#photochat – 18 January 2018 – Podcasts

#photochat – 18 January 2018 – Podcasts

Established in 2013 by MainStreetHost and taken on by Alex Luyckx Photography in 2015, #photochat is a community of photography professionals and enthusiasts who congregate to talk shop and discuss anything and everything photography. To participate in our weekly chat (every Thursday at 1:00pm ET) search the #photochat hashtag to see the conversation, or find me at @AlexLuyckxPhoto on Twitter for more info. Be sure to include the hashtag in your tweets to answer the questions and talk with the other participants.

If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in #photochat, hop onto Facebook, Twitter, or good old fashioned Email and let me know!

The Topic for Thursday 18 January 2018 is about Podcasts!

Question 1 – Do you listen to any photography related podcasts?
Question 2 – Why do you listen to photography podcasts?
Question 3 – What do you look for in a photography podcast?
Question 4 – What makes you stop listening to podcasts?
Question 5 – Share the podcasts that you listen to!

Past topics have included: What’s in your Bag (2018), Self-Improvement, Snapshots, Exposure Troubles, Street Photography (2017), Event Photography, Photographic Gifts, Film Photography (2017), Photographic Annoyances, Locations, Strange Habits, Collaboration, Buying Work, Silly Mistakes, Show and Tell, The Discomfort Zone, The Comfort Zone, Influence, Consistency, Inclement Weather, Stock Photography, Going Freelance, Photo Sharing, Photography Books, Creativity in Photography, Colour Photography, Black & White (2017), Critiques, Lenses, Blogging, Regrets, What’s in Your Bag (2017), Promotion, Random Questions, Photo Projects, Shooting Film, Photographic Buzz Words, Photographic Wins, Photographic Fails, Still Life, Portrait Photography, Automotive Photography (2017), Traveling With Gear, Photographic Quirks, Why is Photography Important (2017), Ethics (2017), Difficult Situations, Phone Photography, Web sites, Self-Improvement (2017), Personal Branding, Photographic Gifts, Brand Loyalties (2016), Location Scouting, Food Photography, The Good, The Bad, Photographic Slumps, Wedding Photography, Post-Processing, Digital Photography, Film Photography, Keeping It Simple, Photographic Fads, Regular Maintenance, Personal Vision, Travel, Snapshots, Extreme Weather, Sports Photography, Pet Peeves, Out of the Box, Portrait Photography, Infrared Photography, Good Practices, Landscape Photography, Photography as a Skill, Photography as an Art, Getting Noticed, Post-Processing, Film Processing, Instant Photography, Tripods, Pet Photography, Budget Photography, Nude Photography, Workflow, Vintage Gear, The 5 W’s, Going Pro, Importance of Photography, Filters, Photography & the Law, Editing Your Work, Travelling with Gear, Street Photography, Get Up and Go (Motivation), Photographic Goals (2016), Low-Light Photography, Photographic Dreams, Cold Weather, Naturally Artificial, LoFi Love, Product Photography, Chasing Light, Automotive Photography, Finding Inspiration, All About You, Landscapes, Shooting for Colour, Digital Video, Back to School Parts I and II, Self-Publishing, Keeping Calm, Photography & Zen, Camera Bags, Dealing with People, Printing Your Work, Adventure Photography, Camera Clubs, Fireworks Photography, Aircraft Photography, Architectural Photography, Photo meetups, Getting Rid of GAS, Keeping it Organized, Favourite Things, Photo Competitions, Biggest Challenges, Compact System Cameras, film vs. digital, landscape photography, seasonal photography, the basics of composition, what’s in your camera bag?, night photography, portrait photography, forced perspective photography, black and white photography, golden hour photography, macro photography, how photography has changed your life, to photoshop or not, motion photography, photojournalism, the best gifts for photographers in 2014, extreme weather photography, photographic aspirations, street photography, “why are you a photographer?”, improvisational lighting tactics, post-processing rituals, photographic blunders, getting paid, photographic triumphs, shooting hardship, photographic anxieties, quick thinking, making a difference, favorites, appropriation, brand loyalties, small photography, BIG photography, focus, photography in advertising, battle scars, sharing your photography, creative evolution, the inanimate subject, photo vs. video, emerging tech, teaching the craft, getting the shot, traveling with your camera, sweet gear deals, mobile lighting solutions, quelling frustrations, finding work, sensitive subjects, DIY projects, defamation, making and maintaining a website, in defense of photography, capturing action, post-processing, photo lingo, cold weather shooting, food photography, death in photography, film photography, famous photos, critiques, videography, user-generated content, composition, iPhoneography, standing up for yourself, blogging, workflow, the first time, candid portraiture, copyright and licensing, ethics, gear investments, inspiration, long shots, making it in the photo business, networking, night photography, perks of being a photographer, photographer stressors, photography philosophy, photography trends, picking your priorities, pricing, promoting yourself and your work, protecting your assets, self-improvement, odd photography, and travel.

