Author: Alex

CCR:FRB – Review 15 – Fomapan 400

CCR:FRB – Review 15 – Fomapan 400

Fomapan 400, the big mystery, at least to me. I’ve never once shot this film, mostly because I had heard some terrible things about it. Now I am set in my ways when it comes to the faster films, sticking to the ones I know and enjoy. Tri-X, HP5+, and JCH StreetPan. Yet, through shooting and developing the film and seeing the work Bill Smith has been doing with the stock in 35mm I am plesently surprised. There’s a certain classic look and feel well before the days when films were touted as “Finest Grain” or “Sharpest 400-Speed Film” the days where you wanted fine grain you shot Panatomic-X and if you wanted speed you shot Tri-X. Grain is good.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 100-3200
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-23
Surprisingly this was exactly how I was expecting to see my Fomapan 400 images, contrasty, grainy, sharp, but not overly so. A very classic look, like the Kodak films of the middle of the 20th century. Films that don’t claim to be super sharp and fine-grained, but produce amazing images! It’s almost as if these were shot in the 1960s or 1970s. Yet the grain is not that bad to be honest. Sure you see it in the skies, but honestly, you still have a sharp clear image with some decent tonal range to work with. So maybe, Fomapan 400 isn’t as bad as people think.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 01 (Kodak D-23)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 01 (Kodak D-23)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 01 (Kodak D-23)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 01 (Kodak D-23)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Fomapan 400 @ ASA-250
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Rodinal
So I guess this is where Fomapan 400 get’s it’s ill reputation. Usually, I don’t mind even the faster films souped in Rodinal, Pancro 400, Tri-X, StreetPan. But with Fomapan 400, even giving it every possible chance, pulling it one stop, using a dilute developer. It’s doesn’t look bad, it’s just it could look better. While you have the tone, contrast, and sharpness in the images the grain gets all muddied up! It reminds me of what Fomapan 200 looked like in Xtol. Well I mean, I had a feeling it could happen, while not a bad developer, it wouldn’t be my first choice with Foma 400.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 02 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Ziess Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+50) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak HC-110
Out of all the developers, I didn’t expect the worst to come out of HC-110, I actually expected it out of Rodinal. Yet here we are, a solid performer yes and there is actually less grain on these images that I was originally expecting for shooting it at full box speed. Am I disappointed, not really, actually I feel fairly vindicated that I could get some heavy grained images out of the film. But just because they’re grainy, doesn’t make them bad. I actually like the shots, the tones and contrast are rich and the images clean and Fomapan 400 doesn’t claim to be a fine-grained film. There’s almost a classic pushed look to these, which in the right situation would work wonderfully!

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak HC-110)

Techincal Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 N – Fomapan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 13:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak Tmax Developer
Now, this is a pleasant surprise. Maybe it’s the compensating nature of the developer, or maybe the film isn’t that bad at box speed. But no matter what it is, TMax Developer and Fomapan 400 is a wonderful combination. Is there grain, sure, but no more or less than from Bergger Pancro 400. Not to mention, you have a pretty sharp image, amazing tonal range. And nothing of what I would have expected from Fomapan 400.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 04 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 04 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 04 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 400 - Roll 04 (Kodak TMax Developer)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 8:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
So, maybe I was wrong about Fomapan 400. The film itself has surprised me, with how good it is. It actually reminds me of old school Tri-X in its tonality and contrast. Is there grain, of course, but nothing that looks terrible. I mean, the grain patterns that I see remind me of what I saw with Pancro 400, and I rather liked that film when it was developed right. Is Fomapan 400 a film for every day, of course not, but if you are shooting at a Korea or Vietnam era reenactment camp, the images could look like they were taken during the war if you shoot the right camera and develop it right. For me, the developers of choice would be Kodak D-23 and I’m sure D-76 does just as fine a job, also TMax Developer and HC-110. And don’t be afraid to shoot the film at full box speed, I just wouldn’t push it too far past.

