Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Supplemental funding sought for New55 FILM project

"Start from scratch".

Those are the words you didn't want to hear with regard to the Receiver Sheet development, because you knew that would 1. take more time and 2. cost more than anticipated.  But the coating team did it! The results are good, and there is an environmental benefit too - one that was necessary in light of new restrictions on certain chemicals and processes.

Solving that technical and environmental risk still leaves a considerable financial risk that, to be frank, could be a show-stopper. We must raise a modest additional amount of money to see this through, and there are several ways to go about that, below.  And for those who have and continue to donate to the cause, as we have with our time and personal funds (Sam and Bob are not salaried, but we do have to pay other people to work) again a gigantic Thank-you.

Since we are not very late and "only" short of funds, you have been giving us many helpful fundraising ideas. The first is to get The Shop open on New55.net.  Even a trickle will help there and that leads to the question of what other products might be offered.  Currently you have sent renewed calls (that have not abated since the early days) of getting to you, a version of Readyload or Quickload products.  If so, they will be as fundraising tools - not primary products. No distractions from the demanding work of getting New55 FILM into a produceable state.

All products in The Store should have something to do with the mission of making large format film photography accessible and fulfilling. Though tee shirts do qualify, barely, more substantial products such as other analog films and developers are better. For that reason you are going to be asked to be part of an experiment with some offerings that should appeal to the broader audience and provide a way to start early, needed sales. These items have to be carefully selected.

Requirements for items in The Shop.

An item must be:

1. Compatible with the mission. Either directly related to the cause of film photography, or its supporters and fans.

2. Available in modest quantities. This is often overlooked. Some items like injection-molded tanks, for instance, require large runs and expensive tooling.

3. Profitable. These "other" products exist only to support the much more important industrial development of Instant Film manufacture.

4. Shippable.

5. Environmentally acceptable.

6. Something you, as a serious photographer, can appreciate from a practical, esthetic or simply entertaining viewpoint.

What do you think of these things?

  • Books
  • Apparel
  • Film holders
  • "Readyload or Quickload" type preloaded film.
  • 4x5 branded sheet film similar to discontinued Panatomic X. We'd have to come up with a name for that - Maybe we can have a naming contest.
  • Monobath developers
  • Branded cases and gear
  • Developing trays
  • Modified film-safe IR cameras for those who wish to make their own Visible Darkrooms like we have.
  • Custom film loading service - for instance, someone might order five "loads" with Tri-x, three with Ektachrome (from the freezer) and seven with the as-yet named Pan-X replacement.
  • Original prints from The Gallery, signed and dated.

This is just a start - what else comes to your mind?

ps. Comments are most welcome - you can comment as "anonymous" and if you can, please give your first name.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New55 Positive Print Scale Matches Negative

New55 FILM Positive Print - Copyright 2015
Robert J Crowley. All rights reserved

New55 FILM Negative - Copyright 2015
Robert J Crowley. All rights reserved

New55 Positive Print Tonal Scale Matches Negative

Ashland MA February 4, 2015   

New55 FILM examples were published today to show the progress underway at the New55 FILM project.  The New55 team is pleased that its newly-invented receiver formula matches the tonal scale and speed of the negative as closely as it does.  The formula, which was developed to conform to mandatory rules regarding the use of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), is the first of its kind and represents a major technical accomplishment.  The New55 Receiver Engineering team consisting of Ted McLelland, Charles Fendrock and Jake Kellett had to abandon their first formula after months of trials and then start again from scratch.   

The old method similar to that previously used by Polaroid was found to be impractical and environmentally risky.  A new formula had to be invented from scratch, and the team performed hundreds of test coats and exposures over the last several months.

“The surface of the positive print consists of millions of nano structured cells where the chemical reaction takes place during processing. The structure is an example of photonic nanoengineering that began in the early days of photography. This newly-developed version has potential biomedical applications outside of the photographic field”,   explained Bob Crowley, who has been working on the project.

“The unexpected development time and difficulties sourcing materials that went out of production years ago have hampered our speed, and delayed the project” said Sam Hiser, Project CEO.  “We plan various fundraising activities to continue the effort” he said.

New55 was started and partially funded by Crowley in 2011. In 2014, Crowley then joined forces with Hiser which raised an additional $365,000 in a Kickstarter effort. Crowley estimates that a total equivalent expenditure of just under $1M might be the to-date “burn", which he believes is a normal amount for such a high-risk product development exercise.

Photo details: Shot with an old Speed Graphic 4x5 press camera fitted with a 150mm f2.8 Xenotar. Full assembly of New55 PN film exposed and processed in a metal Polaroid 545 sheet film holder. Both positive and negative scanned on an Epson V750 and are uncorrected and unedited, except for slight edge cropping. Film speed ISO 100.  Exposure: 1 second at f32. Processing time: 180 seconds, negative cleared in Ilford Rapid Fixer.