Paradies 100 Diafilm

I found this film while searching for something on Flickr a while ago. It’s a pretty cheap slide film that’s only available at the German pharmacy dm. It’s a 100 speed slide film, and from the photos it looked as though it’d be a nice film to cross-process. So I headed into a pharmacy, bought a roll. It took me months to finish it, and yesterday I finally came around to scanning it. It has the mysterious marker CR100 on the negatives. Some information on the interwebs suggest it is some old Agfa film stock, or maybe new Precisa stock, who knows?

From the cross-processing though, it sure reminds me of Agfa film. I haven’t seen any other film so far that’s so close to the original colors while just saturating here and there. Quite odd, scratching my head a bit over here. If someone can shed some light on the mystery, please do.

In the meantime, here’s some shots I took with the Lomo LCA, as always shot at 200 speed, underexposing the film. Looks pretty nice if you ask me. All in all, it goes pretty well with the Lomo look. Might buy a couple more rolls and throw one in an SLR, just for fun and giggles.

Buying Film In Berlin Reloaded

Last year I wrote about film shops and photo labs in Berlin. As time passes, things obviously change. About time to give an update on what exactly has changed. New shops opened, existing shops (no they didn’t close but) change something, you know how things go in this economy (I love saying that, it’s so beautifully meaningless).

  • Lomography Gallery Store

    Yep, Berlin is so lucky to have one of these now. It opened last year, and obviously they’re selling all the overpriced Lomography gear you can shake a stick at. Step in, and you’ll be greated by all the different versions of their flagship product, the Diana+. The shop is quite nice, features a large Lomo wall, but you won’t find everything here their online shop has to offer. They sell film, cameras, t-shirts, bags, you name it. Placed in a good location to get a hold of lots of tourists. If you’re a true lomographer living in or visiting Berlin, this is the place to go.

    They also have workshops from time to time, you can watch their Facebook page for updates. Workshops are reasonably priced, and you usually get a camera and film for the duration of the workshop to try things out. Can’t say they’re not trying their best to keep film alive.

  • PPS Imaging

    Much to my dismay, these guys changed their opening hours. They’re now open from 10 am to 6:30 pm, which is a bit unfortunate but definitely means they can run the shop in one normal 8-hour shift. Totally understood, but not great if you like dropping off film early (as in: 9 am).

  • Foto Impex

    Foto Impex is by far the cheapest place to buy film. That is all. Nothing has changed at Foto Impex, I just wanted to give that nice little update. I’ve run around Berlin last week to get Fuji Neopan 1600. I already knew Foto Impex would be cheap, but I finally got confirmation.

    There’s only some big stores online or much too far away from where I live, but the margin is only a couple of cents. Foto Impex is my happy place to buy film. That’s a fact. If you want to buy 35mm or 120 film, this is the place to go. They don’t always have everything in stock, but they’ll have enough alternatives at the ready.

    Obviously they sell heaps of other stuff, and develop your film for reasonable prices, but their film prices are my baseline.

As for developing film, these days, I’m a regular at FotoWerk Berlin, simply because it’s conveniently located in my neighborhood, and because developing a roll of C41 or B&W will set you back 3,75 EUR, E6 costs 3,95 EUR. They don’t develop within a couple of hours, it usually takes about one to two days for C41 and B&W, but given my laziness to ride into the city just to get my film developed finally won, and we can drop off film here on the way to the kindergarten.

Coffee Shops in San Francisco

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting great coffee in San Francisco isn’t too hard. Heaps of great coffee shops around, heaps of roasting going on. Even with the risk of including the obvious candidates I’m still gonna list all the coffee shops I really liked over there. Here’s my top three.

Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle

Duh, right? So obvious! Totally hyped, some things on the menu are overpriced, and it’s not uncommon having to wait in line for 15 minutes or more. But still, great coffee and good food. A big siphon machine is likely to catch your eye, and you’d be missing out if you don’t try one. A very pure way of drinking coffee, setting you back six bucks for a small one (enough for one person). While you’re at it, treat yourself to a poached egg on Acme toast. So good.

Blue Bottle is also where I learned about the existence of the Gibraltar, a short latte similar to a flat white. Highly recommended, goes very well with taste single origin beans. These guys know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it well. We regularly ended up visiting the Mint location of Blue Bottle. The fact that they’re also serving food makes them somewhat different from the rest, because coffee shops usually seem to focus on what they’re great at: serving coffee. In my opinion that doesn’t decrease coffee quality at Blue Bottle though. Highly recommended. Of course they’re also selling beans. I bought a pack of their Hayes Valley Espresso, and let me tell you, it’s delicious!

Ritual Coffee Roasters

Ritual Coffee

Everything looks right about Ritual, especially their logo, which reminds me of good old Russian times from you know, when the wall was still dividing the world. First time we went here we stood in line for I don’t know how long, but totally worth it. You’re greeted by a shelf of all their beans. I consider that a good sign.

