Type 55 Film Plant now Closed

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by paul_dimodica, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Well I told you so, but nobody would believe me. The Polaroid Plant in Norwood,
    Mass that produced Type 55 film, is now closed. The plant has layed off all the
    key people who could run and maintain the line. The equipment may be bought by a
    paint company to run some stuff for them. Better start looking for another
    source for the film.
  2. Paul, that is very sad news indeed. I hoarded a bunch of type 55 a couple years ago. Have carefully stored it in my film refridge at 55 degrees. I went out to shoot some last weekend and had to go through about 8 sheets before I found one that didn't have streaks through the center. Yup, it's just too old I think. There is no other source for this stuff. The only reason I use it is to prevent dust problems with holders. I may have to switch to Acros or TMax and figure out how to make it work. I use Acros in packs, but It's just not the same as Type 55.
  3. Despite your 'I told you so' attitude, Polaroid continues to maintain that this film is not being discontinued and that production will continue elsewhere.

    Unless you have official news or a link to a press release, I think it is best if you limit your post to facts.

    Polaroid recently announce three films that would be discontinued: 51, 56, and 79. 55 isn't on the list.
  4. I believe that it will be gone like kodachrome in the next few years. I wish fuji would make a
    P/N version, It wouldn't be the same but maybe give the 55 some competition. I love this
    stuff but it has doubled in price in the last 6 years.
  5. Dear AAron and everyone else.
    this subject has been addressed in full as shown by links posted below.

    In October


    and in September


    Mr. Dimodica knew - was informed that the closure of the plant would not mean the discontinuation of the film.
    despite all efforts by other members to clarify the matter he continued to attempt to insist otherwise and still does.
    In October I presented evidence to show that Mr. Dimodica has a personal motive for insisting the closure of the plant would mean the discontinuation of the film. that post was edited in the hopes of keeping the thread less alarmist as I was later informed and because there was still a possibility then that he could believe that the plant closure would equate to the end of the film availability.

    But after the exchange of posts in October there is no doubt that this is just a plant closure.

    I take this opportunity to say that some of us who have benefited from the work done by these hard working people who lost their jobs
    can consider if there is a place where they may continue to provide excellent service to the photographic community.

    And I am curious as to whether any help or assistance contact numbers have been set up.

    I do find it important that those who have worked hard are not left out in the cold but I also find it important that those of us who depend
    on these films for our creative work are not left out in the cold either- being misled to believe that this great film will no longer be available by people insisting in confusing the issues despite all efforts made by PN members to clarify the information..

    I do find it important that threads are not escalated by alarmism but what happens when the thread itself is alarmism and I believe the issue has persisted for almost 1/2 a year and if not addressed we will again have to read another " I told you so " in a few months.

    I think learning that the plant is now closed is info and probably in newspapers anyway

    Mr. Dimodica tells us that we better start looking for another source of the film. the plant was not the source of the film . Polaroid was and still is and will still be.

    I ask Mr. dimodica that if he has issues with Polaroid of the nature which he communicated in writing to me he should have posted them
    along with the alarmism assuring discontinuation so other members would have a chance to see where he was coming from and why he had resorted to doing this. over and over again.

    I am glad that the film will still be available and from the same source! I am told demand is very high !

    The links may mix with the text as Im no computer expert so Im posting them again below


  6. Type 55 always seemed like a waste of a lot of money to me. Horribly romanticized. There is nothing ever shot on this film that could not have been shot on any other film, and it's horribly expensive and wasteful to burn an instant print and/or a neg each time. You have no decent control over contrast with it. You have to be set up to fix it on the spot. The film base is thin and weak. It's about four times the cost of normal films. It's a neat gimmick, and pretty cool for its time, but I'd rather skip it and commit a sheet of "normal" film to a shot. It has some advantages, but it's not like someone lost the Constitution or something.

  7. The "not believing" is probably based on or could be the effect of that on the other sites rumors of all kinds spreads all the time. I would like to have statement from the company before I believe.

    As it were in the case of Forte. They sent out an official letter to all who were involved with their products just because to eliminate speculations and rumors.

    Spreading rumors is dangerous both for you and for the company and others. It could create scenario that people selling their film cameras to by digital (because of "the nother company went broke"). And it's nothing wrong with a digital in the hands of my friends 5 year old. Saying that at least you know what I think of the digitals. Printing some placates and posters with out feelings and call yourself to an artist, now, that's a comedy for me. :)
  8. Mr. Paul Dimodica, just posted 4 comments on this site since 2007 concerning the 55's demise. Perhaps, he works for a digital camera distributor!
  9. It could be so. :)
    Anyway, let this site to be clean and just let's help each other when we need it. There is plenty other sites for alarmists.
    By the way there is no shortages on film and at all and if you want to use this medium because it's loaded with a lot's feelings than there is no problem at all. Only ULF guys have a little problem but they always have it as they are a few with many different sizes. It's not like they can't get film, it's like they had to plan a little bit ahead and they need more money when purchase.
  10. The advantage artistically with type 55 Keith, is the look of the border around the edges,
    which cannot be duplicated with "normal" sheet film at all (but i will admit to scanning a
    neg and applying the border to digital photos). the contrast is easily contained by the use
    of filters or darkroom manipulation, just as "normal" film is, not to the degree as "normal"
    film, but well enough and yes, you have to rinse it on the spot, but it is polaroid after all,
    so half the fun of seeing the results right away. in the old days of polaroid, you had to
    coat your photo on the spot with that stinky gummy coating stuff (which used to burn my
    fingers when i got it on me). the film base is thin (and i am guessing here, someone
    correct me if i am wrong, but i have always assumed this) because of the focus plane
    needing to hit the film and the print. i will concede that the film has gotten ridiculously
    expensive in the past several years.
  11. db1


    well maybe you should all read this...

