Recommended Reading – February 2024

There were a lot of excellent items that popped up on my feed this month. Some good news about film prices, an excellent interview between two awesome Australian photographers and the return to publishing of camera reviews from Mike Eckman, who is a huge inspiration for my written camera reviews. So here are the social media posts that caught my eye for the shortest month of the year!

Kosmo Foto – Kodak Alaris reduces price of Tri-X 35mm film by up to 30%
This one is a hanger on from last month, so I might as well lead this month’s list with this amazing news. The one film that solidified not only my enjoyment of B&W film, but of home developing is Kodak Tri-X. Most Kodak products have increased in price signifigantly over the last few years that I made the choice to not complain but simply stop including them in my regular rotation. I have used some expired stuff, but I have stopped buying the fresh stuff. But this amazing news that prices are dropping means that I might be able to start using a long time favourite. You can read more over on Kosmo Foto!

CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400
I can certainly see some Tri-X in my future!

Jeremy Bassetti – Cultivating Daily Creative Habits
I happened across this interesting article over on Threads. As someone who also enjoys getting out and creating I can see some value in what is written in this article. Now I’m not one to wax poetic about building ritual around creating, sure there are certain things I like to do and use when creating, but in some cases here it makes it sounds like work. Complete with daily check ins at a certain time. Yes, I do maintain some form of schedule, but nothing to this extreme. But maybe you’re a person who needs this level of structure, if so, read on at Jeremy Bassetti.

Camera Review Blog No. 160 - Canon AE-1
Photography and writing remains my major creative outputs.

35mmc – Intrepid 4×5 – One Year of Traveling – a Review, Thoughts, and Photos
If there is one camera that I miss it’s my Intrepid 4×5, it broke in a rather spectacular way after a successful trip out to Fortress Louisburg on Cape Breton Island. So when I saw this article pop up on 35mmc I wanted to read someone else’s experience with the Intrepid. And Sam’s article did not disappoint, taking in the best and worst of the latest version of the Intrepid 4×5, which is a significantly better camera than my former Mk. I. And a large format camera takes time and this review is written after a year of experience with the camera. You can read more of this well written review along with stunning images over on 35mmc.

Dawn in Ironwood National Monument
Dawn in Ironwood National Monument, Arizona. Ektar 100, Intrepid 4×5 MK4. 90mm Nikkor SW f/8 lens
Pic: Sam Forrest – 35mmc

Photo Thinking – Nikon FE: FEeling It!
While these days my Nikon FE has been religated to sitting in a box in favour of the FE2 there’s no denying the magic that was one of the original small format SLRs to come out of Nikon in response to the OM-1. Theo takes on this amazing camera and is ready to cut to the FEeling! The FE is a different beast from his favourite FM2n, it is a familiar camera in form and function. He describes it as easy to pick up, load up, and get out. Read on over at Photo Thinking!

The Tool Kit - 2019 - Nikon FE
This is my own Nikon FE, I much prefer the two-tone chrome versions of these cameras rather than all-black.

Mike Eckman – Panon Widelux F6
It’s always fun when Mike dusts off his January break and starts back into posting reviews. In fact, a lot of the changes to my own reviews has been because of how Mike styles his camera reviews. While I won’t ever match the lengths of his articles, they certainly have enough information for camera nerds. Panoramic cameras are ones that I want to get back into but with the cost of them these days I’ll have to settle to live through other people Like the Panon Widelux F6. Mike has nothing but praise for this cult classic ‘dude’ of a camera, read more over at Mike Eckman!

Widelux F6
Swing lens panoramic cameras always cut a fine figure. But there’s something delightfully function over form about the Widelux.
Pic: Mike Eckman

Utah Film Photography – Octopus – The Weekender
Before we could carry everything in our pockets with your smartphone, you could still do that, meet the Octopus Weekender. This camera is weird, it has a standard 110 fixed everything camera (and flash), plus a watch, radio (AM/FM), flashlight, alarm clock, and stopwatch functions. What makes this device all the more interesting (or weird) is that the camera itself is shoved into a custom housing on top of all the other functions. The camera is a simple Ansco 600, at least it can be pulled out and used separately. (Unless that’s how it was intended?). Anyways, this one caught my eye and you can read more over on Utah Film Photography!

Camera with Radio
The Octopus Weekender, a strange multifunction device that does everything your smartphone does today, but in a far bulkier form-factor.
Pic: Utah Film Photography

Matt Loves Cameras – Desert Island Cameras with Theo Panagopoulos of Camerosity
The idea of a ‘desert island camera’ is one that I often struggle with coming up with an idea of what camera I would want if stranded. There are so many options out there and things to consider. But in this video podcast, Matt and Theo (both from the land down under) discuss this idea with great detail, and come out with some interesting choices!

Japan Vintage Camera – Minolta’s Best Ever Film Camera, the Alpha 9
I’m a big fan of the Minolta Maxxum 9, it’s a go-to camera for me when I’m out just shooting film. And while these days if space is an issue, I’ll go for the Dynax 600si, the ‘9 is always close to the top. I came across this video and I completely agree that the ‘9 is Minolta’s best camera of all time.

The Woodland Escape – Insights Through the Ages: The Value of Historical Learning | Crafting a Traditional Workman’s Cap
So it’s not just photography content, I’ve been following the Woodland Escape’s Peter for sometime, I first saw his channel after he shared it on one of the reenactment groups I’m attached to, when he started his 18th Century Cabin build. It was an amazing and relaxing series to watch, not only does Peter share how he’s building things the way he does, but he tries to stick to the time period, in tools, technique and garb. And while I haven’t yet had the chance to visit Kelly Station, I do hope to head out there one day, I think it would make for good photography! Anyways, in this video, Peter shares the importance and value of Historical Learning. The video caught my eye because the reasons he shares and all the same ones why I always learn as much as I can about history. Not only applying it to my photography projects, but also my camera reviews, because nothing came out of a vacuum, and context isn’t just for kings, it matters.

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