Saturday, December 1, 2012

New55 FILM Commercialization

People ask about the status, some do on a weekly basis, so eager they are for New55! I am also.  The most recent status report was a while back and linked here.  As we enter 2013 we expect to overcome a couple of things that happened including the loss of Efke film which made a good DTR negative, and the need to find a true commercial source of the paper and layer process that makes the receiver sheet.

Summary

1. EFKE has gone out of business and that is bad news. The EFKE emulsion was nearly ideal for DTR. The only other emulsion we know of in 4x5 today that works well is from Shanghai. We have tested dozens of other black and white emulsions.

2. The receiver sheet is not something we can buy. We have to have it made. A major investment in time and money was made that resulted in a separate lab space set up to rediscover how to make this critical part. Progress has been made and we are closer to having this. The same material is needed to continue 20x24 Studio's black and white product.

3. We have not obtained financing to commercialize a product. We have shown that it is possible, and assembled a body of knowledge that could lead to either a production ready design, or enough information for users to assemble their own DTR packs (this could be fun and there are people who are pushing for this).

4. We have supplied early hand produced New55 FILM to several artists, some who have their work posted here, on Flickr, and elsewhere.

5. Several discoveries and inventions have been made. One of them is quite exciting as it could lead to a much less expensive large format direct positive material.

6. The market for New55 FILM has been identified. It is small. Despite this, we are still going forward, because it is supportive of the existing 20x24 Studio business and has resulted in the creation of new art, and seems to contribute well to the growing field of "alternative photography".

When we set out to make New55 FILM, we did NOT try to duplicate Polaroid. We improved upon it in some important ways, making it more environmentally fit, and fixing the either/or problem that Polaroid had when you had to choose if you wanted a negative, or a print to be exposed correctly. Now we have both.

The DTR process which is short for Diffusion Transfer Reversal is possibly the most important photographic process discovered in the 20th Century and was first observed by Edith Weyde and Andre Rott before WW2.  The process was used during the war to make copies of documents and DTR copy systems remained in use up to the 1960s.

DTR works by making use of the part of the negative you normally throw away. This dissolved silver complex migrates away from the negative onto the positive, forming an image. Getting that to work and produce a well toned positive and a good negative is a tricky thing, as some of the processes seem to fight each other. In the early days of New55 we were concerned about that but now our fears are gone! Just look at the slide show on Flickr (link over on the right side of this page).

Early New55 gray scale example exceeded our dreams!



4 comments:

theinstantphoto said...

Am impressed!

Is solarization controllable by storing in the dark after the separation, or immediate fixing the neg, or by longer development?

Bob Crowley said...

You can dial it in very easily with development time. We found that 60 seconds is a lot, 120 enough to still have magic edge effects, and 200 seconds no solarization at all.

PhotOle said...

are you guys going to do any type of kickstarter to raise money? if so please fill me in. thank you and good luck!

Bob Crowley said...

We looked into it. Nobody here to run it, and not likely to raise the level needed to tool up. Here it is http://new55project.blogspot.com/search?q=kickstarter