Resurrecting Type 55?

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by Chazzy, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I was unaware that anyone was trying to resurrect Type 55 until I ran into this today:

    http://new55project.blogspot.com/

    I thought that it might be of interest to others.
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Yeah, if they can get it back down around $3 a sheet. Awesome. Better clean up my 545. I know. But it would be nice.
     
  3. JLP

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    Perhaps i am to negative but i don't believe it can be successful. What made 55 so good was the negative, i doubt that the Project can resurect the same film as was used in the 55
    If they choose to use an existing film why not shoot the film, it will be far more expensive in the 55 version.

    If however the real film from the original 55 still can be produced and the price is reasonable i will be buying it.
     
  4. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Who coated the film for Polaroid? I've seen rumors that it was based on Panatomic-X. If Kodak produced it for Polaroid, maybe they can coat it for these guys too.
     
  5. BobCrowley

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    We are not trying to resurrect 55. We are trying to provide a high quality field processable negative system, such as 55 did provide.

    If you want Panatomic X you can still order some in long rolls from Kodak, as it is still used for aero cameras. Otherwise it is not available any longer.

    If you expect a duplicate of 55, that is not the goal. I am now using Efke 25 which processes quite well in reagent III which has been developed for the project. I think the two are superior to 55 in some ways.

    The biggest opportunity is to make 4x5 more accessible to a greater number of people, and marketing it to a new audience of younger people just discovering 4X5.
     
  6. BobCrowley

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  7. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Bob, Thank you for posting with some info on the new 55

    Your last post in particular will make a few P55 users smile!
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    When I worked on instant products, we had to hand assemble film packs with pods, rails and traps to run lab experiments. That thingie at the opposite end of the package from the pod is called a trap, as its purpose is to trap excess pod goo. If it is not built correctly it can leak or have other unintended bad consequences. Our lab traps looked like postits with glue on 2 ends. One was stuck to the back of the film and the other to the back of the receiver. The trap was acid impregnated "blotter" to soak up and neutralize the goo.

    We had little flat bed tempered 4x5 roller units to test experiments in the lab.

    So, knowing how hard this can be, your work is not so much bringing a smile to my lips but rather making me laugh because I know how hard it is to do something like this.

    Best wishes. BTDT!!!!!

    PE
     
  9. BobCrowley

    BobCrowley Subscriber

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    Yup - a little acetic acid goes a long way! Also, the reagent we use now is less caustic (pH of 11 or so) which is not as nasty. But we have a long way to go yet.

    Since the focus is on making a very good, sharp and detailed negative in the field, we will put the emphasis on that first. If we can get a decent positive, all that much better.

    That would be more likely if we could zero in on a more exact production procedure for the receiver material. Can you help us find it?

    The plan published anticipates a $6 per sheet cost, so it is not for the very frugal or those who have other ways to process 4x5 negatives. That's one reason why the estimated production would be small, and we have been very cautious about committing the substantial funds this would need - if it is a real opportunity.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2010
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Use polyacrylic acid in a matrix of methyl methacrylate for the acid layer. The acid neutralizes better than anything else with better keeping, and the methacrylate can be adjusted for the correct timing. It can "open up" anywhere from 30" to about 5" IIRC depending on rations of AA to MA. Fun to make timing layers.

    As for receiver sheets, IDK. I would have to study up on that one. Basically, you want a nucleating sheet with a monobath pod IIRC, but the specs are just gone due to the years that have passed.

    Have fun. I do know that getting it to work with a pre-coated product is very very hard. I'm pretty sure that you have to tweak it.

    PE
     
  11. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    I don't understand much of what PE is writing but i do respect him for his contribution to this site and analog Photography.
    It always impress me no matter what it is :smile:
     
  12. Brandon D.

    Brandon D. Member

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    I met a retired Hasselblad repairman last year who reminds me of PE. I happened to bump into him while reading at a book store, after which he gave me a four hour lecture on camera history from his insider's point of view. The repair facility he worked at serviced Hasselblads from various celebrities (e.g., I remember Sammy Davis, Jr. being one of them but there were many others). It was like a Godsend; he definitely possessed more than enough information to write an advanced book or to speak at an advanced photography workshop. At first, he just seemed like an ordinary guy. But, it was probably the most interesting talk I've ever had about photography.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Thanks guys. I hope that the instigators of this project DO know what I am talking about. :wink:

    Almost any of us old EK guys could talk for hours about making analog products, and there are probably quite a few here that might be interested in hearing us. I try to put some of that flavor into the interviews on Inside Analog Photography.

