As most of you know, the sale of just a few New55 PNs does help the project and is consistent with the kickstarter goal to create an ongoing enterprise that would sustain 4x5 instant photography. The whole idea of New55's kickstarter is to get a sustainable thing going, not just a one-time project. How do we better communicate this ongoing goal again to those who are just becoming aware of the project? Maybe the larger question is about how well we understand the economics of small-scale products and how they might survive in the midst of a mass market culture that knows little about where the products come from?
Recently, a few supporters and onlookers have talked online about the project and asked why, for instance, their reward hasn't shipped yet when others have and some sales have been made. Like building a house, the roof can't go on first, there has to be a foundation and walls to support it. The analogy is clear when you look at how things are made. It is the capacity of manufacture, the know-how, and the money flow that make any sustainable business, project or crowd-funded effort move forward. A one-time project, like a book for instance, is written, goes to press, ships, and then is done.
Film, especially instant film, is just not like that. It would be a waste to apply the effort to assemble a finite number of units and then not be able to continue. One of the most explicit goals of the project (seen on this blog since 2010) is to find where the economic center - if there is one - can balance a sales price with a real world cost to manufacture.
Ladies and gentlemen, that time has come. New55 FILM is officially, though not yet robustly, commercialized. A substantial goal of the kickstarter effort has been met. No icing on the cake though, at least not yet. We produced well for two weeks before the shocking news of the coating failure stopped everything, and now we are at a crawl. But there are other things happening, too.
We are seeing the first reactions to the initial high prices as expected. We are seeing some impatience, as expected. We experienced more than the expected share of problems, but these have become interesting in themselves, and though daunting and still extremely risky, that is not something new either. Many people have found our several disasters to be instructive and even entertaining. They are, and we've all learned much.
New55 is at a very critical stage of commercial infancy and could be discontinued if the motives and money cannot continue to be aligned. That requires continued product sales and the support of the community, which I personally thank the many for. I would not have gone into this if that was not the case, and as many of you know, kickstarter only supports about half of the cost to get going. The other half comes from substantial six figure cash amounts, huge chunks of unpaid volunteer time, and sales of stuff.
So buy the stuff, Use it. Show us what it can do. It has warts and the recent failure of the coatings (which cost over $100,000) really threatened to end the project. Yet, as of today, we coated again, by hand. We made some full boxes. We made new pods, we did a lot of things, just a lot more slowly.
And speaking of things to buy, the unexpected success of the Monobath Developer phenomenon has shown a lot of people how big the demand is for easy black and white processing. Something quick and easy that takes the same amount of time as instant PN is appealing. We've been experimenting in the background and have an even better formula that might reduce some of the shortcomings and make it even easier to use.
Rewards, when available, are shipped in the order of the pledge. There may be a few minor exceptions based on logistics and timing of available materials, and of course a supporter poll went out and some people elected to have their rewards changed, which may accelerate the shipment of some. If you haven't responded to that poll, and have a moment, it would be helpful if you would. But you don't have to - it's optional and was put up in response to supporter suggestions, and sent out to all kickstarter supporters. We get a lot of good suggestions and the poll was one.
About 11% of all film rewards have shipped, and the non film containing rewards will have shipped fairly soon. That is real progress. In the meantime we are going to try - within constraints of very limited available cash - continue to do what we said we would do - establish the means to produce instant 4x5 film into the future.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
New55's 1SHOT film can be bought at http://shop.new55.net