CCR Review 89 – Minolta XG-M

CCR Review 89 – Minolta XG-M

The first time I picked up the Minolta XG-M, it felt as if I were coming home. If you’ve been following along with these reviews for some time, you’ll know that my first real camera system came from Minolta, first with the SR-T 102 and then the X-7a. When I had the chance to get back into the Minolta cameras, I had no qualms about getting an XG series as they have plenty of good options, but out of all the XG line from Minolta, the XG-M is the one that suited me the best. A real camera of the 1980s yet carries on the legacy of both Rokkor lenses and Minolta quality before they joined up with Konica. Thanks to Trevor Black for this camera.

CCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-M

The Dirt
Make: Minolta
Model: XG-M
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Minolta MC Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1981

CCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-MCCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-M

The Good
First and foremost the XG-M is small, but not in a bad way, I should rather call it compact for an SLR, along with the same lines as a Nikon FA and Olympus OM-1. Combine the size with an equally compact weight you have the perfect camera to carry around no matter if you’re travelling light or attending a moving photo walk. While the XG-M lacks the full auto-exposure shooting of the X-700 or Nikon FA, the aperture priority is perfect and the fact the camera has the full manual mode which sets it apart from the rest of the XG series. The camera’s viewfinder is big and bright and has feedback on both your shutter speed as indicated with lights and your aperture through an under-prism window. Though in low light it is difficult to see both. Operation wise the shutter release is a soft touch one but doesn’t take away the mechanical release, which Minolta could have easily done. The release is located just by the lens mount. The film advance is short and allows for quick operation. Or you can add the Motor Drive 1, which I had with my X-7a but had no desire to add to my XG-M, if I need that, I have the FA. There’s a dedicated on/off button (more on that later), and everything is well laid out on the camera body. And I do have to make a mention of the sharp line of underrated Rokkor lenses available for the camera, though I do recommend sticking to the modern Rokkor-X models.

CCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-MCCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-M

The Bad
There are some things that I do dislike about the camera. First of all is the placement of the on/off switch, more specifically where the indicator on if your camera is on or off. That is covered up by the film advance lever when it’s placed flush into the body. You can pull it out part way (like turning on a Nikon FM/FE/FA), and then you can see it. At least the actual switch unit is on the opposite side. I feel it could be better placed for more feedback. The second item is the restrictive ISO/ASA ratings for the camera meter, running from ASA-25 at the low end and ASA-1600 at the high-end. It’s not so much the low-end rating it’s that the camera tops out at 1600. Sure I could use the EV adjustment (+2/-2) to adjust it higher and lower, but I tend to avoid using it as I often will forget to adjust it back and mess up the next roll of film.

CCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-MCCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-M

The Lowdown
The XG-M is certainly a camera I would recommend; they are inexpensive on the used market as are the lenses which makes it an easy way to get into manual focus, semi-automatic film photography without too much out of pocket. You could get a camera and lens for about 100$ and still have lots left over to get lots of films to run through the camera. Personally, I’m looking forward to using this camera at plenty of Toronto Film Shooters meetups when we’re moving as I can bring plenty of lenses along for the ride and still have space/weight for a medium format camera in the bag.

All Photos Taken in Milton, Ontario
Minolta XG-M – Minolta Rokkor-X 45mm 1:2 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

#photochat – 17 May 2018 – Power of Photography

#photochat – 17 May 2018 – Power of Photography

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 17 May 2018 is about The Power of Photography!

Question 1 – How is photography powerful in your mind?
Question 2 – Can photos carry the power to make a change?
Question 3 – Do photos need to be a singular image or a series to have power?
Question 4 – Have you taken a photo that carried a particular power to it?
Question 5 – Share a photo, either taken by you, or by another that shows the power of photography?

Past topics have included: Photographic Evolution, Photography Projects (2018), Mobile Technologies, Black & White Photography (2018), Colour Photography (2018), Photographic Perks, Buying a New Camera, Optics, Keep it Simple, Accessories, Helping Out, Battle Damage, Ultrawide Angle, All About the Love, Podcasts, 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.

