10X crop from a corner of a New55 negative? Very curious!
Because I write this blog and am the voice of the project people have the impression that I am doing this alone, which would not be possible. In addition to the work of Jack Willard, John Chervinsky and Des Fyler, we also have Ted McClelland and John Reuter of 20X24 engaged with the making and management of New55, and Tobias Feltus, located in Edinburgh. I'm the instigator but not really the person doing much of it, or at least not all of it. There are some well-known companies such as Ilford, who should be recognized, and Soundwave Research Laboratories, Inc, which works in ultrasound and makes various products and donates space and time to New55. Other contributors are Keitaro Yoshioka at Mass Art, Doc Kaps and Andre Bosman of The Impossible Project, and a bunch of others who have sent in clips, well wishes, good vibes and notes of encouragement. Since one of these categories probably includes you, now is a good time to say "thanks" and let's keep going.
A close crop of a fairly recent New55 PN negative processed for two minutes and cleared in ordinary hypo. The Xenotar 150mm f2.8 is capable of very high resolution wide open, as it is designed to be used. I measure about 120 lp/mm on the negative, just an estimate, which is somewhat less sharp than the 180 lp/mm claimed for old T55. You can just see some of the grain coming up in the brass end of a little steam engine that was the subject of the day.
Around the periphery of the image, where there was a black background, some reversal occurred, but not in the center. The spread of the reagent, and the exposure, determine how much development is left over after peeling. It seems that no harm is caused by a longer development time, but we are going to use 2 minutes as the standard of comparison so we can detect changes as the design evolves.
A lot of people have asked me about the solarization of New55. Some want it, others don't. Can we control it? Yes, and here is a good example of controlled solarization. Notice the skin values are not affected yet the entire Byron camera is apparently reversed! How is this possible?
Actually it is quite easy to control. Meter and light the exposure of the reversed area one to two stops below the lowest value of the non-solarized image. Process for 2 minutes and peel in moderate light before placing the negative in the fixer to remove the goo. This is the result. All kinds of fun artistic effects can be achieved, and they are startling sometimes, as the effect appears to have delineated itself, almost like magic. Maybe it is.
This is the negative side of New55 PN. The positive side does not solarize.