust filters build in. Beside that it only consumes between 5,2 and 11,5 Watt. You can find lots of information about how to set it up (video and documentation) here: https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/details/p/ventilation-units-g61071/ws-75-powerbox-h-p124754 – just click on Downloads/Videos. You can also switch the website to different languages.
Here you can see the nearly finished ventilation system. The rectangular part near the floor is a silencer that makes the very silent ventilation system even more quiet.
one of the last steps was the initial configuration of the ventilation system. Like moste things today, thes is pretty high tech as well and you only can set it up with a computer.
The system comes with a control panel (https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/details/p/control-panel-g61464/rls-g1-ws-p125256) that shows the status and also lets you control the unit. I bought a voc sensor for my unit ( https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/details/p/sensors-g61463/ws-75-voc-p125253 ) This measures the volatile organic compounds in the air. It’s measured with ppm (parts per million). The higher the ppm, the more the air will circulate through the rooms. That means, if I pour some plates and the sensor “smells” the ether, the ventilation system turns up the power.
outside I mounted the Combi-wall connections Duo KWS E (https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/p/combination-wall-connections-g66762/duo-kws-e-p119350) This avoids that animals would use my ventilation system for some sleepy time. But it also avoids an “air short”.

The finished ventilation system blows fresh air into my studio and sucks it through my darkroom and pouring room back outside. With that I have always fresh air in my workplace. My studio is a pretty new building, but the other parts are old and are more humid. While ventilating in the winter mostly “dry” air comes into the rooms and there is mostly no need for the dehumidifier to start. Only when the relative humidity is about 60% I start an automation that checks how much my photovoltaic power plant is genarating and if the sound generates enough energy, I start to dehumidify my darkroom

But when is it save to ventilate? I learned a lot and thought I just check the humidity outside and inside. And if the relative humidity is lower outside, I thought its save to ventilate. But I was totally wrong, you have to calculate the absolute humidity with a calculator like that. https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/absolute-humidity

The absolute humidity is measured in g/m3 and it changes with the air temperature. Here are two examples:

lets assume it’s winter and it has 8 degrees outside with 70% relative humidity for some funny reason. Even your relative humidity is lower than the outside, its save to ventilate if you want to get the humidity down.
Now the relative humidity outside is much lower than inside, but the absolute humidity is because of the temperature much higher. If you want to reduce humidity in your room, that it would be the wrong time to ventilate. I am working with a friend of mine on a script that compares the absolute humidity from inside and outside and when it’s save to ventilate you can start an automation or get a notification. I will upload it here.
It was lots of work (See also my other darkroom article https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2023/12/my-new-easy-to-use-darkroom/ ) but now I am super happy with the solution. With the whole new darkroom finished I am like a little kit when I start to work there.

I hope this was helpful for you guys as well.
If you want to support me, you can do that on my Patreon page here: http://patreon.mhaustria.com

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  •  

    Wednesday, December 20th, 2023

    My new easy to use Darkroom

    After moth of renovating my Darkroom, I am finally finished with it and can show you what I did to make my life easier.

    One of the main things in a darkroom is the sink. I looked for age to get a fitting one, but couldn’t find any. But my good friend Lois knows somebody who knows somebody and with that I got a custom made sink that was a lifesaver. Thanks a lot for that!

    Fitting everything in a small space is making everything more easy.
    Another thing that made my life easier is the Darkroom Winch that you can get here: https://www.borutpeterlin.com/shop/hardware/darkroom-winch/ This saves so much time, because otherwise I would be standing there for hours rocking trays.
    Beside rocking trays, washing prints and plates is another thing that has to be done, thats why I build this watering system out of plumber pipes from the diy marked. I am sure you can find yourself similar parts near you. I only had to drill holes into the pipe and find some kind of holder for it.
    I just had to get an old stop watch for my darkroom and this one from Junghans fits just perfectly in there.
    Dangerous chemicals need to be locked up, thats why I use an NFC lock with my stainless steel cabinet (links to the lock and 3d print files can be found at the end of my article)
    Red light, yellow light, bright light, dark light – all these scenarios are possible with my Philips hue system that I use in my darkroom. Just with the click of a button I change to whatever color I need and I also build a protection cover, so nobody accidentally changes from red to white. You will find all prints on my thingiverse: http://thingiverse.com/mhaustria
    Humidity and temperature can have an impact of your work and also can have an impact of the darkroom. With this sensor I can easily read the values and can create automation because of it. More about that in my second darkroom video that focuses mainly on ventilation and how to save money with that.

