Kodacolor Gold 200 GB (expired 1989) on Savoy 620
I got my Savoy camera for about US$20 from etsy, not exactly a super buy, but it was advertised as being in very excellent condition so I thought why not as I had a bunch of expired 620 film in my fridge waiting to be used and no 620 camera in possession (at that time, now I own about 5 of them ;P ). The plastic lens on this camera really gives your images a nice luminous layer to tone down the sharpness, really rocketing you back into time.
Sure you have the Holga or the Diana that also sport plastic lenses, but the lo-fi effect those lenses give your images I feel is a modern kind of vintage. What you get with cameras like the Savoy, Ansco Panda, or the Kodak Brownie for example is retro in its purity!
Just look at the images above, I have made a modern day Kuala Lumpur in 2012 appear to look like what it would have 40 years ago. The expired film definitely helped here with the grain and the brown and golden tone very prominent of Kodak Gold films even today. I’m very happy with my results here and can’t wait to try to force some 120mm rolls into the Savoy.
Box cameras usually come with fairly small apertures of f/11 or smaller, and a shutter speed of about 1/125, so it is somewhat difficult to shoot in lowlight, especially if there is no bulb mode, like with the Savoy. An easy way to still shoot in low light is to shoot multiple exposures of the same scene but just make sure you have your camera either locked on a tripod or on a very stable surface to avoid image shifts.
I still have a bunch of box cameras to test out, it’s going to be quite a ride, I am sure.
The Savoy is a cheap plastic camera famous in the 1960s for its futuristic look (spot the outer space orbit logo!) and shiny front. It was available in multiple colors from mint green, which is seemingly the most common, grey, red, and navy blue from what I have seen online. All in all it’s a very smart looking, easy to use box camera.