Jonathan A Lewis Photography

Archive for the 'Daguerreotype Equipment' Category

The Other Camera Test

February 09th, 2009 | Category: Cameras,Daguerreotype Equipment

I titled this entry The Other Camera Test to distinguish it from Andy’s recent Camera Test. Alas, my test wasn’t of a castle, nor of anything remotely daguerreian.

Camera Test

I got a new camera with the idea of using it for daguerreotypes. It’s an old plate camera from India in the format of 6 1/2″ x 12″. I put in a lens I pulled out of a photocopier a few years ago and attached it using a foamcore lens board. With a foamcore shutter/lens cap I made the exposure 15 second exposure on to a piece of VC RC paper. It came out quite nicely, no fall off and the focus seems pretty good. It ended up a bit contrasty but who knows what you’re going to get when using VC paper without filters. I’d like to try an exposure focused at infinity but I’ll have to wait for a spare moment during the day.

A heat removal device is currently under construction to help relieve the heat that builds up in the plate during development. At the moment it’s looking more like a small time travel device…


Fuming Box, check.

June 22nd, 2008 | Category: Daguerreotype Equipment

I have finished building my fuming box! It’s certainly not pretty but I think it’ll work well. I made two tops for it: one for 2 1/4″ square plates and the other for quarter plates. I have a medium format camera and a 4×5 press camera so I should be able to shoot both of those plate sizes.

Fuming Box
Fuming Box

I learned a lot building this box and I’m looking forward to tackling the other pieces in the daguerreian puzzle. Perhaps the fume hood will be next.

As of now, here is a list if things I have for making daguerreotypes:


  • Iodine Crystals (from Photographers’ Formulary)
  • Sodium Thiosulfate (from Bostick & Sullivan)
  • Sodium Sulfite (from Bostick & Sullivan)
  • 0.2% Gold Chloride Solution (from Bostick & Sullivan)


  • Dedicated “Dag Back” for my medium format camera (from KEH)
  • Fuming Box!! (from my own hands)

Other Supplies

  • 2 3/8″ Square .999 Silver Plates (from Santa Fe Jewelers Supply)
  • Filmoplast P90 (from Talas)

As far as I can tell, I still have the following left to get:

  • Rubylith
  • Buffing Wheels
  • Buffing Compound
  • Small Trays
  • Gilding Stand
  • Gilding Lamp/Torch
  • Small Fume Hood
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