When it comes to assistance with long processing times or the need for constant agitation, there aren’t that many options out there today. Sure there is the original Jobo system, but these are completely closed systems that often carry a high startup cost. And on the opposite end of the spectrum are the Besler and Unicolor Cibachrome bases and tanks. But what about something new, using modern solutions. Last year I had the chance to try out one such system, the AuRA film processor, and it certainly made an impression on me and my processing. Sadly these aren’t yet for sale, and given the technologyRead More →

In the 1990s, a particular bread of camera was cheaply made, often in mass quantities and questionable quality. While many have been passed off these days as cheap and trash cameras, some achieved a bit of a cult following. One such camera was the Vivitar Ultra-Wide & Slim (VUWS). Vivitar never made the camera itself; instead, it was marketed and sold under the name. And actually, I don’t think Vivitar ever made anything of their own. What set the UWS apart from the other contemporary trashcams of the 1990s; it featured a simple 22mm f/11 ultra-wide lens, something that most well made point-and-shoot and toyRead More →

When it comes to metering for precision, there is nothing better than a spot meter, but most spot meters these days are expensive, both new and on the used market. The first and only spot meter I’ve used is the Pentax Spotmeter V. This analogue 1° spot meter has become the accessory that always gets thrown in my bag when I’m out with my Crown Graphic Hasselblad or Mamiya for precision tripod-based work. The meter served me through almost my entire War of 1812 project, Canadian Confederation and most recently, the Railway project. A simple easy to use device that allowed me to execute aRead More →

I’m a big fan of Eastman Double-X; it’s a beautiful mid-speed film that offers up amazing latitude and forgiveness along with a lovely grain structure. But for the longest time, it has only been available in 135 (35mm) format because, well, that is generally what cinematographers shoot motion pictures in. Still, it has great potential in medium format. There had been an attempt to have the film produced in 120 format but never went anywhere. At least until earlier this summer, when Cinestill put out the word, they had their BwXX in 120. BwXX is Cinestill’s Eastman Double-X branding and is the same stuff you’veRead More →

Chase Jarvis is famous for saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. It’s like the saying any tool can be the right tool. While you can use a hammer to pound in a screw or use a screwdriver to hammer in the nail, it won’t deliver the best results. While we can’t always carry around the best camera for every situation, but what about a camera that will take pictures when it’s the only thing you have with you? Thankfully these days, everyone has a camera in their pocket, your smartphone. These modern smartphones have pretty powerful cameras, often augmentedRead More →

I love a good mystery. Even when it comes to film with limited available details, it’s always fun to crack the code. So when I arranged to gift my Nikon F2 to a fellow local film photographer, he offered up a roll of Tasma Type-25L (along with a couple of other rolls of film). Now I have worked with Tasma film before, having shot a roll of NK-2 that yielded results exactly in line when what I have come to expect from Russian films, that being lots of grain. After a bit of searching online, I landed on two sites, the first being the officialRead More →

It seems that Lomography is starting to branch out from their usual suppliers. After the release of their Kino line last year with Berlin and Potsdam, which are in fact rebranded (and in the case of the first run of Berlin, re-spooled) ORWO N74 and UN54 respectively it is no surprise that this year they released two new films in their Kino line. But these weren’t the usual fare that I’ve seen from Lomography, it seems they to have jumped on the Ultra-Low bandwagon and release two slow films. The first release, Fantomé is an ASA-8 film with lots of contrast and second is BabylonRead More →

One thing that I enjoyed about the Sheet film version of this film (When it was called Ilford Ortho Copy Plus) is that some developer/time combinations had no film speed listed so in some cases I shot the stuff as low as ASA-6. So here I decided to test the roll film in the same way. And you know what? It worked! I selected five scenes and shot every scene three times, at ASA-25 (left), ASA-12 (middle), and ASA-6 (right) and processed them all D-76 (1+1). How did I go about making these frames? I used my Pentax Spotmeter V, in a couple of theRead More →

It’s a rumble in the electric jungle! Last month I pitted Olympus and Nikon against each other with their small-format mechanical options, the Olympus OM-1n and the Nikon FM. This month I decided to test the automatic versions of these compact cameras, the Olympus OM-2n and Nikon FE. Like their mechanical cousins, both cameras were built during the rise in the use of electronics in cameras that came in the late 1970s. Now here we have a significant difference in metering as both use a different system, and in this case, both cameras have functioning meters. Again this isn’t to tell you which camera isRead More →

It’s a rumble in the mechanical jungle! Last year I pitted my Nikon F5 against the Minolta Maxxum 9, and I had a lot of fun doing that review, not to prove which camera is better but to show the difference between the two top dog professional cameras. And I have been waiting for a chance to repeat the format for some other cameras. So why not take out two iconic small-format SLRs that came out in the 1970s, sadly I had very view from that era, at least until recently when I got a pair of them. Today we’re going to compare the OlympusRead More →