A Colorful Despair

Konicacolor SR100 (expired 2001) on Holga GCFN

I shot this roll at two different photowalks, the first 3 featuring the abandoned Catholic cemetery in Kuala Lumpur (you can check out my other sets here and here) and the last 3 was shot in a parking lot, also abandoned somewhere in Desa Sri Hartamas, KL (also featured in the Lucky BW film soup set here). 

It’s pretty awesome that this expired film managed to retain such vibrant colors given the fact that it was expired for a decade! Too bad Konica doesn’t produce films anymore, and with the recent discontinuation of many types of films, I wonder how long will we be able to share the joys of analogue photography. :/

Anyway, let me share with you a quote from Michael Jang’s interview in Wired Mag:

I’m not sure I’ve taken a good picture yet with a digital camera. Everything that I’ve done that’s good is film. [Digital] is perfect within a certain scale: There’s no dust, no scratches; you can Photoshop it till it’s ultra-whatever. I probably will cover myself by doing both, but if you really push me to take one camera I’ll take a Leica. There’s three mechanical things: There’s focus, and your shutter and your f-stop, and I’m good with that. I can just walk in and you can throw me the camera and I know exactly where the crank is on the focus for six feet.

You can check out the rest of his interview here: http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2009/10/michael-jang/all/1


Time Zero: The Instant Art

Polaroid Time Zero Film (expired) on Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera by The Gentleman Amateur

I’ve been contemplating on getting one of Edwin Land’s gorgeous folding SX-70 cameras and did a search on Flickr when I stumbled upon The Gentleman Amateur’s wonderful photostream. I was immediately in awe, what is this Time Zero film? Truthfully my knowledge of the Polaroid films and cameras are severely limited to my simple One Step box type SX-70 & The Impossible Project new films and when saw these, I was obsessed.

I spent the last few days scouring eBay & Googling the Time Zero films & cameras, and found out that other than getting some sweet, unpredictable shots like the ones above, you can also manipulate  the TZ  films and produce something akin to impressionistic paintings. Isn’t that so sweet??

Back to the photos, The Gentleman Amateur had kindly shared with me a few tips on purchasing the right type of TZ films should you be interested in getting one:

  • Get TZ films with expiry dates around 2000s, anything from the 90s or older probably won’t work
  • Artistic TZ films are generally easier to find and much cheaper, but produces much muted tones compared to the former

Thanks so much for the kind tips, you really are a gentleman through and through :)

So be sure to visit The Gentleman Amateur’s photostream and check out his other works, especially his polaroid double exposures, they’re seriously awesome!

Also, if you’re interested in manipulating your TZ films as I’ve mentioned earlier, check out this article by Scott Wittenburg & download this free ebook by Filippo Centenari. Alternatively you can also get this book from the Pola Art website.


Now, I’m off to hunt on eBay again ;)


How to make your otherwise drab and mundane photos interesting?

Agfa RSX II 200 on Ensign Ful-Vue

Bored with your photos? Running out of places to shoot? 

The solution is simple, really. Go for double/multiple exposures and if you’re feeling adventurous, intentionally make yourself a fat roll to get some delicious light leaks on your shots!

The first two photos were taken in the heart of KL near the Central Market / Masjid Jamek and I assure you that I’ve gone for a photowalk there for no less than four times in 2011 alone! 

These were also shot on the same roll, the last 3 frames in fact and due to some fat roll action, I’m left with these light leaks! They definitely weren’t intentional but they sure made my otherwise repetitive images all the more interesting.

And you guessed it, it’s the same old abandoned house in Bangsar as featured in my Lensbaby post earlier.

Oh, btw, I was told by a fellow photographer who frequented the place that about 4 weeks ago during an outing (at 2am!!) they actually saw not one but TWO entities floating around the compound! Have you heard of Pontianaks before?



Fat rolled, again!

Kodak Portra 400UC (expired) on Diana no. 151

We already know that the Portra is an excellent color negative film, even the expired ones! The 400UC stands for Ultra Color, which gives higher color saturation than the 400VC. It was discontinued however, leaving only the NC & VC variety before Kodak developed the enhanced present emulsion of the coveted Portra 400.

