Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Freezing, and updated mailing list

Tomorrow we are going to freeze some New55. The general consensus is that it is alright to freeze old T55 as long as there is enough time afterward for the pod to warm up completely. I have never confirmed this so we will also freeze a couple of old T55 pods.

If you have any real life experience with frozen polaroids, now would be the time to tell us about it.  Also if you have been a contributor to New55 and would like to update your mailing address, please do. Send an email with your address to bob at soundwaveresearch.com

Thanks

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have never frozen my T55 film myself for fear of ruining it, but the only T55 pods that have ever gone bad on me (as in fully dried up) have been those packs I purchased from people who had frozen them. I have some T55 that expired in 1981 that still works amazingly well, though usually without 100% reagent coverage. I'll be curious to see how your experiment works out.

polapaul said...

Never froze but did keep 55p/n in the fridge. You might find that when the frozen pods come back to room temp, streaks might appear on the negative and positive. PAC

Bob Crowley said...

Polapaul - did you tweet that fixer cannot clear New55?

polapaul said...

Yes, the developer layer won't realease with fixer. However it will rub off even water works. Sodium Sulfite was the only chemical that worked to release the exhusted developer from the negative. I know that the stuff is messy. Years ago (cir 1970) we hired a consultant to fine something to replace Sodium Sulfite.
He never did succeed with that project.Check out Ansel's book titled "Polaroid Land Photogrphy".

Bob Crowley said...

Oh, you're talking about the old T55 goop. Ours comes off in a single gelatinous sheet with Ilford Rapid fixer. The key is to hit it with the right pH - they should have known that!

Too many people complained about the sodium sulfite, where to get it, etc., and it is helpful to use fixer anyway to clear any imperfectly cleared margins that are typical with New55.

Anonymous said...

Bob the polymer in New55 goop is not the same as the T55 anyway - so I doubt Polaroid would have the same result ie: coagulation--->separation with the solvent action of the hypo.

Bob Crowley said...

Right, could be. Anyway, nobody wanted sodium sulfite, so we found another way. It does take a pretty strong concentrate of fixer but it doesn't seem to be a problem, since it comes in liquid form anyway.

We also used swimming pool dechlorinator, used in pools, hot tubs etc. to reduce the chloramine level. It is very cheap, and nothing but sodium thiosulfate crystals. But that's a PIA, having to dissolve crystals, so the Ilford fixer is the best.

polapaul said...

makes sense too me. I think after the negative clears in the Ilford Quick Fix a good water wash would certainly help and be recommended on the tip sheet. Did you say a higher ISO will be part of the new P/N 55's features,(maybe 400).How is the Positive to Negative Match. To print the old Polaroid P/N negative,the positive needed to be at least 1/4 to 1/2 stop overexposed. I would be happy to make some test photographs.and write some comments and make some recomendations. Can do some comparisons of old vs new. Kept some of my old test negs like the Longfellow house. PAC

Bob Crowley said...

ISO 50 to 100 is what we are getting with xenon. The positive and negative are speed matched fairly closely, with the positive on the dark side of a good negative, but only by about a third of a stop right now and that can be tweaked in later. We use a much longer processing time - about 2 minutes or a bit more. This makes things less frantic, I believe. And yes, washing is necessary for a permanent negative, which we expect will be archival.

We are not trying to recreate T55, so comparisons are not in the plan, but thank you. We are aiming for "maximum artistic fun and visual magic", and lots of fine detail.

Bob Crowley said...

Check out the slide show, in the upper right. Select "info" and "slow" to read the annotations along with the photographs.

Anonymous said...

About the balance, do you have side by side positive and negative prints that can be seen to compare with each other?

Anonymous said...

Polapaul, I am curious what you did at Polaroid, if you worked with Ansel Adams?

Anonymous said...

Too many people are hijacking this thread away from the subject Bob asked about...

Back to the point: Everything I've ever read about freezing any 4x5 Polaroid says that it damages the pods irrevocably in one of two ways.

First, presumably it's due to the ice (water component) expansion that occurs during the freezing. Something about rupturing the pods. However, not having tried it myself there's no way of really knowing until you test a bunch I suppose.

The other concern is that freezers, even more so than refrigerators, really suck the moisture out of food. Even freezer bags don't seem to provide adequate protection. How often do you find "freezer burned" food that's all dried and shriveled up even after being carefully bagged? If the pod doesn't rupture, this is the other problem I seem to recall that people on the net were complaining about: dried up chem-pods, especially in Type 55.

But again, never having tested any of this myself I look forward to hearing back on your results Bob.