    PE
     
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  15. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    I would love the opportunity to use Type 55 film. I have seems like a great idea, most of histories great photographers used it from time to time.
     
  16. BobCrowley

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    We're not going to resurrect T55 film. There is still a little bit out there so if you want to try it you might still have a chance. Otherwise it is gone the way of Kodachrome.

    PE, thanks for the tip. Have you seen Quall's HC-110 monobath, and the results? I have not found anything in Haist that is as convenient. The real question is can we make an active DTR receiver easily or not? There are so many formulations mentioned in patents and Old Pol and Fuji's are completely different. I'd like to formulate a fast acting lead acetate bath that I can simply spray glossy inkjet paper with, then topcoat with release agent (soap). If it is easy, we'll try for a P/N, and if not, a field processable negative only in 4x5.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Bob;

    I remember little about receiver sheets for B&W. I know that the best "goo" used Carboxy Methyl Cellulose and also HMMP (Hydroxy Methyl Methyl Phenidone). Most other Phenidone derivatives ring open with keeping and go bad. I also know that the outside of the pod must be coated with an indicator dye to alert you to "leakers" as the pods tend to leak very very easily. Pods must be packed under an inert atmosphere.

    I also know that there are many goo formulas and that they must be tailored to the specific film emulsion and to the receiver sheet being used so that nucleation takes place correctly. The timing layer is there to normalize results if the user fails to peel at the right time or if the temperature is too high or low.

    Just as with so many things in Analog, an entire book could be written. If you send me some patent #s in a PM or E-mail, I will try to review them and give you an opinion, but that opinion may be way out of line due to lack of direct experience and the passage of time and its effect on the advance in technology and my memory.

    BTW, one of Grant's monobaths was used in the orbital photo system. The photo material was called BIMAT and had a tacky or "wet" sheet and the dry film sheet. After exposure, they were laminated together giving a positive "dry" image that was scanned or sent back to earth by reentry. At this time, the entire machine is setup in the entrance lobby of George Eastman House.

    PE
     
  18. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Not laughing, but nevertheless I take the same stand as PE.

    It's great however that people dare to take initiatives!
    Especially with all that whining here.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I agree with AgX. Bravo!

    PE
     
  20. BobCrowley

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    After successfully using some of Grant's monobaths, and also mixing up CMC and HMMP bodied reagents, I can tell you it isn't going to be long before we get one that works, at least at just the right time and temp.

    I'm curious about the tacky wet sheet material that was used with BIMAT. Can I get a sample? Seriously, what was it? The image from the moon's far side done with that system looks pretty fine to me.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

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    Bimat is no more, and I doubt if there is anyone around that still knows the formula.

    Basically it was a monobath in a thick coating on one film, and a regular film for taking the photo. There was no image transfer involved and the bimat "donor" was peeled away from the image layer which was scanned for transmission to earth. There was some sort of delaminating chemical that allowed for a clean separation between the two without adhesion of any of the chemistry to the film layer, but which allowed a clean lamination for uniform imaging.

    PE
     
  22. BobCrowley

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    I'm curious if is paper, cloth, rubber, sponge or something else. A woven belt might leave a texture but could have an advantage of being nicely porous.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

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    It was thick gelatin on film support imbibed with a monobath containing a release agent.

    PE
     
  24. Louis Nargi

    Louis Nargi Member

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    This is a great post a lot of info I will be reading this for a long time.
     
  25. BobCrowley

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    Grant Haist also talks about a PVC belt saturated in the monobath. Barnes and Johnston (Kodak patent) discuss adding nuclei to the monobath and raising the pH to 12 to make it work in seconds. I wonder how fast that BIMAT belt traveled?
     
  26. Photo Engineer

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    IIRC, the PVC came loose as it could not be hardened. IDK for sure how fast the belt traveled. I know that processing only took seconds. See the equipment on display at GEH.

    PE