    Here are all the links to the tools I used, consider buying that stuff locally as well.
    For easier user I use my Amazon affiliate links.



    Darkroom automation video: https://youtu.be/odMC7_wjzPE
    Darkroom Timer video: https://youtu.be/o2XN9FEeuNk
    My Thingyverse: http://thingiverse.com/mhaustria
    Darkroom Winch https://www.borutpeterlin.com/shop/hardware/darkroom-winch/
    Stainless Steel cabinet: https://www.ggmgastro.com/de-de-eur/edelstahl-arbeitsschrank-eco-1200x600mm-mit-schiebetuer-asfk126
    Curly hose with spray gun: International: https://amzn.to/3NvAdOD German: https://amzn.to/3Twi9b0

    Door Sensor International: https://amzn.to/48sbbYL German: https://amzn.to/48ruYHQ
    Thermometer – Hygrometer International: https://amzn.to/4740Scp German: https://amzn.to/3GQSEJX

    NFC cabinet lock International: https://amzn.to/3NBZBCC German: https://amzn.to/4771E8v
    Squeege International: https://amzn.to/477krjW German: https://amzn.to/48qV4dY
    Hue bridge (needed for the lights): International: https://amzn.to/41CGQEP German: https://amzn.to/3v7Loqz
    Hue lightstrip International:https://amzn.to/47VXaTv German: https://amzn.to/41Lu9rz
    Hue Bulb International:https://amzn.to/3GRa49m German: https://amzn.to/3GTwKpD
    Hue dimmer switch International: https://amzn.to/4asbyV4 German: https://amzn.to/48p5PO9
    Silvos Silver nitrate stain remover https://www.carlroth.com/de/de/sonstige-reinigungsmittel-spezialreiniger/reinigungsmittel-fleckenentferner-silvosol/p/0047.1

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in analog, collodion, darkroom, diy, tutorial, wetplate, workshop | Comment now »

     

    Wednesday, December 13th, 2023

    Decision of Power or how to chose between Windows or a Mac

    Why did I do this project?

    I was interested to work with ai on a local system instead of all these cloud solutions, where you often don’t know what happens with your data. My first contact with local ai solutions was pinokio, a system that automates localized ai installations. Pinokio runs lots of python scripts locally and I have lots of respects of these scripts, because they could do anything on your system. That’s one reason why I wanted to run them on a non productive computer of mine. The second reason is, that lots ai models rely on Nvidias Cuda cores and wont even run on a Mac. The third reason is that I thought that I can speed up my workflow with very large scans with a system that has more ram (I was wrong on that one).

    Reasons for the hardware I chose

    For the reasons mentioned above, I wanted a Nvidia card. Nvidia are producing cards that are made especially for ai work (Nvidia A series), but these cards are very expensive. The high end gaming cards like the RTX 4080 and 4090 are also pretty expensive and are as well very energy hungry. So my decision went to the RTX 4060ti with 16 gigabytes of ram. The internet is full of hate for this card, because it’s too expensive for what it delivers on gaming. But gaming is not an important part for me. The 16 gigabyte of ram are essential for ai models and the low power (compared to 4070 and above) consumption is another thing that made it more compelling for me. My CPU choice, the i7 13700kf was done because of a great offer I got. I hoped the new Intel 14th generation will consume less power, but that was not the case. Maybe AMD would have been a better choice for less power consumption…

    Mainboard wise I went for ASUS, because I had good experiences with this brand many years ago. I think hardware wise, they are still great, but software wise I am not sure anymore (I dont want to go down in that rabbit hole today). 