Zoe Wiseman said...

you know how food gets a film over it if left in a refrigerator too long? T55 chemicals do the same thing. I keep my T55 at 45 degrees. Works so far. I've been told to not refrigerate it. while i've not tested freezing it, i just imagine any chemicals kept in the freezer and the layer of gunk that would penetrate. i could be wrong though. why not try doing one batch for 2 months, then test.

Bob Crowley said...

-10C pods are still liquid. We have them in the lab freezer and will leave them overnight to see if they are frozen, but I doubt they will be.

Bob Crowley said...

Pods don't freeze very easily, they stay liquid down to -10C/14F. After all these decades apparently nobody ever put them in a freezer to check. Now we have. Most refrigerators have a freezer at about this temperature. Another experiment will have to be done at a lower temperature.

Bob Crowley said...

Water egress decreases with temperature. My freezer doesn't put a film on anything, not even film. I don't see why a lower temperature would accelerate the formation of films or the deposition of anything, and certainly not the dessication of the pod.

Food is dessicated at any temperature if there is a way for the water to escape. The reason it is observed in the freezer as "freezer burn" is the amount of time it is left in a state where the water can evaporate or sublimate. Sublimation is a direct solid to gas transition that occurs with water ice and many other materials. A piece of chicken will rot at room temp before we can observe "freezer burn", and an ice cream sandwich will melt and dry out in a day or two on the countertop, but be good for at least a few weeks in the freezer.

The process of dessication where there is a matrix of heterogenious material, like a frozen cake, leaves an open cell structure that can be highly absorbent of small amounts of aromatic evaporites, perhaps from adjacent packaging, like cardboard. Oils are used in cardboard, adhesives, etc. That is often what replaces some of the dessicated water in "freezer burned" food, making it unpalatable. Other effects such as protein polymerization occur, making meat tougher.

What we are looking for are ice crystal formations, chemical separation, and embrittlement of the package. These have not yet been observed.

Bob Crowley said...

Except some self defrosting freezer compartments in many refrigerators. I have seen these get warm enough for condensation to form on the food packaging, and presumably any where water vapor, and what smell is carried with it, can penetrate. Deep freezers don't have this "feature". Dessication is even more likely to occur in a deep freezer if it is used for very long term storage. Zip plastic bags are probably not tight enough, and polyethylene is actually quite water permeable.

Bob Crowley said...

So it is possible that self defrosting freezers could contribute to ice in the form of frost in imperfectly sealed packages, and generate ice crystals of a size that could compromise a paper product. This is pure speculation but I think worthy of some further research now that we are freezing large amounts of conventional film for use in the coming decades.

polapaul said...

Hi Bob
My opinion of the freeze stuff is it will be a professional product and will be cosummed quickly after purchase. I'm more concernd about clearing the negative and testing the way your product will be used by the customer. PAC

Bob Crowley said...

Paul

I am also not that concerned, but we are doing OUS ship tests now, and any real life experiences we can find augment the testing.

We use Ilford Rapid Fixer, liquid form, in a 1:2 concentrate. This clears any unprocessed silver at the periphery and also causes the polymer to shrink and peel off, usually with no need for coaxing it. We have not tried to do this in the old Polaroid clearing tub simply because we don't have one! (and a little dish seemed to work fine). One idea is to use the vertical monobath processor we made and showed back a few months on this site. That should make a good clearing tank with a battery jar like bottom to hold solid remnants of the polymer. I have doubts with this emulsion about using rubber lips as I think we might scratch the soft emulsion, but haven't tried it yet. Do you recall any scratching of the SO 139 emulsion back when you were using 55?
Bob

polapaul said...

Kodaks SO139 did display scratches if the negative was rubbed with fingers. I used the clearing tank filled with H2O in the field or just processed one packet if conditions allowed and finshed other exposured packets in R/T conditions.I also used Potassium Chrome Alum as a hardening agent.It was recommended if large prints were to be made. Ilford Quick Fix, will help the gelatin harden. PAC

polapaul said...

Bob, all that's true but not all freezes are alike so a "Do Not Freeze" lable could solve this.PAC

Anonymous said...

Polapaul, excuse me for pointing out the utterly obvious, but really, I used to work in a commercial studio. Not to be mean spirited but you are either short-sighted or simply asleep at the wheel. You look around today at the prices of Type 55 on ebay and tell me those boxes are being bought up by commercial studio professionals who are doing throw-away test shots?? On $200 per box film? Hardly. People buying and using this stuff these days are artists, students, and newbies looking to keep their film in good usable condition for the LONG HAUL. Notwithstanding the fact that most every studio pro out there has already leapt to digital. Please Bob, continue with the refrigerator / freeze testing of your product with all due diligence. When you release your film onto the market place I would love to know that I can safely stow a case or two of your product in the fridge for a project several years down the road. I and my slowly dwindling stash of refrigerated Type 55 salute your efforts.

