If you follow my blog and my work you know what a Polaroid lover I am. And you may have seen my previous post about the New55 film being developed to replace Polaroid Type 55 film. This is an extremely important tool for artists and I hope you will join me in pledging at Kickstarter. There’s 28 days to go and they’ve already raised almost $100,000.00 of their $400,000.00 goal in order to make a viable product.
I was lucky to be able to test the film and be a part of the beginnings. And I really hope it comes to fruition because I NEED IT FOR MY WORK. I pledged $750.00. Please kick them a little starter fuel to bring this film back into the world of creativity.
Attached is an image I made using the New55 film. I want MORE!!!
From the Kickstarter Page…
We’ve already contacted several potential suppliers to get quotes on parts and line up specification and delivery steps, but there is more to do.
The 4×5 sheet film component — the negative — could come from any one of five potential suppliers including Kodak, Ilford, Foma, Adox or Shanghai. We still need to determine through more testing which negative works the best with the receiver sheet and developer that is finally chosen. The plan is to use a cubic grained emulsion, since this is known to have rapid processing capability and fast transfer to the positive.
The receiver sheet — the positive print — requires significant research and development. Most of the New55 FILM examples you have seen used 20×24 Studios’coaterless receiver sheet. We hope to work with 20×24 Studios to create a reliable supply of receiver for this project and the future, if possible, as coaterless sheets are also compatible with the 20×24 camera. But, that type of sheet is very complex and has at least 8 layers to it. A coater-type receiver sheet, more in keeping with “Old T55” is also a possibility and may be a necessity if we are not able to make the coaterless type. Coater type sheets are somewhat less complex to make, but still have 6 layers. The coating is only one of several important requirements for the receiver: It must have just the right stiffness, thickness and be free of curl. It also has to be light proof, and not swell and shrink during processing. Quite a set of requirements for what looks like just a piece of paper.
An “edge taper” is a machine that we will investigate to assemble the top and bottom of the sleeve together into a peelable assembly. It is assumed that some kind of inking or printing needs to go on this piece so that users will know which is the “lens side”. This machine will have to be designed from the ground up, then built on the premises. It is a significant amount of work and expense.
Each envelope also needs a “stop” which is a thick paper bar bonded to the outside. The purpose of the stop is to prevent the user from pulling the sleeve out too far during exposure. A cutting tool and assembly fixture, and adhesive applicator are required. At this moment, we think that a thermal adhesive and thermal press can apply this strip, using a guide tool, and also perform some of the final thermal bonding on the end of the envelope to allow easier peeling. Two machines/fixtures are needed, at least.
The metal clips that slide into the 545 holder are important and have to be made carefully. The old T55 clip was made with soft steel that had been painted. Painting adds a lot of cost to a sheet metal part and we think it will be easier and better to use a stainless steel clip of a lighter and stronger gauge. Either way we will be buying a tool for use in four-slide machines, and have that part supplied to us by one or more vendors. Our hope is that we do this once, and not have to modify the tooling. If we have a problem, we will possibly have to make new tooling and do other things.
Once we have clips, they must be securely attached to the tongue – a part that holds both the negative, and the chemical pod. The tool used for crimping and thermal adhesive steps has to be designed, built, and tested, and then we have to make sure it can be assembled repeatably and reliably.
The “pod” is a critical component. It has to be sealed and yet also has to burst in just the right directions with just the right amount of pressure. As of this writing, 20×24 is offering to produce these for us at a per-unit cost. Not only is the assembly of the pod critical, what goes in it is also crucial, as it contains developer, fixer, solvent, thickener and toners, along with pH boosting ingredients needed for rapid diffusion transfer reversal to take place. 20×24’s formula for their black and white film is the starting point, and may have to be reformulated depending on the final negative stock and the characteristics of the receiver sheet. Production of the chemical pod is a major undertaking and will happen in parallel with development of the other components.
The entire process of development and manufacturing New55 FILM, and shipping the completed boxes of film to Kickstarter contributors is risky, and estimated to take eight months from the initial funding, but it could be delayed for a variety of reasons as there are long wait times for certain processes and materials to be made, cut, formed, coated etc.
Bob Crowley, Founder (CV)
Sam Hiser, project CEO (CV)