    To make the system as silent as possible I went for an aio (al in one) water cooling from Artic / the Artic freezer 240 and the Be Quiet pure base 500 case. Both brands I know from back than and they are still great today. For the power, I went for the Corsair RM750x Shift Fully Modular ATX Power Supply, because the plugs are all on the side and much easier accessible than on usual power supplies. I calculated the needed power supply here. https://www.corsair.com/us/en/pc-builder/psu-finder/psu

    Here is the full list with my Amazon affiliate links. I always think it’s great to have also a look at local stores, but as an overview it’s easier to link to Amazon.

    Intel i7 13700kf
    International: https://amzn.to/41iT0m5 Germany: https://amzn.to/46MAFPu

    Iceberg Thermal FUZEIce Plus High Performance Thermal Paste
    International: https://amzn.to/41iUL2F Germany: https://amzn.to/3t3fHOF

    ASUS Prime B760-PLUS 
    International: https://amzn.to/48eovjF Germany: https://amzn.to/3uTHJws

    GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Graphics Card 16GB 
    International: https://amzn.to/3NlgMYN Germany: https://amzn.to/46MBkAs

    Crucial Pro RAM 64 GB Kit DDR5
    International: https://amzn.to/3RBk4K0 Germany: https://amzn.to/3NnYdU2

    ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240
    International: https://amzn.to/3tlln6x Germany: https://amzn.to/3TiTS8s

    WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD 1 TB 
    International: https://amzn.to/48cLuLE Germany: https://amzn.to/41emhOR

    Crucial P3 2TB PCIe Gen3 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD
    International:https://amzn.to/489Hrjw Germany: https://amzn.to/48cLCe6

    Corsair RM750x Shift Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    International: https://amzn.to/485SHxP Germany: https://amzn.to/3RE1z81

    be quiet! Pure Base 500
    International: https://amzn.to/3NijfU3 Germany: https://amzn.to/3NlVESy

    I like simple and functional things. Like Burt Reynolds said in Smokey and the Bandit – Black is beautiful
    Finding all components without RGB was more difficult as I thought.

    How did I do the tests?

    As mentioned in the video, all my tests are not scientific in any case. I just wanted to see for myself how much of a difference such a machine makes to my workflow.
    All recordings were done remotely. That means, I connected with Microsoft Remote Desktop to the Windows machine and with the Apple Remote connections to the Mac Mini and MacBook.
    With that I wanted to make sure, that I don’t use to much computing power for the recording on the tested device.

    For the Lightroom tests, I used the images of my award ceremony where I saved all the changes to xml files, so all clients have the same work to do. I chose Lightroom for testing, because lots of analog photographers will do their scanning with a digital camera.

    The Lightroom test included images from my Canon 5D MKIV, MKIII and Canon M50

    As an analog photographer, especially with the wet plate process I work often with huge scans that I use for my talks, like my last one at the 8K Deep Space experience in the Ars Electronica Center.

    These huge scans turn out great for talks like that.


    With that big scans I experienced sometimes some slowdowns on my MacBook (So I thought). To make it more fair, I tested it with a 180 megapixel scan and  1.12 gigapixel scan. This test was for sure the least accurate one of them all. Because I did every step manually. That’s why I said the test times will vary up to 10 Seconds because of my click and work speed. But you will see that does not change anything on the results. 

    working with huge files is often challenging or most systems.

    Why did I measure power consumption?

    I think this is a part that lots of tests are not taking care of. I understand that time is money, but energy is as well. With the energy costs going up every year, it is an important topic to me. And when a device needs 5 or 20 times the power than another device, it makes a big difference. I think saving energy is an important task for everyone. I understand compared to big corporations (see my article here) this is nothing, but I still think we all can make a difference.

    And yes, my power consumption measurements aren’t scientific as well, but you get an idea about the difference. I used the same power plug on all computers, to avoid differences. And yes the power plug was called Windows computer, even a Mac was plugged in :). One more thing I closed the lid of the MacBook to only measure the consumption of the computer and not the display. With the display turned on at medium brightness it was only 2 to 4 watt more.

