Markus Hofstaetter, a Dallmeyer 3b lens and “Inspired”.

by Christopher Osborne.

Markus Hofstaetter has just become the latest “guardian” of a mint 1876 Dallmeyer 3b lens! He uses it to make the “Inspired” series.

Inspired – a 145 year old lens and passionate artists

Austrian portrait photographer and YouTube blogger Markus Hofstaetter lives in Muckendorf an der Donau (close to Vienna). He has just become the latest custodian of a mint 1876 Dallmeyer 3b lens! We also talk to him about his work on the “Inspired” series.

I asked Markus how his portraiture progressed into wetplate. “A friend lent me a Linhof Technical camera with a 150mm lens. I started shooting street portraits using packs of “Readyload” 4×5 film. Then I saw a YouTube video of someone making wetplate images.  I thought I could do that”!

Markus started using premixed chemistry from the Czech Republic. This produced decidedly mixed results. Then he read a copy of Quinn B Jacobson’s “Chemical Pictures” and realised that he could mix his own chemistry. The results he achieved improved markedly.

Markus was already using Hensel strobes for his commercial work. He initially rented and then purchased a 6000ws powerpack, and this has allowed him to work with a single softbox for his tintypes/ambrotypes.

Wetplate started as a hobby, although Markus is now making portraits on a commission basis. He also runs training courses and talks at trade shows. And he has a popular YouTube channel focusing on this aspect of his work.

Markus Hofstaeter’s portrait of Gabriel Bahalia featured on the cover of SilvergrainClassics magazine Issue 6. Copies are available from

He is currently working on “Inspired”, a project of people who have done something inspirational. I asked Markus how he finds people, and he laughs. “People just find me”. The series includes Manuel Soultan a tattoo artist who makes tattoos that look like black and white photographs, Katharina Gallhuber who is a winter sports champion, photographer and curator Lois Lammerhuber, the renowned Israeli photographer Gabriel Baharlia and Michael White a former Producer/Director/Author/ special effects Technician

An upcoming sitter for his inspired series is Jennifer who was the legal guardian of her young brothers from the age of 21.

To prepare a portrait for a single exposure is rewarding for him, because he and his sitter knows that it is much more behind that than one hour for one plate. He is preparing all his chemicals by himself and for example sandarac takes several days to manufacture.

There is an article on Markus Hofstaetter’s film portraiture at

You can see more of Markus’ work at and

The “Inspired” project can be viewed at

Michael White – a former Producer/Director/Author at

Krzysztof Wolczak


Images © Markus Hoffstaetter 2021. You can see more of Markus Hoffstaetter’s work on Instagram at @mhaustria

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