CCR:FRB – Review 14 – Fomapan 200

CCR:FRB – Review 14 – Fomapan 200

Fomapan 200 is a film stock that like TMax 400 and Delta 400 I’ve struggled with. I find it far too grainy for 200-speed film stock, often rather soft on the edges and can be rather fickle about lighting conditions. But it’s not a bad film; I think it needs to be handled with little extra care. Fomapan 200, was the first of the Fomapan films that I tried, and while initially disappointed in it, I quickly learned to like the film, for certain applications.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-200, Latitude: 64-800
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak HC-110
You know, there’s something about a little bit of imperfection that makes you enjoy a film and developer combination. And that’s HC-110 and Fomapan 200, it just gives a classic look, that depression era dustbowl tone, contrast, a little soft around the edges, a bit of grain to set it all off. Far from perfectly sharp, toned, and fine grain, but in situations, it works rather well.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Rodinal
It’s strange to describe a film as being ‘soft’ when developed in Rodinal. Normally whenever I soup a film, it’s sharp and has an uptick in grain. On Fomapan 200, I found the negatives underdeveloped, and rather soft. And while the grain is rather noticeable on the images, I don’t find it pleasing in any way. It just doesn’t look good for me. But I wouldn’t stop you from using Rodinal and Foma 200, use the 1+50 dilution and the 9 minute time, the results from what I’ve seen on Flickr are far superior. But if you insist on using the 1+25 dilution, add an extra 30 seconds. The top two images were done at 5 minutes the bottom two at 5.5 minutes; the difference is pretty clear!

Stone & MortarLong SealedPresbyterianThe Bridge

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C & Blazinal (1+25) 5:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak D-76
If you want a classic look, then look no further than Fomapan 200 in D-76. But it’s not an unpleasant softness, but a classic one. The edges are smooth along with the contrast and the tones. Then there’s a grain, while D-76 is not known for reducing grain, it generates a fairly pleasing grain pattern, similar to that you’d see on Fomapan 400 pulled to ASA-200. It still makes for an exciting film!

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)

Techincal Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak Xtol
I have to say, after developing Fomapan 200 in Xtol, I nearly gave up on both Xtol and Fomapan 200. While described as a fine grain developer, it did little to help out with the grain on Fomapan 200. Not to say the grain is terrible on the stock, I was expecting something a little more, clean than what I got. But don’t let the result discourage you, I think if developed for a shorter time, or a slight pull given to the film, the results would be a bit different.

Sydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's PointSydney Harbor Defenses - Chapel Point BatterySydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's PointSydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's Point

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
There’s no denying it, Fomapan 200 is a soft film, no matter what you develop it in! Now, there is a variant of Fomapan 200 that I don’t represent here, a motion picture surveillance variant that is a touch sharper and has a finer grain. However, that is only available in 35mm. There is nothing wrong with the common consumer variant of Fomapan 200; I did give it the benefit of shooting all these in medium format as well. But it’s a classic look, soft all around, there’s some grain, but it’s a classic pleasing grain. It reminds you of the film of yesterday, so something for me to try at reenactment events. If you’re looking to pick some up, I find Fomapan 200 hard to find in physical stores, however online retailers like Argentix.ca or Freestyle Photographic. If you want to try the surveillance variant, you can pick it up at FPP B&W 200 through the Film Photography Project.

Tools or Collection

Tools or Collection

Strangely enough, I caught the idea for today’s post by reading an article in the most recent edition of the Canadian Firearms Journal (May/June 2018). The article of course written about guns, this post is about cameras, though you do shoot with both. There is wisdom in the article, that can be applied to the traditional camera community. The article opens with a story, the author, Tyson Somerville, and a friend is out shooting, while Tyson’s gun is a well cared for, the gun being used by his friend is in rough shape. So as I sat in a local coffee shop waiting for a tire patch, I got to thinking. This same mentality of collection or tools is something that is easily transferred to us photographers who use classic cameras.

CCR - Review 31 - Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye Model CCCR - Review 31 - Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye Model C

I’m a member of several groups on Facebook that are for sharing images of your vintage photography gear, and I often see these massive collections, walls of cameras. And I think, are these people photographers or just collectors. What makes a camera a collector’s item and what makes it a tool? How do I approach the large number of cameras that I own? What are they in it for? To own all the cameras, or to own cameras that are tools to them? Before you start flaming my comment section calling me a hypocrite as I post plenty of camera reviews that are nearing one hundred entries and co-host a podcast dedicated to classic cameras and I do have a fair number of cameras. But until I got married I was in it for the collecting, now I’m in it for the tools.