FP4Party – Redeux

FP4Party – Redeux

Finally, we have snow here in Southern Ontario which for me is wonderful! The cold weather is only made bearable by the presence of the white stuff. It also makes it more fun to go out tromping in the snow! But I shot most of my FP4 back in December, and with a deep freeze settled into the area after Christmas I really didn’t want to take any chances. But the arrival of the Secret Santa gift from the Emulsive gift exchange included a roll of FP4+ in 120 and with five sheets of 4×5 I was ready to go, on a much-reduced scale.

Group One – Erchless – I love shooting around downtown Oakville, and the pastoral setting around the home of the town’s founder William Chisholm was the backdrop of the sheets for this month’s FP4Party. Erchless is one local museum I have yet to visit but certainly will for my history project this year (Project:1867), as Chisholm played a bit part in the rocky road that led up to Confederation, from radical to tory, Chisholm’s effort to build an empire ultimately was his undoing as he died deep in debt and destitute. His family, however, continued to live at his grand home until 1910.

The HuntedThe AlphaKeep Pumping!Erchless

Technical Details:
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 & Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-64
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Group Two – Niagara – Finally the cold weather broke on Sunday, the final day to shoot for the party. And having already planned to head down to the Niagara region I brought along the Hasselblad and the Minolta SR-T (shooting for review later this month). Niagara-On-The-Lake has been one of two towns that show up often in my photography. Destroyed in the Anglo-American War of 1812, and risen from the ashes. It was the first capital of Upper Canada, established by only by the need for space for Loyalist troops during the American Revolution and today is a tourist attraction, but in the recent cold weather, the streets were fairly empty which was nice for shooting.

Prince of WalesSanta Shaw?Drugs Galore!A Tower

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 8:30 @ 20C

CCR:FRB – Review 02 – Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 400

CCR:FRB – Review 02 – Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 400

A modern re-imaging of an Agfa surveillance stock, StreetPan has been a favourite of mine for some time, and it is incredible in 35mm, but it sings in 120. Back when news of Streetpan first dropped, there were plenty of rumours floating around about the source of the film. Many naysayers said that the supply would be limited as it was just repackaged dead-stock. And while many still rail against the film, I for one enjoy shooting the film, and it’s great for street photography, architecture and landscape. Just don’t shoot it for long exposure, it loves the light and doesn’t handle long exposures.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400
The Lowdown
Type: B&W Panchromatic
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude:
Formats Avaliable: 135 (35mm), 120

Roll One – Kodak HC-110
My first experience with shooting and developing Streetpan involved HC-110 and since that first point of pulling the roll of film out of the tank, I know that HC-110 is an ideal developer for the film stock. HC-110 give the contrasty punch the film needs to show off the wonderful contrast and fine grain of Streetpan. But don’t let the nature of HC-110 scare you, the developer brings out all the grey scale the film has to offer. While officially there’s only Dilution B listed on the Streetpan Developing chart, you can adjust the times and dilutions to suit your needs from B, E, even F and G can be done just do the right math to get the proper times.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Two – Kodak TMax Developer
I first turned to using TMax Developer with Streetpan by fellow film photographer and friend Ori. While hesitant at this, I programmed the time into the Massive Dev Chart App. Sadly I never got around to using it. While some might question using a t-grain developer on a film based on a classic emulsion, I am rather impressed! While you don’t gain or lose anything by using the developer I can say having another option for a less than ten minute developing time for this film is a good thing. It knocks the contrast back a bit, but you don’t lose the sharp, fine grain attributes the film. Certainly a good option for developing Streetpan!

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 N – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Three – Kodak D-76
While initially unsure about this combination as the negatives were dark coming out of the tank. Of course, I soon realised that this is something that does happen with Streetpan, especially with the Dilution B times of HC-110. I would leave my final judgement until after the scan. While not my favourite developer with this film, D-76 doesn’t do a bad job, you still get the rich contrast the film is known for and gives a beautiful chrome look to it, yet the grain is a bit more noticeable. Still, it does a good job. However, I’d give an extra 30 seconds to help bring out the shadows a bit more. Or the meter on my Rolleiflex might finally be starting to die.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)

Techincal Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 10:30 @ 20C

Roll Four – Rodinal
Rodinal is one developer that I have given up on in the past and returned to once again and this second time around I’ve found that there is a lot that it can do. And when it comes to Streetpan, it is equal in my books to HC-110 for souping this film. Despite being a 400-speed film, you don’t notice any real uptick in grain, and the contrast is spot on, if not slightly better than HC-110. It doesn’t matter if you use 1+25 or 1+50, there is little difference in the negative, save slightly less contrast with the lower dilution.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
Streetpan is a black & white film for this hybrid era, the polyester base lies flat on your scanner, and the range of this film lets you pull out incredible detail in a digital editor. How well this film prints in a traditional darkroom I have yet to determine but I hope to let you know soon. Personally, my choice of developers are HC-110 (especially dilution F), Rodinal, and TMax Developer. While I haven’t tried the film in something like Pyrocat-HD or D-23, I feel the film would respond well to Pyro. Good thing I have two rolls left for experimentation. For outdoor shooting, this film is beautiful because it loves the light. I have tried it indoors with poor results. It might have something to do with the unknown reciprocity failure variable or the increased red sensitivity inherent in the film. But for photographers who do a lot of outdoor portrait work and street photography, Streetpan is something new and different.

