Friday, April 2, 2010

Photo Engineer's succinct 2008 post, with comments

Photo Engineer
06-16-2008, 07:45 PM
I did not see this post when it went up over a month ago. I was in Montana at the Formulary.

I can say that Kodak did develop some products for Polaroid, because even though Land was a genius at inventing, his engineers did not have production coating machines nor did they have emulsion formulas and so Kodak developed a series of products for him including some B&W and color products. I do not know which ones.

The pod contains either KOH or NaOH as alkali along with restrainer and carboxymethyl cellulose (Unflavored Citrucel to US people :D ). There are also some developers and silver halide solvents. The film sheet is a film sheet but the reciever sheet is a special thing which forms the positive print. The whole thing is like a monobath.
Bob says: Yes almost, it is KOH and/or  LiOH, sodium sulfite, developer and cellulose - as stated, and not difficult.
The receiver sheet is indeed a special thing - that we need to figure out still.  That receiver is the key to controlling the DTR rate and producing the fine negatives we want.

In addition, the package contains rails to keep the distribution of pod goo even over the width and length of film, and the pod has dividers to promote even spread and burst when pressure is applied.
Comment: Very important but doable geometry in my view. Polaroid did the hard part with the roller designs. Also we do not necessarily have to use burst and spread.

Filling a pod is a very exact and complex process and assmbling a pack is very expensive with some rather complex equipment involved.
Comment: Probably the most expensive part of any product is the assembly and packaging of the components.  However, the equipment does not have to be very complex, and I think even Polaroid did some hand loading of the film.

Hope this helps.
Sure does


from the 55 pod MSDS



Aaron Muderick said...

I know that the Impossible Project was able to save a number of computer hard drives with Polaroid chemical formulation info. You might write to them and inquire whether P55 formulas were included. I'll bet they were.

I don't know if these formulas were just for the pods or if the negative and receiver sheet info was included.

Who manufactured the receiver sheets? Was it done by Polaroid or a 3rd party? Maybe the Impossible Project or 20x24 Studio guys can give you a lead on an engineer (who isn't online) and is willing to to help.

They may not be willing to hand them over the formulas to you, but just knowing they still exist is useful. Also, someone might be willing to vet your ideas against the secret formula and give you a 'hot or cold' reading on how you are progressing.

Mustafa Umut Sarac said...

Bob , You can order an chemical analysis of the pod contents without going insane of thinking continiously like me or without wasting time cos time is our most precious thing.
I had been written to apug about a lab near to kodak france factories. You can contact with them and get full analysis for less than 500 dollars.
This lab is used by kodak for many decades and they know what to look for.
Patents are old and not explain what did they choose to use from patents. And it can make a person crazy when boggling in material lists.
Invest 500 and learn everything.
I invested 15 years to zildjian and with 30 second , I learned the truth but it took another 10 years to understand other things.
You can read from / search for me
Best ,

Bob Crowley said...

The reagent is virtually in hand, I believe. Not a big problem.

The receiver sheet will be looked into over the coming month of April, and I expect to learn more about its manufacture and composition. Also we will do some experiments to see if lead acetate is the material used to create black and not sepia positives. Another lab with some equipment may also halp analyze the receiver.

Umut - I know about the Aha moment! It will come. This project is very very doable. Very easy for a film company to do if they wanted, and is as much affected economics, demand, and possible side benefits as engineering, chemistry etc.

Bob Crowley said...

Aaron - these are good suggestions and some are being pursued. Because they are kind of back-channel communication I haven't been chattering about them too much. Impossible USA has said they are not interested in making a new 55, so it may be possible to get assistance from them. BTW I ordered their new film and am waiting for it now.

Aaron Muderick said...

BTW, the heavy metals were removed from film products in the late 70's IIRC. So, while lead and cadmium salts may have been used in the original, they weren't being used at the end.

Good luck!! The journey is the reward here. Yes, paying for a reverse engineering would make things faster, but it would not make success taste sweeter.

Bob Crowley said...

Hmmmm, so Grecian Formula (lead acetete) isn't an ingredient. Rats!

Fun journey so far. Spent part of today still trying to get a good negative from FP-100B. It is a very weird thing, with all those orange and green colors in it. The gray scale on the print is quite nice, I must say. FP-100b45 is still worth $2.60 a shot I guess.

Mustafa Umut Sarac said...

Bob , I posted Apug with the hope of finding PN 55 factory labs. They order the high end analyses from outside of course