CCR - Review 14 - Contax G2The Field of Waterloo

My cameras are far from pristine, most have damage through my use of them. Most of the damage on my Contax G2 and Sony a6000 comes from banging around in a haversack during the 200th Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle of Waterloo. The Nikon F2 and F5 are worn and used. Even my Rolleiflex is showing damage now. But that goes for some cameras on my collection shelf as well. The first camera I think of is the Kodak Pony 135 Model C, the branding is almost gone, it’s dirty and dusty. But it’s a camera with a story, it belonged to my father-in-law’s parents who took it on their honeymoon to New York City, the same city my wife and I honeymooned in. And I hope to return one day to NYC with my wife and that camera. Sure it’s not the prettiest, but it’s a tool that captured so many memories. The same could be said for my Opa’s K1000 or his wife’s Instamatic, both of which sit on the collection shelf. The Instamatic because it just doesn’t work anymore, and the K1000 because I want to keep it pristine for the future and maybe pass it down to any child I have.

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model CCCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C

But today I’m not here to dissuade you from collecting, by all means, collect, but also treat the cameras as a tool, let them get banged up, scratched, and show some brassing. Don’t bypass a camera because it looks ugly and used. These cameras were never made to be museum pieces, even the old box cameras that are over a hundred years old. There are plenty of stories with all the cameras even if you don’t know them, so don’t be afraid to add to them.

CCR:FRB – Review 13 – Fomapan 100

CCR:FRB – Review 13 – Fomapan 100

The Fomapan series of films are ones that I only recently discovered in the past couple years. It actually was in 2015 when I visited Europe for the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo and popped into a camera shop in the old city of Amsterdam. And there was the whole range of Foma products from paper to film. Well, when I returned I made a point to start checking out this Foma product line. While Fomapan 100 wasn’t my first experience with the product line, it is my favourite of the three film stocks.

CCR:FRB - Review 13 - Fomapan 100

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: 40-400
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak TMax Developer
I’m not sure if it was the lighting or the developer on this one, but not exactly my favourite combination. Yet, it’s not a bad choice of developer, you get the resolving power that you have with Fomapan 100, fine grain, the tones, but the image is just flat. Sure you have the blacks and the whites, but even those are a little off for my taste. If there was a time for 1+4 you might see an improved contrast. But still, if you want this low contrast look, then yes, a solid choice.

CCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D III

Technical Details:
Mamiya 645 AF-D III – Mamiya 645 AF 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 8:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
One of my favourite developers for Fomapan 100 is HC-110, because not only do you get a good contrast even with low dilutions like H and F, you maintain amazing tonality across the spectrum and a sharp look and fine grain. Sure you may need to develop it a bit longer than usual or use a different agitation pattern. But trust me this gives you that classic look that you have come to expect from the Foma line of films without losing sharpness or increasing the grain.

ParatrooperA Quick Way Around CampUS ForcesLittle bit of Conversation

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 7:45 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Rodinal
If you want contrast on the nose, then Rodinal is your choice for developers with Fomapan 100. You also get to see how sharp the film is, but you do get far more noticeable grain especially when you shoot in 35mm, but far less noticeable in 120. Rodinal is by far my primary developer with Fomapan 100 because it’s a classic looking film, it should always be paired with a classic developer.

LUiNA StationOpposing DoorsWater from the RockLittle India

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-23
For a slow working developer you get a whole lotta contrast out of Fomapan 100, and like Rodinal it gives a strong look to the film. Smooth tones, great contrast, and fine grain. Now you do lose a bit of sharpness but not enough to be overly concerned about it. Of course the downside is that you do have a ten minute developing time, but it’s worth the time.

TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 10:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a classic emulsion that feels like a film you’d have shot in the mid-twentieth century then Fomapan 100 is for you. While you do need to purchase the stock through more speciality film stores Freestyle, Argentix, Maco Direct, B&H, it’s well worth the effort because it is slightly less expensive than mainstream films from Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford. But to get the best results for the film, stick to classic developers, HC-110, Rodinal, and D-23. While I haven’t tried the film with D-76 yet, I’m sure that it would do just as good a job.

#photochat – 10 May 2018 – Evolution

#photochat – 10 May 2018 – Evolution

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 10 May 2018 is about Photographic Evolution!

