For those who don’t know who New55 is let me give you a brief run down. It all started with Polaroid, in the not so distant past Polaroid produced a beautiful instant film material in 4×5 single-shot sheets called Type 55. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting this material and still have one box left that I really should buckle down a shoot, but anyways. Type 55 was a unique animal among the Polaroid products in that it produced both a positive instant print similar to what you’d get from a Type 100 camera but it would also produce a usable negative that could be scanned or enlarged as you saw fit. But like all things that started with Polaroid Type 55 came to an end, much to the sadness of many photographers (probably the one hardest hit I think was friend and fellow film nut Polly Chandler).

The Old Tractor
From my second to last box of Type 55

But here’s where it gets interesting, a group of scientists and photographers decided that they would bring back a Type 55esq film, but one designed for the 21st century. New55 Holdings LLC or simply New55 got to work. The trouble with Type 55 was that the chemistry used was pretty nasty and in today’s world where sustanablity is key, they set out to create something brand new that would bring the magic back. I mean, Impossible Project did it with Instant Integral formats, but didn’t have the machines for the single-sheet 4×5 instant materials.

1SHOT Tests - The Green Barn
My very first 1SHOT image

So the fine folks at New55 got to work, and they worked hard, tirelessly almost. They had a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring them closer to their goal. I was sad that I couldn’t contribute to that one due to budget restrictions. But now that things are a little more stable I figured it was high time to throw some money their way to help keep their goal of re-inventing this fine product. And here’s the kicker they have a viable product! I just haven’t been able to get my hands on their New55 PN product, but I did pick up their 1SHOT material.

1SHOT Tests - Steel City Blues
Hamilton’s Steel Mills – Shot 2

1SHOT is a single shot 4×5 negative loaded into it’s own holder then used with a 4×5 camera with a Polaroid 545 (I used a 545i) holder to shoot it, all self-contained then developed normally using their R3 Monobath or regular developers. The film loaded inside is the Atomic-X emulsion (isn’t that a kick-ass name?) that New55 developed to power their instant film product. It hearkens back to the day with Kodak and Fuji quickloads. So I picked up a pack of five sheets and hit the road.

1SHOT Tests - The Forest Creek
Sometimes you gotta watch where you meter

The next step was to figure out how to develop these things, I had my own personal monobath, HC-M, but I really wanted to get something that used a regular developing cycle and constant agitation. I had found one time on flickr for ten minutes in Xtol (1+1) with shooting the film at ASA-50 (normally it’s ASA-100), but that seemed far too long for constant agitation. I found another example for xtol at the same dilution but no times, so I asked…then waited. And finally a response and one that I was actually hoping for, “I justed used Plus-X times.” Perfect.

1SHOT Tests - Errosion
The shot that made me want to use this film more.

So what are my thoughts after shooting through one pack of film? I love it, this is the perfect blend of three favourite films of mine, it really is. You have the contrast and tonal range of Plus-X, you have the super-fine grain of Panatomic-X, and the grain structure of Tmax 100. I mean what’s not to love. Plus you can probably use Plus-X times for most developers. I guess I’ll have to try it out with the next batch of film I buy. Add to this that all parts of the envelope are recyclable, even the metal clip. And it is important that you buy from New55 because every purchase fuels the further development of their Instant product! You can get more details at their site: www.new55.net.

Pacemaker Crown Graphic + New55 Atomic-X 1SHOT + Kodak Xtol (1+1) 6:30 @ 20C

4 Comments

  1. Alex, great write up! I agree film shooters need to support New 55. I’m going to put a link to your review into “Film’s Dead…” over at Flickr. Every bit helps keep New 55 viable.

    Like you I wish I had ‘subscribed’ to the New 55 Kickstarter campaign. It was subscribed very quickly.

    Next I’m waiting for your review on Ferrania film who also had a successful Kickstarter campaign. They’re targeting September / October for their targeted sales start date
    http://www.filmferrania.it

    1. Author

      Oh yeah, I can’t wait to get my hands on the Ferrania material, it’s just a shame they’ve had so many setbacks but are remaining super-positive and maintaining transparency (both puns intended) about their progress.

  2. This is great! I just used my last sheet of Type 55 and cleared it in R3 Monobath. Now it looks like I can use 1shot until New55PN is available. I may process it in Rodinal. We’ll see…


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