#photochat – 11 January 2018 – What’s in Your Bag?

#photochat – 11 January 2018 – What’s in Your Bag?

Established in 2013 by MainStreetHost and taken on by Alex Luyckx Photography in 2015, #photochat is a community of photography professionals and enthusiasts who congregate to talk shop and discuss anything and everything photography. To participate in our weekly chat (every Thursday at 1:00pm ET) search the #photochat hashtag to see the conversation, or find me at @AlexLuyckxPhoto on Twitter for more info. Be sure to include the hashtag in your tweets to answer the questions and talk with the other participants.

If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in #photochat, hop onto Facebook, Twitter, or good old fashioned Email and let me know!

The Topic for Thursday 11 January 2018 is about What’s in Your Bag!

Question 1 – What cameras are you using the most right now?
Question 2 – What lenses do you always keep with you?
Question 3 – What accessories never leave your bag?
Question 4 – What bag do you regularly lug all your gear in?
Question 5 – Share any bag photos you might have!

Past topics have included: Self-Improvement, Snapshots, Exposure Troubles, Street Photography (2017), Event Photography, Photographic Gifts, Film Photography (2017), Photographic Annoyances, Locations, Strange Habits, Collaboration, Buying Work, Silly Mistakes, Show and Tell, The Discomfort Zone, The Comfort Zone, Influence, Consistency, Inclement Weather, Stock Photography, Going Freelance, Photo Sharing, Photography Books, Creativity in Photography, Colour Photography, Black & White (2017), Critiques, Lenses, Blogging, Regrets, What’s in Your Bag (2017), Promotion, Random Questions, Photo Projects, Shooting Film, Photographic Buzz Words, Photographic Wins, Photographic Fails, Still Life, Portrait Photography, Automotive Photography (2017), Traveling With Gear, Photographic Quirks, Why is Photography Important (2017), Ethics (2017), Difficult Situations, Phone Photography, Web sites, Self-Improvement (2017), Personal Branding, Photographic Gifts, Brand Loyalties (2016), Location Scouting, Food Photography, The Good, The Bad, Photographic Slumps, Wedding Photography, Post-Processing, Digital Photography, Film Photography, Keeping It Simple, Photographic Fads, Regular Maintenance, Personal Vision, Travel, Snapshots, Extreme Weather, Sports Photography, Pet Peeves, Out of the Box, Portrait Photography, Infrared Photography, Good Practices, Landscape Photography, Photography as a Skill, Photography as an Art, Getting Noticed, Post-Processing, Film Processing, Instant Photography, Tripods, Pet Photography, Budget Photography, Nude Photography, Workflow, Vintage Gear, The 5 W’s, Going Pro, Importance of Photography, Filters, Photography & the Law, Editing Your Work, Travelling with Gear, Street Photography, Get Up and Go (Motivation), Photographic Goals (2016), Low-Light Photography, Photographic Dreams, Cold Weather, Naturally Artificial, LoFi Love, Product Photography, Chasing Light, Automotive Photography, Finding Inspiration, All About You, Landscapes, Shooting for Colour, Digital Video, Back to School Parts I and II, Self-Publishing, Keeping Calm, Photography & Zen, Camera Bags, Dealing with People, Printing Your Work, Adventure Photography, Camera Clubs, Fireworks Photography, Aircraft Photography, Architectural Photography, Photo meetups, Getting Rid of GAS, Keeping it Organized, Favourite Things, Photo Competitions, Biggest Challenges, Compact System Cameras, film vs. digital, landscape photography, seasonal photography, the basics of composition, what’s in your camera bag?, night photography, portrait photography, forced perspective photography, black and white photography, golden hour photography, macro photography, how photography has changed your life, to photoshop or not, motion photography, photojournalism, the best gifts for photographers in 2014, extreme weather photography, photographic aspirations, street photography, “why are you a photographer?”, improvisational lighting tactics, post-processing rituals, photographic blunders, getting paid, photographic triumphs, shooting hardship, photographic anxieties, quick thinking, making a difference, favorites, appropriation, brand loyalties, small photography, BIG photography, focus, photography in advertising, battle scars, sharing your photography, creative evolution, the inanimate subject, photo vs. video, emerging tech, teaching the craft, getting the shot, traveling with your camera, sweet gear deals, mobile lighting solutions, quelling frustrations, finding work, sensitive subjects, DIY projects, defamation, making and maintaining a website, in defense of photography, capturing action, post-processing, photo lingo, cold weather shooting, food photography, death in photography, film photography, famous photos, critiques, videography, user-generated content, composition, iPhoneography, standing up for yourself, blogging, workflow, the first time, candid portraiture, copyright and licensing, ethics, gear investments, inspiration, long shots, making it in the photo business, networking, night photography, perks of being a photographer, photographer stressors, photography philosophy, photography trends, picking your priorities, pricing, promoting yourself and your work, protecting your assets, self-improvement, odd photography, and travel.