I shot the photos above during my backpacking trip to Penang, Malaysia where I spent the whole day going all shutter crazy. The first photo was the only salvagable shot of the beautiful Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (or better known as the Blue Mansion), since my precious Portra ended up in a fat roll! I was really disappointed since the whole reason I went to Penang in the first place was to photograph the mansion! *sigh* Oh well, another reason to come back here again in the future. You can read more on Le Maison Blue at its official website here.

The last 3 photos are of the iconic Logan Memorial at the Penang High Court complex, a monument erected in memory of James Richardson Logan - who was the champion of rights of non-Europeans in Penang, where he valiantly fought for the rights of Indian plantation workers against the giant East India Company.

The other shots were taken along my jaunt throughout Georgetown to reach Armenian Street, where Dr. Sun Yat Sen, a Chinese Revolutionary who was also known as the father of Modern China made base, and was the headquarters of Dr. Sun’s political party Tongmenghui. You can read more about 120, Armenian Street here. 

As for photos of Dr. Sun’s HQ? That’s for another post on another day. :D

edit: What’s a FAT ROLL you say? Check out this link!


Oooh Lady Diana, how I love thee!

Kodak T400CN on Diana no. 151

Now I can truly say that I love my Diana! 

Yes, the original made in Hong Kong Diana no. 151 circa 1960 is a absolute gem. I’ve stressed before on CGSF that I don’t really care for my Diana F+ deluxe set, never got a halfway decent picture on it. The Diana Mini on the hand, is pretty good (see eleanorrigby236’s awesome Film Soup post). But me being a hoarder couldn’t part with any of my cameras, lol.

Anyway back to the subject, the Diana 151 was modeled based on the Agfa Isoly but with an all plastic construction including the optics. It also takes 16 exposures on a 120mm roll film, just like the Isoly. The test shots above were taken at noon (12pm to be exact, hot!) with an expired Kodak T400CN (exp. 2002) which was the forerunner to the current BW400CN. That means it can be processed with your usual C-41 chemicals like any other old color negative films.

I probably over-advanced the film amidst shooting resulting in the first 2 diptychs but I’m not complaining, I thought they looked great! But I wish the images were larger so you can truly experience the beauty of the shots. The black borders were made in camera, probably because of the built in mask, amazing right?

I’ll definitely be shooting more with this Diana!


Portra 400 Ultra Color is awesome!

Kodak Portra 400UC on Vredreborch Felica 

I wanted to test out 2 things today, my new old Diana 151 circa 1960 & a newly hoarded Kodak Portra 400UC Propack. I’ll talk about the Diana in my next post (and I must say that I’m loving it!) so this is all about how I profess my love for the Portra.

Kodak Portra 400UC (UC stands for Ultra Color) is a discontinued film from the Portra family. As all of you might know, currently Kodak only produces 2 types of Portras - 160 & 400. CGSF had already reviewed the 400 in both 120 & 35mm formats, with gushing love of course. Portra is truly the world’s best color negative film, IMHO. So back to the topic, Portra 400UC has long since been discontinued but I managed to grab this highly rare variant from a friend (who’s also a hoarder haha) and to my utmost delight, despite being expired since 2005, is still as brilliant as ever!

Mind you, the first 4 pics were taken at 12 noon, under the hot hot Malaysian sun and the last 3 were taken indoors under natural light (there was a sun roof).

All I can say is “WOW”.

Yes, I love the Portra!


The magic that is Lumiere

Kodak Ektachrome Lumiere on Canon A-1






Now, this is why I love film. 

It’s mind blowing how the same film type differs so much under various settings, cameras & lighting situations. This set from my 1993 expired Kodak Ektachrome Lumiere clearly illustrated the differences from my previous set shot during the magic hour & using a simple toy camera.

When properly exposed, the Lumiere does the job like how Kodak intended it to be, warm nuances with a lot less blues unlike the regular Ektachromes when cross processed. In fact it does remind me of an xpro-ed Provia. I’m really impressed, considering the age of this film. 

