The 35mm f/2.8 lens saw initial release in 1959 and consisted of 7 elements in 6 groups, this optical construction would continue into 1974. The AI version of the lens that saw release in 1974 changed the optical construction to 6 elements in 6 groups (a construction shared with the f/2 version). In 1979 a fourth version of the lens saw release that many see as ‘inferior’ with only 5 elements in 5 groups. The lens I’m reviewing today is the fourth version of the 35mm f/2.8, and honestly, I find it just as good as my 35mm f/2D. Not only does it still performRead More →

Like most history, there is always a bit of legend mixed in with fact and a fair amount of embellishment. That statement is even true when it comes to PL Robertson. If you live in Canada you know well the socket or square head screw, it’s standard across all provinces and all trades. Peter L. Robertson would often tell the story of how, as a screw salesman, a slotted screwdriver slipped during a demonstration and sliced his arm. Being both a salesman and an inventor, Robertson decided to invent a safer head for the standard screw. Although the more likely story is that Robertson sawRead More →

Next to the Minolta HiMatic 7s which got me first into photography, the Nikon F80 is the one that brought me back into the wonderful world of film and introduced me to the magic of Nikon AF lenses and Nikkor glass in general. I received this camera as a gift and immediately found myself very much attached to the system. You might say that the F80 is the camera that caused me to invest in the Nikon SLR system and switch from Minolta. From the F80 I got the D70s, D300 and my current main SLR the Nikon F5. And while many of the lensesRead More →

Oddly enough one of my other hobbies has managed to avoid this project, that of exploring abandoned buildings. Week 49 I was down in Cincinnati for the fourth annual Very Cincinnati Christmas event. The opening location was the former First German Reformed Church. Built in 1850 in the mainly German-American west-end of the city the church thrived until changes swept across the nation in the 1960s and the congregation sold their beautiful limestone and brick building and a new church worshiped there, the Freeman Avenue United Church lasted from 1970 to 1975 before closing the doors as well. The building, like many abandoned for decadesRead More →

You may recognize this building from the 2006 film Transformers, this is Detroit’s massive Michigan Central Station. Designed in the Beaux-Arts Classical style with the interior lobby modelled after a Roman Bathhouse, complete with Doric columns. The station was completed in 1912, but the whole area wasn’t fully completed (including Roosevelt Park, from where I took this photo) until 1920. Costing $15,000,000 in 1912 to complete the station was never fully used. That’s right, the 18-story tower that rises above the actual station was never completed the top several floors not even furnished. But despite this the station hosted more than 4,000 passengers daily throughRead More →

Woodward Presbyterian Church, or rather St. Curvy, has a story like many churches that once thrived in the American mid-west. Founded in 1908 with a membership of 163, it was tasked to serve the north part of the city. With the Reverend Sherman L. Divine at the helm, the church began to seek money and land to build their church. The land the church still sits on today was donated by Mrs. Tracy McGregor. The firm of Sidney Rose Badgley & William Nicklas was hired to design the church. Construction began late in 1908, and by the time the cornerstone was laid on the 1stRead More →

Returning to the classic combo, Tri-X and HC-110. Due to flooding on my usual route to and from work I had to take a road that I hadn’t driven in a while, and that’s where I came across this gem. It’s becoming fairly common these days in rural Milton to find old abandoned farmhouses, the field still being used by others now, but the old houses left boarded up. I’m a little ticked at myself for leaving the gatepost in the frame, but sadly it was the only way to get the house through the trees without having to put the camera on a weirdRead More →

The return of a familiar location for Week 30, City Methodist Church in Gary, IN. I mentioned this spot in a previous blog entry from the first time I visited this beautiful building and icon of the decline of the city of Gary. I happened to be in the area again, so I made a point to visit her again with some Tri-X and a 4×5. I also made sure to visit a few other familiar spots and one new one in Gary before the 90F+ weather earned a quick return to the air conditioned hotel room.Read More →

It’s always great to go back to a location you used to explore and see it legally…and in daylight. The Don Valley Brickworks was a staple of Toronto Urban Exploration for many years before Evergreen began it’s award winning transformation of the place. Someone had left the gate to the old kiln building open which gave me a chance to show friends Chris and Tim one of my old UrbEx playgrounds. It was great to see that the kilns and other small reminders of the place had been left. The Don Valley Brickworks was established in 1889 and operated for almost 100 years before finallyRead More →

It was back when I was still in college and would take back roads to and from the school from my home town of Milton, there were about ten abandoned farmhouses along these roads, and one day I just decided to stop and poke my head into them, and decided to bring along my camera, at that time a Minolta SRT-102 loaded with cheap Fuji Superia film. Well as many who know me I’ve gone far beyond exploring houses, so much so that I find them kinda boring these days. But when a new to the community explorer invited me along, I wasn’t going toRead More →