Question 1 – When you first started photography what was your subject of choice?
Question 2 – Do you have a key point in your photography that you saw noted improvement?
Question 3 – What was your first camera, what camera do you use now?
Question 4 – How did you help yourself along in your photographic evolution?
Question 5 – Share photos, from early in your photography, and if possible, one more recent of the same or similar subject!

Past topics have included: Photography Projects (2018), Mobile Technologies, Black & White Photography (2018), Colour Photography (2018), Photographic Perks, Buying a New Camera, Optics, Keep it Simple, Accessories, Helping Out, Battle Damage, Ultrawide Angle, All About the Love, Podcasts, 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.

CCR Review 88 – Wirgin Edixa II

CCR Review 88 – Wirgin Edixa II

When it comes to exciting cameras, there are plenty out there that I have never heard of before starting to review them. And I’ve come across some that are awesome and others that it came as no surprise why I had never come across them before. The Wirgin name is one that isn’t well known in North America; yet have produced a wide range of cameras that sold in the German Market. I first heard the name on an episode of the Film Photography Project where Leslie reviewed the older Edinex. So when I had a chance to try out the Edixa II, I figured it would be a decent camera. Well, I think I was wrong on that one. At least it has a rangefinder. Thanks to Mike Bitaxi for the camera!

CCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa II

The Dirt
Make: Wirgin
Model: Edixa II
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Fixed, Isco-Gottingen Isconar 1:2.8/43 C
Year of Manufacture: 1953-7

CCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa IICCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa II

The Good
For a camera the size and construction of the Edixa II you’d think I’d be lugging around a bit of a paperweight, but surprisingly it carries rather well and doesn’t add too much to one’s pocket. And unlike the original model, the Edixa II has a rangefinder which does ensure quality in focus images. The viewfinder is bright and well in line with the lens, so no parallax error creeps into your image composition. The lens is a happy medium and is decently fast for the age, a f/2.8 lens you do pretty much everything. And the lack of a meter isn’t too bad as you can shoot sunny-16. Sadly the camera I have you’re stuck on single shutter speed, 1/100th which isn’t the end of the world but might be something I can look into fixing on my own. If there was one thing that surprised me about the cameras were the optics, for a lens brand and style I had never heard of before I found the images sharp, while having a pleasant organic softness to them, especially at wider f-stops.

CCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa IICCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa II

The Bad
It’s been some time since I’ve reviewed a camera that I could yell about for a bit and the Edixa II is one of them. There are several things on this camera that made me scratch my head going “what were they thinking” let’s start first with the focusing, rather than use a typical barrel. It’s a small lever at the bottom of the lens that you turn to focus, sadly the focusing lever feels a lot like, and is near the self-timer. There were a couple of times where I would go to focus and start the self-timer instead. The rangefinder, while nice to have, the way its setup is something I’ve never seen before. First, there are two windows, one for the viewfinder, the other for the rangefinder, which is tiny. An in the rangefinder window there are two other windows, in a T shape. You have the line up the images, which would not be too much of an issue if there wasn’t a black piece, rather thick for space, which made it rather difficult actually to locate a spot to make your focus. And finally we have the film advance, it’s a 1.5 stroke, I mean pick one, either go for a full double stroke like some Leica models, or do a proper one stroke, but the whole one and a half business is nonsense. And the size of the advance lever and construction left my thumb smarting a few times.

CCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa IICCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa II

The Lowdown
Thankfully this camera can sit as a shelf queen, it does look pleasing enough, and I can, as I mention see if I can run a CLA on it and maybe get it cleaned up a bit. And if I end up breaking everything and turning it into a pile of parts I don’t think I’ll be too let down. Another odd thing I noted on the camera was the negative frames; they were not sharp and well defined again a more organic feel to each frame. So unless you’re a big fan of West German cameras from the mid-century, then I would say pass on the Edixa II.

All Photos Taken at Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario
Wirgin Edixa II – Isco-Gottingen Isconar 1:2.8/43 C – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

Kicking it back to the Old School

Kicking it back to the Old School

For anyone who has been a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that Montreal, Quebec holds a special place in my photographic story. So with my first wedding anniversary, last month and a great deal on hotel and the train my wife and I celebrated our anniversary in the city.

