Friday, January 29, 2010

Comment from Gerald

gerald said...
hard to say if it was the same exactly. it probably was in the beginning, and later was at least based on it. thing is: the haptics are very close, and this is an, if not the most, important point of 55. it's not only about 'one' negative. it's about 'the' negative. as panatomic-x was discontinued long ago, photographers used 55 even just for the neg. they were not interested in the pos or the instant at all. it's the greys, the unbelievable sharpness (no way a 'neg' of a bleached fuji can reach that just a tiny bit. it's just a transparent paper-negative, not a real negative!), the unique way the material can solarize. to save you some time clicking: (at the bottom and around) (at the bottom, by 'wirehead' (at the buttom, 'bite the dust') I'm putting useful comments like this into a post body so we can enable links - comments doesn't support that :(


Bob Crowley said...

So are we doomed from the beginning - I mean without Panatomic X? Was it about Panatomic X all along? Maybe type 55 was the best negative of all time, with nothing that can exceed it. Like Kodachrome, it had a special something that had to be exceeded only by looking elsewhere, such as Fuji did with Velvia.

gerald said...

well, kinda.. though polaroid itself seemed to be able to continue it, probably at least alike. of course we don't know it it also contained cadmium.. polaroid was also discontinued because lot of chemicals were not only available anymore, but also not allowed. so one would have to start from scratch (like TIP does).
but in the linked forums other films are mentioned, like efke. one would have to research.
what i'm saying is: if one wants to get an instant pos/neg alive again, one would have to take care of the haptics. the ones that are missing it, and would buy it again, are the artists. and those are missing it's behaviour.
the market of professionals which took a proof on 55 and checked the sharpness of the shot by investigating the neg with a loupe are to a good percentage gone i'd say. most are gone digital nowadays.
i'm not saying something new has to be the very same. changes are happening all the time, and some aspects just may be become impossible. but if one has hand on a change, one should think about in which direction it should go.
in my opinion, this would be these three aspects: high tonality. incredible sharpness. good behaviour with solarization (for example: fuji3000b solarizes as well. but way not that beautiful and rich as polaroid material did. polaroid had more random - random one could play with. to gain a better variation of results).

and if one googles for panatomic-x images... they are really awesome. high class of classic bw.

Aaron Muderick said...

The Fuji neg is a real neg. Not sure what you are getting at Gerald. Have you ever seen one? It is not transparent paper. And, yes, it can solarize...for the same reasons that 55 does.

Whenever someone tries something new, there are always naysayers who are afraid to try because they fear the possibility of failure. Ignore them.

Bob Crowley said...


What Gerald is saying makes sense from a duplication standpoint - I may have to accept that and have already been through it in microphone world where nothing there was ever the same once the originals were gone. It's a point well taken, and the hardest part may be perceptions, and fashions, which are impossible to recreate. The clips are for demo units that I plan to put together, and to have them drawn up, tooled, ordered and made will be a four figure exercise, so better to salvage old ones for now. I am already spending on other materials and working on the budget for this. It looks not too bad, but my fear is about the "holes"! Last night I had a bad dream about them.

Gerald the Fuji color negative is pretty good. The recovered B&W is not so good. Both are on the same clear base with the same black paint as light masks.

There is a ton of solarization but that's manageable and I am pulling the B&Ws in the dark, but nothing I can do about the thick emulsion and reticulation that ensues.

gerald said...

well.. i just re-read what's written under NEW55PROJECT on top. and maybe you should re-read what i have written in my comments.

and if we are speaking in aphorisms (lewis carroll in this case):

“Which path shall I follow?”
The cat answers: “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

maybe you should re-read my comments. i don't consider any lack of blind euphorism as pessimism already (this is an exageration as well, but i think it draws the line quite good. maybe it's a cultural difference -i'm european-) but i sure believe a good portion of scepticism should be in science as well (and otherwise, i wouldn't define it as one).
and i can't define the bleached fujis as negatives either (and yes, i made some myself). unless you would define any achieved transparency as a negativ already, of course. i already wrote, what a negative for me, in photographic terms, is. and i would guess this is common sense. it would be cheap to ask the counter-question, but i do really wonder: have you had a look at a hi-res scan of 55?
the bleached fujis are a welcomed creative technique, no question, and if they help to find a route in this case, ok - i just wanted to point out the differences.

my comments are meant the same way. share information, help finding thoughts. and (thus, arising from) questions.
to define the path.

(technically: i'd say, but i'm not an expert in it, by bleaching the fujis you make the goop together with the 'papernegative' -for me it's a common term to speak of them like that- visible. or transparent. at a 55neg, there is no goop at all. i'd say: it's a thicker layer, or more layers together. as the molecules spread while dissolving into the next - the resolution drops. and most probably the 'paperneg' does not have a comparable resolution anyway, but i guess this fact is to discard)

Bob Crowley said...

Product development is always like this. I have posted a link to a 10 MB file (server limit) to a random but detailed 55 negative which I call my "reference". Clearly this could be a much larger file and finer scan. Enabling supply of "something like this" could take on several forms - and it is clear that some of the manufacturing techniques are inherent in the Fuji product, which was never intended to produce any negative, far less "the" negative.

I have no doubt that with enough money and time, an even "better" result can be achieved, once we learn what that is in the context of today. We have that, but perhaps not unlimited time and money!

Alright - back to work. Find the source document for nucleating receptor chemistry please, or at least a good description of how it's made. I haven't found this yet.