Ritual Coffee Roasters

Just like Blue Bottle they have a single drip bar which these days seems to be a mandatory accessory. Coffee at Ritual is pretty awesome. Gibraltar is on the unofficial menu, so go for it. While you’re at it, get the single origin espresso. It’s pretty awesome as a Gibraltar. Ritual also has wifi, so expect to see a lot of lurkers with their laptops sitting around here. I know it’s some sort of culture, but it’s nice to sit in a shop where people come for the coffee, not for work.

Four Barrel Coffee

Four Blurry Barrel Coffee

When you enter Four Barrel you immediately see what it’s all about: Coffee! Two giant Synesso espresso machines facing each other, a bar for single drip and all kinds of other coffee on the left, and a big roastery in the back. Now you’re talking.

I was a bit bummed that neither flat white or Gibraltar rang a bell here, but when in doubt, ask for a baby latte. They have an excellent bean collection on the shelf, and when you’re lucky you can witness the employees do a cupping at the bar next to the entry. Also, their ice coffee is excellent. Had one here and at Ritual, and Four Barrel won hands down. No wifi here either, thank goodness. I also saw a guy working at Blue Bottle sit here and have coffee, so either the coffee universe was this close to exploding or the coffee here is known to be good. Your pick.

Four Barrel Coffee

These are my top three. A must on the list of coffee shops to visit. I bought a pack of beans at every one of them, and they’re all great, a classic Hayes Valley Espresso from Blue Bottle, dark and tasty, Sweet Tooth from Ritual, a very fruity espresso that really came out in a Gibraltar and a pack of Colombia coffee beans from Four Barrel that were just amazing. We had a cupping in Berlin after I got back, and they were clearly a winner as coffee.

Unfortunately I missed Sightglass, because they simply were closed at the time. They’re supposed to be on the must-visit list as well. What are you gonna do? Surely you didn’t think though that these were the only coffee shops we visited? Heck no, here are the honorable mentions, not all in San Francisco, but in the Bay Area.

  • Epicenter Cafe

    I felt immediately at home coming in here, there were four grinders lined up on the counter. Good food too, and with Twitter and the start-up area of SF just around the corner, you can be sure to meet a good handful of programming geeks in here.

  • Farley’s East

    We ran into this one by accident in Oakland, and a happy one no less. Coffee and shelves full of magazines, that’s what you get at Farley’s. Great coffee, and great cake. That’s good enough for me.

  • Actual Cafe

    I was introduced to Cafe Cubano, espresso dripped into sweetened, condensed milk. Holy crap! You should try one, yes, you should.

  • Caffe Capriccio

    Another happy accident. It just started raining, we had to feed Mari, and really, there’s never a bad time for another coffee, wouldn’t you agree?

Volcano Friday

So I’m headed for the airport this morning, already well knowing that there’s only a slim chance to get off this continent. What do you know, the picture below pretty much sums up what was already pretty obvious, but being the incredibly positive and hopeful person I am, I still tried. To no avail as it turned out.

I went to the airport...

Europe is in an epic airspace lockdown, and as an unfortunate consequence I wasn’t able to get to the conference I was supposed to be the photographer of. Shame really, because it’s gonna be an epic conference. It’s quite amazing to see airport after airport shut down. Here’s a view of traffic over Europe, or lack there of, as you’ll notice.

photobooth friday

What can you do, now I’m home with my two girls. I even put up a fresh Photobooth Friday, just for the occasion. I know, it’s been like forever, right?

This is no ordinary Photobooth Friday either. During our stay in Portland, with the most awesomest Jenkins family, we went to the source of all things, the photobooth at the Ace Hotel. Of course there was also lots of good coffee, Stumptown in this case.

I’m telling you, I’ll forever be spoiled by the great coffee we had during our trip. No Berlin-roasted bean will ever be the same to me. But more on that in a later post. Although I really shouldn’t put these off for too long, as I’m running the risk of forgetting everything. Rest assured though, there will be lists of my favorite coffee shops, oh yes.

In other news, I’m now a writer over at Holgablog, one of my favorite Holga blogs out there. Expect some geeky stuff from yours truly to pop up over there soon. My introductory post was published just today for your reading pleasure.

Back From San Francisco

As you’ve probably realised by now, at least judging from increased activity on my Flickr and Twitter streams, we’re back from our trip to San Francisco and Portland.

International Orange

We obviously had a blast, met good people, and made new friends, all with unusually excellent weather. Mari has a lot of stories to tell for her first weeks at kindergarten. There was lots of coffee, there were donuts, and obviously lots of film. I still have some 25 rolls of film to scan, 16 alone from the Holga. Ugh. But what are you gonna do?

Blue Bottle

Expect some San Francisco and Portland related posts in the coming weeks.