CCR:FRB – Review 01 – Kosmo Foto Mono 100

CCR:FRB – Review 01 – Kosmo Foto Mono 100

At your first glance, you see this Soviet Styled space-age packaging, and you know you’re in for a treat. Mono 100 is the new player on the block, a Panchromatic ASA-100 speed B&W Film. When I first learned that Kosmo Foto was working towards releasing a brand new film I jumped. While the Soviet-styled look will draw you in, the contents of the film itself will make you want to shoot more and more of the film stock.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100

The Lowdown
Type: B&W Panchromatic
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: ASA-50 to ASA-400
Formats Avaliable: 135 (35mm)

Roll 1 – Rodinal
Before I start, I’ll have to confess I went completely off spec for this first roll of film. The trouble, at least for me was, it’s been drummed into my head that you get poor results for developing times less than five minutes (well I did soup Tri-X in HC-110 Dil. B for 4.5 minutes for many years before switching). So when the chart for Mono 100 noted the Rodinal time was 3.5 minutes for 1+25 dilution my brain screamed at me. I then sat down, did a bit of math, looked at another ASA-100 film and decided to use a 1+50 dilution, double the time and add thirty seconds. I honestly did not expect it to work, but it did. As for the results, well they speak for themselves. Mono 100 has rich tones across the spectrum, incredibly fine grain, something I wasn’t expecting.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 2 – Kodak D-76
I never thought I would say this, but Mono 100 sings in D-76, I was again surprised at the short time for a diluted D-76, but in this case, the time is spot on. Not to mention D-76 shows off exactly what Mono 100 can do, smooth beautiful tones, and makes the world look right, the perfect monochromatic image. Especially with a deep yellow filter in front of the lens. There is some noticeable grain, but nothing that isn’t too bad.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-15) – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 3 – Kodak TMax Developer
And the hits just keep on coming, Mono 100 responded perfectly to TMax Developer. As a developer, TMax and I have a hit-and-miss relationship. When I like it, I like it, when I don’t, I sort of use up the rest of the bottle reluctantly and then let it be for months. But in light of doing all these film reviews, it seemed only fair to give it a go. While I noticed a drop in contrast and a bit more of an uptick in grain it really is not a bad pairing.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 5:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
When it comes to new films these days I am a bit wary. When I first learned about Mono 100 I figured we’d get a polyester base grain fest. Of course, that is not the case, I’m not knocking polyester based films they just can be a bit hard to handle. The film reminds me of how Svema Foto 200 handles, with smooth realistic tones, excellent response to contrast filters and just makes the world look right. While I’m still not sold on a 3.5 minute time in Rodinal 1+25, I’m sure it turns out fine, just be ready with that stop bath! But for me the one thing I see as a problem is the lack of HC-110 times, in fact, you are dissuaded from using HC-110 with the film. Of course, if I had a couple more rolls I’d be souping it in Dilution B just to see what happens. But if I were to give two solid developers for Mono 100 I would say Rodinal and D-76 are the clear winners.

CCR Review 78 – Mamiya m645

CCR Review 78 – Mamiya m645

There are many cameras out there that hold iconic status, others that carry a cult status, however, when it comes to the Mamiya m645 the camera holds neither but remains an essential camera to many a wedding photography. The m645 is a workhorse, designed to take a beating and keep on getting photos, and there’s a strong chance that if you got married when medium format was king of the wedding market, or you’re of a certain age where school photos were still taken on film the m645 was the camera in the hand of the photographer. And while the m645 has evolved and changed over time many originals are even shooting strong.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645
The Dirt
Make: Mamiya
Model: m645
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium Format, 120/220, 6×4.5
Lens: Interchangeable, Mamiya m645 mount
Year of Manufacture: 1975