    Saving energy is a thing where all of us can contribute our part. In an upcoming video about my new dark room, I will show how I integrated energy saving on that as well.

    The results

    I am still surprised how well the base M2 Mac Mini with 8gb of Ram and a 256gb ssd held up. For under 600 Euros this is a great deal (also power consumption wise). If you invest 100 Euros on an external ssd, you can easily work with bigger scans in photoshop and will avoid the scratch disk is full message. 
    The second competitor to the windows machine is a MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro CPU. It has 16GB of ram and a 1TB ssd.

    Please be aware that the power consumption is only a snapshot from the time when the task was finished. But overall it reflects the consumption that was used.

    All three machines imported the images very quickly. But as you can see, the power consumption is on a totally different level. I use the M2 Mac mini with a “docking unit” that has an integrated SSD, thats the reason it consumes a bit more power than the MacBook
    Here you can see how the powerful Windows machine outperforms the Mac’s easily. But that reflects also in the power consumption.
    Again the Windows computer kills this task with only 17 seconds. That makes a big difference when you have to denise multiple files. I really love this new Lightroom feature. It’s a game changer for old cameras.
    Opening the 180 megapixel image, zooming in and out, duplicating the layer, applying dust and scratches and painting in a mask and saving the file afterwards again. Again the windows machine shows again that it can outperform its competitors. But the Mac’s crush the windows machine power consumption wise.

    The tasks were the same, but the file size very differrent. The 1.12 gigapixel psb file has over 12gb. After all the Lightroom tasks and the previous photoshop actions on the large scan, the Mac mini ran out of space on the ssd and got a scratch disk full message. With a bigger external ssd you could avoid this issue, but I thought it’s not a fair comparison if I “modify” the base model.
    Saving on my Mac took about 10 minutes. Thats why I was surprised that it took the same time on the Windows machine with 64gb of ram. SSD wise both machines perform similar. As mentioned in the video, I have an open case with Adobe because saving takes that long. And just in that moment when I am writing that article I heard back from them. They tested my file and confirmed that these long saving times are as expected with large files like that. You can see that the power consumption on the windows machine is pretty low in that case, but I think its only that low, because saving a file for 10 minutes is a task that does not need much power.

    My thoughts

    The new installed Windows machine was faster at every single task. On some tasks it just killed it.
    I am not sure if it would have made a difference to use a new installed Mac, because I work with the same backup on my MacBook since 2016, but I don’t think so.
    For a final conclusion the question should be, how much benefit would I get from a faster machine. How important is the time I saved with the faster machine. I think there are always tasks you could do while Lightroom is exporting or photoshop is saving. During my work on the huge scan in photoshop, only the Mac Mini kept me waiting for some seconds when I duplicated the layer or applied the filter. Also the loading time took much longer. But otherwise, I was surprised how well it held up against the two others.

    I know I went a little overboard when I compared the Windows machine with my heat pump. But sometimes the computer needed 350 Watts and much more. And when it’s about 15 degrees outside, my heat pump has a similar power consumption to keep my house warm. Let this thought sink in for a moment. Luckily I am can create my own energy and will try to limit the use of the windows client to the sunny days.

    Since I have my solar power up and running, I automate lots of tasks to run only when it produces energy.

    I hope this comparison showed you a different view of how powerful a computer must be.
    The question is now, was it a good idea to build this computer for ai and scans. Honestly I am not sure anymore.
    It’s fun to play with ai models locally, but I will limit the use for Lightroom or Photoshop. I guess I will use it for huge scans where I need to work with more layers, but for my usual workloads, my 16gb MacBook is more than capable.

    Also the noise it makes is something you should think about. Even this machine is pretty quiet (it just sounds loud in the video, because I went very close with my phone) I dont like listen to the fans all day long, that’s why I put it in a different room and only connect remotely to it.

    A very capable computer that outperforms my Mac’s in any task, but it comes with a cost, power consumption is on another level.
    Honestly it’s hard to justify buying a Mac Studio with similar specs like this machine. You easily spend 5000+ Euros on it and with that extra money, you can power up this one with energy for years. But if you don’t mind waiting a little longer, you got cheaper options that consumes much less of energy.

