Imperial Savoy Box Camera – It Don’t Get Much More Retro-Weird Than This!
|January 21, 2013||Posted by Photo GearHead under Cool Gear|
Is this thing even a camera? It doesn’t really look like it, Dad… Dad… Daddy-O. Well, believe it or not, it is! Savoy cameras were made from 1956 to 1965 by the Imperial Camera Company out of Chicago, Illinois. This particular model takes 620 roll film — which, let us say, is not super-duper easy to come by these days. Fortunately, except for the spool it sits on, 620 roll film is identical to 120 roll film, and there are techniques available for re-spooling 120 film so it will be accepted by the Savoy. Pre-re-spooled 120-620 film is also available for purchase on-line from various sources, if you’re not fully into the idea of doing it yourself.
Now, ready yourself for the awesome list of select features this little beauty of a clicker has packed into every plastic inch of that groovy frame:
- Plastic lens
- Entirely fixed aperture
- Entirely Fixed focus
- Ridiculously tiny view-finder that doesn’t even come close to showing you the entire scene you’re trying to photograph.
- Absolutely no exposure controls.
Well… the Savoy does have a shutter-speed control. Apparently, the shutter will open and close at a variable speed, depending on how fast you actually depress the shutter release button. Yeah, I kid you not.
But, the Imperial Savoy DID come in a number of different, sexy AND putrid colors… so, it’s got that going for it. Just think of the swell time you can have trying to collect them all!
Of course, for all of its obvious short-comings, the Imperial Savoy does ooze more retro-cool, 1950’s postmodern uber-funky weirdness than any camera since, well, probably the Shaw-Harrison Sabre 620 — which, looks a lot like the Savoy, and comes in the same color variants… hmmm… coincidence? The Savoy does appear, as well, of being fairly capable of grabbing some pretty lomo-rific type shots.
One curious aspect of the Imperial Savoy, however (or, maybe not so curious, taking everything into consideration) is that Savoy owners, in general, seem to be more fond of taking pictures of the Savoy, than they are of using the Savoy to take pictures!
The buy-it-now price for this Imperial Savoy is currently set at $49.99. But, the seller is taking best offers — with 2 placed so far at the time of this writing. And, who knows? The best offer currently standing may be at $3.00?!?!? You don’t know! You just don’t know! And, well, hell! I’d happily triple that offer just to get my hands on a camera that looks sort of like a transistor radio that Professor Roy Hinkley would gleefully and determinedly obsess over tinkering with, to the point of rigging it up to half a coconut shell, in a futile and cockamamie attempt to try and arrange rescue for the stranded castaways! I mean, c’mon! Wouldn’t you?
If you want to get in on making an offer for this “looks-like-it-premiered-at-the-world’s-fair” putrid green, Bakelite bodied, post-modernist marvel of a camera, you’ve got six days to do it. (unless someone decides to pony up the buy-it-now price before then) The sale ends on January 27th.
The seller claims that the camera itself is in near-mint condition and fine working order — having been boxed for the last 50 years, and only being put through some light use back when it was brand new!
The sale is located here.