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Good
As a camera, the m645 is compact robust and easily operated in any situation. Without a grip, the camera can be carried in almost any camera bag without too much trouble. A side grip or motor drive will make it wider but doesn’t do much to add any weight. The controls are well laid out and are easy to operate with either an eye-level (ELF) or waist-level (WLF) finder. As a bonus, if you are using a WLF a secondary shutter release on the top of the body makes it easy to release the shutter. Even without a grip using an ELF the controls are easy to find and operate, but adding a grip (such as the Deluxe L-Grip) does make life a touch easier. The optical quality of the glass is decent, it’s no Carl Zeiss, but they aren’t too bad, the 35mm ultra-wide is soft at the corners, but the 150mm and 45mm are excellent lenses to get. However, the crown jewel is the 80mm f/1.9 a lens that is fairly magic. As for the cost of getting into the m645 system, it’s fairly inexpensive as there are plenty in good working order, but the best part is the cost of the lenses most of the optics are decently priced most under 100 dollars, of course, the 80 f/1.9 does carry a higher price tag as does the WLF accessory. The best part about the camera, however, is how easily it operates in the winter, I can easily shoot and operate the controls even with gloves on. Which, as someone who lives in Canada, is a big deal, even the electronic nature of the camera doesn’t seem affected by the deep freeze we’re currently under.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Bad
The big issue with the camera is age, the m645 is from the mid-1970s and is electronic. While you may never have an issue, if something does go wrong, finding someone to repair them could be difficult, and it does use a non-standard battery to power everything. If you’re on an extended trip, you might need to carry a spare and be sure to get the silver-oxide version of the battery as it lasts just that big longer though alkaline does work. The second biggest issue with the camera is the lack of a leaf shutter, though it may have helped keep the price of the lenses down having a fixed shutter speed of 1/60 for flash sync would be a hindrance for operating the camera with strobes. The biggest issue in my case is two-fold, the first is the lack of hot-swappable film backs, like the Pentax 645, the m645 uses a film insert. As a result, you cannot switch part way through which could be a problem for wedding photographers, and the second is that because of this you only get 15 shots per roll of 120. Both these issues were resolved in the next version of the camera.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Lowdown
The m645 is a polarising camera among photographers there are those who love them, and there are those who hate them. You’ll find both in many photography groups on Facebook. Because if a person is looking for an inexpensive way to get into Medium Format, many out there will roll out the parade for the m645 and immediately get flamed by those who dislike the format. I am neither of these, taking a firm middle-of-the-road grasp rather on the camera. If you have a chance to get an m645 go for it, but be warned, like that old Police Interceptor Crown Victoria the camera like the car probably saw heavy using in a previous life. I would not blindly go into purchasing the camera through eBay; you certainly want to have it looked over first and ensure it works especially the lens. The 80mm f/2.8 does have issues with oil on the blades and the aperture spring, at least you can get a new one for a low cost. Another note on the optics, stick to the newer lenses, those marked with N. I do have a good recommendation for the m645; it is a solid, inexpensive, decent quality camera to explore the world of medium format, just be a little cautious and make sure there are no major issues before you pay.

All Photos Taken in Belfountain, Ontario
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 9:00 @ 20C

#photochat – 4 January 2017 – Self-Improvement

#photochat – 4 January 2017 – Self-Improvement

Established in 2013 by MainStreetHost and taken on by Alex Luyckx Photography in 2015, #photochat is a community of photography professionals and enthusiasts who congregate to talk shop and discuss anything and everything photography. To participate in our weekly chat (every Thursday at 1:00pm ET) search the #photochat hashtag to see the conversation, or find me at @AlexLuyckxPhoto on Twitter for more info. Be sure to include the hashtag in your tweets to answer the questions and talk with the other participants.

If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in #photochat, hop onto Facebook, Twitter, or good old fashioned Email and let me know!

The Topic for Thursday 4 January 2018 is about Self-Improvement!

Question 1 – What are you going to do this year to help you improve as a photographer?
Question 2 – What have you done in the past that has helped you improve?
Question 3 – Do you feel there’s value in self-improvement?
Question 4 – Can gear help you improve?
Question 5 – Share two photos that show an improvement in your work!