*** YELLOW DOT FUNDRAISER EDITION *** READY LOADED 4x5 SHEET FILM IS FINALLY HERE! YOU ASKED FOR IT! Many supporters who have followed the New55 INSTANT FILM project have ALSO asked for a ready loaded 4x5 film pack like we enjoyed so much in the heydays of “quick loads” and “ready loads”. The New55 Team needs to raise funds to continue their excellent progress. Now, more than ever, the field of large format photography depends on you. 1SHOT comes from The Skunkworks, and while not funded by New55 FILM’s Kickstarter program, it does make great use of our capability! Won’t you help us bridge the funding gap by buying and enjoying this surprise from The Skunkworks, all for the benefit of New55 FILM, and you? The clock is ticking. New55 FILM project supporters will have the first shot at 1SHOT. With every box of 1SHOT you buy, $25 is contributed to the development of New55 FILM. THANK YOU!!! 1SHOT YELLOW DOT EDITION WILL BE SOLD IN LIMITED QUANTITIES TO New55 FILM SUPPORTERS We will produce 1SHOT with New55 FILM’s selected Atomic-X, cubic grained standard weight 4x5 sheet film that we rate at ISO 100. You can develop 1SHOT any way you like: monobath, conventional tray, or even send it out to your favorite lab. 1SHOT is not an instant film! But it is fast, and convenient. SPECIFICATIONS: 1 box contains 5 single-sheet packs 4x5 negative only works in the Polaroid 545 series holders for monobath or regular darkroom development Film negative: New55 FILM's Atomic-X cubic-grained black and white emulsion on a 4x5 standard weight polyester base Recommended film speed: ISO 100 Use 1SHOT with any Polaroid 545 holder in any 4x5 camera, pinhole camera, home made camera, or studio view camera! This offering is a test of the demand by serious photographers for an easy way to make large-format photographs, without having to load film holders. Many people have asked. Now it is up to you. 1SHOT IS NOT INSTANT FILM, OF COURSE! SPECIAL YELLOW DOT FUNDRAISER EDITION - LIMITED QUANTITIES The famous yellow dot of the Aero Ektar, and other dots like Gold Dots, Red Dots, evoke a special quality. It's here for the generosity of supporters, and those who believe that large format photography - real photography - is worth our every effort. The yellow dot also helps us commemorate and keep track of the first series of film products ever made at the new New55 FILM factory. Like “ready loads” or “quick loads” that are no longer produced, each pack contains one, single high quality 4x5 black and white sheet film negative. The premium price reflects the fundraising power of 1SHOT! Order 1SHOT NOW!
Posted by Bob Crowley at 6:03 AM
Monday, May 18, 2015
Here is a historical chart of the price of silver that shows the more recent spike in prices, and then the collapse. Although plastics and sensitizing dyes can be as costly as the silver used, all film is subject to price spikes when and if the price of silver spikes. As you can see, it did that. Like oil, the price of the final product is quick to rise, and very slow to fall.
Posted by Bob Crowley at 3:06 AM
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The 150mm f2.8 Schneider Xenotar is still available for sale. Without the mount, in this condition, the lens alone would cost you at least $2000. It really is perfect. The custom machined tilt mount that I made would set you back, if you could find someone to design and make it. This is the only one. Since we need money to continue New55, I will consider a strong offer for this lens and mount for the Pentax 67. Imagine having such a lens on your 67! Also, with an adapter, you can mount it to your Nikon or Canon full frame camera, or to a Mamiya 645, and others.
Posted by Bob Crowley at 12:25 PM
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
After a lot of looking around we found a way to configure shipping so that European and Asian customers can usually pay a more reasonable price for shipping from Massachusetts. Several potential customers for 1SHOT abandoned their carts when shipping prices of $50 or more came up. That was the right thing to do. The reward for waiting are more 1SHOT packages available in the Shop (we've sold out three groups) and a lower shipping price.
So buy 1SHOT here. $25 of the price goes to fund New55 PN FILM development.
So buy 1SHOT here. $25 of the price goes to fund New55 PN FILM development.
Posted by Bob Crowley at 6:10 PM
Monday, April 20, 2015
Below is a screen shot of hits to the web store. Most web stores use things like this to see where people come in from. Ours does not collect personal information and we are interested in the location and time of visit.
What does it mean? Californians were still in bed, the East Coast of the US was up, and so was Europe. If you are from California and missed the offer, don't worry, there will be another batch in the Shop soon.
Posted by Bob Crowley at 12:12 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
|Double layer delamination. Multiple layers tend to crack|
and separate. Here two layers are widely apart.
|Double layer dimensions and delamination. The layers|
are thicker than we thought they would be.
|Stripe artifact, with and without release layer over it. The stripe|
is a wrinkle in the image layer and can easily be seen with a magnifier.
The image layer looks like it was dried very fast. The release
layer is so thin we cannot measure it.
|Single layer adhesion is excellent. No place on the single|
layer sample has any flaking at all.
|Single layer worst case adhesion is excellent even|
when it is flexed. It does crack, but stays in place. The single layer
thickness is 5 microns or more, which is plenty.
|8 Layer top view showing severe delamination. Multi image|
layers in the sample set all have this problem.
|8 Layer side view showing adhesion and strata. There is|
some adhesion between layers and some splitting. The
bulk multilayer separates from the ABV at the bottom. The release layer
is apparently too thin.
|KODAK GLOSSY INKJET REFERENCE w/foraminous surface.|
Lots of holes produce the deepest blacks.
Posted by Bob Crowley at 5:08 AM