New55 is an instant peel apart 4×5 film, inspired by Polaroid’s long defunct Type 55 film, that provides both a positive and negative. New55 requires either a Polaroid 545 or 545i holder and a camera that can accept the Polaroid holders.
New55 began shipping out film to the backers of their Kickstarter campaign a short while ago but then discovered that there was a problem with their production process. I was fortunate enough to receive my box of film as well as a very cool looking t-shirt. I resisted the temptation to wait until I had a subject that I thought to be New55-worthy. That kind of thinking leads to film hoarding and I’ve done enough of that with instant pack film to know that you just wind up with a bunch of film that isn’t getting any younger. You may as well shoot it and enjoy it. So I set up a bunch of random things I had at hand and took the opportunity to take a test shot.
New55’s suggests rating the film between ISO 100 and 200. I decided to rate it at 160. I loaded a Polaroid 545 holder and shot with my Crown Graphic through a Fujinon f1:6.3 150mm lens at f6.3 for half a second.
I fixed the negative in Ilford Rapid Fixer, as suggested, at a 1:1 mixture. I fixed for five minutes, gently rubbing the goop from the negative with a nitrile gloved finger. I then placed the negative in rinse aid for two minutes and then into a tray to rinse in flowing water for ten minutes. When I came back to retrieve the negative I noticed that the emulsion had come off in a few spots. I’m not certain whether it was removed due to not being gentle enough when rubbing the goop off, due to the rinse aid or during the water rinse.
The resulting positive and negative (click through the images to view larger on flickr):
As you can see the positive was overexposed but the negative looks pretty good. I hope that New55 can overcome their current production woes and resume producing their film as I’d love to be able to purchase more of the film in the future. Fingers crossed and best of luck to them.