I have 2 more rolls of the Lumiere, both 35mm & 120mm. I’ll probably use my last 120mm roll in another plastic camera, a 1960 vintage original Diana but under bright sunlight. Can’t wait to see how that will fare. 


Lumiere, the rare film from the 90s

Kodak Ektachrome Lumiere on Holgamods Holga 120N

I managed to snag both 120mm & 35mm of this super rare Kodak Ektachrome Lumiere from an eBay seller a few months back, both dated 1993 expired. The 35mm is currently waiting to be picked up from the lab after going through my trusty Canon A-1.

From what I’ve gathered so far, the Ektachrome Lumiere had a short production run in the early 90s as a response to Ektachrome’s general reputation of being too “cool” & “blue”. Lumiere was supposed to have warmer nuances & more neutral, and also to counter Fuji’s Provia at the time.

I shot this Lumiere in my Holga during a short day trip to Genting Highlands, an amusement park cum resort of sorts in Pahang, just about less than an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. It was a chilly + misty day, with some minor drizzling here and there but I was determined to get my amusement park shots so there I was being shutter-happy anyway.

Maybe it’s the underexposure and little sun time, maybe it was from the age but I quite like the muted colors of this film. You can tell that it’s definitely warmer than your regular Ektachromes.

Well, I can’t wait to get my 35mm roll from the lab, maybe with proper exposure in an SLR the colors produced will be more vivid than this set.


Konica SR 100

Vredreborch Felica

The shots may not look very sharp because I’m still fumbling with the focus (this is my first time using the Felica) but from the samples I’ve seen on Flickr, this pretty little medium format camera is actually able to produce shots comparable to a Holga. 

I’m also using a 1990 expired Konica SR 100 color negative film so that may explain the graininess & the overall vintage look. I expect that a B&W or slide film will do this camera more justice than my current set.


Agfa RSX II 100ISO

Canon A-1, FD 50mm f/1.4







The decision to buy this 2001 expired Agfa RSXII was something that I wouldn’t ever regret. I’m not sure if it’s because of the age but this film truly loves blue when cross processed! You can check my older post of this film here, and I can come to the conclusion that blues will be enhanced when shot in low-key situations.

I have more shots from this particular roll (almost all turned out extremely well and I’m having a really hard time choosing the ones to feature in this post) but maybe I’ll post them some other time.


Kodak Ektachrome Tungsten 160T

Canon A-1, FD 50mm f1.4








I’ve really enjoyed absolute control in my multiple exposure attempts with the A-1, and it’s 5 different shooting modes which is quite advanced in an SLR at it’s time. I won’t divulge into the specifics yet as I’ve another set to post from a different film, also taken with the A-1 so the review can wait.

So, this is the first time I’m using the discontinued Ektachrome Tungsten 160T and I must say that I’m loving the muted blue-green-yellow hues. I don’t mind the grain, I think they look terrific with that vintage print vibe, especially in the first shot. All shots were taken indoors (yes, even pictures 2-4 since they were taken from inside a moving car on cloudy day. The pictures of Sora the Burmese-Persian  were taken at 12am just before I went to sleep!)

My next plan would be shooting this in broad daylight…wonder how that would work out.


Kodak Ektachrome E200

Vivitar UWS

First of all, our thanks got out to Lady May for sharing these photographs with us. We’ve never had the chance to test this film out before and we always love to see what we’re missing out on. ;)

In February of this year Kodak announced the demise of the E200 due to low demand for this particular recipe in the film market. (WHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY????!!!!!???) Kodak’s official site recommends the E100G, known for producing grainless images, as a replacement and I can see why. Both the E200 and E100G create vibrant pictures, amplifying colors when cross-processed in C41, and produce beautiful images boosting natural tones when processed in E6 like the examples shown here.

I see also a lot of references to the E200 in astrophotography which has piqued my interest quite a bit. If you already own a telescope to peer out into space, then you should by all means attempt to shoot the Milky Way with this film!! Here, check out this website with the “How To”s of Astrophotography. They have some staggering photographs of star clusters and galaxies shot on film that will blow your mind! How much more intriguing can film photography be?