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.


Ken Nadvornick said...

Didn't Polaroid used to offer clearing buckets for outdoor use of Type 55?

How about some sort of simple field kit for those who anticipate working outdoors all day and pulling their New55 sheets immediately?

This might consist of a small plastic pail for clearing with a small internal rack to individually hold the negatives until one can return to the darkroom.

Or perhaps something similar but even smaller that could be worn on the photographer's belt to increase walk-around mobility without needing to return to a vehicle.

Just thinking out loud...

Anonymous said...

How about a branded Lens Cleaning Cloth. Cheap to produce and who wouldn't want one (or 2) in their bag?

Anonymous said...

I was going to suggest the same as Ken. Cheers,
Matt, Cornwall, UK

rlfsoso said...

I'd be very much interested in 4x5 film available as ready load or quickload film. Would that be could that be new film or somehow found old stock? The first would be much more interesting.
I wonder if all that would work when buying from outside the USA (I'm in Germany) because of shipping costs and tax & duty to pay… Best of luck and regards, Rolf

cafe selavy said...

I'll donate large 33x22 prints of my strange Polaroid process for sale if you think you might want them.


III said...

Could you offer a field developing negative, just without a positive?
(I'm envisioning monobath pods that develop the negative as it comes out of the holder. Perhaps the same as the final product, but with a fake receiver.)

Of coarse the negative would still have to be scanned or printed for a positive, but it provides convenience over conventional methods.

Anonymous said...

How about, for those of us completely new to 4x5 photography, find and/or partnering up with Keh.com or B&H or Adorama and offering a decent package of a quality, but simple, camera with a standard lens of reasonably good quality and any other simple, relatively cheap bits that are helpful. And while adding on a Polaroid holder is smart, at the same time I've already bought one (even before the Kickstarter ended!). Ideally it'd be somewhere around $500-$700, but I don't know how reasonably that is. Of course, less is always nice, but since I'm completely new to 4x5 (I shoot 120 & digital 35mm currently), having a solid, good condition basic setup would be a great starting point for me.

twnorman said...

Might I suggest as a fund raiser project something like a "Field Notes" notebook. This could be to keep good records of the pictures taken. F-stop, location, date and time, etc... etc... These can be massed produced pretty cheap and sold for a profit to make money for the project. Perhaps you could partner with Field Notes or someone like them. - Tim Norman Lubbock, TX

Bob Crowley said...

Bill - How do we reach you nowadays?

Anonymous said...

Panatomic-x in 4x5 (and other sizes for that matter) sounds very interesting, that´s something I´d buy.

And monobath developer too. In addition to being a convenient way to develop negs, I guess that could also be a way to experiment with solarizing regular black and white negs.


Sam said...

How about some branded nice two sided albums. They would be intended for holding the negs on one side and the prints on the other?

Also, monobath and clearing products will clearly be popular. What difficulty is there in a colour mono bath? 20x24 have something, obviuosly. I mean for use with colour neg film (not worrying about a print, just quick developing convenience).


Anonymous said...

I know you may not want to throw neurons at this, butin principle a negative/platinotype paper print should be possible. Same for an image using gold on paper.

Anonymous said...

Bringing pack film back would be cool, and i mean the old 16 sheet packs from the press days. Just negatives. Probably too expensive to do in a short notice thought.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
G. Roger Clements said...

An easy to produce item to sell.
Black zip-bags that fit 2x3, 4x5 etc. protectors for film carriers. A write-on section would be helpful. That could even feature the New55 logo. I make my own dust free bag sizes with a heat seal with the sealer from a coffee shop but the BLACK basic zip-bag eludes me. A thought....

William Wragg said...

How about alternative process kits, like Cyanotype? Cheap to produce, and in Cyanotypes case, safe and environmentally friendly.

Ken Nadvornick said...

Yes, true opaque black zip-lock bags are hard to find online. I have looked for use with my 8x10 and 4x5 traditional holders. Here is one source:


They also claim to offer a custom printing service. Might look nice with the New55 logo on them.

Bob Crowley said...

These are good suggestions and some will likely show up for sale to help support the program. Whenever a suggestion is made it is treated seriously and looked at from the standpoints 1. How much does it cost to make it. 2. Is there a demand for it. 3. Can it be made and sold with a sufficient profit for the work to be worthwhile, and 4. How long will it take to design, source, mark, package and put on the shelf for sale.

Some items are clearly more complex, or have limited audiences, while others are more likely to be contributors to the cause.

Jonathan said...

I'd also consider 5. Does it support the health and growth of the overall large format and instant film markets?

A New55 branded case or t-shirt might raise some money, but it doesn't really offer anything else to sustain the community.