Past topics have included: Snapshots, Exposure Troubles, Street Photography (2017), Event Photography, Photographic Gifts, Film Photography (2017), Photographic Annoyances, Locations, Strange Habits, Collaboration, Buying Work, Silly Mistakes, Show and Tell, The Discomfort Zone, The Comfort Zone, Influence, Consistency, Inclement Weather, Stock Photography, Going Freelance, Photo Sharing, Photography Books, Creativity in Photography, Colour Photography, Black & White (2017), Critiques, Lenses, Blogging, Regrets, What’s in Your Bag (2017), Promotion, Random Questions, Photo Projects, Shooting Film, Photographic Buzz Words, Photographic Wins, Photographic Fails, Still Life, Portrait Photography, Automotive Photography (2017), Traveling With Gear, Photographic Quirks, Why is Photography Important (2017), Ethics (2017), Difficult Situations, Phone Photography, Web sites, Self-Improvement (2017), Personal Branding, Photographic Gifts, Brand Loyalties (2016), Location Scouting, Food Photography, The Good, The Bad, Photographic Slumps, Wedding Photography, Post-Processing, Digital Photography, Film Photography, Keeping It Simple, Photographic Fads, Regular Maintenance, Personal Vision, Travel, Snapshots, Extreme Weather, Sports Photography, Pet Peeves, Out of the Box, Portrait Photography, Infrared Photography, Good Practices, Landscape Photography, Photography as a Skill, Photography as an Art, Getting Noticed, Post-Processing, Film Processing, Instant Photography, Tripods, Pet Photography, Budget Photography, Nude Photography, Workflow, Vintage Gear, The 5 W’s, Going Pro, Importance of Photography, Filters, Photography & the Law, Editing Your Work, Travelling with Gear, Street Photography, Get Up and Go (Motivation), Photographic Goals (2016), Low-Light Photography, Photographic Dreams, Cold Weather, Naturally Artificial, LoFi Love, Product Photography, Chasing Light, Automotive Photography, Finding Inspiration, All About You, Landscapes, Shooting for Colour, Digital Video, Back to School Parts I and II, Self-Publishing, Keeping Calm, Photography & Zen, Camera Bags, Dealing with People, Printing Your Work, Adventure Photography, Camera Clubs, Fireworks Photography, Aircraft Photography, Architectural Photography, Photo meetups, Getting Rid of GAS, Keeping it Organized, Favourite Things, Photo Competitions, Biggest Challenges, Compact System Cameras, film vs. digital, landscape photography, seasonal photography, the basics of composition, what’s in your camera bag?, night photography, portrait photography, forced perspective photography, black and white photography, golden hour photography, macro photography, how photography has changed your life, to photoshop or not, motion photography, photojournalism, the best gifts for photographers in 2014, extreme weather photography, photographic aspirations, street photography, “why are you a photographer?”, improvisational lighting tactics, post-processing rituals, photographic blunders, getting paid, photographic triumphs, shooting hardship, photographic anxieties, quick thinking, making a difference, favorites, appropriation, brand loyalties, small photography, BIG photography, focus, photography in advertising, battle scars, sharing your photography, creative evolution, the inanimate subject, photo vs. video, emerging tech, teaching the craft, getting the shot, traveling with your camera, sweet gear deals, mobile lighting solutions, quelling frustrations, finding work, sensitive subjects, DIY projects, defamation, making and maintaining a website, in defense of photography, capturing action, post-processing, photo lingo, cold weather shooting, food photography, death in photography, film photography, famous photos, critiques, videography, user-generated content, composition, iPhoneography, standing up for yourself, blogging, workflow, the first time, candid portraiture, copyright and licensing, ethics, gear investments, inspiration, long shots, making it in the photo business, networking, night photography, perks of being a photographer, photographer stressors, photography philosophy, photography trends, picking your priorities, pricing, promoting yourself and your work, protecting your assets, self-improvement, odd photography, and travel.

A Winter’s Walk

A Winter’s Walk

What do you do when you have a morning to kill and your clients cancelled their Christmas photoshoot? Why you gather up your fellow podcast hosts and hit the streets!

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

It’s always fun to hit the streets to test out a new camera and lens combo like the Mamiya m645 plus the stupidly wide 35mm lens. The quick morning walk was exactly what I needed to clear my head and hang out with my awesome co-hosts, John, James, Mike, Donna, and Bill. And despite having shot through the old section of Oakville many times, it’s always good to make a return to see if your eye catches anything new.

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

I also had the chance to hit up two local spots, Tribeca Coffee and the new location of Bru. Both of which are well worth the visit. Good Coffee, Good Food, Good Friends, you can’t ask for anything better to kick off the Christmas holiday season.

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

Be sure to check out Bill’s photos from the walk as well! He got to test out his newly repaired Rokkor 58mm f/1.5 lens!

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiyia-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 N – Kodak Tri-X Pan @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 36 – Last But Not Least

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 36 – Last But Not Least

ccr-logo-leaf

We’ve covered a fair amount of ground this season on Classic Camera Revival and lots of cameras have been left in the dust. But we’re here at the end of the year to play a bit of catch-up and discuss those cameras that we didn’t have time to bring up during the year!

Cameras Featured on this show
Pentax K1000 – A student classic, while the favoured son of the K-Mount cameras it wasn’t the original. This is one of many cameras that is perfect for learning the photographic craft on! Simple, no-nonsense and can operate with or without the battery. Plus you have access to an amazing lineup of lenses that can still be had at an inexpensive cost. Alex received this camera from his Grandfather and isn’t getting rid of it this time around, unlike past K1000s that have passed through his toolkit.

