My friend Jana bought into the New55 kickstarter, and got some film. She decided not to shoot it, and gave it to me, which is pretty amazingly awesome, considering the film’s insane price. (5 pack for $75).
New55 is neat because it produces a negative & an a print with each envelope of film. You need to use a Polaroid 545 film holder to shoot it. Fortunately, Jana lent me one of those too.
I shot a test shot at home after watching a YouTube tutorial. (well, OK, I did it twice, because the first one was a failure for some reason that I don’t recall).
I decided to clean the film holder, like you should for any peel-apart type film holders. The holder is easy to take apart, and you can figure out how to do it, but of course, getting it back together is another story. And I had no idea what one strip of metal was for, or where it came from. Fortunately, there’s a wonderful Youtube video explaining it.
The next day I took the remaining 8 shots I had to a backyard BBQ, and spent the majority of my time trying my best to use the film correctly. I was shooting with a Speed Graphic and an Aero Ektar lens at f/2.5. What better reason to use a Burnett Combo, right? Well only 3 of the 8 shots turned out. One of them was user error, because I pulled the outer sleeve of the film out further than I should have, so I wasn’t able to put the film back into the envelope before taking it out. But the rest of them, I have no idea what went wrong. I did each shot extremely carefully and deliberately. I checked everything twice or 3 times before each step.
We did learn that when pulling the film out of the holder, an easy steady pull spreads the goo over the photo better than a quick pull.
So here are the shots. You can see the varying degree of success. Here too, I’m posting the negatives & prints with no spot removal.
And the last good one, which worked best, although my focusing was a bit off:
I had a great time doing it, and my friends were very cooperative, and helped me a bunch acting like assistants. Part of photography is about enjoying the process itself, and this process is new and complex enough that I had a great time.
However, that was a pretty expensive way to make pictures. What do you get here over the convenience not having to develop film, and an arty print? I still had to fix and wash the film.
I’d be happy to shoot more of it……just as soon as someone gives me more. 🙂 Meanwhile, I’ll just shoot black & white 4×5, which is way cheaper. I just bought 2 boxes of 50 sheets (each) of 4×5 from FreestylePhoto.biz for $90. That’s 100 shots for less than a two thirds of what Jana paid for 10 shots.
Thanks, Jana. It wasn’t even my birthday!