During John Coffer’s wet plate workshop at Camp Tintype last May, he set up his 20 x 24 camera and gave a brief demonstration of how it works. It’s just a really big view camera with some movement (front rise and fall). John mounted the camera on a small wagon chassis in order to move it to nearby locations where he photographs. The most difficult part of using this camera is, of course, pouring collodion on the mammoth 20 x 24 plate. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any footage online of John pouring a mammoth plate; but many people who have seen him do it speak of his technique with awe.
The 20 x 24 camera was made by Ray Morgenweck of The Star Camera Company. His calls it “The Mathew B. Brady 20×24 Majestic Imperial Wetplate Camera.” Morgenweck has been making a wide range of Daguerrotype and wet plate cameras for a number of years. He is in high demand; and there is often a waiting period of several months. So if you order from him, you’ll have to be patient. Oh, and unless you’re John Coffer, don’t even think about asking for the 20 x 24. Ray will just laugh.
Description of The Mathew B. Brady 20×24 Majestic Imperial Wetplate Camera
From The Star Camera Website
All great things are named after significant people, and indeed this camera is worthy of carrying the name of Mathew B. Brady. Possibly the largest wet plate camera available, the Brady is capable of making 20X24 Wetplate or Tintype images. It is built on the pattern of the early 1900’s Cycle cameras, which have a retracting rise and fall lensboard carrier and a front door which folds up and creates a ‘case’ for the camera. This is NOT a camera for those just beginning the process, and indeed this particular camera went to the man I feel who is most able to handle it, Mr. John Coffer of Dundee NY. This camera uses a Dallmayer 30″ Camera Obscura Lens, and future ones will require a lens similar to this in size and focal length. In addition to the rise and fall lensboard, the camera has a bellows tilt adapter on the rear which can carry the plateholder for greater control over the foreground in your images. Available only on SPECIAL ORDER.