Berlin - The Place To Be

PX 680 Color Shade Gold Frame Limited Edition on Polaroid SX-70

I took the train east to Berlin last weekend on the spur of the moment with my Polaroid camera in hand along with my trusty Lomo LC-W. I mainly visited some art shows, concept stores and of course the Martin-Gropius Bau art gallery for the Diane Arbus exhibition. I spent almost the whole day digging through the special archive they built filled with her writings and past works. I was totally immersed in the life, air, and spirit  that was and is still Berlin. I would live there if I could because everywhere I looked was just picturesque, no matter how dirty or dingy or boring it may be to others.

The Gold Frame limited edition film from The Impossible Project has got to be one of my favorites because I love how the gold borders make the pictures look somewhat regal both is color and black and white. This pack I have is from 2011 and has been exposed to extreme heat in the attic where I left my film packs over the summer (I know, smart…). My color pack came out pretty much monotone, leaning very strongly towards purple, but all in all the pack did good and it did capture Berlin the way I saw it and want to remember it.

Some technicalities: I used a pack of 600 film on my SX-70 utilizing a filmpack filter also from TIP which you can see in the second image above. (Somehow the filter was not firmly tucked into the film cartridge for that particular shot but went back in place for the others.) All images were shot with the darken/lighten ring set to 1/2 dark. Without the filter the images would be super blown out. I decided to crop the borders for some of the images as they look better squared as a whole.

I am going through a few packs of COOL film now and am loving the results, will share more soon.


Very Expired Film in a Very Old Box Camera

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.

Golden or broken dreams?

Kodak Gold 200 on Nikon F80D, Lensbaby Composer & Double Glass Optic



I know that I haven’t been shooting with color negatives for a long time, and if you click "Film Index" at the navigation bar, you will realize that the Kodak Gold 200 used to be heavily featured at CGSF by our fellow readers & contributors. 

The warm, golden tones compliments your shots really well, especially with careful lighting & composition. I’ve yet to discover a more versatile film, as I find that even the Ektar 100 produced cooler hues compared to this film. I’ll sorely miss the demise of this film, as with the terminated lives of Kodak’s beautiful color positives.


Btw, meet Valentine. She was really fast that I only managed to catch her ghostly blur. She’s 14 years old.

Old is definitely gold.