    At the end it’s always a decision what operating system you prefer and how much money you want to spend.

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in ai, analog, diy | Comment now »

     

    Wednesday, September 6th, 2023

    How to easy build a DIY UV Exposure Box with Dimmer and Timer

    Lately I started with alternative printing techniques. Salt prints and als cyanotypes are something I want to learn more about. I did the first exposures with the sun and it turned out really well. But I couldn’t make always time during the day, beside that sometimes the sun moved to fast and I had the prints in the shade, or it even was to late for sun printing at all.

    I got great results in the sun, but I just don’t have always time during the day

    Thats when I looked at tutorials for UV exposure boxes. There are so many great tutorials with beautiful results everywhere. But all I found needed lots of time to build it and a dimmer and timer was not included in the ones I found. So I constructed one by myself, with as less as possible diy knowledge needed to build it. Even I am very confident with soldering and building stuff, I wanted to have a quick solution. Find the full tutorial in my latest video (Scroll down for the full material List)

    I started with a 60x40x12cm Eurobox – you can use whatever box you need. Maybe even a nice wooden one.
    With a utility knife I could easily cut through the box to make myself a door with a hinge. Thats a step you can easily skip. I only made it, so I can access the box, without lifting it up.
    I used a little clamp and a piece of rope to hold the door in place when its opened.
    To make the box more reflective, I used an aluminum tape. its easy to cut and easy to mount.
    Now I mounted the led strips on the aluminum foil. Before that I drilled a hole for the cables in the box.
    If you use the same sized box, be sure to always leave the same with as they led strip is between each lane. Don’t worry if you make a mistake, my led strips came easily off and I got them easily on again.
    These are digital dimmers that have also a time included.
    After you install the app, the dimmers connect automatically via bluetooth. They also group together as one single light. Now you can change the output power of the lights, or set two kind of timers. I like these a lot, because I can precisely write down the time I used and also write down the light intensity. Another cool thing is, that you can close the app and even if you set a timer before the dimmers will remember without a phone connection.
    If you don’t want to use your phone, then you will like these. Simple on, off and dimmer function.
    It may not be as symmetrical as some others, but it worked really well.
    Thats the first print from a glass negative out of the UV box. I think it turned out pretty well.
    One light strip should put out 36Watts of power. I measured only 2,2 Amperes. If I calculate that by 12 Volts I get 26.4 Watts. I already contacted the company who produces the strips, but didn’t hear back so far. I will let you know how this goes. I think the power supplies are a bit on the week side. But don’t worry to much about that, as you saw my print looked really well. I am just a curious person and wanted to know if they deliver what they stated on the packaging.
    There you have it, a very easy diy UV box exposure unit build. Enjoy building it!

    Here are the links to all parts I used:

    Eurobox:

    Germany: https://amzn.to/3PnJSs1

    Aluminum Tape:

    International: https://amzn.to/3sEPBAN
    Germany: https://amzn.to/3PrQ7Lz

    Power switch

    International: https://amzn.to/45GeDOv
    Germany https://amzn.to/3Z7IkFP or https://amzn.to/3RaIY3h

    Power splitter

    International: https://amzn.to/3RcfoL6
    Germany https://amzn.to/3qZ2CVv or https://amzn.to/45WE66f

    Analog Dimmer:

    International: https://amzn.to/3Psig52
    Germany:https://amzn.to/3P96eMw

    Digital Dimmer:

    International: https://amzn.to/45ZVmri
    Germany: https://amzn.to/3r6JKDS

    Led Strips

    International: https://amzn.to/3r2LrlS (discription says 60 Watt!!!)
    Germany: https://amzn.to/3LaeGKp

    Brushes for salt print or cyanotype

    International: https://amzn.to/48gLziD
    Germany: https://amzn.to/44FsXFR

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in cyanotype, darkroom, diy, salt print, uv box, uv exposure | 2 Comments »

     

    Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

    Testing 6 Types of Wet Plate Varnish

    I did a live stream about different types of varnish for my Patreon supporters (If you join tier 2, you can rewatch the recording of the live stream). Because some of you complained after my posting about Lukas varnish that this one is not available in your country, I bought more different ones and did this video. Enjoy guys: I show tested lots of interesting alternatives. My favourite right now is the Cobra odourless varnish gloss 102. You can get it here: international https://amzn.to/3YAVx8k Germany https://amzn.to/429li2D

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in ambrotype, collodion, diy, nassplatte, varnish, wetplate | Comment now »

     

    Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

    Shooting an ultra fast lens (140mm F1.0) with an ultra large format camera

    In short words “this lens is something else”. It’s extremely fast, huge and has a strange focus distance. It was used in Sony CRT Projectors from 1997. I bought it some years ago from a very interesting guy. He had so many more great stuff in his shop and I regret that I did not buy more. It took me some time to find the right opportunity to use that lens. But I think it was worth the waiting. I am glad my friend and former workshop participant Alois Stingl came over with is wonderful ultra large format camera.

    Before I could use it, it needed some cleaning, I used a cloth that was soaked with water and just put it on the lens without wiping to avoid more scratches.

    with some patience I could clean it.

    I measured the lens at infinity to calculate the F-Stop. I measured 135mm and the front element was 145mm That is about a F0.9 lens. But a document I found on the internet told me its more an F 1.0 lens. Still crazy fast.

    You can see here how short the focusing distance is. That makes it hard to focus un an ultra large format camera.

    When I saw the yellow coating on the front element of the lens, I thought about Mathieu Stern’s video about radioactive lenses. If it really is made of Thorium, it is indeed radioactive, but only for a very small amount. Watch Mathieu’s video to learn more about this Material

    Thorium was used to get more light into the lenses back then.

    Because the lens is very fast it is still dangerous. If it focuses the sun on something, it will start to burn immediately. That’s the reason you should not put the lens near a window and always put a lens cap on it.

    In the video I will show you how easy you can start a fire with that lens

    I thought it would be interesting to calculate the crop factor of an 40x50cm ultra large format camera. If you use the common formula to calculate crop factors you will see that this plate size has a crop factor of 0.0067 compared to a full frame sensor. With that you also can calculate the comparable depth of field F-Stop. This would also be F 0.067 compared to F 1.0 on a full frame camera. When I tried to focus on the ground glass, I could barley find something in focus. Thats why you see me focusing for a very long time.

    it took quite some time to focus with this very fast lens.
    I think this shows pretty well how sensor and plate sizes compare

    But there is more. a 140mm lens is a tele lens on a full frame camera, but it’s a wide angle lens on an ultra large format camera. This is because of the bigger plate size of the ULF camera. listen to my full explanation in the video.

    My drawing shows in a simple way that the subject needs to be farer away from a full frame sensor the get the same angle of view as the close setup of the ULF camera.

    To “connect” the lens to the camera, I designed and printed a basic flange in Tinkercad. It needed some pool line and tape, but eventually it worked out.

    I think Tinkercad is one of the most yeas to use tools for 3D printing.
    a very basic part, but incredible helpful
    No screws, just tape, pool liner and my 3d print. Sounds funny, but worked wonderfully

    The next issue was the fact that my darkroom was not made for 40x50cm plates. only for 30x40cm ones. After some tests with smaller plates, we only had one cup of developer left. Beside that, everything starts to get unpleasantly expensive if you pour on plates with this size. So my goal was to make it work with only one attempt. I did some dry runs to get comfortable with everything. Not only the dark room work was something I had to prepare for, but also the camera. These old beauties all have some quirks. Besides that, Alois made a beautiful plate holder by himself. These holder needed also some special attention. But as explained in the video, I love these challenges. It makes the result at the end even more sweet.

    To calculate the strobe power I needed, I used my wet plate strobe calculator that I created for my Patreon supporters. Since I made it, I use it all the time for myself, because it makes life much easier with the wet plate process. If you are a fan of analog photography and the wet plate process, have a look at our wet plate conversation magazine on Flipboard. Besides many great stories about our favourite process, you’ll wind there also work from other wet plate artists.

