Last January, Steve Dowling of Kosmo Foto, wrote an intriguing post about a Moscow-based film store that was repackaging old emulsions and selling them out of their store. The story, however, was in the actual packaging of these films: labels and wrappings with a flair that catches the eye and makes one want the film plus a full line of matching casual wear.

My friend Kiersten happened to be in Moscow at the time, so I forwarded the story. Within minutes she asked if I wanted her to buy me some. My enthusiastic response sent her on a hilarious odyssey through the city of Moscow, which has already been published by EM by the time you read this.

Stephen made it clear in his article, as did Sergey Dozhdikov in his 5 Frames With… article here, that this is repackaged Kodak 250 cine film, Kodak VISION3 250D (5207) to be precise. Since I was going to Portland, Oregon, planning on shooting a whole series of old neon signs there, I decided to try my first roll of SREDA K250D with an original LOMO Kompact Automat LC-A camera, shooting in the blue hour. I chose the 200 ISO setting in the camera, as the closest one to the advertised 250; plus, I figured, the film has to be a few years old.

My first evening in Portland, I drove to one of the areas where I had planned to shoot and as I waited for the neon signs on the Capitol Hill Motel to light up, the skies opened and I ended up drenched.

The images came out spectacularly saturated (see #1 and #2). I was in town for a writers’ conference, so I was busy with panels and readings but managed a walk through the Farmer’s market (#4) and another stroll through neon signs on a non-rainy evening (#3, 5). Some images I shot in very sunny light were washed out and useless. I’d use this film for evening and night shots exclusively.

Now, SREDA, can we have some t-shirts?

~ Lorraine

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