Bob Crowley said...

Actually we do not plan to produce a long dated product for a number of reasons having to do with cost, and are more concerned, at least for now, with what happens during air shipment in the Winter. Never mind the Summer - that will come.

Anonymous said...

Bob-
Correct me if I'm wrong? You directly stated in this forum that you expect your film to run about $6 a sheet, did you not? All the more reason we, your PAYING customers to be, should know where we stand on preserving the stock we buy. Long-dated, short-dated, or short-sheeted notwithstanding! Sheesh Bob, I'm trying to support you in your efforts to understand the freezing characteristic of these films. I could care less what noobs like "Polapaul" thinks, but do you have to get contentious with everything I say? ; -)

Bob Crowley said...

Would you rather I not tell you what we are doing for the time being? This is all happening in real time. In order for this to be a business, we will need people to reorder. If they just buy it and freeze it, it is much harder to justify. Perhaps I should reconsider.

So what are your findings on the freeze problem? So far I see little change in the lab freezer and soon we will have some of the results of the ship test.

These sheets cost about $2083 each, for now, if you factor in the R&D cost. It should go down as we make more, assuming we get that opportunity.

Qualifying a product for a long shelf life would require a larger investment and accelerated aging studies. If we use a shorter date, then we won't be fooling anyone or suggesting we have qualified the product for long term storage. Assuming we get into regular production we would have a further opportunity to study shelf life, but right now that would be a luxury that is not affordable. In any case, we expect people to order and use what they need, and we are, right now, working on economical ways to get the product to you, rather than more expensive and larger packages.

Anonymous said...

You haven't even released the film, and people are kvetching, about freezing it for use years later?

www.brianquinby.com said...

Don't freeze! It pops the pod and then dries a little crust that prevents the chemistry from spreading evenly when thawed and used. I stored probably 30 boxes of polaroid from my job years ago in the freezer and this was the result. It's damaging effects only present themselves roughly 70% of the time. So, there will be a few useable ones in there but it's really frustrating going through them all. I can tell when a pod has burst and dried because the paper cover will not slide away as it is "glued" to the film inside. This is not recommended and provides no visual effect. Storing in a refrigerator is ideal and will not damage anything.

Bob Crowley said...

Brian
Thanks for this firsthand report.

Anonymous said...

"I stored probably 30 boxes of polaroid from my job years ago in the freezer and this was the result."

Brian, it might make a difference knowing which emulsions you refer to. Since you don't specifically mention Type 55 by name, may I ask, what emulsion types specifically did you experience this 70% burst pod problem with? Type 55, 59, 665, 669, etc.?? Just curious is this is specific to a certain type of Polaroid (IE B&W or color, sheet or pack film), or rathe endemic to all Polaroid emulsions.

Bob Crowley said...

I don't know what google blogger just did, but this font is almost unreadable.

polapaul said...

dear anonymous
Your right about instant films being used more as an art form today than an exposure test. I would never discourage those folks from Mfg the 55P/N product because it has market value. My only point of concern is a product quality issue. Will freezing the product reduce the expected quality? It dosn't matter how its used or by who as long as the product performs as advertised.

www.brianquinby.com said...

Basically all of them are affected. I had medium format pack film, B/W, and color sheet film that were all basically ruined. It's the chemistry pod that is the problem (it freezes, expands and bursts the pod). There is no "direct" effect to the film or receptor paper from the cold temperature. This stuff will last for ever if simply refrigerated.

Bob Crowley said...

So did Polaroid suspend shipments during the Winter? I just shipped New55FILM to Canada, where it is cold. We know it sat in a very cold mailbox for hours, and who knows what before that, and in low pressure in a freezing, aging 727. How did Polaroid manage that?

polapaul said...

I don't recall problems with 55 P/n sitting in a mail box, maybe a door step in cold weather. Polaroid had dealers in all parts of the world, cities and towns. That was before e Trade so most customers picked up the films at the dealers. Anyway cold processing was always a problem. Below 65 degrees speed and image perfomance start to drop quickly. Not sure of the 65 degrees however if you need to know , I'll find out.

Kelly the little black dog said...

I see that the B&W 4x5 sheet film is out of stock. Will you be running another batch and any idea how soon?