  12. What a surprise!<p>Anyone who doubted that Polaroid was going to discontinue making
    their film must have been born yesterday.
  13. Unfortunately, Polaroid films can't be stockpiled by freezing, otherwise I'd buy a couple of cases of 52 and 55 (and a new freezer).
  14. Based on the press release in the Boston Globe, I guess Paul Dimodica was right after all. I think someone should acknowledge that fact. While I don't use Type 55 very often, I do have a couple of fresh boxes in the frig....I'll enjoy it while it lasts. I imagine the folks on the Flickr Polaroid 55 group are bummed!

    Gary Benson
    Eagle River, Alaska
  15. Gary;
    Nobody is disputing the news. we knew this would happen since September but the idea is whether the door is closed or whether it is a transition.
    the answer is that depends on us.

    I had received a communication by Dimodica informing me that the repetitive "I told you so" threads were made on behalf of a plant employee soon to lose his job and on the hopes that the LF community could interfere and impede the plant closure so his friend would not have to loose his job .

    Once that occured and it has been publicly confirmed that there is a door open to continuity thru licencing I cant avoid insisting that I feel this thread is retaliatory because being "right" by someone telling me to do something to prevent the film being discontinued as the reason these threads were posted so many times and then not participated nor shown all his cards and gone to " talk to us" rather than with us by starting 3 or more threads and then leaving the mess behind.

    I can understand someone wanting to help a friend keep his job but photographers at least some of them are working people too and their work is taking pictures .

    I was at central park one day shooting with T 55 and had a few HMI lights and it seems this guy wearing a suit tripped on one of the ballasts and yelled at me " why don't you get some real work'? I turned around and told him why don't you watch where you are going since you just seem to be floating around !

    I have had to face similar remarks from waitresses ; people working in photo labs or in the photo industry related services where creative people are often referred to as "PITA photographers"- born yesterday.

    The issue here is that a photographers job is to go out each day knowing that what he needs to come back with and the source of his income does not yet exist except in his mind and I would not qualify someone who has the willingness to gamble his income with every picture based purely on self confidence as someone who was born yesterday.

    To be a photographer and hope to be gainfully employed you have to be willing to see the glass half full, Some people see that as dishonest and are quick to point out that we are just a bunch of peter pan types who refused to grow up running around with these odd gizmos and toys . A bunch of boys!

    A few of us knew that Polaroid wanted to transfer manufacture as to its location for cost effective purposes and via license if they ceased to make it entirely and have worked really hard towards that.

    There is a window of time left in order to ensure continuity . a window of 2 years and so we had no doubt that Polaroid would change
    its relationship with the films as the required info was made available at each turn.

    The globe article confirms that there is a stock sufficient to ensure smooth transition and intent to license. Fuji already makes some emulsions .

    When a priest baptizes a child he wishes him for a long and happy life and I would not accuse him of being born yesterday if he also failed to tell the kid" by the way you are going to die someday".

    Nothing in life is forever ; with that said unrealistic expectations are sometimes the thing which prevents us from having the expendables we need and in this case an existing stock- a healthy market and an united LF community would be an appealing scenario for continuity.

    Discontinuation is an option presented as a future possibility in case the licensing fails.

    My quarrel is not the verifiable news factor which confirms what I had posted in September but that the events are being presented as final when it is clear that is not the case.

    Just keep in mind that as photographers you cannot provide anyone with an assurance of what you will come back with from a shoot before you even start it. but day in and day out you get dressed and you go to work and you put up with a lot of unrealistic expectations
    and you come back despite all of the disbelief and discouragement with what you believed " could" be possible.

    My friends your entire lives are based on " it isn't over until its over" and no. We were not born yesterday although I'm sure a lot of people who will have the self confidence when they become of age to go out and do what we do despite disbelief were born yesterday.

    If Polaroid needs to license the films because it has now focused on other interests I believe we should be working to ensure that is successful rather than cheering the doom and gloom crowd who tells us that a possibility that something may fail to exist in the future should be taken as if it has already occurred.

    If you can depend on your positive attitude to be a photographer and know this has gotten you thru the day despite the doom and gloom boys then this is a time where your voice should be heard by those considering continuity of this film. by writing letters to Fuji and Kodak and the likes and inviting their spokespeople to discussions here.

    It will not be the end of the world if the T55 is gone and you can use the borders of old frames on Photoshop anyway on 4x5 and 8 x 10 anyway as I have done it many times when I wanted a different look or just wanted to add such look to a picture shot with something else


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