Has anyone tried this film yet? How does it compare to the old polaroid type 55? I used to shoot a lot of the old Polaroid for the negatives.
I signed up for the workshop they had this Saturday (Feb 6th). This is a modified repost of an entry on FM.
I attended the workshop on Feb 6th. It was a great deal of fun and I was pretty happy with a couple of the images I got.
I found my Polaroid 545 holder, the older metal version. Rollers were clean and free and the clip seemed to work OK. I dusted off my 4x5 camera and 3 lenses, found my shutter release cable, black cape and loupe and headed up to Boston on Saturday morning having cleared 6-8" of heavy wet snow the night before. I couldn't find my spot meter (I may have sold it) so I planned to use my Sony to meter. I got up to Boston pretty early and spent over an hour in Mt Auburn cemetery with my Sony before the workshop.
The workshop was great, 10-11 people attending with experience all over the map + 4 people from Digital Silver Imaging/New55. They gave dummy packets to everyone to practice loading and "the pull", and a full demo including fixing and rinsing the neg after exposure. Once that was done we got our boxes (5 sheets). Many did not have 4x5 cameras and stayed in the studio area taking portraits and still life's but I headed back to the cemetery to duplicate a couple of the scenes as the snow looked like it was hanging on pretty well. They also provided 545 holders for everyone who didn't have their own.
I was lucky that my holder behaved well and all 3 of the exposures I took (I decided to hang onto 2 sheets) developed well except for a white blotch near the top of one exposure (no develop I think). There were some fails (not too many overall though) with much larger portions of the image undeveloped. Some people knew they had pulled the envelope poorly though (twisted or jerkily), and an even pull is important.
The positive and negative seem quite well balanced (with Polaroid 55 the neg needed more exposure than the print if you wanted a healthy density) and the image area is a little bigger, however as you'll see below it's grungy/arty look you get, no mistake. The positive is quite soft but the neg has gobs of detail. I've not compared it to one of my old 55's yet but the grain is moderately fine I'd say.
They have a good drying cabinet so we had time to dry all of the negs exposed and they then took images using an LED panel and a copy stand and they sent out the files yesterday. The workshop price includes a high res scan using their Hasselblad X1 and a B&W silver print using their Lightjet system. There was no time for any high res scans yesterday but we can get them whenever we're ready.
I created a gallery of all of the images taken yesterday, including with the Sony, and I created a B&W version of the Sony file as well.
Below are 6 versions of the White mausoleum and snow on the weeping beech from the positives and negs and a crop.
The film is ISO 50 btw ... these were all taken using a 135mm F5.6 Fujinon W at F16 or 22 at 1/30th or 1/60th
1) This is an as-scanned New55 (positive) with no filter, as you see, overexposed
2) This is 1) after a curve adjustment
3) This is an as-scanned New 55 (positive) with a red filter to darken the sky (the image also came out better exposed so my filter adjustment was off (luckily)
4) This is 3) with a curve adjustment
5) This is the neg with no filter
6) This is the neg with red filter
7) Crop showing detail held in the neg
8) Sony B&W version taken earlier in the morning. Verticals adjusted and cropped to 4x5. As the light was so different on the mausoleum I wish I'd taken a 2nd version when I went back with the New55 film.
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PS ... 1st time I've shot film and my 4x5 for over 10 years, and a good bit longer using Type 55 ... I felt like a complete clutz
One of the reasons I decided to try the New55 was to get my 4x5 out again. I have 3 left over boxes of TMAX100 Readyoad and a few months ago bought another 4 boxes. The plan is to develop (pun intended) a project to use it on over a few months, likely next year. I spotted the New55 due to the FM thread and decided to do the workshop as they are so close to me. In fact I may sign up for their next workshop as well if I've not set up a fixing/washing area. I do have a few trays left over but my darkroom is long gone. For the Readyload I still have 4x5 BTZS tubes which I can use without a full darkroom.
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