Here are my thoughts & suggestions:

1. A new 4x5 film such as the Pan-X would be great, especially if it is technically easier to execute than New55.
2. Likewise, if it's technically easier to produce a print-only instant 4x5 peel-apart film than the New55, I'm all for the halfway step.
3. I also really like the idea of Quickload/Readyload compatible preloaded film since it creates additional uses for the 4x5 Polaroid backs. Now that there is no 4x5 instant, QL, or RL film available new on the market, any product that works in my 550 back is a good product.
4. Perhaps a collaboration with Analogbook to create photographer's notebooks specific to instant film shooters. This one has the particular advantage of being very quick and easy to bring to market, with a partner who has successfully completed their Kickstarter.
5. If they could easily be brought to market, backs adapting Instax Mini and/or Instax Wide to popular "serious" camera formats (Hasselblad, 2x3cm Graflok, etc.). I've seen previous posts on this blog intimating that the mechanism for such backs could potentially be pretty simple.

Arne Croell said...

Another vote for Readyload/Quickload type film envelopes!

Anonymous said...

I'd go for the instant negative (w/o positive) as it would allow me to eyeball exposure and make something suitable for altprocess. It could also be scanned in the field with a smartphone using something like the helmut scanner app. I think the Fuji instant negatives block UV.

I'd use black ziplocks if they were anti-static. I use pink ones now and they aren't real manly but do the job.

Anonymous said...

I second the packfilm idea, these holders are plenty. And think how much it would save space to have 16 sheets of film in one holder? Not even grafmatics can do that. Or bringing back polaroid 665. Maybe it could be made so, that it could be reloaded on empty fuji 100 shells.

Also, maybe completely new produtct like New Type 55 as packfilm? To fit 550 holders.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be awesome to someday offer an instant infrared version of type55/new55. I wish polaroid would have done that. Maybe partnering with Rollei who produces 4x5 infrared sheets could be a possibility.

Anonymous said...

As suggested above a back for using Instax wide film on other cameras certainly interests me and would promoting large format instant film photography. Lompgraphy seems to have already find this for their 6x12 so why not make one for 4x5 cameras?

Les Berkley said...

I know that everybody "does" T-shirts, but how about a T that could double as a focusing cloth? I already have one with the Epson logo, but yours would look great as well.

Anonymous said...

All of these ideas are interesting, but how about a way to just send more money? there doesn't seem to be a way via Kickstarter. I just want this to succeed. I'd rather see you guys spending time on the film, not making t-shirts.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for Quickload/Readyload 4x5 film envelopes that we can use the Fuji Quickload holder or Tmax Readyload holder and Polaroid 545 holder. Either we can load film ourselves or with service that loads them.

Plus a vote for Field notebook. Something always useful in the small item category. Same with th black zip log bags!

Lastly, for me, it is mostly the negative I am after, positive print is nice to have especially as your design that we no longer needed. But if it is easier or less costly to just have instant film, I am definitely good with that!

Bob Crowley said...

Here is the link to a donate button


thank you!

Anonymous said...

While we wait for New55-film to become available, replacement pods for 4x5 polaroid sheet films would be welcome. I have a few packs of 57 and a pack of 55 which has dried out chemical pods, and fresh chemicals would make these useless films usable again.

Bob Crowley said...

Hmmm. How would you put the replacement pods in, if you had them? The New55 pod and the old T55 pods are different, BTW. We've never tried swapping them.

Franck ered said...

My idea: you can propose pre-ordered one of the movie NEW55! People who missed KICK will be interested, and even people like me, who participated in KICK, would be delighted to make once again pre-ordered one. Sorry for ma english

Richard Shuman said...

You'd mentioned signed prints - how about a book of images produced? A coffee table book, with notes and/or stories that follow the development (no pun intended) of N55 would be very interesting....

Christian Blatter said...

I'm in favor of Panatomic-X film and the field-processable negative.

Taking that field-processable negative scheme a step further, I was thinking of an device similar to the Impossible Instant Lab. You could load your newly processed negative into one end, and place your cell phone on the other to take an instant picture which would then be converted by app to a positive image file, immediately available for sharing.

BrianKEdwards said...

I think Ken Nadvornick is right on the money in terms of a suggestion that many of us would find most useful and be willing to purchase. I have one which consists of a white bucket with sealing lid (approximately capacity 2 liters) plus a plastic hanging rack that hold ten negatives. I use it to process by existing stash of Type 55 film.

BrianKEdwards said...

"Readyload or Quickload" type preloaded film also gets my vote. Would purchase.

desflurane said...

Panatomic x sounds intriguing