CCR - Review 2 - Pentax K1000

Technical Details
Make: Pentax
Model: K1000
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Minature, 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1979-1997

TFSM - Spring '15 - Queen StreetTFSM - Spring '15 - Queen StreetTFSM - Spring '15 - Queen Street

Pentax MX – The mechanical cousin of the Pentax ME, released in the wake of the Olympus OM-1 and the trend of making smaller SLRs. This is an all mechanical camera, that produces wonderful images!

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 36 - Last But Not Least

Technical Details
Make: Pentax
Model: MX
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Minature, 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1976-1985

The DVP Looking NorthLower BayviewBroadview Station Bound Car

Mamiya 645AFD – Probably the newest camera we’ve ever featured on our show. The 645AFD is the second auto-focus model of the classic wedding photographer’s camera the Mamiya m645. The camera features full autofocus, magazine loading, and full auto-exposure. And certain newer versions of this camera can accept a digital back, but we don’t hold that against the camera.

Technical Details
Make: Mamiya
Model: 645AFD
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium (120/220), 6×4.5
Lens: Interchangeable, Mamiya AF Mount
Year of Manufacture: 2001

TFS-02_28_16-03P400-001TFS-02_28_16-11

Voigtländer Bessa – When it comes to folders there are lots of good and bad cameras out there. This recent addition to Alex’s collection comes from his Uncle Harvey. And while the lack of a rangefinder for focus can see some issues, an external rangefinder helps out. Of course, the one issue he found is that the film winder shreds the plastic take-up reels. At least he has a collection of old metal ones.

CCR Review 70 - Voigtlander Bessa

Technical Details
Make: Voigtländer
Model: Bessa
Type: Point-And-Shoot
Format: Medium, 120/620, 6×4.5/6×9
Lens: Fixed, Voigtländer Anastigmat Voigtar 1:4,5 F=11cm
Year of Manufacture: 1935-1937

St. JamesRise of the CondosFlatiron No. 1

Minolta Minoltina P – This beautiful little compact camera is Minolta’s response to the Olympus Trip 35. Compact, semi-automatic with zone focusing. Plus add a Rokkor lens and you have a winning camera.

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-P

Technical Details
Make: Minolta
Model: Minoltina P
Type: Point-And-Shoot
Format: Minature, 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Fixed, Minolta Rokkor 1:2.8 f=38mm
Year of Manufacture: 1963

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-PSolitaireSolitude

Kiev 3a – John opted to stick with this Russian copy of the Contax IIIa rangefinder rather than the Contax IIIa itself. The reason? Lenses! Most Jupiter lenses that are based on the Contax RF mount won’t actually mount on post-war Contax rangefinders. Something Alex found out the hard way.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 36 - Last But Not Least

Technical Details
Make: Arsenal
Model: Kiev 3a
Type: Rangefinder
Format: Minature, 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Contax RF Mount (Pre-War)
Year of Manufacture: 1954-1959

Kiev plus Jupiter 12Kiev plus Jupiter 12Kiev plus Jupiter 12

Minolta Autocord – Minolta’s answer to the Yashica. This lovely metered TLR is a great camera and one of Bill’s favourites when he doesn’t want to lug along the fridge of his Mamyia C-Series. Of course given the age, the camera does need to go into service soon.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 36 - Last But Not Least

Technical Details
Make: Minolta
Model: Autocord CdS III
Type: Twin Lens Reflex
Format: Medium, 120/220, 6×6
Lens: Fixed, Minolta Rokkor 1:3.5 f=75mm
Year of Manufacture: 1966

Lakeshore Rd. Monday MorningDon Jail_Front St. on Saturday Morning_

Ricoh Diacord L – While this camera has been on our show before and lovingly called the DOAcord. But with a little love, and a stern talking to this camera is a strong performer!

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L

Technical Details
Make: Ricoh
Model: Diacord L
Type: Twin Lens Reflex
Format: Medium (120), 6×6
Lens: Fixed, Rikenon 1:3.5 f=8cm
Year of Manufacture: 1957

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord LMill Pond - Diacord LMill Pond - Diacord L

Yashica 124G – A recent acquisition for Donna, sadly she hasn’t had the chance to take it out to shoot yet!

Technical Details
Make: Yashica
Model: Yashicamat 124G
Type: Twin Lens Reflex
Format: Medium (120/220), 6×6
Lens: Fixed, Yashinon f=8cm 1:3.5
Year of Manufacture: 1970-1986

Fomapan – An Inexpensive Classic
Foma is a polarizing film, either you like it or you don’t. While the whole gang enjoys Foma 100, they’re not too pleased with 200 or 400.

