Wet Plate Dreams (a long story short)
I discovered the wet plate process in the early 2014, or lets say the process discovered me. Since my budget was rather limited at that time, i used a small cheap Rapid Rectilinear, which came with my smallish first 13x18 camera. Since my studio offered only limited sunlight potential i soon switched to fast and affordable projection lenses, like the Leitz Leica Hektor. Why i didnt use the real authentic brass lenses you ask?
Well, at that time Petzval lenses were quite expensive and a rare sight, even on the global ebay market. Most lenses were traded between a handfull of 'insider' people. And with the few that were offered on ebay, it was somewhat a game of luck, since most sellers there dont have a clue about the lenses they sell. What kind of lens layout is it: an aplanat, a triplet or a even petzval? Is the lens they are selling complete, is it functional? More then one time i won an auction on ebay, just to be disappointed by the lens that had recieved later. I felt that im not the only one beginner in the wet plate world, that had this kind of hard time.
In the coming years i spent alot of effort, time and money to widen my knowledge about antique lenses and cameras, establish relationships with reclusive collectors all over the world. I have tested many hundreds lenses of almost all layouts, disassembled and assembled back again most of them, which resulted not only in a big archive of historical but also technical knowledge in that field.
Welcome to my small antique lens and wet plate vault. Feel free to roam, get exited by all those brass beauties and ask questions about the items.