    I really like how this portrait turned out. As expected it is very abstract because of the F-Stop and the wide angle lens.Here you can see again how huge that tintype is.

    But this is not the end, because of some kind of funny coincidence, a former workshop participant sent me a very similar lens over. I am thinking to do a still life plate with that one. What do you guys think?

    Two very similar lenses. Funny how sometimes things turn out.

    But there is more, I got also a very tiny lens. I guess I need to build a camera for this one

    A full functional lens in the size of a thumb. I haven’t seen such a thing before. What a cutie.

    I hope you enjoyed that journey. It took me a long time to finish everything, but I am again glad that I worked through it.

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  •  

    Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

    Bringing a Cheap 24 Year Old High-End Scanner Back to Life – It’s mind blowing

    It all started when we needed to scan some slides. With my Screen Cezanne 5000 scanner I would get an amazing quality, but it would be exhausting to do. I have an old Epson scanner that could do it, but it’s also not a very comfortable task. So I had an eye on a Agfa Duoscan Hid scanner. These scanners scan film without the need of a glass. That makes things much easier. They are also great flatbed scanners. With that I take more care about my valuable Screen scanner. The lamps of it are not longer available, when they break its over. But as always it was more difficult to get this scanner up an running than I thought. It needed lots of cleaning and my first idea about a fitting computer was also not my best one.

    The Scenic Mobile 800 was ahead of its time back then, but now to slow to work as a scan server.
    Overhead projectors are obsolete since a long time, but back then it was amazing what that laptop could do.
    Scanning without the need of glas – a great benefit of this scanner.
    The scanner was very dirty and in the need of many cleanings. I cleaned it 4 times until it worked as expected. Whenever you open the scanner, you must be very careful. First of all disconnect power and SCSI. The Manual mentions also high voltage inside the scanner, I guess they’re mean capacitors or something like that. I already tried to clean the “bottom scanner” that takes care of the film scanning. I could barley see it with a little mirror, but not reach it. And dismounting the main scan unit was way too risky. I think I would never get the scanner calibrated again.
    I was very happy for the SilverFast support. I had some issues, that were very specific to my configuration. Also the software is great for scanning film. Check out their website here : https://www.silverfast.com
    This scan of one of my moste favourite portraits (Phoebe) was done with the Screen Cezanne and is very similar to the Agfa, see the video for more details

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in collodion, diy, Gear, scanning, wetplate | Comment now »

     

    Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

    Preserving History – Renovating a 100 Year Old Camera – Bellow Edition

    My good old Century No.2 camera has about 100 years behind her. She still works great, but her bellow is leaking light. Thats why I needed to repair it. I thought it is easiest to explain everything in a video, so it is easier to understand for you guys and hopefully also helpful. It took me a long time to put everything together. Why? Because it was important for me to reuse as many original parts as possible to preserve the history of this camera. I think this is a very important part when you consider to renovate a piece of history! Underneath the video are all links for the parts I needed.

    Bellowmaker: ecbuyonline@hotmail.com – email is the best way to communicate https://www.ebay.com/str/ecbuyonline2008
    Large Caliper International: https://amzn.to/3W7OvHt Germany: https://amzn.to/3VBaHJZ
    Liquid Rubber: International (similar) :https://amzn.to/3H4tfOq Germany: https://amzn.to/3Pf4b9D
    Glue for mounting the Bellow: International: https://amzn.to/3ixkdPI Germany: https://amzn.to/3F8YiWS
    Ifixit essential tools – they were very helpful: https://amzn.to/3UpEqnO
    machinist square International: https://amzn.to/3Vvly8j Germany https://amzn.to/3B8Kt9n
    Cutter https://amzn.to/3P1JsWl
    Screenprinting paint and cold fix: https://www.siebdruckladen.de
    Video for building a mobile darkroom: https://youtu.be/hnrtywCfQRk
    Video for sandarac varnish: https://youtu.be/wj2nPTYyFQ4

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in collodion, diy, dyi photography, tintype, video, wetplate | 6 Comments »