Fomapan 100 – Some examples of Fomapan 100
TFSM - Spring '17Old Rusted ChainguardAfter the Storm

Fomapan 200 – Some examples of Fomapan 200
The Sailor (Again)Barn

Fomapan 400 – Some examples of Fomapan 400
Still Bananas

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix check out Burlington Camera (Burlington, ON), Downtown Camera (Toronto, ON), Film Plus (Toronto, ON), Belle Arte Camera (Hamilton, ON), Pond’s FotoSource (Guleph, ON), Foto Art Camera (Owen Sound, ON). Out West there’s The Camera Store (Calgary, AB) and Beau Photo Supply (Vancouver, BC). Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), buyfilm.ca (Ontario), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

CCR Review 77 – Zenza Bronica EC

CCR Review 77 – Zenza Bronica EC

Anyone who has read these reviews from the beginning knows I have a bit of a conflict with Bronica cameras. It’s not that they’re bad cameras, it’s just that for me there are too many small issues, minor annoyances that make me shy away from them. And the Bronica EC is no different, but it does come to the same point of almost earning a recommendation from me as the GS-1 does. At first glance, the EC has the look of an overgrown Kiev 88, a mechanical beast. However, that is far from the truth. As the EC in the name suggests, the camera is electronic, reliant on all operations on a battery. It’s big, it’s heavy, and continues the tradition of being a polarizing camera in my hands. Thanks to Donna Bitaxi for loaning it out for a review.

CCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica EC

The Dirt
Make: Zenza
Model: Bronica EC
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium Format, 120, 6×6
Lens: Interchangeable, Bronica S-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1972-1975

CCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica ECCCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica EC

The Good
Those who like Bronica cameras love ’em, those who dislike them, shy away pretty hard. But the Bronica EC does have some good talking points. The first is a feature that isn’t even made by Bronica, but rather it’s the optics. If you’ve seen the photos on Flickr or glanced at the technical details, the optics are still made by Nikon. This is before the Zenza/Nikon split in the 1980s. And what a lovely piece of glass, now I only tested out the massive 50mm lens, and I can say I am impressed but not surprised. If you have a set of AI-S lenses for your 35mm cameras, then you won’t be disappointed by the Nikkor lenses that come in the Bronica S-Mount. But what’s good glass without a good viewfinder? And I have to say, the waist level finder on the EC is certainly one of the better ones I’ve worked with, I would even rate it higher than that on my Hasselblad 500c, even with a f/3.5 lens on the front. Combine that with a magnifier loupe that has almost 100% coverage and big enough to shade any stray light. When it comes to camera operation there is a certain satisfaction with the camera, the WLF opens and closes with only one hand, the shutter speed dial is big, and the camera is far lighter than you’d expect. The film advance is smooth, and the shutter makes a satisfying noise. And if you’re familiar with how to load and unload film from a Mamiya m645, you can rock the Bronica EC.

CCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica ECCCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica EC

The Bad
You’re probably wondering at this point, why I can’t recommend this camera after speaking on several awesome points of the camera. Well, like all Bronica’s it’s the little things that get me. The first problem is age, I will always knock cameras from the 1980s that have electronics, but this is a camera from 1975, so it’s just that much older. And the older some electronics get, there’s more a chance of them failing. And many repair shops that still work on film cameras will avoid Bronica cameras like the plague. And yes, while I was out shooting, the camera conked out for a bit before coming back to life. The second big issues I have with the camera is the film magazine. I could not figure out how to take it off the camera body, and if you’re in a situation where you need to hot-swap, well there’s a chance you need more than two hands to achieve the goal, like many other actions that relate to the loaded film. I can understand the extra level of safety, but I can pop the magazine of my 500c on and off with one hand. The other issues I have are more along the lines of head-scratchers when it comes to the design of the camera. The first is the presence of a cold shoe, on the side of the camera. I cannot for the life of me figure out why it’s there. Personally, I wouldn’t mount a usual off-camera flash on it, with it sticking off the side it would make the camera rather unwieldy. The only thing that could work would be a slim radio transmitter. And speaking of flash, I can’t see why they would put a focal plane shutter, in the era when many such cameras operated on leaf shutters allowing for many different shutter sync speeds, rather than just one, in the EC’s case 1/60″. And finally, the battery compartment placement on the bottom of the camera, meaning you’d have to dismount any tripod foot to replace the battery.

CCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica ECCCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica EC

The Lowdown
The Bronica EC isn’t a bad camera; I mean that. But I still cannot, in good conscience, recommend it. While there’s a chance, you’ll get one in prime condition, and it will serve you well. But there’s still that chance it’ll fail and an inopportune time, and you won’t have a repair shop that can fix it. While I wouldn’t put this camera against a Hasselblad, it does provide a cheaper alternative to it, but again I have not seen many on the used market. And now you see my paradox with Bronica, I want to like them, tell people, yes this is a good camera, but there’s just enough wrong to make me go no, save the money and find a good deal on a Hasselblad.

All Photos Taken in Cheltenham & Limehouse, Ontario
Bronica EC – Nikkor-H 1:3.5 f=50mm – Kodak Tri-X Pan @ ASA-320
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C