Making Instant Film at Home ( Polaroid 55 )




After following the New55 project closely i decided to give it a try on making instant film positive & negative at home.

Ilford 4X5 film FP4
ilford RC paper
kodak HC 110
ilford rapid fixer
freezer paper 
heat sealer
black paper
electric tape

Step 1: Reagent & Pods

instant film at home

be careful wear gloves and glasses !

R 3.4 

hc110 5ml, 

ammonia 12ml, 

rapid fixer 3ml, 

water14ml (use a syringe) methylcellulose to make a gelly reagent but not thick ! its easier to mix if the solution is cold, its the tricky part !

for a 4X5 2ml of reagent is way enough, i used a heat sealer and some freezer / butcher paper to make the pod fold with the plastic coating to the inside 

Step 2: Take a Picture Using a Regular 4X5 Back

film exposed ( i'm using an some ilford FP4 ), then assembled the film, the paper ( i used ilford RC fixed as a receiver ) and the pod in the dark, in a black paper sleeve taped to be light proof . process  through rollers and wait 8min ! 

Step 3: Peel It

open and peel the film , clean the receiver with clear water , and negative with some ilford rapid fixer .


Step 4: 8X10

Step 5:

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16 Discussions


6 weeks ago

Hi again. Just two more questions before I attempt your tutorial.
1. What is the “R 3.4”.
2. I take it that you already have exposed the film before you assemble it with the paper and pod.


5 months ago

Are the rollers for film or did you use other kind and also, what was the gap between the roller?Great read. Thank you.

2 replies

Reply 5 months ago

hey rollers are from an 8x10 processor, the gap between the roller is not quite the problem there is tension created by some kind of springs, so as long as you get a nice spread you good, what matters is the gap between the film and receiver pretty much the thickness of some masking tape like art tape. its the space where reagents will do the magic. Best


Reply 5 months ago

Your reply is very much appreciated. Thank you and thank you again for the article on how to do this. Hopefully I will have some success when I try this.


2 years ago

Hello all,

found this instructables a while ago and unfortunately I have ordered some film, rc paper, HC110, some old Pola 55 sheets toghether with a 600SE 545 holder and a few more stuff ... recently ;-)

Any hints for choosing the right ammonia concentration, here in germany you can get from 1% (Salmiakgeist, just for houshold purposes, cleaning/desinfectiong) up to 12% easily.

@julesdylan ... have you seen some decreas of ISO as described for monobath developers ... about 1 stop.

Just want to make everything right, otherwise I'll have to use the Miniportrait 404 to have 4 exposures on one sheet to test ...

Don't want to spend too much time, paper and negs for testing, would be great if you could reply.

I have ordered some ISO400 negatives in 9x12cm and rc paper (really has to be fixed before use? can't find nonsensitive paper but barryt which will curl when in contact with the monobath goo) in 4x5", so there's enough place around for the additional paper/tape to create the gap.

I would might want to start reloading old envelopes with new materials or even start a production (sounds crazy I know... ask my wife) ... I have experience more than 25 years in paper industry (printing, bookbinding, lettershop, envelopeproduction, inlinemachinery...) ... and I think materials can be produced with less efford and more ebit, than New55-Team does (I think they still have a lot of hand work going on ... which I really don't understand, as the packing machine should not end up beeing larger than a few square feet).

Anyway, would be great to hear from someone who has done this practically, I have quite a lack of time for testing, want to do things right in the first step and refine ... I have invested now already a few days going through the web, the only description of practical use is this instructables post ...


3 years ago


this is a great report and for me the starting point to make dtr by myself.

I already discussed about your way with some other enthusiasts and we are not shure about the receiver paper, as you wrote it is not light sensitive. Did you pre-fixed the paper before ?

Thanks for sharing and your answer.



4 years ago on Introduction

Has anyone made this. I am going to try this but I was hoping for someone who did it before me to give some more instructions. It is a great project idea!


5 years ago on Introduction

Totally cool. First time I heard of the New55 project, I'll definitely check into it. At first I thought you were referring to the Impossible Project and their line of instant films.

Question: Have you figured out a cost per shot using your method?
Have you tried other films other than Illford?

thanx for sharing


5 years ago on Introduction

Looks really interesting and I'd love to try it, but your instructions are really vague and it seems like you skipped a ton of steps to get from start to finish.


5 years ago on Introduction

A bit vague. Looks more like a field development system rather than PN55. The 4x5 envelope looks like it won't fit in the Polaroid back on my camera. Sizes, patterns, and a better detailed how-to would be helpful. Do you put the whole thing in the camera or put the film in the envelope to develop? I am guessing the later but still guessing. What rollers are you using?


5 years ago on Introduction

Instructions are kind of difficult to follow. I'd love to try this on my own.


5 years ago

Neat, I can imagine Mr Land doing the same things when he was a maker / inventor working on the Polaroid instant film. Thanks for posting.