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5 on 105

00:00 Introduction by Erin Fisher, Technology Collections Manager, Department of Technology, George Eastman Museum
02:41 5 on 105

5 on 105 (US 1974)
Director: Unidentified
Cast: Walker Evans, Fritz Goro, John Hill, Rosamond W. Purcell, Melvin Sokolsky
Production company: Polaroid Corporation

Production date: 1974
Sound: sound
Color: b/w
Length (in feet): 437 ft. (16mm)
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 12 min., 1 sec.
Frame rate: 24 fps

Generous support for the video introduction provided by Art Bridges.

Funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation, the Rohauer Foundation Collection, and Sony Pictures Entertainment
Preserved by Colorlab
Digitized by Eastman Museum Film Preservation Services

This film has been made accessible to the public in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: NEH CARES. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this video, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This film was created by the Polaroid Corporation to promote its newest product, the positive/negative 105 film pack. And what better way to let a product shine than to have a bevy of great professional photographers use it and talk about their experiences. 5 on 105 is a series of direct-to-camera comments by Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975), Fritz Goro (American, b. Germany, 1901–1986), John Hill (American, b. 1934), Rosamond W.  Purcell (American, b. 1942), and Melvin Sokolsky (American, b. 1933). These photographers demonstrate the basic steps of using the 105 film pack, and all are quite vocal in their praise of the technical contrast and tonal qualities inherent in black-and-white film stock. Of note is the fact that the process also produces a negative that can be retained and re-used. Evans called the film pack his “new toy,” and he would produce his last photographs on it. Using the Polaroid SX-70 camera and the 105 film pack, Walker distilled a half century of artistic and technical photographic achievement down to the bare essentials of seeing, choosing, and shooting. He was quoted as saying, “Nobody should touch a Polaroid until he's over sixty.”

Four years later, Polaroid produced Twelve Instant Images on Polaroid Type 105 Positive/Negative Film, a limited edition folio of twelve signed exhibition-size prints, each signed by the photographer. Only fifty copies were issued. All prints were enlargements made from a Polaroid Type 105 negative. This rare folio contains the work of twelve internationally recognized photographers: Walker Evans, Ansel Adams (American, 1902–1984), Minor White (American, 1908–1976), Yousuf Karsh (Armenian-Canadian, 1908–2002), David Bailey (British, b. 1938), Ulrich Mack (German, b. 1934), Oliviero Toscani (Italian, b. 1942), Kishin Shinoyama (Japanese, b. 194), Josef Sudek (Czech, 1896–1976),  Jeanloup Sieff (French, 1933–2000), Sarah Moon (French, b. 1941), and Lennart Nilsson (Swedish, 1922–2017). Each photographer adapted the new 105 film pack to suit their own individual style, highlighting the versatility of the film and the endless possibilities it offered.