Bonsecours MarketLight StandardsRound, And Round

Of course, this trip wasn’t solely for photography, I mean I had refreshingly packed light, sort of. You cannot really call the Nikon F5 light-weight, but I wanted to bring my best 35mm kit with me and have a level of automation. So with the F90 on loan, the F5 got to go on the trip. Oddly enough last time I was in the city it was the Nikon F4 that was my primary 35mm camera and some of the same lenses even came along, the 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, and the 105mm f/2. Then there was the choice of film. I had some five rolls picked out early, hoping for sunlight and good weather. I also was holding out hope that my shipment of Silberra film would arrive before leaving (sadly it did not, so my review of those films I’m pushing to September at this point). So, of course, I went with five slower films, RPX25, Panatomic-X, Fomapan 100, Efke 100, and P30. Well, the weather failed to cooperate, so then I decided to just run with five rolls of Tri-X, knowing that I could push, pull, and shoot at box speed to my heart’s content no matter what the situation required. But as the departure date came closer it seemed the weather would break, so I went with a pair of Tri-X, a pair of Eastman Double-X (which you’re looking at in this post), and a single roll of the new TMax P3200. Yes, a total Kodak fest, but hey, I am a fan of our big yellow father.

A CafeAboveCome to Corith

As Sunday was our actual anniversary, and the nicest day temperature and conditions wise it was Sunday we decided to just wander outside, poking our heads into small shops all through my favourite part of the city, Old Montreal. Now having been to Europe and France I can see the parallels, no surprise between Old Montreal and a place like Arras or Gent. Though far newer (Montreal was founded as Ville-Marie in 1642 when much of Europe was already the same age Montreal is today if not older). So it only made sense to pop in the cinematic Eastman Double-X. I stuck to shooting just my F5, while my wonderful wife took command of the a6000, which she handles rather well I have to say. I stuck to two lenses, much of the first roll was shot on the 105mm f/2 lens while much of the second on the 35mm f/2. I find that I often stick too much to the normal/wide lenses but in Old Montreal, you get wonderful detail in many of the old buildings. While none date back to the 17th Century, there are plenty from the whole range of the 19th Century and into the 20th. A wonderful mix of old and new, comparatively speaking that is.

Our Lady of VictoryWhat's the Time?Hotel Nelson

Yet if you compare Old Montreal to Old Quebec City, you see two different sides of New France/Lower Canada/Canada East. Montreal carries a far more English flare in the old city, while still clearly French, the British influence, which I’m assuming happened through the 1830s and in the 1840s era is rather clear. Whereas Quebec City retains it’s ancien regime flare and styling. Oh, the churches remain clearly French with the grand sweeping Roman Catholic Cathedrals and Chapels. And while you can find them, you have to venture into the newer parts of the city to find Protestant places of Worship. But as I walked the streets again nearly a decade later everything seems both the same and different. I saw the buildings in a new light, probably because there was a lot more light than the last time I walked the narrow streets. And everything seems far more alive, vibrant, and active. While I shot the area extensively the last time I was there, everything looked new. Sure I saw plenty of familiar sites but there was a lot of new sights as well. The streets were full of people, not crowded, but enough to give a new life to the old city. Patios and cafes were murmuring with the crowd and my camera just kept shooting scene after scene. Look, Seek, Find. And yes, I still enjoy taking pictures of doors.

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D/AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Eastman Double-X (5222)
Kodak D-76 (1+2) 11:00 @ 20C

#photochat – 3 May 2018 – Photography Projects

#photochat – 3 May 2018 – Photography Projects

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 3 May 2018 is about Photography Projects!

Question 1 – Are you currently working on a photo project for 2018?
Question 2 – Do you see a project as a way to improve your craft?
Question 3 – How carefully do you track your project?
Question 4 – Is there something to be said for consistency in gear and medium when doing a project?
Question 5 – Share any photos from your current project or a past project you’re proud of or both!

Past topics have included: Mobile Technologies, Black & White Photography (2018), Colour Photography (2018), Photographic Perks, Buying a New Camera, Optics, Keep it Simple, Accessories, Helping Out, Battle Damage, Ultrawide Angle, All About the Love, Podcasts, 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.