Peek!: Analogue photography reinvented

You probably can’t remember the last time you went to a photo-processing shop to develop your photos. Certainly not, when an 8 Megapixel camera is packed within a popular handphone model.

There’s little not to love when you don’t have to wait or pay for your shots to be processed, or wonder how exactly how your photographs will turn out.

Still, there’s just something especially beautiful about old school photography. With film, you only get limited shots, so you have to ponder over each shot longer. And then there’s the sense of anticipation over how your roll of film will turn out.

 

Back to the basics

Remember watching the movie Super 8 earlier this year and thinking to yourself, “If only we could still make black-and-white silent films…”? The birth of Lomography in 1991 marked the revival of analogue photography. Famous for producing photos with oversaturated colours and optical illusions like the fisheye effect, Lomographische AG introduced the world to LOMO LC-A+, Diana, Holga and Fisheye cameras, which are often called “toy cameras”. It’s no surprise that they’ve come up with another mind-blowing new product.

Their latest offering, the LomoKino, brings you back to the nostalgic days of silent black-and-white cinematography. Yes, you can finally film your own Charlie Chaplin-esque movie without resorting to any editing software! All you need to do is buy a roll of 35mm film, which costs $5.50 per canister, and pay for the E6 processing at any film developing shop which should set you back around $8.

This handy camera weighs only 92g and works with all types of 35mm film which can be found at any film shop. Measuring only 83.5mm x 36mm, you definitely won’t be complaining about having to lug it around.

To begin, simply load the film and start cranking that handle. That’s right, it’s all manual. The speed you crank the wheel at all depends on you. If you want to pack in more shots, go as fast as you can. But really, it’s not as tiring as it sounds because the handle is so tiny and easy to turn so the hand movement is hardly vigourous. For newbies, the Lomography microsite offers helpful videos with detailed step-by-step instructions on loading the film, using the camera, and post-production that could potentially be a life-saver.

Your video will be of handheld quality (although things improve significantly when you use a tripod) and the focus may be off at times, but isn’t that the beauty of homemade films? Extend the spirit of Lomography to create moving pictures in both senses of the word!

After you’re done directing Charlie Chaplin, you’ll have to get your film processed before you can watch it come alive in the LomoKinoScope. The LomoKinoScope acts as a mini-projector which you can watch your movies on in the most authentically analogue way possible. If you want to digitise your film and upload it to the Internet, some softwares that can help you convert it into 36-to-48-second-long digital LomoMovies are iMovie and Final Cut Pro (for Apple users) and Windows Live Maker (for Windows users).


 

Price

The LomoKino/LimoKinoScope Package

  • LomoKino
  • LimoKinoScope
  • One Film Canister
  • Inventing the LomoKino (Book)
  • $158 at Peek!

The LimoKino

  • LimoKino
  • One Film Canister
  • Inventing the LomoKino (Book)
  • $128 at Peek!

Rating: 4/5

Tech specifications

  • Film type: 35mm film (Costs $5.50 for 36 exposures at Peek!)
  • Lens: 25mm
  • Exposure area: 24mm x 8.5mm: 144 images/film
  • Continuous Aperture: f/5.6 – f/11
  • Shutter: 1/100
  • Hand Crank: Approx. 3-4 fps, 36-48 sec. movie per roll
  • Film counting: Volume display
  • Focusing: (Normal) 1m~infinity, (press button for) 0.6m close up
  • Tripod mount: Yes

 

Polaroids: Instant Analogue Gratification

Film photography enthusiasts probably felt like it was the end of the world when Polaroid decided to pull out of the analogue photography business in Feb 2008.

But thanks to Austrian artist and businessman Dr Florian Kaps, these retro cameras and instant film have a new lease of life.

In 2008, he, André Bosman, and Marwan Saba launched The Impossible Project to save the very last Polaroid production plant. They took to reinventing the film and getting it back in production as soon as possible.

Photo courtesy of Peek!

Price: $280 – $300 at Peek!

Tech Specifications

  • Model: 600 Series
  • Lens: 106 mm
  • Focus range: 2 feet – infinity
  • Flash range: 2-10 feet
  • Maximum Aperture: variable
  • Minimum Aperture: f/75
  • Shutter Speed range: 1/3 to 1/200th second

A revival of Polaroid’s integral film, the PX 600 SILVER SHADE UV+ BLACK FRAME film gives the traditional white frame a run for its money. Besides the array of colour dyes used for the film’s border, minimal changes were made to the old formula. It still retains its old-school charm and clean-cut, elegant design of Polaroid’s original films.

At the moment, they have 3 types of films to choose from – the Dry Age Kit, Silver Shade, and Colour Shade. They also stock hand-selected expired instant film which is known for its ability to produce unpredicatable yet fantastic effects if you’re lucky. While the film’s results can be slightly volatile, photos generally turn out fine – albeit sometimes a tad washed out at certain areas, producing a dreamy quality that some may embrace. With a little trial and error, the new Polaroid should be a breeze to use.

Photos courtesy of Rachel Chan

Tip: Don’t fan/shake the Polaroid like they do in movies when it comes out from the camera. Instead, lay it face-down on a level surface and let it develop naturally.

The cost of the film is pricey to say the least ($36 for 8 shots) but hey, this company did what was said to be “impossible”, didn’t they?

Price: $36 at Peek!

Tech specifications

  • Film Speed: ISO 600/DIN 29, 8 Exposures per cassette
  • Type: Monochrome Integral Instant Film.
  • Format: 3.5 x 4.2 in. (8.8 x 10.7 cm), Image Area: 3.1 x 3.1 in. (7.9 x 7.9 cm)
  • Finish: Glossy
  • Development: 3 minutes approximately at 70°F (21°C)
  • Special: Black image frame
  • Battery: Built in, long lasting battery to power up the camera and flash

As a Christmas special, the Impossible Project has also released an exclusive limited-run ‘Gold Edition’ film, retailing at $42. So pop down to Peek! to get your hands on these intriguing cameras!

 

More about Peek!

Peek! may have opened only a little more than a year ago, but it’s already left a distinct imprint here. Recently named the official Impossible Project Partner Store for Singapore, this concept store stocks film photography mainstays  like Lomography products, limited edition cameras from Red Army Camera, and other refurbished antique cameras. The 2-storey store in a quaint shophouse also provides film processing services.

 

Located at: 36 Armenian Street #01-04
Opening Hours: 

  • 12 noon-8pm (Tues – Fri)
  • 12 noon-7pm (Sat – Sun)

About Rachel Chan

Once called 'The Accident' by her parents, Rachel believes in spending her time on Earth indulging in the finer things in life. A self-proclaimed tv-music-makeup-fashion junkie, she finds great joy in watching either American or British tv shows back-to-back, or lusting after material goods that are way out of her budget. She will readily admit to guilty pleasures such as watching (and loving) trashy reality tv shows like Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Instead of the usual Enid Blyton books, she spent her childhood reading fantasy stories about trolls called Moomins by a Finnish author. Since then, she has developed an unhealthy obsession with all things Nordic; be it food, brands, music or furniture.

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